This business is not BBB accredited.

TakeLessons.com

Phone: (619) 231-8505 Fax: (619) 270-9841 225 Broadway #600, San Diego, CA 92106 http://www.takelessons.com


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Description

This company offers searches for music instructors.


BBB Accreditation

This business is not BBB accredited.

Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

To be accredited by BBB, a business must apply for accreditation and BBB must determine that the business meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses must pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.


Reason for Rating

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

Factors that affect the rating for TakeLessons.com include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 14 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

14 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 3 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 2
Billing/Collection Issues 6
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 6
Total Closed Complaints 14

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

4 Customer Reviews on TakeLessons.com
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 1
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 3
Total Customer Reviews 4

Additional Information

BBB file opened: October 31, 2005 Business started: 10/01/2004 in CA Business incorporated 06/12/2006 in DE
Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Mr. Steven Cox, CEO
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Steven Cox, CEO
Number of Employees

60

Business Category

Music Instruction - Instrumental Music Instruction - Vocal

Alternate Business Names
Service Scout Inc

Additional Locations

  • THIS LOCATION IS NOT BBB ACCREDITED

    225 Broadway #600

    San Diego, CA 92106

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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

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.
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

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

8/22/2016 Problems with Product/Service
1/18/2016 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Takelessons.com has stolen hundreds of dollars from my clients and I. The use contrived, confusing billing mechanisms to charge students for lessons they haven't received, as well as to withhold payment from teachers for lessons they have rightfully completed. This has cost me my business and I will be seeking monetary damages as such. One of their common tactics is to cancel lessons (no refunds as is their policy) with students who have no desire to cancel lessons but have missed some to their busy schedule. While I, the teacher, am successfully finding times they can complete their lessons and make use of all the hours i've put into their lesson plans, they will begin harassing the customer until the customer finally gets fed up with the rudeness and pushiness of their staff and doesn't want to deal with them. Takelessons does this, because technically they believe they then don't have to pay the instructor, even though the instructor has already spent many hours completing the lesson plans and communicating with the students and often waiting around for lessons the student didn't show up for. On many occasions, I have had students miss lessons unannounced, which technically means i get paid for them, but being a TEACHER and not a horrible person, I will always try to give them a chance to make it up. However, Takelessons on many occasions simply canceled lessons and kept all the money, which legally at that point was mine. This leads me to another issue: them simply deleting lessons and keeping the money if the lessons are not marked in a "timely" manner. I am a music teacher and not an online troll; If I want to wait a week to mark a completed lesson because lack of time to do the online paperwork, and the student has no problem with that, that's all there is to it. They have no legal rights to keep the money I have earned simply because I haven't conformed to an arbitrary and never defined time limit. There is so much more but you don't allow the space.

Desired Settlement: Take lessons will reimburse me for money they have stolen and discontinue its fraudulent business practices.

Business Response:

To Whom It May Concern:


Thank you for sharing Mr. ******’ feedback with us and providing us with the opportunity to publicly address his concerns. Please note that prior to being made aware of Mr. ******’ BBB complaint I attempted to reach him by phone, and have since followed up several times via email to request that he return my call so that we may seek to fully understand and resolve his concerns through direct communication. As yet I have not been afforded the opportunity to speak with him directly, but look forward to reaching a resolution as soon as he returns my call.


Regarding Mr. ******' statement to the BBB: TakeLessons emphatically contests the allegations that we have stolen hundreds of dollars from either Mr. ****** or his clients or that we use contrived, confusing billing mechanisms to charge students for lessons they haven't received, as well as to withhold payment from teachers for lessons they have rightfully completed. In order to provide some clarity around the inaccuracy of Mr. ******’ accusations, please see below a thorough outline of several of our company policies and practices which are directly related to Mr. ******’ false interpretation of our methods and motives.



TakeLessons Cancellation Policy

Students are expected to give their teachers at least 24 hours notice of a lesson cancellation to be eligible for a reschedule. If you do not receive proper notice, ultimately it is at your discretion how to mark the lesson. Marking the lesson as Missed pays you for your time and the student forfeits the paid lesson.  Canceling the lesson will allow the student to reschedule the lesson; they will keep their paid lesson credit and you will not get paid for this particular lesson.



*Note: It is at a teacher’s discretion to determine whether or not they would like to mark a lesson as missed when a student has provided less than 24 hours notice of a cancellation. If a teacher marks a lesson as missed, per the policy outlined above, the teacher will still be paid for their time, and the student will forfeit that lesson. If a teacher elects to reschedule the lesson and make it up at a later date, the student will not lose the lesson credit. The credit will be rolled over, and the teacher will receive payment for that lesson once it has been taught and marked. If a student later elects to cancel all remaining lessons with an instructor, they may either receive a refund of all remaining unused lesson credits, or they may transfer their remaining lesson credits to a new instructor. Any refund or transfer would include all lessons that a teacher previously chose to roll over if those lessons have not yet been made up.


In other words, if a teacher elects not to mark a lesson as missed when less than 24 hours notice of a cancellation was provided, it is at their discretion. However, if that student later cancels all future lessons before the lesson has been made up, the teacher is not owed that money. That money stays with the student.


If a student cancels all future lessons and asks for a refund or transfer and their next lesson is scheduled within the following 24 hours, that next lesson is not eligible for a refund, as we would pay the teacher for that lesson.


TakeLessons does not ever simply elect to keep money for lessons that have not been used.



TakeLessons Refund Policy

If you're not 100% satisfied, you'll get your money back. We know taking lessons is a big step, and if you need to stop taking lessons for any reason, we will refund any future unused lesson credits, no questions asked. Simply contact TakeLessons at least 24 hours before your next lesson to receive a refund on any remaining future lesson credits. Lessons scheduled to occur in less than 24 hours are not eligible for refund, so please contact us before then to ensure your refund includes all the lessons you are expecting.


----------------------------

Regarding the following assertion made by Mr. ******:  “simply deleting lessons and keeping the money if the lessons are not marked in a "timely" manner.”  --- This is not a practice of ours. Teachers are responsible for managing their own calendars and marking their lessons in order to get paid. It is a recommended best practice that teachers mark their lessons (or reschedule them) within three days of the scheduled lesson in order to ensure rapid payment and in order to avoid scheduling confusion, however, a teacher may technically wait any amount of time to mark a lesson. The lesson will never be “deleted”, however, failure to mark a lesson in a timely manner may impact the date that a teacher receives payment for that lesson.


If a student cancels all future lessons with an instructor and requests a refund or transfer of remaining credits, it is the practice of TakeLessons staff to first contact an instructor regarding any unmarked lessons that are in the past in order to determine whether or not payment for those lessons is owed to an instructor. Any lessons scheduled in the future would return to the student, as long as they are more than 24 hours out from the time of cancellation.


In some cases students with a recurring schedule may have lessons on the calendar in the future that they have not yet paid for. If a lesson is as yet unpaid it will be clear on a teacher’s calendar. All TakeLessons instructors have been advised that if a lesson is showing as unpaid, TakeLessons cannot guarantee payment, and that they should not teach an unpaid lesson. In the event that an instructor elects to teach a lesson that has not been paid for by the student, TakeLessons will attempt to reach the student for payment, but if we are unable to collect payment we are not responsible for payment to the teacher as they have been advised not to teach unpaid lessons.


*All of the above policies can be found on the TakeLessons website in the Support section. Additionally, they can be reached through student and teacher accounts.

Related Links:

Cancellations

Refunds

When a student has unpaid lessons


I hope this information is helpful in addressing the feedback provided by Mr. ******. Again, I will be happy to work directly over the phone with Mr. ****** to more thoroughly address any specific misunderstandings that he feels have gone unresolved.



Kind Regards,

****  ******

Customer Experience Manager

TakeLessons

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

12/7/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Paid $150 for lessons. By company policy they refuse any refunds for any reason. I am seeking a full refund due to my physical inability to take lessons.

Desired Settlement: Refund of $150.00

Business Response: Hi ****,


Sorry to hear you were not able to use all of the lessons you purchased.  We have a flexible refund policy where our students can receive a refund at any time for any unused lesson credits.  I see that you originally purchased 5 singing lessons with ****-**** for a total of $150. According to the teacher's records 3 of these lesson credits were taken/used (on December 3, 2014, December 16, 2014 and January 6, 2015) but 2 lessons were never taken. We'd be happy to issue you a refund for the $60 worth of unused lessons.  I'll submit the refund request now. Please allow 3-5 business days to appear in your bank/credit card. You should also receive an email confirming this refund. The email will be sent to the email address on file in your student account.

Next time please don't hesitate to reach out to us directly and we'd be happy to address any questions or concerns you have about our services.  You can reach us Monday- Friday from 8 am - 5 pm PT at 619-858-2200 option #2.

Warm Regards,
***** ********
Sr. Director of Customer Experience
TakeLessons




7/22/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I signed up the lesson for my son since Mar 2012. I started with 12pack+1complimentary with auto payment till end of 2013. Then they started switch to monthly payment in Jan 2014. I called and spoke to one of the rep regarding my 12pack complimentary make sure that I will still get my complimentary. The rep told me they are changing to monthly and this won't affect my 12pack complimentary. I trusted them and never check on my auto charge until this morning I found out that I never gets any complimentary lesson ever since they switch to monthly billing. I called and spoke to the senior rep~****** today and being told that they have discontinue the complimentary lesson since they switch to monthly payment and if I want to get the discount I have to stop the auto payment and do the payment manually. I have been charged since Mar 2014 till Jul 2015 for 55 lessons but never gets any complimentary.

Desired Settlement: They should keep their promised

Business Response: To Whom it May Concern:

Thank you for sharing with us the concerns of Mrs. ***. My name is ****. I am the Customer Experience Manager at TakeLessons.  I am deeply sorry for any confusion or frustration Mrs. *** has experienced as a result of misunderstanding surrounding policy changes which were implemented over a year ago at the beginning of 2014. I have reviewed Mrs. ***'s account thoroughly. Below are some details regarding this matter:

  • Prior to January, 2014, TakeLessons offered a lesson package called the Quarterly Plan. Under this payment plan, students had the option to purchase 12 lessons at one time and receive a 13th free.
  • When Mrs. *** initially booked with TakeLessons, she was enrolled in this plan. She was billed under this format a total of 7 times between March 2012 and November 2013.
  • Her last Quarterly Purchase was billed in November of 2013 covered a total of 13 lessons. These lessons were covered all the way into March of 2014.
  • At the end of January 2014, we as a company completely stopped offering the Quarterly Plan to any of our customers. This was a decision that was enforced across the board with all customers, and there were no exceptions. In other words, when we ceased to offer the Quarterly Plan, no customers were allowed to remain on it. We ceased offering free lessons all together at that time.
  • We messaged this change out to all customers via email on January 20, 2014.
  • Additionally, we called every single customer who was on the Quarterly Plan in order to ensure they were aware of the upcoming changes.
  • Unfortunately I have no notes or record of the conversation Mrs. *** has referred to in her complaint, though we record every call and notate all conversations thoroughly on each customer account. I am confident that Mrs. *** was not told she would continue to receive a complimentary lesson for every 12 lessons taken as , 1) this change was a firm change enacted for all TakeLessons customers with no exceptions, and 2) when she switched to the monthly plan, she was no longer buying lessons 12 at a time, but rather in much smaller packages. Any discounts offered after January 2014 would have still only applied to bulk lesson purchases of 12 or more at a time, however they would not have included free lessons.
  • The final Quarterly Plan that Mrs. *** purchased was paid for prior to January 2014, and covered lessons all the way into March of 2014, as stated above. This particular purchase was of course not impacted by the changes implemented in January of 2014, as the purchase was made prior to those changes. If Mrs. *** did speak with a representative regarding her lessons and if she was informed that her Quarterly Plan was not impacted by the changes, that representative would have been referring specifically to this particular (final) Quarterly Purchase.


Again, I am truly sorry for any confusion or misunderstanding around the changes made in January 2014 and what was discussed, however we have been very thorough in our communication to all students about these changes and their implications, and no breach of agreement has been made on the part of TakeLessons.

Having stated all of the above, we will be reaching out to Mrs. *** directly to discuss these matters one more time, in order to avoid future miscommunication. Additionally, as a good will gesture and a thank you for her continued patronage, we will be offering her 2 free lessons.


Kind Regards,

**** Grimes, Customer Experience Manager

TakeLessons





11/26/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: The company website is misleading and the marketing/sales staff are extremely aggressive. The company website states all instructors are certified though they refuse to provide by what agency (the best I could determine was an internal online class provided by the company). They also will not allow any contact with an instructor until after the lessons are booked. Since the company profiles are your only source you are forced to take a chance on the personality of the individual you pay for. Also, the staff all are extremely rude and unprofessional.

Desired Settlement: Company is more forthcoming in their marketing and business practices.

Business Response:

Hi, ****.
 
Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback and concerns. I apologize that you did not have a good experience when speaking to our Student Counselor, Jonathan. Your feedback has been passed along to our Sales Manager, and we will be following up with him.  As a Customer Experience team we are focused on delighting our customers. Obviously we fell very short of that goal in your case, and for that we truly are sorry.

I understand why you would wish to speak to the instructor before deciding if you want to sign up for lessons. Our approach to booking is set up in a way that fosters protecting the privacy of our teachers, whom we also consider to be our partners.  We have agreed that we will not give out their contact information until someone has purchased and signed up for lessons.  However we understand a customer's desire to make sure the teacher is the right fit. That in mind - here are the options we offer to help make you feel more comfortable before purchasing:

(1) If you have specific questions for one of the teachers you see on the site, we can assist in contacting that instructor for you and getting answers to all of your questions.

(2) After you've booked lessons, you will have the opportunity to communicate with your instructor BEFORE the first lesson. If at that time, you have any cause for concern, we will work to find you a new instructor, or honor a full refund.

(3) We offer a Money Back Guarantee.  With the Money Back Guarantee, after you've attended your first lesson, if for some reason you don’t feel like it is a good match, just give us a call within 72 hours of that first lesson. At that time, we will help you find a new teacher and/or give you a full refund. 

Again, I sincerely apologize for the experience you had when contacting us.  We should have done a better job of helping you pick out an instructor and we should have provided better, more thorough explanations of our policies and your options. I understand that based on your first experience with us that TakeLessons may not be the right fit for you, but if you are still interested in signing  your child up for piano lessons and there is anything we can do to help you answer any questions about our instructors, please let us know. 

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID********, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

******* ****

11/13/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I did not know that TakeLessons would automatically decide to set me up for recurring lessons that then allows them to automatically collect from my bank account with no authorization from me. I've already been through this with them and told them no more lessons after the lessons I had been required to pre-pay for. I turned off auto pay (that they turned on) canceled all lessons and told them no more but when my last lesson was finished - they started it all back up again. They (without my authorization) set me up for recurring lessons which automatically turned on auto bill pay.

Desired Settlement: This company needs to be shut down. They are crooks.

Business Response: Hello. My name is ****, and I am the customer experience manager at TakeLessons.

 
I want to address ********'s concerns. While every student who books lessons through our website is automatically enrolled in auto-pay, and made aware of that at the time of booking, every student also has full control over the auto-pay setting in their online account. They can turn it on or off at any time. 
 
In Ms. *****'s case, we did speak with her about this on October 8, and ensured that the auto-pay setting was turned off at that time. Since October 8, the auto-pay setting on her account has never been reactivated, and she has absolutely not been billed without her consent. There was a recurring schedule that was recently created on her account by her instructor, but again I reiterate that this did not reactivate the auto-pay setting and she was never billed for more lessons after the initial purchase, to which she did consent. All of this was discussed and explained over the phone on November 7. 
 
I do sincerely apologize for Ms. *****'s confusion and frustration, however please let the record show that it has stemmed from a misunderstanding, not from any inappropriate activity on the part of TakeLessons. 
 
Kind Regards, 
**** ** ********
Customer Experience Manager
TakeLessons

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Please find attached an email from takelessons.com from the morning of Nov 7th.  A quick review will reveal who the "miscommunicated" person is.  It was not the teacher, it was not me.  I had already made it clear once before that I did not want to be reinstated but, as the email will confirm, their own system automatically "re-enrolled" me.  Their website clearly states, that once recurring lessons are set up, the auto-pay turns on also automatically.  I caught this in time and thankfully had deleted my debit card info from my previous difficulty with them so they didn't have time to take more money.  I personally was pleased with the way Anthony handled things.  He was very honest and considerate and didn't try to displace blame.  If I had not already filed the complaint I would have dropped it.  Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Ms. ****

 
******* **
Nov 7 (1 day ago)
to me
 
 
 
 

Hi ********,

Thank you for your call today and again we sincerely apologize for the confusion and frustration.

After further review, I determined that your teacher added you back to her student roster in order to mark the final lesson as attended so she could be paid. This caused an automated email to be sent that you had reinstated lessons. It was not our intention to resume or charge you for lessons that you did not request.

I would also like to mention that you will not receive any future billing, scheduling or marketing communications at this point.

If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Again, we apologize for the negative experience and wish you the best going forward.

Best regards, ******* *. Student Support TakeLessons ************

Love your teacher? Leave a review! Go here to learn how: http://support.takelessons.com/hc/en-us/articles/202973533-How-do-I-provide-feedback-about-my-teacher-Write-a-Review-

For email routing purposes: *****************


Regards,

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



8/18/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I was notified on May 13, 2014 by email by a Ms. ****** * that I was inadvertently charged for two lessons on Jan 23, 2014. Here is the email I received. Hi, ****. I hope this e-mail finds you well. I am reaching out to you today with important billing information pertaining to ********'s piano lessons with ***. Due to a technical glitch 2 lessons were absorbed by the system when the lesson on 1/23 was marked. To rectify this error we've added $28 back to your account balance. This accounts for the extra lessons that were absorbed under the price you were paying at that time. We noticed that you previously had no remaining paid lesson credits so I am reaching out to you to let you know that there is now one available lesson. Please be in touch with *** to schedule it. We are truly sorry for any confusion and inconvenience this may have caused. We look forward to hearing back from you. Have a nice day! Kind Regards, ****** Customer Experience TakeLessons —For email routing purposes: [!LVGG-434-74374] They did credit my account in May 2014 for their error in January 2014 but unfortunately I discontinued my lessons with the instructor in April 2014 thinking that I had taken ALL the lessons. The instructor and I were aware at the timee about the number of lessons remaining and therefore planned our last class accordingly. Otherwise, had I been aware that I had another lesson remaining, in a respectable amount of timee, I would have scheduled that lesson prior to canceling my lessons with the instructor. I have not continued service with TakeLessons nor do I intend to in the future.. The company won't refund the last lesson for their billing error. I should have been contacted in a generally respectable amount of time not 4 months later. For their error, I should be refunded the money I was due for that lesson otherwise I would have taken that last lesson. Now I have a credit for a lesson I was not able to take because of TakeLessons billing error.

Desired Settlement: The company won't refund the last lesson for their billing error. I should have been contacted in a generally respectable amount of time not 4 months later. For their error, I should be refunded the money I was due for that lesson otherwise I would have taken that last lesson. I would like a cash refund, not an account credit, of the amount of the one lesson of $28.

Business Response: To whom it may concern:

Thank you for making us aware of Ms. ******'s concerns. I received this notice from the Better Business Bureau today: Friday, July 8, 2014. I spoke with Ms. ****** on Wednesday, July 6, and we resolved this matter over the telephone. Ms. ****** will be receiving the refund of $28. The initial refusal to refund was a misunderstanding on the part of a staff member, which has been cleared up.

To be clear, Ms. ****** was not double charged. In other words- her card was only ever charged one time, when she made her initial purchase on 8/15/13. The error that occurred in our system meant that one of the lessons covered by that purchase was counted as 2 different lessons in our system. So in essence, she missed out on a less that she had paid for.

Regarding the timely notice about that lesson -  TI 100% agree that it would have been ideal to notify Ms. ****** of this issue the moment the error occurred. Unfortunately, the mistake happened because of a technical glitch that we were not aware of until months after the occurrence. As soon as we found out, we shared the information with Ms. ******.

As I have mentioned, this matter was resolved over the phone 2 days ago. However, if any parties feel that there are any other unresolved concerns to discuss, I encourage Ms. ****** or the Better Business Bureau to reach out to me directly.

Kind Regards,
**** ** ********
Customer Experience Manager
TakeLessons
619-858-2200

8/15/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: My wife and I purchased piano lessons for our 5-year-old son. Take Lessons' business model of selling only bundles of lessons in advance -- through a high-pressure sales pitch, I might add -- and then offering a "money back guarantee" limited to 72 hours of ONLY the first lesson might not be illegal but it is flat-out dishonest. So, too, is selling only through autodraft of a credit card. My son is about to start kindergarten and has lost interest in taking further lessons. It's a waste of time and money. When we canceled, we were cheerfully told by Take Lessons' customer service that we could get a $75 voucher for future lessons. We do not want future lessons. We want our money back. We do not want to pay $75 for three lessons that will never, ever be used. We want the $75 refunded to our credit card. Keeping the money and offering a useless voucher is akin to stealing. Bottom line: They took our money from our credit card, we asked them to give it back and they said no. That's theft.

Desired Settlement: We want our $75 back. We do not want a voucher for future lessons that will never be used, nor a gift card for lessons, nor lesson credits. We don't want to pay for something for nothing. And we don't want our credit card billed by Take Lessons ever again.

Business Response:

To whom it may concern:

Thank you for making us aware of Mr. *****' complaint. Prior to filing this complaint with the BBB, Mr. ***** did leave me a voice message, making me aware of his request for a refund. We followed up with his wife, whose phone number and email address are on file in our system, within an hour of receiving Mr. *****' voice message. We let her know that we would be honoring their request for a refund. We left a voice message and followed up with an email confirming the refund.

These actions were taken yesterday afternoon (8/5/14), prior to us being made aware of Mr. *****' BBB complaint.

I spoke with Mr. ***** this morning (8/6/14) to make confirm that his refund had been processed yesterday, and to verify whether any further action was necessary. Mr. ***** has assured me that matters have been resolved to his satisfaction.


*Please note that TakeLessons sincerely values honesty and transparency with our customers, and as such,  we make every effort to ensure that customers are fully aware of our billing and refund policies. Policies are discussed over the phone upon initially booking lessons. Additionally, policy reminders are included in all billing emails and purchase confirmation emails. During their time as customers with TakeLessons, the ***** family received 7 Auto-Payment reminder emails. These are billing reminders that are sent 7 days before a customer has any money auto-deducted from their account.  Any customer is able to opt out of auto-payments through their online account. Additionally, the ***** family received 7 purchase confirmation emails from us. Within all of those emails is the following reminder of our refund policy:

Lesson Refund Policy: Purchases are non-refundable effective 72 hours
after your first lesson per the terms of the TakeLessons Money Back
Guarantee.


I hope this information has been helpful. Both Mr. ***** and the BBB are encouraged to reach out to me directly with any further questions, feedback, or concerns.

Kind Regards,
**** ** ********
Customer Experience Manager
TakeLessons

5/28/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: The company per their policy required that I pay for lessons up front instead of pay as you go. Then, when we cancelled the lessons the remaining balance of the funds were transferred to a 'gift card' that can only be redeemed on further lessons. Two years later, I still have had no need for any lessons from them. However, they refuse to refund the money.

Desired Settlement: I would be refunded the $180 that is on my accounts as a gift card.

Business Response: Thank you for your email.

I am deeply sorry to learn of Mrs. ******'s frustrations. At TakeLessons, we believe that transparencey is important, especially when it comes to our refund and billing policies. Our refund policy states that if a student contacts us to cancel within 72 hours of their first lesson, they can get a full money back guarantee, including for the first lesson. If more than 72 hours have passed since the first lesson, no refunds are given, but we will place remaining credits on a gift card or lesson credit voucher for use at a later date. Gift cards and lesson credit vouchers are transferable, so anyone can use them for any type of lesson service we offer.

We make sure to explain the 72 hour Money Back Guarantee or no-refund policy in every call where lessons are booked. The refund policy is also listed in several places on the website, and is linked to the student agreement, which  Mrs. ****** electronically signed on 7/8/2012. Additionally, we have reminders about this policy in multiple emails that are sent to our customers. Mrs. ****** received an email from us on on August 8, 2012 which contained the following line of text: Remember, the 100% Money Back Guarantee is honored up to 72 hours after your first lesson. After that, lessons that are scheduled for the current term are non-refundable.

Mrs. ****** called several weeks after the August 8 email, on August 24, 2012 to request a refund, at which point we reiterated our refund policy and placed the remaining credits on a gift card as a courtesy. At this time, the credits remain non-refundable, but are certainly transferable for use by any one, and for any type of lesson we offer. This was reiterated most recently in a conversation we had with Mrs. ****** on 4/18/2014.

Again, we are deeply sorry for Mrs. ******'s frustrations, however, as our refund policy is stated clearly in multiple places on the website, and as we made every effort to be transparent and up front with Mrs. ****** regarding our refund policy, we feel that we are not out of line in denying her refund request.

Please let us know if any further follow up with the BBB is required.

Kind Regards,
**** ********
Customer Experience Manager
TakeLessons

3/3/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I signed up for lessons with them and after paying in advance for 3 lessons at $30 each, I cancelled after taking one of them. They said they are keeping the full $90 even though $60 of it was for a product I never received. I checked their webpage for details they have a big icon that says "100% Service Satisfaction Guarantee". I could find nowhere saying they get to keep all of my money.

Desired Settlement: $60 refunded to my debit card. I know this is at the very least unethical, I am hoping it is illegal as well and I can get my $ back. Thank you very much for allowing me to file with you. I will hope for the best

Business Response: To Whom it May Concern:

Thank you for making us aware of Mr. ********'s concerns. We take these things very seriously, as we greatly value respect, integrity and full transparency. Below is a transcript of messaging that was provided to Mr. ******** during our initial phone call with him when he purchased the lessons back on December 11, 2013:


"Our Money Back Guarantee, that's good for up to 72 hours after the first lesson, and that's for everything you pay initially. After that, if you're not pleased, while the lessons are non-refundanble you can always transfer to something different--different kind of lesson, different teacher, whatever it may be."


Additionally, here is an example of exact messaging found in 5 separate emails sent to Mr. ******** prior to his decision to cancel lessons:


"Lesson Refund Policy: Purchases are non-refundable effective 72 hours
after your first lesson per the terms of the TakeLessons Money Back
Guarantee.
"


Based on our consistent messaging and transparency, we feel that our refund policy is not unethical, and it is certainly not illegal. Please be advised that, in spite of our clear cut policies and messaging surrounding these policies, we have elected to make an exception and offer a refund as a good will gesture toward this client.

Please let us know if you have any remaining concerns.

Kind Regards,
~**** ********
Customer Experience Manager
TakeLessons

1/13/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have taken the singing lessons for about 2 months and now want to cancel my lessons. I had told my instructor the last time I was there (last Friday, Dec. 20) that I no longer want to continue my lessons. I also filled out in my account on their web site that I want to stop the lessons. The company, however, charged my credit card on Dec. 25 for advance payment of $135. I called today (Dec. 26) to ask for a refund and to make sure that the lessons are cancelled. I was told that the refund is not possible and they would just issue me a voucher for future use. I do not want a voucher. I want my money back. I should not have to pay for a service that hasn't been rendered to me and I should have a right to a full refund. What kind of business practices are these? I feel ripped off by this.

Desired Settlement: I want a full refund of $135 that was charge to my credit card on Dec. 25, 2013.

Business Response: To whom it may concern:

Thank you for making us aware of Ms. ******'s frustration surrounding her most recent experience with TakeLessons. I am always deeply sorry to learn about any of our clients having anything less than a stellar experience with our service. We have followed up with Ms. ****** to offer a full refund, and to offer our apologies for her confusion surrounding our refund policies.



Kind Regards,
***** ******** ******
Customer Experience Manager
TakeLessons

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

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

12/5/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I signed up for Take Lessons on June 6th of this year through their website: http://takelessons.com/. I was required by their website to provide my credit card number to pay for the lessons I subscribed for. Their site guarantees that: "If for any reason you're not satisfied after your first lesson, we'll help you find another teacher or refund your entire purchase." Unfortunately they do not disclose to you until after you pay that they do not honor this guarantee and that even though you no longer want to use their services, they'll keep the money you already paid. So effectively, this company unethically steals from people and legitimizes it through lies, "business practice", and hidden policies. I tried this service for almost 6 months and while I was happy with the music teacher, I was not happy with the Take Lessons service (it is very difficult to reach them, I don't like being forced to pay for lessons before hand every month, and I don't like the service that Take Lessons provides). So I cancelled my lessons on November 18th of this year, but a payment was already taken from my credit card on October 25th. I had to fill out an online form just to inform the company about my cancellation. They sent me a voucher in the amount of $147.00 to be used towards future lessons. In their response they lied about having informed me in emails I was supposed to have received when payment was taken (which I never received--I only received subscription reminders telling me that my credit card would be charged and in that email I received a list of FAQ's, none of which talked about non-refundable charges). In addition, no where on their site does it specifically state that any payment made to Take lessons is non refundable, nor did I have the option of paying monthly instead of payment being automatically taken from my credit card. Since they are not forthcoming with disclosing all their payment policies, and since they force customers to pay for lessons in advance and then refuse to give any of that money back when those lessons aren't taken, I absolutely do not want to use them in the future for any lessons whatsoever. I asked them to return the money to my credit card and they have refused to do so.

Desired Settlement: I would like them to refund the $147.00 that I paid back to my credit card.

Business Response: To Whom it May Concern:

Regarding Ms. ***'s complaint- It is unfortunate that Ms. *** had such a negative experience with our service, and that she in any way feels she was treated unfairly or unethically. Our customer experience team strives to always treat our customers fairly, respectfully, and with complete transparency. In the case of Ms. *** we have reached out to her and requested a mailing address where we can reach her, so that we are able to process a refund through paper check. Unfortunately, because she has deleted her credit card on file, a paper check refund will be our only option at this point. 

I am hopeful that Ms. *** will be in touch with us again soon so that we can get this matter resolved for her as quickly as possible.

I did want to address a few of the assertions brought forward in Ms. ***'s complaint...


Regarding the feedback that there is a lack of messaging surrounding our Money Back Guarantee:
-The messaging on our site states, "As an added security, we also offer a money back guarantee if you're not completely satisfied after your first lesson."
-Also stated on our site is an explanation as to how our Money Back Guarantee works: "We don't offer a free trial lesson, however, we're so confident that you'll love your experience that we offer new customers a 100% Money Back Guarantee. If you take your first lesson and decide you don't want to continue, we will happily refund the amount you paid including the lesson you've already taken. To request your Money Back Guarantee, simply call us within 72 hours of your first lesson to speak with our support staff. "

(This is all messaging that is visible on our public site. That is, the messaging is available to all clients prior to booking lessons.)

To address the concern about our business practices being unethical and hidden regarding refunds:
-Here is the messaging in the seven (7) purchase receipts Ms. *** received from us after each billing cycle:
"Refund Policy: Credit charges are non-refundable except within 72 hours of your initial lesson, as part of our Money Back Guarantee."

Additionally, the Customer Agreement that Ms. *** electronically signed on Jun 6th, 2013, also refers to our refund policy:
"Refunds"
Service Credits are non-refundable, except as follows:
-You qualify for Our Money Back Guarantee, or
-Your Service Subscription is canceled by Us or Your Service Provider due to circumstances outside of Your
control.
-No refunds are given for "free lesson" Service Credits.
-Gift Certificates, Gift Cards and Collective Buying Coupons are non-refundable."

Regarding our cancellation procedure, our service, and our billing practices:
-I do want to confirm that a cancellation is made by submitting the inquiry either by e-mail or phone. We're happy to cancel any schedule upon notification of intent.In Ms. ***'s case, we did take care of canceling her schedule within 24 hours of her request being made.
-Also, our students are enrolled in our Auto-Pay program. We require that lessons be paid for in advance so that we are able to guarantee payment to our instructors, and so that we can reserve instructor time slots. It is a standard business practice to expect payments for lessons in advance, just as someone would pay for college courses in advance of a semester.  We are communicative along the way, sending billing reminders seven (7) days prior to each payment.
-Ms. *** was sent six (6) billing reminders throughout her service with us.


Again, I am deeply and sincerely sorry that anything on our end seemed unclear or unethical. We do strive for fairness and transparency in our business practices, and will continue to seek new means of improving our messaging.

Kind Regards,
***** ** ********
 Customer Experience Manager


11/18/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: When I signed up with this company they offered 20% off of the first lesson, they never gave me that discount. I was looking at 2 companies and this was offered by take lessons so I chose to go with them.

Desired Settlement: Would like the company to honor that service to me.

Business Response: Hi, *****.

Thank you for your email. I was sorry to learn of *******'s frustration regarding her lesson pricing. We have followed up with her regarding the miscommunication over her discounted lessons. Our Customer Support Manager left a voice mail, and also followed up with an email.

We let ******* know that we were sorry for the error on our end in not applying the discount that was promised, and  that we'd be more than happy to make a manual adjustment to her upcoming bill to discount her next two lessons by 20%. We also reminded her that we would be happy to speak with her directly if she had any lingering concerns or feedback to discuss.


I hope this is helpful. We certainly want to honor our promises to our customers.

Kind Regards,
***** ********
Customer Experience Manager
TakeLessons

10/25/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have a complaint with the way take lessons customer services delt with what was clearly a miss understanding and their refusal to refund the money that they auto deducted from my account without notice of renewal and without have an authorized card link to my account. Immediately following payment for my 3 months of lessons on April 8, 2013 (with a set end date of July 20 -- the week before my wedding, and the reason for lessons being for the wedding), I deleted the debit card which was used, and had no credit card on file. My lessons ended prior to July 20, 2013, and the teacher was aware of wedding. Three months of lessons ended in July, but two months after lessons ended (on Sept 22, 2013), without notice of a pending renewal (and not a timely renewal), my card, which was deleted from my account was charged to continue lessons. I informed customer service and they said that because I had "missed lessons" that that new renewal created without my knowledge, that they could not refund any amount of the charge, and I had a transferable credit for lessons. I did not authorize that card to be charged, I did not sign up for continuing lessons, and I asked for at least a partial refund, but was refused. Please help me clear this matter up, and require Take Lessons to be more forthcoming about their renewals and authorization to use someones credit card. I just want a refund (partial or whole) and to make sure that I am not billed again.

Desired Settlement: Refund of all or part of the $348.00 they debit from my account without a card on file.

Business Response: To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for making us aware of Mrs. ******'s concerns. We are always sorry when clients become frustrated about billing misunderstandings as a result of any miscommunication. At TakeLessons, we make a sincere effort to be extremely transparent with every customer about the way our billing and auto-pay processes work, in order to avoid such circumstances.

While we have followed up with Mrs. ******, and a refund has been processed, I would like to address that the money deducted for lessons was not taken without notice of renewal, as suggested. In Mrs. ******'s case, we did send a written reminder via email on 9/22/2013, one week prior to her bill date, which was actually 9/29/2013. Within the written email reminder was the following messaging:


"Account Billing Reminder
** *******,

We hope you're enjoying your lessons!

This is a reminder that your next payment is due on Sunday, September 29, 2013.

Since you are enrolled in our Auto-Pay program, no action is required. We will automatically bill your ********** ending in **** for the amount due.

If you want to change your credit card on file, please log into your account at the link below and update your card before Sunday, September 29, 2013: ..... "


Additionally, the credit card in question, which was billed on 9/29/2013, was not removed until after the billing had occurred. Within our system, it is physically impossible to bill a card that has been removed and is not on file. The fact that the card was removed after billing resulted in difficulty with processing a refund, as there was no card available in the system to which we could return any money. At this time, however, we have agreed to process a refund via manual check, and have notified Mrs. ****** in writing of this action being taken.

Again, we are deeply and sincerely sorry for the frustration that Mrs. ****** has experienced as a result of these miscommunications, and will continue to look into our current systems to determine whether there are opportunities for us to be more transparent with customers about what to expect when it comes to their automatic billing.

Kind Regards,
**** **
TakeLessons
Customer Experience Manager


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