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This company offers certificate and degree programs in the allied healthcare field.
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A BBB Accredited Business since
BBB has determined that Pima Medical Institute 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.
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Reason for Rating
BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that raised the rating for Pima Medical Institute include:
- Length of time business has been operating
- Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
- Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business
- Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||0|
|Total Closed Complaints||1|
Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews
|Customer Experience||Total Customer Reviews|
|Total Customer Reviews||0|
Licensing, Bonding or Registration
This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.
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Type of Entity
Business ManagementMr. Mark Luebke, President Mr. Robert Panerio, Campus Director
Schools - Business & Vocational Schools - Academic - Colleges & Universities
Hours of OperationMonday-Friday
8:00 am -5:00 pm
Alternate Business NamesVocational Training Instituite Inc
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Additional Phone Numbers
- (800) 677-7462(Phone)
- (888) 556-7334(Phone)
- (205) 324-1985(Phone)
Additional Email Addresses
Complaint Trends - Last 3 Years
Customer Review Trends
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|
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Read Complaint Details
Complaint: This e-mail was sent to a PIMA staff member on July 1st 2013. I spoke to a woman named ******* ******** who referred to to a woman named *****, Who could not give me an explanation other than that " your friend's case was different". I was getting the run around with phone calls and nobody was able to help me or explain how this was ethically acceptable. Good Afternoon/Evening, My name is ***** ********, I graduated from the Medical Assisting program in March of 2013. I noticed when looking over my student loan information, that I was charged for the sequence I started, but never finished, of Dental Assisting. The reason I left the dental assisting program was because I was misinformed. I was told by *****, during my initial visit to PIMA, that the Dental Assisting program at the Seattle campus would provide the proper training to be nationally certified. I was even given paperwork for national certification.My plan was to move closer to my family in New York. My good friend who was also in the same dental assisting program, ***** ******** was also falsely informed, and told she would be able to be nationally certified, and be able to move to California and work. When she found out a couple weeks into the core classes, she came to PIMA and spoke to you guys, and was able to have her tuition refunded. She then moved to california and is currently completing her program there (which allows for national certification). Shortly after she found out, I also dropped out of the class due to the fact I also discovered I could only work in WA state with the training I was receiving. I forgot who I spoke to but I was referred into the Medical Assisting program, which allowed for national certification through the AMAA. Medical Assisting was not my first choice. My friend was refunded her tuition for being mistakenly misled. I am just curious why I still am financially responsible for paying the Dental Assisting program, when I was also misled, like my friend ***** ******** Please get back to me at your earliest convenience. Have a great day. Very Respectfully, ***** ********
Desired Settlement: I would like the charges for the Dental Assisting sequence to be removed from my student loans.
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 6, 2013/11/26) */ November 26, 2013 We are sorry that the Complainant feels that she got the runaround in response to her complaint. The Complainant and I connected via email on July 10, 2013 after I received the information regarding her complaint. I tried to schedule a meeting to discuss her concerns in person; however, she wanted to wait until after her baby was born to come in. I contacted her after her baby was born and encouraged her to come in and meet, but the distance she would have to travel with a new baby still made an in-person meeting difficult for her. The Complainant is correct in stating that I told her that her case was very different from her fellow student/friend's academic situation. I also let her know that we could not go into detail about the academic or financial status of the student she referred to in her complaint. This was due to confidentiality regulations. We did discuss, however, that a change in academic program does result in pro-rated accrued charges for the first program and these are added to the charges for the new program. In effect, the Complainant dropped the Dental Assistant Program and then enrolled in the Medical Assistant Program. This is an entirely different financial scenario than for a student who does not change academic programs. The Complainant began the Dental Assistant Program on June 4, 2012. She completed the 6 week Career Preparatory Sequence which is an integral part of all certificate programs. It was in the third week of the Dental Assistant Professional Sequences that she let us know that she wanted to change programs. As is normal procedure, she was informed that a change in program after starting the professional sequences, results in a pro-rata charge for the first program. She signed her request to change programs on August 2, 2012 and signed the financial paperwork associated with the change. $6184.06 was credited back to her account toward the charges for the Dental Assistant Program. She was not charged for the Career Preparatory Sequence when she began the Medical Assistant Program on August 27, 2012. On February 21, 2013, the Complainant paid $30.24 to bring her Pima Medical Institute ledger card to a zero balance and started her Medical Assistant externship on February 25, 2013. She graduated from the Medical Assistant Program on March 29, 2013. We have attempted to explain the financial aid details to the Complainant without reference to the other student mentioned because the situations are completely different. We regret that this has resulted in what she feels has been evasive or giving her the runaround. We invite the Complainant to come in and meet with a Financial Aid Officer in person so that the charges and credits on her ledger card may be explained more fully as they pertain to her change in programs from Dental Assistant to Medical Assistant. Sincerely, ****** ******** Associate Director Final Consumer Response /* (4200, 16, 2014/01/22) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) I will not be satisfied with any response PIMA has to offer unless it is an apology and a statement saying they will remove the charges related to the Dental Assisting program. ***** keeps bringing up the fact that I signed the paperwork, (which was not highlighted anywhere). I was a 20 year old student who trusted the staff at PIMA, and that was clearly a mistake. Nothing was explained to me. I asked before coming to BBB, that PIMA remove/refund the charges based on the fact I was misled and misinformed, and was told something along the lines of "oh come in and we will go over the paperwork". The paperwork I signed has nothing to do with what I was informed of by PIMA staff. So basically from my understanding, what I am being told, is that I am screwed; regardless of the fact that, what I was informed of verbally was different from what I signed, and because I signed the paperwork and that's all that matters? And throwing the word "seasoned" and "experienced" in front of some job titles doesn't mask or address the fact that I was lied to. I am not some person who doesn't want to pay my student loans. I am not making this up so I can get a few grand knocked off my debt. I went to PIMA and accepted charges for my medical assisting education. I enjoyed my MA instructors and felt satisfied with the education I received. So please address these concerns directly: 1. I was told that changing programs would be "cheaper" for me. I also specifically remember being told that I would just have to pay for the books for the DA program. I signed the documents that were quickly prepared for me, and trusted what I was told by both ***** and ****. So because I did that without thoroughly going over the charges, I am responsible for the DA charges? Does this all come down to the paperwork, and not the verbal statements? 2. A friend of mine, was also misinformed. I will not mention her name to keep her business confidential, even though she has ( and is in the process of asking her father as well) offered to write notarized statements of their experience with PIMA. As I'm sure ***** knows, my friend was told by PIMA staff that she could receive "national certification" from the Seattle PIMA dental assisting program. She also later found out after starting the core part of the program, that she could not work as a registered or certified dental assistant in the state she wanted to live in. It wasn't until her father came in and threatened to go to the BBB, that they refunded her tuition, minus the dental assisting textbooks. So because I was misinformed, and signed paperwork, and didn't come in with my dad, I am stuck with these charges? 3. The AMT is an agency that states they are "a nationally and internationally recognized certification agency and membership society". They are a company that administers tests. Not all states recognize the AMT. I'm sure many people know about it, but passing a test and being part of their membership society, does not mean that I can become a registered dental assistant in every state. The AMT also states on their website " As the tests provide only one source of information regarding examinee competence, they are used in conjunction with other indicators of training and experience in the granting of certification. Once certification is granted, applicants automatically become members of AMT and have a host of member benefits at their disposal." Their test is only one source, in conjunction with others such as education or work history. Their test is one source. Registration through the AMT does not automatically mean a person is granted registration to work in any specific state. Just as New Jersey requires their registered dental assistants to go to a CODA- accredited school, so do many other states. Please note that CODA stands for The Commission on Dental Accreditation, and on their website it states " The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), accredits dental schools as well as advanced dental education programs and allied dental education programs in the United States. CODA was established in 1975 and is nationally recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) as the sole agency to accredit dental and dental-related education programs conducted at the post-secondary level" I would also like to again state that the PIMA in Seattle is NOT CODA- Accredited. 4. I was told by ***** that with my DA education at PIMA, I would be nationally certified, I could work in the state of New Jersey and with my education, be certified/registered to work there. I was then told by my DA instructor that PIMA's DA program was only good for certification in the state of Washington, and will not provide national certification to work in every state. I then went to *****, who said "sorry" and that I could be switched into another program that would be "cheaper" for me. Please explain this. I respectfully decline coming into PIMA to discuss any charges. I honestly am so disappointed with these responses, I would rather not step foot in PIMA for the rest of my days above ground. Thank You, ***** ******** Final Business Response /* (4000, 14, 2014/01/18) */ The Complainant states that she did not fully understand the documents she signed due to lack of staff knowledge and also states there was an unethical bias during the process of withdrawing from the Dental Assistant Program and enrolling in the Medical Assistant Program. The withdrawal and enrollment processes were explained to her by seasoned staff members. Regarding the Withdrawal process, a seasoned FA professional of over five years experience worked with the complainant. During the enrollment process, a seasoned Student Service Coordinator with over three years experience worked with her pertaining to enrolling into the Medical Assisting Program. There was no confusion on the part of PMI staff as they have performed these responsibilities numerous times during their tenure. In addition, it is our practice to address any confusion brought up by the student at the time of finalizing the paperwork. We take the necessary time to serve the customer. In the students' complaint letter she admits to not closely reading the documents. "I guess that's why you should always read CLOSELY before you sign anything from these people." As an institution we go so far to bring clarity to our documents that we yellow highlight important figures to highlight fees incurred. Once again, we invite the complainant to meet in person so that we can review every detail of each document to help her reach full understanding. This invitation has been extended to her numerous times. As an Institution we take pride in our ethics as evidenced by our BBB A+ rating. We are confident after interviewing staff regarding this situation that we crossed no ethical boundaries. As to the complaint regarding certification, we note that the AMT is a nationally and internationally recognized certification agency.