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BBB Accredited Business since 11/09/2001

Career Step, LLC

Phone: (801) 769-8400

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Customer Complaints Summary

13 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 8 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues2
Problems with Product / Service11
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints13

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (13)BBB Closure Definitions
08/06/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Failure to honor service estimate or agreement

Complaint: Had time to complete exam. Logged off and when I attempted to go back into finish it stated that I was locked out. I had until July 18th to complete.
I attempted to complete my final exam. I had until July 18th to do so. 2 days are given by career step however no where does it note that when you logout your time would continue to run. Emailed to ask that it be re-opened and got no response. Contacted **** about opening so I could finish at this point I have 2 days left and there is a message for me to file for an extension which I do not want to do. She refused to re-open the final exam so that I could complete it. I would like the exam re-opened as I paid for the course in full and reserve that right.

Business' Initial Response
Contact Name and Title: ******** ******* Operations Manager
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: ****************@careerstep.com
******* ******(VP) reached out to her and has satisfied her issues and resolved all complaints. Please close this case with a positive rating.

07/23/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Invalid or false contract

Complaint: Promise of employment after completing course and certification is unfulfilled despite clearing every criteria set forth
In 2010 after many lengthy discussions with an "enrollment counselor" in which many promises were made I chose to enroll at Career Step for the purpose of learning Inpatient and Outpatient Medical Coding and Billing. I was promised prompt responses to any inquiries, full student support and graduate services to include potential job placement. During the enrollment process an "enrollment counselor" was always available to answer my calls. However after committing to Career Step, paying a down payment of over $700 and financing the remaining balance of $1800, it was almost impossible to ever get anyone on the phone or a prompt return call or e-mail. Whenever Career Step needed something from me I was expected to respond immediately or my program access would be cut off. All correspondence always included asking if there were any more services they could provide me which translates into is there anything else you would like to buy from us?

After completion of the program and certification I was promised I would have a career counselor who would assist me in procuring employment. I was also told that Career Step had many contacts in the medical field to assist in locating permanent placement. What I received was a form letter of recommendation and a request to provide a list of local facilities and offices and contact information for the decision makers. What happened to their multitudes of contacts? Also provided were a few links to job websites such as Indeed.com and Careerbuilder.com, which are not industry insider links, and offer no advantage to any jobseeker who does not wish to or cannot afford to pay for premium services. These websites can and are accessed by the general public. Finally I was told to go volunteer instead of finding gainful employment in hopes that a facility would hire me on after the volunteer process. Like many people in the current economy, I cannot afford to work for months for free while a corporation such as Career Step sits idly by and fails to fulfill any of their pre-enrollment processes or propaganda.

I would prefer this matter be resolved by them fulfilling the promise of gainful employment, if however they are unable to do that, I would like to be refunded my tuition on the basis of breach of contract and false and misleading advertising.

I have attempted to resolve this matter and have tried to do everything in my power to make this work. During different interviews I have been informed this profession is one of the most difficult to break into without experience, a piece of information that was conveniently left out of my conversations with the "enrollment counselor" who also conveniently is no longer employed with the program.

Business' Initial Response
Contact Name and Title: ******** ******* Operations Manager
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: ****************@careerstep.com
The Career Step independent competency-based Inpatient and Outpatient Medical Billing Coding and Billing (IOMCB) program has been successfully training medical billing and coding professionals since March 2009. Our training program curriculum has been reviewed and is approved by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Student ***** ***** enrolled in the IOMCB program on 06/10/2011. He has since completed the program and has been receiving graduate services. We have worked closely with Mr. ***** and helped facilitate his search for employment. Mr. ***** has had numerous interactions with our graduate support counselor ***** ******* She has provided him with post graduate consultations, resume review, job search skills, lists of employers within his area, and other useful job search recommendations.

Our policy is to communicate professionally with each and every one of our students. Our communications with Mr. ***** have professionally conveyed information relevant to his job search, and have also let him know that there are many resources available to him. Our student support staff and our graduate services have reached out to Mr. *****, offering support and encouragement. There have been over 30 individual communications with Mr. ***** by our student support and graduate support staff. There are a few excerpts from those emails listed below.

05/13/2013 Thanks for your email. Below are some of the employers that have been posting medical positions in your area. I would encourage you to visit each of their websites to look at what opportunities they may have to help you network and get a foot in the door. If you are looking up any of these companies, and they have a coding department or a position you would be potentially interested in, and you find contact information or get in touch with individuals in speaking with them and/or applying, please let us know. - ***** ******

04/24/2013 We have not yet heard from Community Health Systems. We did refer you for the position though (putting in a good word), and asked **** if she was the contact for that particular position or if there was someone else that was recruiting for that particular account. I believe the lack of response may be due to the fact there is another contact involved, but we have not yet heard from them. We will let you know if we do hear back whether that is by phone or email. Hope that information is helpful. - ***** ******

So have you heard anything from the folks over at Community Health?
***** *****

04/22/2013 *****, You still have graduate services for two additional months, and we are still happy to actively assist you - ***** ******

None of it matters anymore, the fight is over, I an just not employable, thank you for everything you tried to do - ***** *****

04/19/2013 Nothing is wrong with you as an individual. We have worked with many employers that initially were skeptical of a new graduate or entry-level coders who ended up being very happy with the performance of their new hire. Most graduates received a good number of 'automated rejections' like the one you received below. Some of them even were rejected by the same facility for one position they applied to while they ended up getting an interview for another position, even when the qualifications seemed very similar. The process is different for every employer, and the best thing you can do as an applicant is to keep trying and not give up. If you find contact names as you go through the process (maybe you find that information on an application, or maybe you meet someone while networking in person), feel free to send that information to us, and we're happy to reach out to them and share information. ...

I know you have been diligently applying and following up by phone/email/in person to the positions for which you applied and haven't yet heard back. Stay positive and persistent. I know that may not be what you want to hear and it is something that we have communicated before, but it is a key to success. Keep in touch with any additional updates or questions, as we're happy to help as much as we can. - ***** ******

I can't get through anywhere.....what is wrong with me that no one will take a chance - ***** *****

This small sampling of the email communication with Mr. ***** shows that Career Step's graduate support staff has gone through many steps to help Mr. ***** find employment. There have been many other emails that were sent with the intent to help Mr. ***** with his search for employment. In addition, there have been multiple resume reviews for Mr. ***** and over 30 job listings in his specific area for him to apply and follow up with.

We do not advertise on our website or in our materials that it is easy to find a job because we do not want our students to go in with false expectations for their job search. We also do not use the word 'placement' because we are not the employers making the hiring decisions and therefore cannot guarantee positions to our graduates. Our graduate support department helps teach job searching skills and to help graduates with their job search.

The graduate services we offer include the following (and they are those which are advertised on our website to students looking to enroll):

* A graduate consultation in which we discuss tips for finding employment, networking, interviewing, and resumes.

* Help in locating employers and local job listings in your area via advice to maximize your local searches.

* A personalized resume review in which we help you to edit and update your resume to best suit a coding position/appeal to potential employers.

* A letter of recommendation and a referral you can share with local companies.

* Assistance with information about certification exams, volunteering, and internships.

* Access to Career Step's help hotline for a full year after graduation.

We understand that the job search can be frustrating and time consuming. As a gesture of compromise, and goodwill I have provided Mr. ***** with a complimentary 4-month extension that will extend his access to the program to maintain his coding skills. With that 4-month extension to his program I have also extended his access to our graduate support services. Our staff will continue to work with Mr. ***** and help facilitate his job search with the resources we have available.

Thank you for your time,

**** *******
Operations Manager

Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)

Business' Final Response
Our intent is to help all of our students complete the course and find employment after they have become certified. We do not advertise or guarantee to our students that they will find employment as there are too many outside variables that could affect ones job search. We provide the best support that we can and since the original complaint by Mr. ***** there have been numerous emails and communications on his behalf to help with his search for employment.
The enrollment agreement is not only required at the time of enrollment but also to access the program and the student has a full 14 days from the date of enrollment to review those terms and conditions. I am confident that Career Step has lived up to the standards that we have stated we would do within the enrollment agreement and we fulfilled those obligations to best of our abilities.
As a gesture of compromise, we are willing to provide Mr. ***** with the option to pick 1 of the following resolutions.
Option 1: We would be willing to provide a complimentary 4-month extension that will extend the Career Step graduate services.
Option 2: We would be willing to offer a one-time, partial refund of $500
We feel that both of these options are extremely generous and they are above and beyond our normal policies, and no other concessions or offers will be made.
Thank you for your time,
**** *******
Operations Manager

05/09/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: None of the Above - Customer Service Complaint Issue

Complaint: Business claims to want to help students succeed, but was unwilling to be flexible when I requested a program change due to disability.
I am an active duty military member facing medical separation for rheumatoid arthritis. When I began the Career Step Medical Transcription program three months ago, my disease had not been severely affecting my fingers and up until my most recent disease flare-up which began in early March, I believed I could complete the program and find work as a transcriptionist.

Unfortunately, my flare-ups have gotten worse and worse, especially in my wrists and fingers, making my typing considerably slower and painful. I sent Career Step an e-mail explaining my situation and asking if I could switch to one of their programs that is less typing-intensive. This is the response I received:

"Hello ******,

Thank you for contacting Career Step. Our records show that you enrolled in the Medical Transcription program on 1/22/2013. Career Step has a 14-day period from the date of enrollment during which students are able to cancel their program for a refund. Since you are past that period we are not able to process any type of course switch, return, or refund on your program or materials.

We like to see our students succeed and have a few programs in place to help. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us to learn more. Our number is XXX-XXX-XXXX (option9).

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Have a great day.


****** *********
Operations Advisor

Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Fax: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Email: *****@careerstep.com



I fully understand that this is their policy, but for an entity that claims to want to see its students succeed, this seemed pretty cold and heartless. The programs Ms. ********* mentions cannot help me if I simply cannot do the work. Just typing this complaint is grueling.

Now I'm out over $2,000, I'm losing my career due to this disease, and I don't have the money to throw at another Career Step program (though I don't think I would want to at this point, anyway).

Business' Initial Response
Contact Name and Title: ******** ******* Operations Manager
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: *****@careerstep.com
Student ****** ****** enrolled in our Medical Transcription course on 01/22/2013 and is past our 14-day refund period. Career Step does not offer an option to change or transfer courses at any time or an option to return and re-enroll in a new program past the initial 14 days.

The Terms and conditions of her ability to request are clearly explained in Section 21 of that agreement.

Section 21 of the Electronic Enrollment Agreement, under the 'TERMINATION RIGHTS AND REFUND POLICY 'section states:
(b) 14-DAY MONEY BACK POLICY: In addition to the rescission rights set forth in subsection (a) above, you may also withdraw from the program for any reason within 14 days after the date you first receive access to online program materials, which is the date of the email sent to you containing your password and login for the online program. In this case, this Agreement shall be rescinded and Career Step will refund your money IN FULL, less a $50 application fee and any initial shipping and handling fees, provided that you first return all program materials and supplies as set forth in subsection (d) below.
(c) No Refund After 14 Days: If, for any reason, you withdraw after the initial 14-day review period, you are not released from your obligation to pay the program fees in full and you are not entitled to any refund from Career Step.

Career Step does understand there are some instances where an unexpected new life event that would be classified as an extreme extenuating circumstance can arise that would be beyond the student control. For instances such as these, we have an internal process call the Exception Request that allows students to petition for an exception based on the new circumstance or need.

I have emailed this student the information about the exception request and if she would like she can follow the instructions on the application and apply. The student will need to provide a statement as to why they should be granted an exception. They must provide official supporting documentation that will support their claim for the exception. Once the Exception application has been submitted it will go before the exception committee to see if an exception can be granted.

Thank you for your time,

**** *******
Operations Manager

02/07/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: None of the Above - Product Quality Complaint Issue

Complaint: The Pharmacy tech program is a complete ripoff and is not approved by IL state board of Pharmacy which I was not told by the associate ******* ****.
I am saying this because I keep getting the runaround about why they cannot provide certain things such as final exam prep is very vague we get no pretests, no formula sheets, no instructions on how to solve calculation word problems on the actual unit and module exams they make you call in to student support and I can't since I work from 9 am to 7 pm, and never given an answer on why they are not getting board approved in IL. I do not like the fact that nobody bothers calling me with these concerns and when I first started the program nobody told me the class was not approved by the IL state board of pharmacy all they said was I will be prepared to sit for national exam. Well its been 3 months from October to December and I have nothing retained to memory because a lot of the class is needless information and book work that wasted a lot of valuable study time I should have been focusing on for the final. I will not take the final and I want a complete refund.

Business' Initial Response
Contact Name and Title: ******** ******* Operations Manager
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: *****@careerstep.com

We immediately reached out to ****** ****** and cleared up her concerns and questions about the course. She has been working diligently with our Student Support Services who have setup special 1 on 1 review meetings with Ms. ****** and she has been progressing and is working towards completing her course. This BBB complaint should be closed with a positive response as we have worked the issue out with the student

01/24/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint Category: None of the Above - Refund or Exchange Complaint Issue

Complaint: The course was not as described to me at the time of purchase. They refused to issue a refund when I called to question them about it.
In August of 2011, I called Career Step and asked questions about their Medical Transcription Editor program. I informed the specialist that I was looking to complete this program in 3 months or less because I needed to supplement my income when I returned to school. She assured me that if I enrolled in their program that I could complete the class in 3 months if I invested 10 hours a week. I enrolled and was offered a "free" laptop or $300 off my tuition. I chose the laptop option. I was told the laptop would be brand new. When my materials came, I noticed that there was no way that this class could be completed in the time frame that I was told it could. The laptop would not work or even turn on. I called Career Step and voiced my concerns. I was told that the laptop could not be exchanged or returned because it was after the 14 day period. Nevermind that it was not even mailed out to me until after the 14 day mark. They informed me that I could pay to have the computer fixed myself and to continue with the class. I continued the class and tried to complete it, but was unsuccessful. I called and emailed several times, but was not able to reach a resolution. I did get a response from ****** ****** and ******** ******* refusing to refund my money since it was after the 14 day mark. How could I have known what this course was about when I did not even have the materials mailed to me until after the deadline for refunds? They refused to listen to me telling them that my computer did not work from day 1- would not even turn on at all and that the class was not as described. I informed them that there was no way that I could finish this class since I was now in school for my nurse practitioner. This is why I needed to complete it in 3 months time, like I was told it would be. I was enrolled to begin classes and would not be able to do this class at the same time. Instead of the refund, the extended my time of completion by 3 months. I told them repeatedly that I wanted my money back and that I would not and could not continue to work on this class. They still refused.

Business' Initial Response
Contact Name and Title: ****** ****** Operations Manager
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: *****@careerstep.com
The Career Step independent competency-based Medical Transcription Training Program has been successfully training medical transcriptionists for over sixteen years. We are one of seventeen training schools whose curriculum is approved by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity.

******* ****** enrolled in Career Step's Medical Transcription Program on August 10, 2011. She enrolled through the website and E-signed the Electronic Enrollment Agreement.

Section 21 of the Electronic Enrollment Agreement, under the 'TERMINATION RIGHTS AND REFUND POLICY 'section states:
(a) 3-Day Right to Rescind: You have a right to rescind this Agreement and receive a full refund of any amounts paid to Career Step, which you must exercise (if you so choose) in writing within three (3) business days from the day you submit the online application or sign the written application. You must deliver a written rescission of this Agreement to Career Step within such 3-day period, or if the rescission is mailed, it must be postmarked on or before the last day of the 3-day period. Prior to receiving the refund, you must first return all program materials and supplies sent to you, as set forth in subsection (d) below.

(b) 14-DAY MONEY BACK POLICY: In addition to the rescission rights set forth in subsection (a) above, you may also withdraw from the program for any reason within 14 days after the date you first receive access to online program materials, which is the date of the email sent to you containing your password and login for the online program. In this case, this Agreement shall be rescinded and Career Step will refund your money IN FULL, less a $50 application fee and any initial shipping and handling fees, provided that you first return all program materials and supplies as set forth in subsection (d) below.

(c) No Refund After 14 Days: If, for any reason, you withdraw after the initial 14-day review period, you are not released from your obligation to pay the program fees in full and you are not entitled to any refund from Career Step.

******* ****** did receive a new laptop as a promotional item with her enrollment. All laptops that are sent out to students are covered by a 1-year manufacturer warranty. Students are sent instructions with their promotional items, to register them with the manufacturer so if there are any issues the manufacturer will address them.

Career Step received a refund request through chat request, from Ms. ****** on 04/24/2012, informing us that she no longer wished to continue the program. This chat was initiated almost 6 months after her enrollment date and beyond the 14-Day Money Back Policy. We responded to chat reminding her of the 14-Day Money Back Policy and letting her know that she was past that date and would not be eligible for any type of return or refund on her program or materials. We have received multiple refund requests after this initial chat date.

Our policy is to communicate professionally with each and every one of our students. Our communications with Ms. ****** have professionally let her know the return policy, and have also let her know that she has many resources available to her. Our student support staff and our graduate services have reached out to her offering support and encouragement.

To help resolve her issues, on 2 separate occasions, we have granted her 2 complimentary extensions. The first was a 1-month complimentary extension on 06/29/2012 and the second was a 2-month complimentary extension on 07/28/2012.
Each time she has inquired, we have let her know that she cannot return as it is against our refund policy. Below you will see the outline of the responses given to Ms. ******.

As a gesture of compromise, we are willing to provide Ms. ****** with a complimentary 4-month extension that will extend her program access to March 10, 2013.

Thank you for your time,

**** ******
Operations Manager

Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept mediation.)
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the business response.)
I am willing to accept the offer of $1000.00 refund. The original form of payment used to pay or this will not work. It is the same account but my debit card number was closed because it was stolen. How soon will this refund occur and how will you send it since the card number is different? I have included information on the new card:
Visa XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX


Thank you.
******* ******

Business' Final Response
I would like to reiterate that ******* ****** enrolled in Career Step's Medical Transcription Program on August 10, 2011. She enrolled through the website and E-signed the Electronic Enrollment Agreement (EEA). This EEA is a legally binding agreement between Ms. ****** and Career Step. The Terms and conditions of her ability to request are clearly explained in Section 21 of that agreement.

Section 21 of the Electronic Enrollment Agreement, under the 'TERMINATION RIGHTS AND REFUND POLICY 'section states:
(b) 14-DAY MONEY BACK POLICY: In addition to the rescission rights set forth in subsection (a) above, you may also withdraw from the program for any reason within 14 days after the date you first receive access to online program materials, which is the date of the email sent to you containing your password and login for the online program. In this case, this Agreement shall be rescinded and Career Step will refund your money IN FULL, less a $50 application fee and any initial shipping and handling fees, provided that you first return all program materials and supplies as set forth in subsection (d) below.
(c) No Refund After 14 Days: If, for any reason, you withdraw after the initial 14-day review period, you are not released from your obligation to pay the program fees in full and you are not entitled to any refund from Career Step.

As previously stated, Ms. ****** did receive a new laptop as a promotional item with her enrollment. All laptops that are sent out to students are covered by a 1-year manufacturer warranty. Students are sent instructions with their promotional items, to register them with the manufacturer so if there are any issues the manufacturer will address them.

Career Step does not have any record of Ms. ****** requesting a refund that would be in accordance with the 14-Day Money Back Policy. Each time she has inquired, we have let her know that she cannot return as it is against our refund policy.

As our last gesture of compromise, we are willing to provide Ms. ****** with the following option.

We would be willing to offer a one-time, partial refund of $1,000. (We would process the refund to the original source of payment.)

This option is extremely generous and is above and beyond our normal policies. We feel this goes above and beyond what would be reasonable be expected of a business to offer considering that Ms. ****** agreed to a legally binding Enrollment Agreement that clearly states the return policies.

Thank you for your time,

**** ******
Operations Manager

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