BBB Business Review

BBB Accredited Business since 01/17/2012

Straighterline

(877) 787-8375View Additional Phone Numbers1201 S Sharp St STE 110, BaltimoreMD 21230-3747 Send email to StraighterlineView Additional Web Addresses



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Description

StraighterLine is a company who offers online college education courses and services.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since 01/17/2012

BBB has determined that Straighterline meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that affect the rating for Straighterline include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 30 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.

Customer Complaints SummaryRead complaint details

30 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 13 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues2
Billing / Collection Issues9
Guarantee / Warranty Issues2
Problems with Product / Service17
Delivery Issues0
Total Closed Complaints 30

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

1 Customer Review Customer Reviews on Straighterline

Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 1
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 1 Customer Review

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (30)
08/08/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
straighterline forces people to take proctor exam and based on passed experiences proctorU installed programs on my machine that I now can't take off.
I have been using straighterline for some time now. I have taken the physics course with them twice. I have several ticket numbers to prove that I have talked with them. ticket numbers include: #DRV-XXXXX which they first dropped the lowest grade for me and when I asked them to do it again they refused with ticket number MTL-XXXXX. The reason why I am filing this complain is because I am refusing to take my proctor exam with ProctorU on the account that they monitor my system and they invade my privacy. I have talked to straighterline customer service and they advice me that I can go to instructors or public libraries to take the exam. ticket number: ZOZ-XXXXX where they gave me the form to take to a instructor or public library. I have gone to my instructors and no one is available to offer me the proctoring. I have also gone to the libraries in my area and they told me they don't do any of this or even heard of this for that matter. My work schedule offers me limited about of time to take these test and I'm asking that straighterline just gives me the password to take the test.

Desired Settlement
I am seeking that I am allowed to take the test at home without being proctored by proctorU. I have little time to jump through the hops of the company and the company is wasting my time because I want to finish the course.

Business Response
We have reached out to this consumer directly, and we have been able to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
It wasn't what I exactly wanted but The person who I spoke to did explain things in a proper matter which was what I wanted. I am currently seeking a professor who can proctor the exam for me. If not I will have no choice to take the exam on ProctorU

05/17/2016Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
charged for service that I have not approved of
Received bank statement & discovered a charge for a company that I did not hear of being on a limited income I an very aware of any charges to my account It being an unauthorized charge I am very upset here is the information from my statement no other information is availiable
Apr 27 ***** Card withdrawal
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX STRAIGHTERLINE
XXXXXXXXXXXX ** 04/26/2016 @9:17:24
The only contact that I can find is the internet I will contact them as well as my bank about this it is most likely a charge that will be a monthly fee no one has ever just been charged just once for this kind of site

Desired Settlement
I am seeking a refund & I believe a that it will be more if I am reading the site correctly It being a learning site it will be a monthly fee that I can not afford I would like to be done with that company and everyone be aware of this practice

Business Response
We have reached out to this consumer directly and have reached a mutually satisfactory resolution to this matter.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
That day I sent out a certified to StraighterLine & my
****** ***** May 10th On the 11th I received a call
from StraighterLine asking why I did not contact them
first before contacting BBB The only option available was an address. Diana helped by doing research & asking the right questions. She has found that another name was on the account with my information. She refunded me the $99 charge on the 13th of May.
My ****** ***** reversed the overcharge on this Transaction on the 17th
Those certified letter receipts were returned to me on the 16th By contacting The BBB as well as the 2 company's quickly this would have taken alot longer I Thank BBB StraighterLine & ********* for getting everything

06/11/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Physics course not what advertised. Once I had to drop, no refund for misleading prerequisites.
Back in late December of last year (12/29/2014), I enrolled in a Physics I with Lab course from Straighterline to finish a final requirement for my degree. I needed a basic Physics course to complete my basics. Once I got into the course, it seemed much harder than most Physics courses I'd taken. I've always excelled in math and have loved science and have always gotten good grades in those areas. After getting into the course, I realized there was a lot of math that I hadn't been prepared for. After much frustration and taking my course materials to a Physics teacher with a masters degree in Physics, he advised me to drop the course because of (1) the poor layout of the course (it didn't even include a textbook, I had to find one myself to buy. The course was comprised of simple 5-10 minute videos segments for each subject area and 10 question practice tests at the end of section blocks)and (2) because Calculus should have been a prerequisite for the course. While they recommended having Calculus, it was not made clear beforehand that it was a must to complete the course. In fact, the first video segment of the class emphasized that a course in Calculus was not necessary and that the course would teach all one needed to know. I spent three months trying to pass this course with no avail. I found questions on the tests were not mentioned in the videos or were barely covered without expounding on the material. I contacted Straighterline 3/23/15 and asked them to refund the cost of the course since its description was misleading. I told them I would pay the membership costs, but wanted the cost of the course refunded, but they wouldn't budge. Because of this one course, it has set my graduation back by months and cost me not only over $500 in the course costs, but in college fees due to my graduation being pushed back and $1000 to take a real Physics I course. I don't believe they back their own service but rather are just trying to keep students in their service as long as possible to rack in the membership fees. I'm very disappointed with the service provided and the minimal effort shown to make this right (all they offered was a few months of access to their service which didn't help me since I had no more courses to take). I can provide any documentation showing the conversation between Straighterline and myself, the suggestion from the Physics teacher to drop the course and his passionate disapproval of the Straighterline course, and I can provide documentation showing my grades in math and science subjects showing that I do excel at those courses.

Desired Settlement
I want Straighterline to make this right. I think the right thing to do would be to refund all of my course costs to them (which exceeded $500). I don't want free access or free courses because I don't need them. These folks have cost me a lot of money (not simply the cost for their course) and I think them refunding the money sent to them is the least they could do.

Business Response
We have reached out to this student directly, and believe we have reached a mutually satisfactory resolution.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
I felt that Straighterline offered a fair resolution to the issue and it helped lessen the impact of the setbacks created. I do hope Straighterline reassess their Physics course because I feel Straighterline's business model is a good one. I think it just needs a some fine tuning.

01/26/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
The system kept stalling as I was doing a timed test. Most of the questions on the test were not covered in the chapters that were given to study.
I attempted to do my first test on 12/17 and to my disappointment they were having technical problems. During my test, which was timed I might add, their system constantly stalled and at one point would not go to the next page for a few minutes which caused unnecessary panic to try to rush and finish the test. Not only that, I called 5 times that day to tell them that their system was not working correctly, however, no one ever answered and all that I got on each call was their voicemail. As for the test. Almost none of the questions on the test were covered in the chapters that were provided to me to study. I studied very hard for this test, but was shocked at the questions that were on this test!! It was as if I was being set up by Straighterline for failure with this test so that I would have to keep coming back retaking tests while they are getting paid!! After finishing the test, I started receiving emails from Straighterline stating that the following day, that their system was going to be down for technical servicing,which would mean 2 days of not having access to my course, but I had paid for access to my course 24/7. Not to have access to my course at their convenience. As I mentioned, I called and left messages for Straighterline 5 times and have yet to receive a phone call however, in the messages that I left, I told them that I was not pleased with their services and that I was cancelling any further courses with them. Well to my surprise, I received an invoice from Straighterline for $99.00 1-4-15. Why and for what? Definitely not for their services which just appears to be a scam. I wasn't even able to use the course that I paid for. I do not have any reason to continue with this company and they definitely do not have any reason to send me invoices because I am 100% done with doing any type of business with them.

Desired Settlement
I've filed a fraud/dispute with my credit card company Capital One for 98.00 which they have given me a temporary credit pending speaking with Straighterline. I also want this 99.00 "membership" fee that is being charged to my credit card refunded as well. I want all future transactions with Straighterline stopped and want nothing further to do with Straighterline.

Business Response
We are reaching out to this customer, and believe we can find a mutually satisfactory resolution.

01/05/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
The scope of StraighterLine's MAT 202 Intro to Statistics was so vast as to require at least six months of study in order to finish the course.
Straighterline's MAT 202 Intro to Statistics is a self-taught statistics course with no professor. The course itself is designed by *********** which offers free online content, and which StraighterLine allows students to access and thus earn credit for said course. The amount of information covered is well beyond the scope of an introductory course. There are a number of texts provided for the course (all free), but only one of them pertains to the topic at hand and is actually used in the quizzes and final exam. Some of the texts (particularly the *********** texts) are so dense and require so much background knowledge as to be completely worthless. Some of the media links, particularly ******.org's weblinks cannot be accessed. The main text, "Intro to Statistics," while a quality text, has a design flaw in that the font used in the text makes it almost impossible to distinguish between the numbers two and three, which is not a small problem when dealing solely with numbers. In sum, the course seems to be so poorly vetted by StraighterLine that it almost seems purposefully ill-designed; that is, a student has to labor over the design of this course for so long that this allows StraighterLine to make more and more money off of a student as the months tick by and the class is still not finished. It took me six months to finish the course. StraighterLine's "claim to fame" is to finish courses in a shorter time frame than traditional courses. More specific problems include: The course is divided into five units (the sixth is the final exam). Unit 3 has no graded quiz. Unit 4, unbeknownst to the student, is a quiz over Units 3 and 4. Nothing in the quiz title or the practice quiz would indicate that two units were going to be covered in the quiz. As each unit takes such an extraordinary amount of time to finish and master, this does not lend itself to student success. Additionally, there are two practice final exams, one of which has many calculations and problems that did not pertain to the final exam. It's as if they were "extra" problems to cover before the class concluded but had no bearing on student preparedness for the final. During the final exam, a number of PDFs were provided, one of which provides some necessary formulas, most of which were not required on the exam. Lastly, the access to and quality of the tutoring services were mixed. Some of the turors were helpful and led one through a problem; others were unhelpful and sometime a bit rude. One had to drop my question mid-stream in order to help another student. As this is the only access to help in this course, this poses a huge problem for the student. Overall, this class needs to be pulled immediately from StraighterLine's roster. It's poor design is a racket insured to allow a student to get caught in the cogs of a never-ending wheel, and never-ending charge of $99 per month.

Desired Settlement
I have no problem paying a reasonable sum for the course, but paying $600 in monthly fees because the course was so vast as to almost be never-ending is not fair to me as a consumer. I request at least a partial refund.

Business Response
We have reached out to this customer directly, and believe we have found a mutually satisfactory resolution.

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09/19/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
Requested cancellation in May of 2016, advised to access site, processed cancellation. Continue to be billed, called and cancellation was processed.
In May of 2016 I sent a ticket to cancel my account with Straighter line. I was advised I can only do it by access the site. I processed it, I continued to be billed. I called on August of 2016 when I realized that I was still being billed and this time they were able to process the cancellation over the phone. These are inconsistent practices. I have no way of verifying that I completed the cancellation in May of 2016. The last transaction shows canceled as of 8/2016. I requested a refund for the months of June, July & August and I was denied. it is verifiable that I did not access their services and did not complete any classes with them. During my conversations with Straighter line they do not offer the option of speaking with the billing specialist, the student advisor is the only person that can speak to you, however, they are not the ones that evaluate the issue to make a decision. I was advised they would offer me free access, however, I have already completed my education through University of Phoenix. I also advised the agent that it was under the impression that I paid a one time fee for a class and if I added more courses it would be 99.00 per month. I advised that at no time do they even send reminders to anyone saying that the services are not being used. I was advised it is the consumers responsibility to know what they are billed for. I had not asked for a refund of any services prior to May when I requested to cancel, even though I had not used the services. However, I am asking for consideration of the fees after I requested to cancel. I am not sure why in some situations an agent can cancel the service and in others they can not. I do feel that is an unfair practice, the original email stated that I needed to access the site to cancel the services, however, it did not inform me that I could have also called to have it canceled. In May when I attempted to process the cancellation, I had called and was advised to file a ticket. I filed the ticket and was directed to a the website, where I am confident I completed the process, however, I do not have an email confirmation. When I called in August of 2016 I was advised it was canceled and I confirmed it on the site, however, I did not get an email. The agent stated that she sent it several times and I confirmed with her again while on the line that I at no moment have received a confirmation, however, I know they have my address because I received the email confirming my payment.

Desired Settlement
I would like a refund of the charges from June, July and August of 2016 for the monthly fee of 99.00.

Business Response
We have reached out to this customer directly, and we believe we have reached a mutually satisfactory resolution.

08/29/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
I felt like this was a complete bait and switch. Had I known the courses where structured the way they were I would've never enrolled here.
I was recommended to this website through University of Phoenix, who I have expressed my dissatisfaction with that they would be referring students to courses like these. The multiple choice test are insanely difficult. The only reason that I have been successful so far is because of the open note policy. However, the final is a closed book final that accounts for entirely too much of a percentage of the final grade. Overall, this is going to be a complete waste of time and money for me. The product is horrible. I've carried a high GPA throughout my educational career and this entry level course is not going to be a good representation of my academic abilities at all. I've attended numerous academic institutions and this is the only one that I have struggled at. I thought I would save time and money by going here, but the product is horrible. This will end up costing me time and money. My main thing is, I just want others to be aware of the educational practices here. They basically throw you a text book and a few (crazy hard) test and tell you you're on your own. Had I known this I wouldn't have bought. It would be nice to be fully refunded, however, if I know this institution well enough, that isn't going to happen. So with that said, buyer beware!

Desired Settlement
My main thing is, I just want others to be aware of the educational practices here. They basically throw you a text book and a few (crazy hard) test and tell you you're on your own. Had I known this I wouldn't have bought. It would be nice to be fully refunded, however, if I know this institution well enough, that isn't going to happen. So with that said, buyer beware.

Business Response
We have reached out to this student, and we believe we have reached a mutually satisfactory resolution.

07/11/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
I purchased two online classes, however I couldn't barely access the site due to either maintenance or the system freezing.
This my ****** Transaction ID: Transaction ID
**XXXXXX**XXXXXXJ. I paid $144, then an additional $99 was debited from my account on May 16.
I would like both amount returned to me. There is no way that I would have been able to complete the courses in a timely manner because I could barely access the site.

Desired Settlement
I want a refund ASAP

Business Response
We have provided this customer the refunds she requested.

07/11/2016Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
I signed up for 1 class however I enrolled in college in the interim and never completed any course work online
I was debited 99 dollars for a class I never attended and a membership I never used

Desired Settlement
I am seeking a refund

Business Response
We reached out to this customer directly and were able to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution.

05/23/2016Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
I was charged for a subscription that I did not agree to remain in contract of. A full or partial refund is not being issues.
Back in late March I signed up for a course at straighter line thinking I needed it for a future program. I did one discussion post before knowing I was not going to need this program. I intended to cancel the membership. According to my history I was charged on 3/31 for the first month. I was charged again 4/30 when I have not used their services except the 1 time early on after first payment on 3/31.

I was unable to delete my credit card information to ensure there would be no further billing and my account would be stopped. Even after my account being cancelled, I still cannot delete my information. This is a major security risk to leave my financial information as part of something I am no longer a part of.

I reached out immediately today 5/1 in hopes to receive a refund because of my cancellation of the account, or even partial refund for the 1 day I could be considered using the subscription. They are refusing to issue a refund and making false claims.

I was never sent any notice about account renewal so that I would have an opportunity to cancel prior to a new bill being sent. The company is also keeping my credit card information on file despite having a cancelled membership which does not seem appropriate and I do not trust further inappropriate charges to occur. I have reported a claim to my credit card company as well as creating this report.

Desired Settlement
I am seeking a refund of my payment for a service that has never been used in the 2nd billing cycle because I was not provided any notice of an upcoming charge. I was unable to remove my credit card information resulting in a charge instead of being able to remove that to ensure the account was cancelled and not billed any further. I was never notified that I had an upcoming bill either. I would be happy with even a 50% refund just to have this resolved and move on.

Business Response
We have reached out to this student directly, and believe the matter has been resolved in a mutually satisfactory manner.

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Industry Comparison| Chart

Tutoring, Online Education, Schools - Academic - College Preparatory, Schools - General Interest

Additional Information

top

If a business refers you to another company or uses sub-contractors, BBB recommends that you research that company including reviewing their BBB business review.

BBB file opened: 04/19/2011Business started: 01/04/2009
Type of Entity

Corporation

Incorporated: March 2011, DE

Contact Information
Principal: Mr. David Parento (COO/CFO)Mr. Josef Katz (Vice President of Marketing)
Number of Employees

40

Business Category

Tutoring, Online Education, Schools - Academic - College Preparatory, Schools - General Interest

Products & Services

This company offers educational services and online college courses.

Refund and Exchange Policy

Our full refund policy can be found here:
http://www.straighterline.com/how-it-works/refund-policy.cfm

Alternate Business Names
Straighterline, Inc.

Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Summary

Straighterline has received 5.0 out of 5 stars based on 1 Customer Review and a BBB Rating of A+.

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

Map & Directions

Map & Directions

Address for Straighterline

1201 S Sharp St STE 110

Baltimore, MD 21230-3747

To | From

LocationsX

1 Locations

  • 1201 S Sharp St STE 110 

    Baltimore, MD 21230-3747

Industry Comparison ChartX

The information in the table below represents an industry comparison of businesses which are of the same relative size. This is based on BBB's database of businesses located in Greater Maryland. Businesses may engage in more than one type of business. The percent of time the business engages in a type of business is not accounted for. There is no known industry standard for the number of complaints a business can expect. The volume of business and number of transactions may have a bearing on the number of complaints received by BBB.

*Straighterline is in this range.

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Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
  • Problems with Products or Services
  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

We do not handle workplace disputes, discrimination claims or claims about the quality of health or legal services.

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Additional Phone Numbers

  • (202) 507-7020
  • (443) 451-7202
  • (877) 785-2624
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Additional Email Addresses

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BBB Complaint Process

Your complaint will be forwarded to the company within two business days. The company will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made. You will be notified of the company's response when we receive it (or notified that we received no response). Complaints are usually closed within 30 business days.

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BBB began including complaint response text in BBB Business Reviews on December 1, 2012. BBB reports the complaint response text for all reportable complaints against a business that are received electronically.

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Industry Tips for Tutoring

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BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview


BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

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Details

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

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BBB Reporting Policy

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BBB Business Reviews are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. Information in this BBB Business Review is believed reliable but not guaranteed as to accuracy.

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