Automotive Training Institute — Unethical behaviour
In 2019, a salesman named Clint called me over 10 times trying to get me to get me to sign up for this automotive business owner's class. After finally wearing me down, I agreed. $150 to possibly learn something new did not sound like a choice that could hurt me. I could not have been more wrong. This was the worst business decision I ever made.
The class was not bad. I felt like I learned a few things, but the main reason I signed up for the class was it included a visit from the teacher to my shop to go over my personal goals. While the teacher (John Bonnie) was here, he immediately went into a sales speech that I honestly did not see coming. John spoke really fast and basically promised me the world if I signed up for this ATI program. He was here for less than an hour, and before he left I signed his contract on his Ipad. Little did I realize that I was signing up for a 4 year contract for $71913.12!!! Purchasing something that expensive should have taken more paperwork and more time. John should've told me what I was signing up for before he simply said sign this and then he left. Given more information and more time to think about this decision, there was no way I would've ever signed up for this ridiculously expensive program.
I paid $1498.19 each month from August 2019 until March 2020 for a total of $11985.52. For this monthly fee, I was assigned a coach who called me for one hour once a week. I was assigned "homework" which consisted of listening to a webinar of people from ATI talking about different topics. My coach, Charlene, was very nice. I have nothing negative to say abut her personally, but I did not learn much from her. She did give me a few helpful suggestions, but in no way $11985.52 worth of advice.
In March 2020, I informed Charlene that I was pregnant and that it was a high-risk pregnancy and that I was going to have to step back from most of my duties at the shop. I also told her that I did not have the time or the money to invest into this program any longer and I needed to end my relationship with ATI. Then the COVID 19 pandemic hit the world and everything became one million times worse. Although my business was considered essential and I could remain open, my sales for the next 2 months were less than 20% of normal.
My payment for $1498.19 usually comes out of my account on the 15th of the month. On April 15, ATI tried to take the payment, but I did not have enough money in my account. This is when we started getting calls from Jordan from American Financial, the bank ATI sold the loan to. I had my manager tell Jordan that due to the pandemic, our most important expenses were paying my loyal employees and the building rent and utilities. There was no money left for ATI and I also told him that we told Charlene in March that I needed to end the contract. He did not care. Jordan calls back several times a week harassing my manager. He threatens him saying that they will shut down this business and take everything from me personally. No matter how many times my manager tells Jordan that we do not have the money to pay ATI, he still calls back over and over and over again. He is nothing but a bully.
In summary, for the $11985.52 that I paid, I did not receive anything in return. I was promised my sales would double. They did not. I just want to be done with ATI and American Financial. Hopefully this statement will help anyone who is thinking about joining ATI in the future. They are good at one thing… and that is being salesmen. BEWARE!