BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Institute for Integrative Nutrition 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 raised the rating for Institute for Integrative Nutrition include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 12 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

12 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 4 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 6
Billing/Collection Issues 2
Delivery Issues 1
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 3
Total Closed Complaints 12

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on Institute for Integrative Nutrition
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: July 02, 2008 Business started: 06/01/1992 in NY Business incorporated: 06/01/1992 in NY
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

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NYC Department of Education
Chancellor's Office , 52 Chambers Street, Brooklyn NY 10007
http://schools.nyc.gov
Phone Number: (718) 935-2000

Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Mr. Michael Iacona, President
Business Category

SCHOOLS-BUSINESS & VOCATIONAL


Additional Locations

  • 3 East 28th Street 12th Floor

    New York , NY 10016

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Complaint Detail(s)

12/30/2014 Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: The problem lies with this organization's handling of a case I consider to be fraud. One of their *********, ******* ********,(*******) charged a fee for a "course" which never materialized. Though the fee was nominal, what is troubling is that *no one* is accountable for ********'s actions. I contact4d ******** for a refund, and she refused. She also said she would not discuss the issue further. So, I contacted Institute for Integrative Nutrition, from where she received her certificate.. Not only would they not assist with the complaint, they would not give me the name of the head of their company. I also feel that ******** used emotional manipulation and switch/bait tactics to secure a sale. I have also contacted the ******** *********** *** ******** *************, and they also do not take any responsibility nor get involved. They also do not respond to emails, nor do they disclose who the head of their organization is. The main concern here is that no one is accountable. Address: I am working internationally. The address provided is in **. If you need a ** address, I can provide one, however, it would be better to send to the ** address. The best is to reply by email.

Desired Settlement: 1) Refund. 2) Assure accountability / oversight over ********* of this institute.

Business Response: The complaint while lodged against IIN the school is actually a complaint against a ******** of the school.

Nonetheless the complainant was listened to and when I determined that $29 was the amount in dispute I paid the complainant this amount from personal funds.

The gesture was acknowledged as satisfactory and the issue resolved.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me and the matter has been resolved. My hope is that in future, more can be done to emphasize to health coaches the gravity of what they do; teach them ways in which to behave in an ethical manner; to deliver excellence in all aspects; and, that there be auspice(s) to whom they answer, and who hold them accountable.

Sincerely,

* ****



 

11/19/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I signed up for the program in February 2014. I have saved all my emails. But NONE explains a fee for withdrawing... they don't explain this.... until you try to leave the program. I was quite happy with the program, but I am on ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program). They recently took $400 off my monthly allowance. So I tol the school I no longer could afford to continue the program. That is when they (*****) told me I would have to pay $3,825 to leave the program. They keep pressuring me to pay this. I cannot even pay the $99 they offered to reduce my monthly tuition fees anymore! I am on disability. IF they made the fee know at the beginning of the program - telling you BEFORE you signed. I would not have signed with them!. I find this practice underhanded!

Desired Settlement: I want them to cancel my placement and to stop contacting me

Business Response: The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) first learned of the student's hardship through the Better Business Bureau complaint process.  Immediately the student was contacted and a full refund made.  The State of New York has a strict refund policy for schools that IIN holds to exactly.  However, when students experience unforeseen hardship, the Institute will on a case by case basis go beyond what is agreed to in law.  It is unfortunate that the student did not make IIN fully  aware of her fiscal challenge or we would have resolved it.  But, with thousands of satisfied students every year, it is more important that we learned of the problem rather than how we learned.  Thank you.

3/20/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I started this program Feb. 2014 with an understanding that it would provide me with significant nutritional information to educate my patients with my RN background. I was told that this program offers "personal attention by a coach" and that I "Could" obtain CEU's I feel that there is a lot of false advertising with this program. I am on week 6 and have put much time and commitment into being part of the program and having an open mind, but very disappointed. First, CEU's are additional $495.00. I specificially asked about CEU's which no one person said that it was an additional fee on top of the already $5000.00 for the year. Several students within my program stated the same disappointment when they found out the cost of the CEU's. I had to ask the help info desk 2 times about the CEU's and why there was a charge and why was it not disclosed to me. When I finally got a response, it was "well most of the time CEU's are additional cost". Maybe.... but why not disclose this info? It was like they are hiding it not just from me but other students as well. #2 Personal Attention by a health coach? I have been assigned to a health coach, encouraged to sign up for a ******** **** she started and thats it. I have have several questions without response for my coach. I even included her name in the post. I have complained about this and all I got was that ******** postings are not a requirement to graduation. ******** is to reach out to your fellow students, that it. I also tried posting to their OEF (online forums) which is also a tool to get you to interact with fellow students. Since it is my first time with an online program... I asked the help desk about this lack of support. They claim they are a different school than most. So no feedback from a health coach or.... ****** the main person running the school. I have sent him a message via ******** about the lack of follow-up and my concern of getting feedback and questions asked during the modules. He just forwarded my message to his staff, no resolution. I have tried talking via help forum about the lack of education and all I got was the modules would get better and I needed to be patient. But without feedback or the ability to review and ask staff questions about content, its just an expensive way to connect with fellow students with the same interests. That is exactly what they encourage.... talk and interact with your fellow students, ask them questions and hey!!! "No one diet fits everyone!" Thats their claim to fame or trademark.. " bio individuality". This statement or trademark covers them to be very vague about nutritional content. This past module... One speaker talks about how plant base diet slows your metabolism, then the next speak states plant base nutrition speeds up your metabolism. WHAT? So I post the question for discussion on ********. I got "no one can agree on nutrition" by a fellow student. Not being able to ask questions to the speaks or follow up on the differences of studies has me questioning what this program is all about. I am not happy and have put %100 into the program and feel all I am getting is now spending too much time on ******** asking my fellow students questions. I can do this without the $5000.00 price tag. I feel very strongly that they have not done their due diligence to provide nutritional education. As most, they very review the different diets out, but provide no instructions on how to get started. They cover it up but stating "we are all differeent." ****** * lectures are very disturbing. He provides no nutritional education and just repeats his idea of "bio individuality" and how we are all different. That's about as much personal attention you get from this program.

Desired Settlement: I would like to be refunded all my money for this course.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and I want to hold off on my compliant at this time.

Sincerely,

********* *****


 

1/29/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have a Bachelor's degree in a science-based health care specialty and have worked in the field for 15 years. I have also been successfully running a private practice for almost 10 years. After finishing a science-based nutrition program, I was looking for additional education in order to add health coaching to my business. I enrolled in this school after looking at the information on their website and talking with two admissions representatives (one who was specifically assigned to speak with me by the school). I explained my professional history and education, what I was looking for from the program, and what brought me to consider enrolling in their program. They assured me that this was the right program to meet my needs. After having spent 1 month in the program (approximately 10% of the program), I feel misled by both the website and the two admissions employees who I spoke with before deciding to enroll at this school for two reasons: 1. Nowhere in the marketing material, on the website, or in my conversations with the admission staff was it ever communicated or explained that this school does not consider itself a science-based program. If I had known this, I would not have enrolled. On the website, it specifically states that the curriculum includes "the science of nutrition". After one month in the program, I became frustrated with the complete lack of any science-based material. I spoke to a representative of the school when I withdrew, and she stated that if I wanted a science-based education or to get in to the "nitty gritty of nutrition", then IIN was not the school for me. 2. On the website, and in their print material, they advertise: "About half of our program is taught by ****** *********, the founder and director of Integrative Nutrition. Classes are also taught by experts who are at the forefront of the health and wellness field. Our distinguished speakers are leading doctors, PhDs, researchers and authorities in nutrition today." After one month in the program, I would estimate that all but 85-90% of the lectures were taught by ****** *********. When I brought this up upon withdrawing, I was told that the "experts" appear later in the curriculum. I am not sure that I believe this. The first month (with the exception of 1 or 2 lectures) consisted of ****** ********* (who, unless I missed something, is not an "expert" in anything related to nutrition) talking about his personal opinions (some of them quite offensive to me as an educated woman who eats a plant-based diet and has researched this diet extensively). Quite frankly, I expect more substance when I am paying for educational programs. When I made the decision to withdraw, I had to ask for assistance to find the school's Withdrawal Policy. In addition to putting in a request through the help desk, I asked several other students for help in locating it, and they were not able to either. The school finally provided me with a copy of the policy. Had I read it before classes started, I would have seen it as a red flag and probably withdrawn then. While I understand that there are some costs associated with enrollment, I do not think that one month in the IIN program should cost me $1500 (my original $4000 tuition minus the $2500 that they stated will be refunded to me in the next 30 days). I am paying for an entire quarter even though I am participating in 1/3 of it. I essentially participated in 1/10th of the program as a whole. 1. It states that the enrollment fee is $100. That seems reasonable not to be refunded. 2. The books and materials fee is $950. That seems steep for a hardcover book (written by ****** ********* and basically identical to all of the "lectures" he gave in the first month), a paperback blank journal, and a paperback workbook (all of which are in new condition, and I am happy to return). In my 20 years of higher education and professional continuing education, I have never been charged that much for course materials. 3. The software and contact licensing fee is $1500. Considering that I have only had access to 4 modules and cannot save a copy of any of the available resources now that I am withdrawing, that seems unreasonable not to be refunded. One additional note: As an experienced health care provider, I am very concerned that IIN is misleading and overcharging their students for the "education" they are receiving. There are no educational requirements for admission, the requirements to "graduate" and become certified by the school as a Health Coach (which is an unregulated term) are not at all rigorous, and the school consistently encourages non-medical people to charge $100+ per hour for their "services", none of which are science-based. There are no continuing education requirements, no requirements to demonstrate continued competence, and no oversight by a qualified credentialing agency to determine initial competence upon completing the program.

Desired Settlement: I would assume that IIN considers itself a reputable school and wants to treat its students fairly. While I do accept that I will lose some of my investment since I participated for one month, I do not think that a refund of only 2/3 is reasonable. I am requesting that my refund be recalculated to reflect the amount of time that I was a student (one month of the one-year program). I am happy to return the course materials as outlined above (all of which are unused).

Business Response:

                Re:         BBB Complaint ID *******

 

January *, 2014

 

Dear *** *******:

 

This letter is in response to the notice of Complaint that the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (“IIN”) received from your office on December **, 2013. The notice was on behalf of **** ************, located at **** ** ***** ******* ******** ** *****. The BBB ID number is *******.

 

Thank you for making us aware of this complaint. IIN takes all complaints very seriously and appreciates the forum that the Better Business Bureau offers.

 

*** ************ enrolled in our Health Coach Training Program on September **, 2013. Her complaint concerns “Advertising Issues,” dissatisfaction with IIN’s curriculum, the treatment of her request for a refund, and concerns about the qualifications of IIN’s students and graduates.  Prior to this filed complaint, *** ************ had several interactions with IIN’s Student Success team, the details of which are recounted below.   *** ************’s complaint is entirely without merit.

 

At present, we have been in frequent communication with *** ************ in an attempt to resolve her complaint amicably, but wish to voice our opinion regarding her complaint:

 

Dissatisfaction with Curriculum:

 

*** ************’s complaint is rooted in the allegation that IIN’s curriculum lacks “any science-based material.” We wholeheartedly disagree.

 

Since 1992, IIN has been the cutting-edge leader in holistic nutrition education. IIN has educated and transformed the lives of thousands of students worldwide through instruction from the world’s foremost experts in nutrition and wellness like ****** ***** *** ***** ****** **** **** ****** ** *** ****** ****, among many others.

 

IIN’s curriculum teaches a wide variety of skills in health coaching, nutrition education, business management and healthy lifestyle choices. We are committed to providing a comprehensive curriculum and our students gain a clear understanding of over 100 major dietary theories from ******** to *** **** and are taught how to integrate traditional nutrition philosophies with the most current health concepts. Graduates of the Health Coach Training Program often use this knowledge to launch successful careers as health coaches, by empowering their clients to meet health and wellness goals.

 

IIN students are given access to a wide breadth of material, including forty “modules” consisting of lectures, videos, articles, and handouts focused on specific nutrition concepts and health issues, as well as business training and coaching skills development. Our curriculum is quite robust and we have had thousands of fully satisfied graduates.

 

As IIN’s Health Coach Training Program is delivered over the course of about 46 weeks, *** ************ completed less than 10% of the program. The IIN staff is constantly working to update curriculum materials to provide the most current information to our students. Because future course material is not available to students until they have reached the place in the curriculum, *** ************ does not have any knowledge of the curriculum that comes later in the course. *** ************** conjectures about the nature of rest of the curriculum are completely unsubstantiated.

 

“Advertising Issues”:

 

*** ************ claims that she feels “misled by both the website and the two admissions employees” that she spoke with before enrolling at IIN regarding the nature of the program. Again, after completing less than 10% of the Health Coach Training Program, *** ************ cannot speak to the nature and content of the Health Coach Training Program in its entirety. Furthermore, *** ************ stated that she was looking to add health coaching to her business, a business already based on her science-based education.

 

Concerns about Qualifications of Students and Graduates:

 

Graduates of the Health Coach Training Program often use the knowledge they have gained from IIN’s curriculum to launch successful careers as health coaches by empowering their clients to meet health and wellness goals.

 

*** ************** complaint concludes with an expression of her concern about the lack of “educational requirements” for admission to and graduation from the Health Coach Training Program. She also expresses concern that there are no requirements for continuing education or demonstration of competence for Health Coaches. As *** ************ stated, health coaching is an unregulated profession and there are no continuing education requirements that must be fulfilled in order to maintain any sort of state license. However, IIN encourages students to remain informed and at the top of their fields. IIN hosts numerous alumni events, conferences and other forums for gaining new information and connecting with health profession peers. IIN provides our students with continuing access to news and other publications covering the most current and relevant updates in the fields of health, nutrition and small businesses.

 

Enrollment at IIN and Student Agreement:

 

Potential IIN students may enroll in our program after a lengthy conversation with an admissions representative. Often, prospective students speak more than once with a member of the admissions team. During these conversations, any questions regarding the program and its content, the tuition, and the withdrawal fees are answered.  

 

Upon enrollment, and before being able to begin any portion of the program, all IIN students must agree electronically to the Student and Online Education Forum Agreement (the “Student Agreement”) and IIN Enrollment Agreement, which set forth, among other things, the students’ obligations with respect to tuition and refund and withdrawal policies.

 

IIN Withdrawal Policy and Protocol:

When a student chooses to withdraw from the program, they are subject to refunds in accordance with the New York State Department of Education Approved Withdrawal Policy, a part of the Enrollment Agreement. For your reference, the relevant section of the Enrollment Agreement is included below:

REFUND POLICY and WITHDRAWAL POLICY - TERMS

A.   A student who cancels within 7 days of enrollment but before instruction begins receives all monies returned with the exception of $495, which consists of the $100 non-refundable registration fee and a portion of the Software and Content Licenses fee.

B.    Thereafter, a student will be liable for

1. The non-refundable registration fee ;

2. The Books and Materials fee;

3. The Software and Content Licenses fee; and

 

Tuition liability as of the student's last date of electronic captured activity with the school. Tuition liability is divided into three quarters. Total tuition liability is limited to the quarter during which the student withdrew or was terminated, and any previously completed quarters.

                               

TUITION REFUND POLICY

A.  First Quarter

If termination occurs school may keep

·         Prior to or during the first week: 0%
During the second week: 25%

·         During the third week: 50%

·         During the fourth week: 75%

·         During the fifth week: 100%

 

B.   Subsequent Quarters

If termination occurs school may keep

·         Prior to or during the first week: 0%

·         During the second week: 25%

·         During the third week: 50%

·         During the fourth week: 75%

·         During the fifth week: 100%

 

As the above indicates, the IIN Enrollment Agreement discloses the withdrawal fee in detail, indicating that all paid tuition, less the $495 non-refundable enrollment deposit (consisting of the non-refundable registration fee and a portion of the software and content licensing fee) is refundable if a student chooses to withdraw within the first 7 business days after enrollment and before instruction begins.  If a student chooses to withdraw after 7 business days, but before instruction begins, a larger fee is retained by the school.   

*** ************ claims that she had not read IIN’s Withdrawal Policy before classes started. As *** ************ had to accept the terms of the Enrollment Agreement (which laid out the school’s withdrawal policy) before beginning the program, her claim can only be true if she chose to accept the terms of the Enrollment Agreement without first reading the document. *** ************’s failure to read a document, the terms of which she willingly accepted, is not IIN’s fault or responsibility.

 

*** ************ Announces Intent to Withdraw from IIN:

 

IIN maintains a record of communications with every student. IIN’s Student Success Department responded promptly to *** ************’s intent to withdraw from the Health Coach Training Program. *** ************ was officially withdrawn on November **, 2013.

 

After *** ************ was officially withdrawn from the program, she wrote again to IIN’s Student Success Department that she felt entitled to a larger refund than the $2,501.25 refund that she was to receive per the terms of the Enrollment Agreement that she had accepted.

 

Since the filing of this complaint, we have been in touch with *** ************ and understand that our program was not the right path for her. Aiming not to have an unsatisfied student, IIN’s Student Success Department and Legal Department have been in contact with *** ************ repeatedly in an attempt to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement. *** ************ has remained uncooperative. Still, IIN will do everything possible to resolve this matter amicably and satisfactorily.

 

If you require any additional documentation or have any questions, please contact me at ************ or *******************************************

 

Sincerely,

 

******* *********

 

Legal Department

Integrative Nutrition Inc.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID# *******, and have determined that my complaint has NOT been resolved because:

I disagree that my complaint is "entirely without merit".

1.  IIN continues to be inconsistent with their stance on whether they are a science-based program.  When I originally spoke to the admissions representative, I was very clear in what I was looking for in a health coach program (i.e., that it be science-based) and what my educational and professional background was.  He told me that IIN's program would meet my needs.  When I withdrew from the program, the Student Success Representative told me that IIN does not consider itself a science-based program and that if I wanted a science-based program, this was not the appropriate program for me.  In IIN's response to my complaint, they again claim to be a science-based program.  

In addition, their comment that I cannot speak to the curriculum as I participated in less than 10% of the program seems irrelevant.  Why would I continue on in a program that I was not happy with, in case it became of better quality later on?  And after what the Student Success Representative told me (see above), why would I not withdraw?

2.  In regards to the misleading advertising, I am not sure what point they are attempting to make in commenting that I already run a science-based business.  Wouldn't that just strengthen my argument that if their program was not science-based, I would not find it valuable?  It seems to imply that further science-based education is not necessary for me.

3.  I continue to stand by my belief that their withdrawal policy is unreasonable.  After participating in less than 10% of the program (as they stated), they consider it fair and reasonable to retain $1500 of my original $4000 investment.  I do not have access to any lectures, materials, or resources.  I cannot access the OEF (their On-Line Education Forum).  I may have had to agree to this policy in order to access the OEF originally, but I could not locate this policy when I was considering withdrawing.  I actually had to email their Help Desk to ask for it.  And this policy is not accessible without being an enrolled student.

4.  They consider me to be "uncooperative" in trying to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution to my dissatisfaction with their program.  I completely disagree with this.  I have been in consistent communication with both their Student Success Department and the Legal Department.  I have asked for a refund that is representative of my time in the program.  Their response was to offer me some additional money under their "medical emergency and natural disaster" policy.  

In speaking with other students who have withdrawn, I found out that one was given a substantially larger refund (all but $495).  When I brought this to their attention (and requested the same), I was told that they needed the name of this student.  I did not have that student's permission to involve her in my complaint, so I declined.  They said that the student must have withdrawn before me.  I told them that I knew for a fact that this was not true, as I had seen the email (from the same Head of Student Success that I was contact with) with date and offer of a larger refund.  They told me that she was given a larger refund because she had expressed doubts about the program early on, even though she withdrew after I did.  I found this odd.  I pointed out that they seemed to be treating me differently, even though I had withdrawn earlier and had the same complaints about why I was unhappy with the program.

Their response was to offer me the same refund, but only if I signed a confidentiality agreement.  This document would prevent me from discussing my experience with IIN and from telling anyone about my refund.  It would also require me to write letters to the BBB (and anyone who I expressed my dissatisfaction to), stating that my opinion of the school and the program was a "misunderstanding".  I told them that I was uncomfortable signing this document and felt that I was being treated differently (as the other student did not have to sign this).

Therefore, I do not feel that this issue has been resolved.  I have given them more than enough reasons why I am requesting a fair refund.  I am not asking for anything that they haven't given to others who were dissatisfied.  They are only willing to offer this same refund if I sign a confidentiality agreement.  

I stand by my original statements:  that I felt misled about whether they are a science-based program, that the withdrawal policy is unreasonable and could not easily be located when I was considering withdrawing, and that their refund policy is inconsistent.  I am requesting a refund that is fair and consistent with what other students have received.

In order for the BBB to appropriately process your response, you MUST answer the question above.

Sincerely,
**** ************  

Business Response:

*** ****** ******** ****** ******* ************ *** **** ** **** **** ******* **** ***** *** ***** ** ***** ***** ***** *******

 

            Re:       BBB Complaint ID *******


January **, 2014

 

Dear *** *******:

 

This letter is in response to the notice of *** **** ************** rejection of how Integrative Nutrition (“IIN”) responded to her Complaint with the BBB ID number *******.

First, thank you for making us aware of *** ************’s response. IIN takes this matter very seriously and appreciates the opportunity to restate our position.

As *** ************ acknowledges, IIN’s Student Success Department and Legal Department have each been in contact with her in an attempt to resolve her complaint amicably. Aiming not to have an unsatisfied student, IIN offered to give *** ************ a larger refund than she was entitled to based on the terms of the Refund and Withdrawal Policies that are clearly stated in IIN’s Enrollment Agreement. As a prerequisite for competing enrollment, *** ************ accepted the terms of the Enrollment Agreement on September **, 2013, prior to starting her course.  For your reference, the relevant section of the Enrollment Agreement is included below:

REFUND POLICY and WITHDRAWAL POLICY - TERMS

A.  A student who cancels within 7 days of enrollment but before instruction begins receives all monies returned with the exception of $495, which consists of the $100 non-refundable registration fee and a portion of the Software and Content Licenses fee.

B.  Thereafter, a student will be liable for

1.The non-refundable registration fee ;

2.The Books and Materials fee;

3.The Software and Content Licenses fee; and

 

Tuition liability as of the student's last date of electronic captured activity with the school. Tuition liability is divided into three quarters. Total tuition liability is limited to the quarter during which the student withdrew or was terminated, and any previously completed quarters.

                       

TUITION REFUND POLICY

A. First Quarter

If termination occurs school may keep

·         Prior to or during the first week: 0%
During the second week: 25%

·         During the third week: 50%

·         During the fourth week: 75%

·         During the fifth week: 100%

 

B. Subsequent Quarters

If termination occurs school may keep

·         Prior to or during the first week: 0%

·         During the second week: 25%

·         During the third week: 50%

·         During the fourth week: 75%

·         During the fifth week: 100%

 

The Withdrawal Agreement that *** ************ was asked to sign in accepting the large refund included a non-disparagement clause, whereby both parties would agree not to issue any negative or harmful statements about the other party. IIN maintains the position that this is a very reasonable and common element to include in refund agreements of this nature. From our communications with *** ************, it appears as though her unwillingness to accept our agreement containing the above clause is because she intends to make negative remarks about IIN.

Given the fact that IIN, in an attempt to satisfy *** ************, is offering a refund in excess of the terms of the Enrollment Agreement, IIN maintains the position that her refusal to accept a refund agreement containing a promise not to disparage IIN is completely unreasonable and unwarranted under the circumstances.

We are continuing our communications with *** ************ in our best effort to resolve this matter amicably and efficiently.

 If you require any additional documentation or have any questions, please contact me at ************ or *******************************************

Sincerely,

  ******* *********

Legal Department

Integrative Nutrition Inc.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID# *******, and have determined that my complaint has NOT been resolved because:

IIN continues to ignore the basic request that I am making:  They have given the same, larger refund to at least one other student who withdrew after me and for the same reasons that I stated in my original complaint.  This student was not required to sign the confidentiality agreement that they are requiring of me in order to receive this refund.  I am asking for the same treatment that they have given to others.

IIN seems very quick to assume that I have am not willing to sign their document because I intend to make disparaging comments about their program.  I have been clear in my reasons for withdrawing from the program since the time that I contacted them to withdraw.  They are valid reasons and are not unique to my experience.  I have read the same concerns from other former students on several websites, including the BBB site.  I am not sure why they are so worried that I, as a single unsatisfied customer, can do them significant damage by stating why the program was not a good fit for me.  If they have thousands of happy customers/students (as they state on their site), then why are they so concerned about one person's opinion who didn't find the program to be a good fit?  I have only contacted the BBB because we could not reach an agreement on our own.

As I told them several times in my communication with them, I do not have any intention to bring harm to their company, but I do have the right to explain why I withdrew to the program from others in my personal and/or professional life who ask me.  My reasons for withdrawing from the program are not a "misunderstanding" (as they would require me to state if signing the confidentiality document).  Having an opinion about the content of their program is my right.  

Despite what they have stated in their most recent response, they have not contacted me in any way since first responding to my complaint.  Requiring me to sign a confidentiality agreement (in order to receive a fair refund that they have given to others) will not resolve my complaint with the BBB.

In order for the BBB to appropriately process your response, you MUST answer the question above.


Sincerely,
**** ************  

12/13/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I made the mistake of signing up for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, thinking that I would receive a nutritional education based in fact. I've quickly learned that the information imparted to students is the biased and completely non-science based opinion of the founder, ******** *********. The interactions that I've had with my fellow "students" are very frightening - they are advising pregnant women to take high doses of supplements that they know nothing about, and they are advising other parents to avoid vaccinating their children. Integrative Nutrition puts this all under the heading of "Bio-Individuality", which is new age garbage. They provide meaningless certificates to an undereducated and extremely dangerous population. They give a veneer of legitimacy to people that are going to end up getting someone killed. They also provided sub-standard technology as their online classes were frequently down and impossible to watch. Needless to say, I feel misled and tricked. I requested my money back and that they cease charging my card, as I feel that they did not provide the service that they had promised. Not only did no one get back to me after my request, but they then proceeded to charge my card again. I do not want to fund this fraud machine.

Desired Settlement: I want all of my money back, including their ridiculously high, "materials fee". I received a book and a workbook which I would be happy to return to them as I don't believe they are worth $900.

Business Response:

Dear *** ******:


This letter is in response to the notice of Complaint that the Institute for Integrative Nutrition ("llN") received from your office on November **, 2013. The notice was on behalf of ****** ****, * ******* **** ********** ** *****, with the ID number *******.


Thank you for making us aware of this complaint. llN takes all complaints very seriously and appreciates the forum that the Better Business Bureau offers.

*** **** enrolled in our Health Coach Training Program on September **, 2013. Her complaint concerns alleged inadequacies in our curriculum, in our technology, and in our treatment of her request for a refund, along with alleged underqualification of our students and graduates to practice as health coaches. Prior to this filed complaint, *** **** had several interactions with llN's Student Success team, the details of which are recounted below. *** ****'s complaint is without merit.


At present, we have reached out to *** **** to explain that we will gladly issue a full refund if she has not already disputed the charge that llN made to her credit card (in which case llN's Finance Department will need to resolve the issue with *** ****'s financial institution), but wish to voice our opinion regarding her complaint:

Dissatisfaction with Curriculum:


Part of *** ****'s complaint alleges that llN's curriculum is "the biased and completely non-science based opinion of the founder, ****** ********l." We wholeheartedly disagree.


Since 1992, llN has been the cutting-edge leader in holistic nutrition education. IIN has educated and transformed the lives of thousands of students worldwide through instruction from the world's foremost experts in nutrition and wellness like ****** ****,MD,***** *****, PhD, **** *****,MD and ****** ****, among many others.
 

llN's curriculum teaches a wide variety of skills in health coaching, nutrition education, business management and healthy lifestyle choices. Our students gain a clear understanding of over 100 major dietary theories from Ayurveda to The Zone and are taught how to integrate traditional nutrition philosophies with the most current health concepts. Graduates ofthe Health Coach Training Program often use this knowledge to launch successful careers as health coaches, by empowering their clients to meet health and wellness goals.


llN students are given access to a wide breadth of material,including forty "modules" consisting of lectures, videos,articles, and handouts focused on specific nutrition concepts and health issues,as well as business training and coaching skills development. Our curriculum is quite robust and we have had thousands of fully satisfied graduates.


Dissatisfaction with Technology:


llN's curriculum is administered online and through an app. We acknowledge that *** **** may have experienced some technical difficulties, although we disagree with her assertion that our "online classes were frequently down and impossible to watch." Any downtime is addressed and quickly rectified,and llN's Technology team is constantly working to update and improve our technology and ensure that our offerings meet or exceed our students' expectations.


Concerns about Qualifications of Students and Graduates:


Graduates of the Health Coach Training Program often use the knowledge they have gained from IIN's curriculum to launch successful careers as health coaches by empowering their clients to meet health and wellness goals. We wholeheartedly disagree with *** ****'s assertion that IIN students are "undereducated and extremely dangerous."


The interactions with students that *** **** is referring to took place on Facebook and/or IIN's Online Education Forum,platforms for communication and connection between students. IIN does not encourage students to give each other health advice.


Enrollment at IIN and Student Agreement:


Potential IIN students may enroll in our program after a lengthy conversation with an admissions representative. Often, prospective students speak more than once with a member of the admissions team. During these conversations, any questions regarding the program and its content, the tuition, and the withdrawal fees are answered.


Upon enrollment, and before being able to begin any portion of the program, all IIN students must agree electronically to the Student and Online Education Forum Agreement (the "Student Agreement") and
 
Enrollment Agreement, which set forth, among other things, the students' obligations with respect to tuition and refund and withdrawal policies.


*** **** Enrolls at IIN:


*** **** enrolled with IIN on September **,2013 for our Health Coach Training Program and agreed to the terms and conditions contained in the Student Agreement on the same day.



IIN Withdrawal Policy and Protocol:

When a student chooses to withdraw from the program, they are subject to refunds in accordance with the New York State Department of Education Approved Withdrawal Policy, a part of the Enrollment Agreement. For your reference, the relevant section of the Enrollment Agreement is included below:

REFUND POLICY and WITHDRAWAL POLICY - TERMS


A. A student who cancels within 7 days of enrollment but before instruction begins receives all monies returned with the exception of $495, which consists of the $100 non-refundable registration fee and a portion of the Software and Content Licenses fee.
B. Thereafter, a student will be liable for

1. The non-refundable registration fee ;

2. The Books and Materials fee;

3. The Software and Content Licenses fee; and

Tuition liability as of the student's last date of electronic captured activity with the school. Tuition liability is divided into three quarters. Total tuition liability is limited to the quarter during which the student withdrew or was terminated,and any previously completed quarters.
TUITION REFUND POLICY

A. First Quarter
If termination occurs school may keep
Prior to or during the first week 0% During the second week 25% During the third week 50%
During the fourth week 75% During the fifth week 100%

B. Subsequent Quarters
If termination occurs school may keep
Prior to or during the first week 0% During the second week 25% During the third week 50%
 
During the fourth week 75% During the fifth week 100%



The Enrollment Agreement discloses the withdrawal fee in detail, indicating that all paid tuition,less the
$495 non-refundable enrollment deposit (consisting of the non-refundable registration fee and a portion of the software and content licensing fee) is refundable if a student chooses to withdraw within the first 7 business days after enrollment and before instruction begins. If a student chooses to withdraw after 7 business days,but before instruction begins,a larger fee is retained which represents, among other things,the software licensing and registration fee.



*** **** Announces I ntent to Withdraw from IIN:


IIN maintains a record of communications with every student. *** **** announced her intent to withdraw from the Health Coach Training Program on November **, 2013.A member of IIN's Student Success Team responded to *** ****'s email on the same day and attempted to reach her by phone in order to complete the withdrawal. *** **** was unable to answer the phone, and wrote an email detailing her complaints about the Health Coach Training Program.

The Student Success staff member who had been communicating with *** **** was out of the office on November **, 2013. On Saturday, November **, 2013, *** **** wrote to the Student Success staff member to inform her that *** ****'s credit card had been charged $299 and that she (*** ****) had disputed the charge with her bank.


As soon as she received *** ****'s latest emails on Monday, November **, 2013,the Student Success staff member at IIN reached out to *** **** 5 (five) times that week via phone and email,but did not receive any response from *** ****.


IIN Reaches Out to *** **** to Determine Next Steps:


Since the filing of this complaint, we have been in touch with *** **** and understand that our program was not the right path for her. Aiming not to have an unsatisfied student, we will gladly issue *** **** a full refund of all money paid to llN if she has not,in fact, disputed the $299 charge that llN made to her credit card. If *** **** has officially disputed the charge that was made on November **, 2013, IIN's Finance Department will have to resolve the matter with her financial institution .We will do everything possible to resolve this matter amicably and satisfactorily.


If you require any additional documentation or have any questions,please contact me at ###-###-#### or *********************************.
 
Sincerely,

********

8/27/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I started to attend school here last year. I then stopped going to school here because I couldn't afford it I emailed them saying I couldn't afford it and I stopped using there program in September and I started in February. My account is now in collections. I did not understand that if I stopped that I had to pay the full tuition amount.

Desired Settlement: I would like to know why that if I started the program and stopped going there that I would need to pay the full tuition amount and if I don't I would like them to take my account out of collections. So I stopped getting harassed by amer assist a/r collections.

Business Response: This letter is in response to the notice of Complaint that the Institute for Integrative Nutrition ("llN") received from your office on July **, 2013.  The notice was on behalf of ***** ******, residing at **** ***** **** ******* ********* ***** ***** ***** ********* *****.

Thank you for making us aware of this complaint.   llN takes all complaints very seriously and appreciates the forum that the Better Business Bureau offers.

*** ****** enrolled in our March 2012 Health Coach Training Program on February *, 2012. *** ****** did not complete llN's graduation requirements and did not successfully graduate from the program.  However, *** ****** is still considered an active student in our database.  *** ******' complaint concerns money due to llN.  llN wishes to address its policies and *** ******' complaint briefly below.

llN Policy and Protocol:

Potential students of llN have the option to enroll in our program after a lengthy conversation with an admissions advisor. Oftentimes, prospective students may speak on more than one occasion with a member of the admissions team.
During these conversations, any questions regarding the school program and content, the tuition and withdrawal fees are answered.

We offer our students a variety of tuition payment plans options, which are flexible both in time period and amount. At any time, if a student is having difficulty with the payment plan they have chosen, they have the option to switch payment plans. If a student is having difficulties making one particular payment, we present them with the option to defer the payment for a nominal fee.

We pride ourselves on our customer service and our ability to work out reasonable payment plans for students on a tight budget.  We also track all communications with students for monitoring purposes and to ensure that we maintain excellent customer service. We ensure that all student inquiries are responded to on a timely basis.

Upon enrollment, and before being able to begin any portions of the program, *** ******, like all our students, agreed electronically to the Student and Online Education

Forum Agreement (the "Student Agreement"), which sets forth, among other things, the students' obligations with respect to tuition, transfer, refund and withdrawal policies.

On September **, 2012, *** ****** informed llN that she was experiencing financial difficulties and may need to withdraw.  We responded to her request, outlining how much *** ****** would be responsible to pay to llN in line with our withdrawal policy located
in the Student Agreement, which amounted to $2351.50.  *** ****** chose to remain in the program and discuss further financing options of her payments to llN on October **, 2012.  *** ****** made no further indications of her desire to withdraw from the program.

Although *** ******' complaint alleges that she "stopped going to school" at llN, as she did not officially withdraw from the program, she is still bound by the terms of the Student Agreement, and liable to pay the full tuition amount due to llN as outlined in *** ******' payment plan, which totals $6,747.00. However, in order to reach an amicable solution, llN has reached out to *** ****** to offer to officially withdraw *** ****** from the program, and adjust her amount due to llN to reflect a withdrawal date of September **, 2012.  As of this date, we have yet to receive a response from *** ****** to this resolution.

We strongly believe that this complaint is without merit.  Based on the information presented above, we have been more than accommodating to the student in question. We will continue to attempt to reach *** ****** to work out our differences in an amicable manner.  We wish *** ****** all the best in her future endeavors.



Sincerely,
****************

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:
I have been in connect with *** ****. I am just waiting for a response from him back to the agreement we have set up. 

 
I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me and the matter has been resolved.

Sincerely,

***** ******



 

6/11/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have been debating on how to go about speaking with someone regarding my education at IIN (or lack of it actually). I am extremely dissatisfied with the health coach program the school offered and I foolishly kept attending. I am a well educated woman with a Bachelor's degree and thought that the program may offer me a better opportunity for my families future. I was wrong. This program has been a joke, to say the least. I have never heard of a school that actually awarded a diploma for a student who takes and passes four open book, open everything exams, does 8 "health histories" (these can actually be made up out of the students head and the school would be none the wiser) and talk to another coach for five 45 minute sessions. Oh yes, as long as the school gets their tuition, there is no reason not to give the student a diploma. I think I stuck out the entire year to see if it really worked that way, and unfortunately, it did. The school offers videos and downloadable information as well as discussion boards, but nothing is required. There are no text books, no actual in-depth study guides or any other hands on materials to help a student become successful in the health coaching field other than a fast track workbook for the business end of the course. I read reviews indicating the same things I am discussing and I must say I should have paid more respect to those reviews than I did. Financially, when talking to the recruiter, I was assured the cost of the course was only $4,995.00, with no additional fees; however, I was charged an additional $1,472.00 in fees. I contacted the school and told them to keep my diploma, that it would do me no good, as I didn't really earn it, I was simply paying for it, and they sent it to me anyway. I would actually be ashamed to display it to my clients feeling that it was a lie. I have canceled my website with the host as that also seems to be deceitful to attract clients through misrepresentation.

Desired Settlement: I think the school needs to do a few things. 1. Requiring work through the discussion board and not giving it as an option. 2. Be truthful about fees verbally as well as written. 3. Textbooks are wonderful things, as are written out fill in the blank, multiple choice, and true and false workbooks. It gives students a way to actually study and information to go back on. 4. A way to contact someone for help, live help, not just "fill out an inquiry". 5. Knowing state laws or having a way for students to know state laws before they begin your program. Each state is different in what is required to actually work in the field. 6. Proctored tests would be something to think about. Other than that, I want to be reimbursed for what I have already put into the school. I want the remaining balance removed from my account. I will be happy to send back the unopened diploma and will not use the school as a reference to future clients.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me and the matter has been resolved.

Sincerely,

**** *******



 

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