BBB Warns Consumers of College Test Prep Scams

  
     
May 12, 2009

Des Moines, IA, May 11, 2009

– A Texas based company who is misleading consumers across the country hits home in Iowa.  Iowa parents of high school students who are planning to take the SAT and ACT college admissions tests are being deceived by one test preparation service, according to complaints received by the Better Business Bureau. 

Complaints allege that telephone sales for The SAT and ACT Prep Center in Copell, TX lead them to believe that their son or daughter had requested test preparation software for the college admission tests through their local high school. After buying the software for $119.99, parents discovered that their children had not asked for the study materials and that the local high school was not involved with the offer.

Complaints against The SAT and ACT Prep Center also allege dissatisfaction with the software, non-delivery of materials, unauthorized monthly charges of $49.95 and difficulties in obtaining cancellations or refunds.

One consumer states, "I went to their website trying to contact them with the information she gave me and none of it works.  They have not given my money back and have now started debiting my account an additional $49.95 per month.  I have tried calling them and I get a recording saying that due to the high call volume, they can’t accept my call and I am to leave a message.  When they transfer me to voicemail, I get a recording saying the mailbox is full and then they disconnect.  They won’t respond to my emails that I have been sending either."

The SAT and ACT Prep Center has a "F" rating by the Better Business Bureau in Dallas, TX due to the number of unanswered complaints. Since August 2008, when the first complaint on the business was received, there have been 47 complaints closed. The company has not responded to the BBB on any of the complaints; however, in 4 cases the customers confirmed the complaints were resolved when the company issued refunds. According to the BBB of Metropolitan Dallas, an additional 20 complaints are currently pending.  Below is a link to the company’s Reliability Report.

http://www.bbb.org/dallas/business-reviews/services-general/the-sat-and-act-prep-center-inc-in-coppell-tx-90122311

"We urge parents to check with the BBB when they receive any offers for test preparation services and to also check with their school counselor who should be up to date on the best resources." states Chris Coleman, BBB President.  Parents and students may also go to official ACT websites such as www.actstudent.org/college/11.html or www.actparent.org for other test taking tips, strategies and advice and remember to check on a business or to file a complaint, start with trust at www.iowa.bbb.org.

About The BBB.

The BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Reliability Reports™ and charity BBB Wise Giving Reports™, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints Better Business Bureau serving Greater Iowa, Quad Cities & Siouxland Region. BBB Greater Iowa was founded in 1941 and is one of 120 BBBs. Currently, the BBB has 3,200 Members who are BBB Accredited and provides reports on 13,000 total businesses. Contact the BBB at 1-800-BBB-1600 or info@dm.bbb.org or on the web at iowa.bbb.org.