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San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties

BBB Accredited Business since

TakeLessons.com

Additional Locations

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 students help finding music teachers for 38 types of music lessons including guitar, singing, piano, drums and violin.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that TakeLessons.com 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 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised 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 16 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

16 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 7 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 2
Billing/Collection Issues 8
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 6
Total Closed Complaints 16

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on TakeLessons.com
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: October 31, 2005 Business started: 10/01/2004 in CA Business incorporated: 06/12/2006 in CA
Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Ms. Mary Brooks Mr. Steven Cox, C.E.O.
Contact Information
Principal: Ms. Mary Brooks
Principal: Mr. Steven Cox, C.E.O.
Number of Employees

60

Business Category

Music Instruction - Instrumental Music Instruction - Vocal

Alternate Business Names
Service Scout Inc

Additional Locations

  • 225 Broadway #600

    San Diego, CA 92106

  • 350 10th Ave #600

    San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 231-8505

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Complaint Detail(s)

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

10/18/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On Sep/13 we placed an order with an online merchant called “Take Lessons” to have my son attend guitar lessons near our home. My wife was given information to create an online account to choose a guitar teacher close to our home. On their site and also their phone system, it wasn’t mentioned that we can’t cancel the account. We called the same day to cancel this account but the folks who answered the call told us to cancel the account by logging into online account. We logged into the online account but there is NO option for cancelling the account. We called 3 times and each time they told us to login to our account on their site and have the account cancelled there but again the site does NOT provide this option. I checked all the 3 tabs and called them myself too but each time they referred me back to the online account. I called for the last time today after my son completed one lesson to have this account cancelled because the nearest teacher is too far from where we live but again they told me to login to the online account. They finally referred me to their billing department which is a voicemail encouraging people to login to the online account. I finally asked for technical support because their online account doesn’t provide an option for cancellation. They sent me to a tech support extension which made me wait 20 minutes to tell me that I can leave them a message. They never called me back. This merchant is a fraud and I had to dispute the charges with American Express for what they charged my account.

Desired Settlement: This merchant claims that there are options for cancelling an account or transaction but those options don't exist on their site and they should therefore be willing to help their clients over the phone to cancel the account. They have made it impossible. The desired outcome is for their site to make these transactions possible.

Business Response: To whom it may concern:

I am deeply sorry for the delayed response to the BBB in regards to  the customer complaint with the ID #
*******.

One of our support representatives did follow up with the customer in question on 9/26/2013, and the requested refund was processed successfully at that time. The refund was confirmed with the customer, along with our sincere apologies.

As a company, we are working diligently to address concerns such as those outlined by the customer in regards to being able to speak with our support staff, or being able to handle cancellations online. In order to address these concerns we have recently taken the following action:

  • Partnered with a third party system to provide on site FAQ and account support
  • Increased support time spent on the phones
  • Hired more support personnel

I am confident that these changes will lead to a more positive experience for our customers going forward.


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











1/14/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have try to collect a refund for lesson never taken Teacher was always rescheduling so I had enough didn't think it was good for my dauther and they say all they could do is give me credit for future lessons but have no one available that meets my 9 year old Daughter busy schedule from soccer practice theater and school all i ask was for Saturday lessons and different teacher got no help.

Desired Settlement: I would like to get a refund since i have enroll my dauther at ***** ***** academy of music so she could continue piano lessons

Business Response: Thank you for bringing this complaint to our attention.

Our policy, as outlined in the attached signed student agreement, is that lessons are non-refundable. While we can't refund the money, we do issue credit for the payment on a gift card so that the student can save them for later lessons or give them to someone who can use them.

11/14/2012 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. I spoke to customer service and then to a supervisor. I explained that I applied on line and was afraid that my account was set up to auto deduct and that I did not want that I only wanted 4 lessons. I was told the record conversation so the supervisor said she listed to the last conversation I had and that their staff had explained things and that I had approved the second billing. I asked for a transcript of that conversation and was refused. I asked them to go back to a pervious conversation where I had called to make sure that I had only paid for 4 lessons and would not be billed again. I was told that I had set things up correctly. When I questioned why I was billed again, I was told that I was sent an e-mail saying I was going to be billed. I did not read said e-mail because I was told that I was only set up for 4 lessons. ***** the supervisor said that my last conversation made it appear that I understood that they would be billing me again. I told her the conversation was before any lessons had been taken and I thougth any discussion of money was about the lessons I had already paid for. The new month of lesson had not begun so I asked for a refund. They refused the refund and refused to look for or listen to the conversation where I asked customer service to make sure that I had only signed up for 4 lessons. I just want a refund and to make sure that I am not billed again. I did have ***** send me an e-mail stating that take lessons would not bill me again and a list of lessons they show I had paid for. Why would take lessons refuse to let me hear what they were basing their decision on and why would they not look for the conversation that I told them I had with customer service. They angered an otherwise happy customer that might have come back later. Please help me get my money back.

Desired Settlement: I would like to complete the last of the 4 lessons that were purchased and I would like to have the $87.00 that I was charged on Sept. 27, 2012 to be refunded to me. I would also like a transcript of the conversation that I had with customer service making sure that I had only signed up for 4 lessons and the one where said that I told them to charge me for a second month. The refund is the most important the other would just make me feel better about their prior refusal to provide this info.

Business Response: Thank you for bringing this complaint to our attention,

After checking with our Customer Service team it appears that the student has completed all of the lessons in question, including the additional ones in October that were paid for.

To that end, we consider the matter closed, but are happy to address it further if need be.

Thanks again!
**** ******

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I only accept the buisness response because I have no choice.  I asked to have my money refunded and they refused, therefore, I was forced to use the lessons that had been paid for.  I had asked that the lessons be removed and that my account be credited. That was not done.  I will not use Take Lessons again.  I will not reccomend them and I do not want this complaint to show that it was resoved to my satisfaction.  It was not!

Take Lesson's way of dealing with this complaint was not respond until after I had to make the choice to use the purchased lessons or lose the money.  I do not think that not responding is the correct way to handle a dispute.

I suggest you work on your client relations!  ********

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution though not satisfactory to me should be closed.  I will wait for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

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


6/4/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: This service is charging me for lessons even though I got no lessons. This service is billing me and won't let me cancel. This service is a scam.

Desired Settlement: Refund the money. I took no lessons. I want to cancel and get a refund.

Business Response: Thanks for bringing this to our attention

On 5/11, One of our student counselors contacted the complainant and a $220 refund was issued for future lessons. At this time we consider the matter resolved.

Have a great weekend and thanks again!
****

3/26/2012 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: My students did not receive lessons because the instructor cancelled. I decided to cancel take lessons because my children were not learning. Piano lessons is needed weekly to retain information and the instructor would cancel frequently. I called to cancel after I did not receive my lessons the first week in January. The company refused to reimburse me. They had reimbursed me prior a month before because they charged my card for no reason. I have made my bank aware of the situation and next i will be going to the police and going to court against this issue if i do not get my full refund. I was scheduled on Mondays for my two children to receive in home lessons. The Instructor kept canceling due to personal issues. After 2 months of continued cancellations frequently I canceled. Take lessons had not followed their contract by giving my children weekly lessons. They automatically took funds out of my checking account. I asked for a refund because they did not give weekly lessons like scheduled. They refused. I am reported them to my bank, and next I will go file with the police if they don't handle this matter.

Desired Settlement: I am asking for $300 back immediately. takelessons.com did not follow verbal contract.

Business Response: Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. Our customer support team has been in contact with this customer several times, with the last contact being 3/8. Per the attached signed agreement, the customer must cancel prior to the next billing period (in this case, it would have been 12/24 for January's billing). The customer still has the $300 in credits on her account, which we have offered for redemption several times.

1/17/2012 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I ordered a guitar from **** *** with 4 free lessons from TakeLessons.com. It said 100% guaranteed and refundable. I assumed that there would be lessons somewhere nearby or it wouldn't allow me to purchase them. When trying to redeem the lessons I find that the site won't even show where the closest location is. I then try to get a refund to purchase the lessons elsewhere and am told I deserve no monetary compensation. Is this or is this not false advertising? I am disappointed and would like $80 to obtain 4 lessons for my child. In discussing this with the account representative I was told that the hiring process was very extensive and led to believe that it may never happen. When I purchased the lessons I believed the hiring process was complete.

Desired Settlement: I would like AT LEAST $80 so I can purchase lessons for my child.

Business Response:

Thank you for bringing this complaint to our attention.

I hope that our notes will clarify the situation.

This customer purchased a guitar from **** *** and, as a promotional offer, was given 4 free lesson credits to be honored through Takelessons. While these credits can be redeemed for lessons, they have no monetary value, and the customer was not charged for them. (As you can see on her receipt - attached). If the customer had actually purchased the lessons, we would, of course, be happy to immediately refund her money per our Money-Back Guarantee.

The lesson offer explicitly states that we cannot guarantee availability of lessons. (See attached)

When the customer called to redeem the lessons, she was told that no teacher was available at this time, but that we would contact her as soon as a teacher was available. In order to ensure high-quality lessons from qualified teachers, we have a rigorous screening process, which sometimes impacts the waiting period for students who are in an area where teachers are not available.

In the meantime, we have made arrangements to offer all customers who encounter a lack of teacher availability a free 90-day online lessons trial through a partnership with WorkshopLive, an online lessons company, so they can get started.  We will happily extend that offer to any customer that finds themselves in similar circumstances. I will reach out to this customer personally to extend this offer. 

 

Please let me know if you need any more information from me and I'll be happy to send it through!

**** ******

Brand Manager

TakeLessons.com