It appears that they might have just earned a few new students, so I think it worked out pretty well.
Fortunately, I only ended up losing $500. PERCOM has an option to set up payments with $500 down and then $290/month for 3 months, so through Paypal I was able to stop the recurring payments.
Response from PERCOM
Hello, sir. Since you posted this to a public forum, we have the right to respond with the facts from our end. I know exactly who you are and have pulled all email threads and transactions with which I have access.
1. Yes, you did pay your down payment of $500 and attempted to enroll in December. However, as you stated, we were closed for the holiday season and didn't return until January 7th.
2. Because of the volume of people who sent in enrollment payments and such during our holiday season through Paypal, it took more enrollment cycles than usual to get them all into their respective courses. Normally enrollment is the following Wednesday after payment and full enrollment paperwork is received but in this case, it took two more Wednesdays after that to get everyone caught up. Yours was scheduled to be processed for course access on Wednesday January 22nd. However, on January 17th, you demanded a refund because you were unhappy that you were not admitted to the course yet. It was processed as a refund to your credit card from our end on January 21st.
3. On March 10th, Paypal released another payment from you for $500 plus processing to enroll again. Our Admissions Department went ahead and immediately processed you for course enrollment and sent you your course access email on March 11th. On March 14th, you emailed your instructor that you had not received the course access information so he forwarded it to you from his inbox on that date, as he and I were both copied on the original course access email that we received on March 11th.
4. On March 20th, you emailed your instructor that you could not open and read Reading Assessment 2 in the course. He emailed you that he had some problem with the instructions (it had dropped the link which I promptly corrected) but he told you what to do so you could complete the Assessment. In the meantime, both your instructor and I attempted to reproduce your complaint on multiple computers and could not do so, which reflected that the problem was entirely on your end - most likely related to not downloading the appropriate required software or some other issue on your computer. You stated in a reply email that you had email me and it had been a full business week and you had not heard back. This and the fact that you obviously had not downloaded the correct free software to be able to open items in the course directed me to send you an email when I got back to the office on March 25th reminding you that you needed to read all pages of the Student Announcements pages, which covers the appropriate free software needed as well as the fact that I was traveling and teaching overseas and there would be significant delays in me answering emails during the month of March and to handle everything through your instructor. Apparently this is the email you perceived as "rude" but in re-reading it myself, it was straight and to the point but not rude.
5. At this point, you demanded your money back AGAIN. And as our Refund Policy clearly states that if there is a course website or software issue on OUR end, we have to be given the opportunity to correct it (and if we cannot, we will process the refund) but we are not responsible for computer or software issues on the end of the student and money will not be refunded under those circumstances.
6. You attempted to file for a chargeback to your card from Paypal. Paypal gives the business the opportunity to produce our case and any evidence that the refund is not appropriate and after receiving the email threads and the refund policy, Paypal apparently sided with PERCOM that you were not eligible for a refund.
To this date, you are still enrolled in the EMT course and can complete it. However, you have not logged in for 41 days which is a major breach of the course participation requirements, and you are in danger of being dropped from the course within the next few days if you do not log in and start meeting the participation requirements. PERCOM has done our part by you, and we have attempted to resolve your issues and address your concerns. However, it appears nothing we do has pleased you at this point. I am sorry for that but I cannot control your feelings or perceptions.
As for the other post on here about communication, there are always perceived and sometimes real communication problems when dealing from a distance. We literally gets HUNDREDS of phone calls a day on most weekdays and absolutely cannot answer most of them at the time you call. Many times, people call and call trying to get someone on the phone but since we are already on the phone, we cannot answer. If you don't leave a voicemail with your name and number and give a few days for a reply (due to the large volume of voicemails), then we won't call back random missed calls. We have noted many of these over and over random missed calls are on our call log after hours, on weekends or on holidays. We don't work on those days but it is funny how that seems to feed into the perceived communication problems. However, we have hired a full time receptionist to answer line 1, the Info line, but she is also on the phone pretty much full time every day. That is why email is the best way to reach many of my staff and faculty and the preferred method of communication. But you also have to be patient there as well. We receive large volumes of emails as well and can sometimes run several days behind on those too. But we do attempt to answer all emails received as timely as possible.
If any problems
We do try to help as many people as we can within reason. And I am not going to say that we never make mistakes. My staff and faculty are human and WILL make mistakes. When I find out about them, I do my best to get them corrected. Students make mistakes as well. But we also have trouble sometimes meeting what some people want because it doesn't fit into our policies and paradigm. And sometimes that leads people to get angry or upset. We can only do so much but we do try to do the greatest good for the greatest number. You can please most of the people most of the time but we will never be able to please all of the people all of the time.
If you are enrolling or will be enrolling in our school and run into problems, email me at email@example.com and I will try and help. Just be patient. Remember the high volume of people we deal with and give us a little time to correct problems when they arise, be honest, kind, and helpful and we will be the same. We DO run a good school but because of our nature of open entry, building custom plans for people with specific life experience we can credit, etc, it is VERY difficult to do what we do. That is why most other schools will not do it.
He is definitely not the only one. I have been victim to them for a couple years now but until I recently looked into things, I found I am not the only one.Thanks for sharing your experience on them. Until reading your post, I'd only heard good things about them. I hope that your experience was rare, but this will definitely go in my "mental file cabinet". Thanks for sharing!