Pimsleur Approach / Scam and lies

Review updated:

After ordering the course online and receiving an email that my course had shipped, I expected to receive it by mid September at the latest since it was ordered on 8/31/08. I was anxious to receive it so that I could start studying German during a period of unemployment. I was given a UPS tracking number and when I tracked it, it said that they had received notice that a package was about to be shipped to me, and that a label was printed and waiting for the package. After waiting a month, I checked the tracking number again and I still had the same message and still had not received my German Course. By this time I really wanted the course so I could start swearing in German, but after contacting Pimsleur by email and speaking to a rep, I received a promise that my course would be resent, but it never happened and on top of that I was supposed to receive a call back from the rep when it shipped. Well there I was with another week of waiting and several emails and still no course, no refund and no response from the folks at Pimsleur. All that I receive when I email is the automated response with a ticket number. After nearly two months of frustration I truly believe there are better alternatives to the APPROACH THAT PIMSLEUR HAS INSTORE FOR THE NEXT UNSUSPECTING STUDENT!

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  • Jo
      Mar 14, 2009

    I ordered one item from Pimsleur. A few months later, they told me that I owed them money for a "Gold Course" which I never ordered and never received. They're claiming that if I don't pay the $236 dollars "I owe them" then "things are going to get real complicated." Not really sure how a company can do this given there was no product which exchanged hands, but I would encourage everyone to stay away from Pimsleur!

    +3 Votes
  • Jo
      Apr 12, 2009

    stay away from this reseller called!!! Buy direct from the publisher Simon & Schuster.

    +1 Votes
  • St
      May 06, 2009

    I ordered from [protected] a few years ago, I have contract that says I can return the product and get half my money back (that was inducement for me to buy). But the website nor phone are working. Is this a scam where they change websites and names every 6 months or so? So that people cannot return product for $

    +3 Votes
  • Re
      May 13, 2009

    I agree! is an awful scammer. They are an aggressive direct marketing company that uses something called a 'negative option' for their products. Meaning if you try the sample you're automatically enrolled for their "Gold Courses" which are just the regular comprehensive levels.

    The entire business model is based on getting your credit card number. After that you're in a legally binding contract that, even when they don't fulfill their end is an incredible hassle to get straightened out. They regularly send their customers to debt collectors. Check out the complaints at /link removed/

    It's a shame as the Pimsleur products are wonderful. The brand is really going down the tubes with people like out there smearing its good name.

    If you are a customer and are having trouble here's the CEO's cell phone number: [protected]. His name is Dan Roitman. Direct line is [protected] x 1100. You can let him know directly what you think of him and his business practices. He also operates on and Same scam, different names. He's a real professional operator. Mostly through direct emails (a.k.a SPAM).

    If you're so inclined negative options are marginally illegal. You can notify your local District attorney and the Federal Trade commission. If enough people complain action can be taken against them.

    +3 Votes
  • Lo
      Jun 19, 2009

    Thats why, idiots.. I got it for free :D

    their system is outdated, Chinese lessons recorded in 1989.

    Why pay when you can get almost anything "digital" for the five fingered discount! Even if its just recored of analog tapes...

    My personal favorite "learn in 10 days..." blah blah blah... yeah, you will be speaking the language in a almost infantile basic way. Sure, but here is how the "money back" thing works

    Proficiency Guarantee:

    Purchase a copy of the Pimsleur Level 1 program from Simon & Schuster [protected]), follow instructions and complete the course and we guarantee that you can pass the Level 1, Novice test conducted by Language Line [protected] - or if you take the test within 60 days of your date of purchase. If you are unable to pass this test you can get a refund for the price of our Level 1 program purchased from Simon & Schuster by submitting:

    * Original Simon & Schuster receipt for the Level 1 program and proof of purchase
    * Copy of receipt for Language Line test fee
    * Copy of test results from Language Line

    hahahahhahahah NOTICE THAT ONE? LANGUAGE LINE TEST FEE???? hahahahhahah its a total SCAM people!

    +1 Votes
  • Pa
      Aug 06, 2009

    I wish I had read these complaints before being scammed by them. I ordered 1 $10 dollar intro CD and can't get them to stop charging my Amex card. They are so bad.

    -1 Votes
  • Jw
      Sep 10, 2009

    I glanced at it on the Internet and I did NOT ORDER IT - yet it arrived and if I had not read the brochure carefully I would be paying for something I did not order.

    This company is a scam marketing group! They slyly send you stuff you didn't order and hope you don't send it back so you are charged and they keep sending them - EVEN though you did NOT order them.


    +1 Votes
  • Da
      Oct 05, 2009

    I sent for the basic $10 course and 3 weeks later got the pleasnt surprise in the mail of the Gold course. I had ordered a basic Spanish and German so I received Gold German and Spanish. I called them and almost got a glib tongued sales type to give me the blah blah, but I cut him off and got R numbers. It cost me $25 to send these rippoffs back to them certified mail. I am waiting to see what kind of stuff they are going to try to pull.
    Caviet Emptor.

    +1 Votes
  • Ro
      Oct 20, 2009

    Well, after reading all these complaints I thnk i will just stay away, buying direct from a store sounds like the best way to learn a different language. You know the old saying, "If it sounds to good to be true...

    +1 Votes
  • Tm
      Nov 04, 2009

    Pimsleur is a scam they send you items you Do Not order, the shipping label has a number that gives you a recording and you sit and listen to music, no options or anything. There customer service people don't even want to help they just keep repeating that they can't do anything and will need money for the tapes you received (that you did not order in the first place). If you don't pay then you have a bad credit against you. They sell language cd's, such as spanish, german, french etc. DO NOT BUY FROM PIMSLEUR or they may call themselves the STROLL company or INTERNET ORDER LLC they are all one company. No wonder they have so many names they have ripped off so many people. Tammy Mathews

    +1 Votes
  • El
      Nov 13, 2009

    The company is PIMSLEUR APPROACH (aka Stroll/internet Order LLC) . They are an independent reseller of the Pimsleur courses published by Simon & Schuster Audio.

    0 Votes
  • Di
      May 22, 2010

    Months after purchasing several Pimsleur introductory courses each $9.95, Pimsleur Approach sent a pile of unwanted, unsolicited boxes containing Gold Courses for the same languages. Six months later they sent a demand letter claiming that I had ordered these and needed to pay them a couple of thousand dollars which they had attempted and failed to bill to my credit card. They would not take the unopened box back.

    My attorney and a federal court order made short work of the thugs at Pimsleur Approach. However, unless you happened to be involved in a financial restructuring, you may not be able to shake these crooks so easily.

    +1 Votes
  • Wo
      Jun 30, 2010

    Nothing like being scammed by the so called 'option' of ordering more. There was NOTHING included with my $9.95 free trial that explained the huge box of cds that come later with these huge recurring payments. I am so angry I am ready to blow my top. Every month a $59 payment keeps being charged to my credit card. Please read this and don't order the trial offer. The lessons are redundant anyway, and it looks like in this huge box that it is a repetition of the same cds that were in the trial offer, but since I never ordered it and don't want it, I have not listened to them.

    +1 Votes
  • Tr
      Sep 16, 2010

    I disagree with many of you that are complaining about receiving more CDs in the mail that you did not order. This is clearly posted on their site:

    † Pimsleur Rapid Fluency Program Membership:
    One month after you receive your Quick & Simple you'll begin receiving risk free trial copies of advanced Pimsleur courses in the language you selected. Each course is yours to try risk free for 30 days. You'll receive a new course once every 60 days. For each course you keep we'll bill you in four monthly payments of $64. Remember, there's never an immediate obligation to buy any course because of the 30-day risk free trial period provided with each shipment. And you may cancel future shipments at any time by calling [protected].

    (Tell me more link:

    1. You order the product
    2. You receive your product
    3. One month after, you begin receiving trial copies of advanced (GOLD?)
    Pimsleur courses in the language you selected
    4. Keep them free for 30 days
    5. You'll receive a new course every 60 days
    6. For every course you keep you will be billed 4 monthly payments of $64

    The big thing is, you HAVE TO CANCEL any future shipments. This is the way it is with many products out there. You start with a FREE to 14.95 fee and you have the option to cancel later on. If you don't CANCEL, you will receive the monthly charges.

    It's not a scam if they give you the option to cancel and you forgot to do it, didn't know you had to do it, or just didn't think they were going to keep to their word and start charging you. In essence, you scammed yourself.

    -1 Votes
  • Ch
      Oct 20, 2010

    Some blame should be distributed to papers and websites like the LA Times for running ads for companies with such ratty business practices. I came heere to see if the pimsleura approach actually works for anyone who dedicates to the CD's for 10 days or if that statement is a scam too.

    -1 Votes
  • Ma
      Nov 04, 2010

    Received SPAM offering FREE basic course. No strings. I ordered Spanish course, but had the good sense (as it turned out) to use a pseudonym . Susequently, several emails arrived from saying be patient, order is in the mail.

    Order finally arrived 10 days after ordering, with info saying that "free trial" expired after ten days, and with invoice for $9.95. It also contained confusing info about my having been given their "Gold Course" ???

    I live in Vermont, where the State Attorney General's office is very good about responding to complaints of web fraud, and that is where this is headed.

    +1 Votes
  • Ve
      Dec 02, 2010

    I paid for the original 9.95 offer to try Pimsleur French. I did not realized that they would send me a "second" trial package or CDs. When I wanted to return it they convinced me to extend the trial period for another 30 days and said that I could return it at the end of the trial period. When I decided to return the course they have me a referral # to be pasted on the fron of the box. I thought it was for postage but it is only a reference for their warehouse. YOU HAVE TO PAY for the return which may cost you $10 or more.

    +1 Votes
  • Mi
      Dec 03, 2010

    I think this product is great. I have been using it for months and am now on the Spanish 2 trial! I would recommend this program to everyone!

    +2 Votes
  • Ja
      Dec 18, 2010

    Ordered the initial product online. Then there were follow-ups with unsolicited product and automatic deduction from my bank account. Eventually 3 months later have had 118.00 deducted from account monthly for two shipments. I have received none of the product for which the Pimsleur Approach is billing me. I will send this to the states attorney general.

    0 Votes
  • Wa
      Jan 06, 2011

    This is undoubtedly a SCAM.. Orderd for the basic course for $9.95 and later got the GOLD course..which I didn't ASK for in the first place... Atleast give an option to the customer which talks more about the GOLD COURSE..(or rather if anybody is interested before shipping it). It can be cancelled but at your own expense..Why should I pay something which I didn't ask for... this is FRAUD... And I sure am taking some legal actions against this...

    +1 Votes
  • Go
      Jan 20, 2011

    Clearly FRAUD and SCAM - stay away!!!

    0 Votes
  • Tm
      Feb 08, 2011

    Thank you all so much for this blog. I wanted to buy German and Spanish but decided to look for reviews first. I took German for 3 semesters in college and know a 10 day approach is impossible. There is a great 10 minutes/day in a book that's great from B&N. It has stickers you can attach to items in your house, great games and more. Still, after 3 semesters my vocabulary is that of a 3-4 year old. There is no way you can learn any foreign language and speak it like an adult in 10 days. What a scam. Buy it from a reputable store and put in the effort and always read reviews before you buy ANYTHING online. Guten Tag.

    0 Votes
  • In
      Mar 16, 2011

    Woah, I think I just been got too. :( They just sent me the gold package to learn Spanish and I did not agree to have it sent to me. I was unaware that they would be sending anything else. The 23rd of this month will make it the end of my 30 day free trial and I am still unable to get in contact with anyone at the phone number [protected] or any of the other numbers that were provided. I need a lawyer like yesterday. I will call the Better Business Bureau and everyone else I can to resolve this matter. The reason why I did not purchase Rosetta Stone is because of the price of $789.00 for the complete total 5 series process was too expensive for me. Now these "Who Ever They Are" are being deceitful and sucking money from my account without my consent. That is definitely a Federal Crime! I am a single mother of two and in Grad school not to mention disabled. God will definitely repay them for their Evil. In the Name of Jesus I claim total victory over this unfair situation I have been placed in. Who ever these people are...God will deal with them most severely. Amen.

    +2 Votes
  • Mi
      Mar 25, 2011

    While it may not technically be illegal it is hard to get out of.
    You may cancel future shipments at any time by calling [protected].

    (Tell me more link:

    They answered the phone fairly promptly and while it was hard to get the customer service rep to do as I ask and give me a return number and cancel it out he did so eventually. The entire process including this response was less than 15 minutes.

    +1 Votes
  • Ag
      Apr 06, 2011

    As for the position Stealth takes regarding nonsensical 'complaints', I do sympathize. And, I can imagine how easily one might be tempted to retort in a less than congenial fashion...but one really should try to avoid doing so, simply as a matter of etiquette, breeding, and simple politeness.

    It would really accomplish all that someone such as that might hope to accomplish to simply point out the obvious errors, and (pleasantly) suggest how someone might be more aware of their surroundings, dealings, contractual obligations, etc. Perhaps-just perhaps-they are visually or hearing impaired, or naive to the point that, unless they have something clearly explained to them, they will NOT understand how to avoid making the same mistakes twice.

    As evidenced by this line of complaints:

    Clearly, this is an area where people actually contracted for goods or services, and did so because they did not read the terms and conditions of the offer they engaged in. However, once the matter was clear between the two parties, the company did nothing to improve its' customer relations. Why? Because even a bad debt can be sold to creditors, and they are still ahead of the little bit of money they have made mass-reproducing CD's at a negligible cost. This is a clear case of "caveat emptor" that consumers really need to perceive and understand before they are upside down in a financial way with someone with whom they shouldn't be doing business anyway.

    However, none of that gives someone else the right to be impolite, or to behave in a socially unacceptable fashion. Politeness and sociability are quite rebuke enough, I dare say.

    0 Votes
  • Ag
      Apr 06, 2011

    pardon me-right info, wrong forum

    0 Votes
  • Mo
      May 03, 2011

    Ordered from Spam for $9.95. The prominent words in all literature is "FREE", "NO RISK!". Received sample quickly. About a month later a box arrived from an unknown return address...Opened and Surprise! an unsolicited box from Pimsleur. Should have found the website or read more thoroughly the less prominent "terms and conditions" buried inside. Now paying $64 a month for nothing. Have since mailed back last box at my expense and cancelled...Hope they don't keep charging! STUPID ME!!!
    These people make cell phone companies seem virtuos...stay away!

    0 Votes
  • Aj
      May 05, 2011

    This is a blatant scam i ordered the trial 9.95 offer for russian, and a month later recieved the chinese (GOLD) edition i most certainly never ordered a chinese cd and am very dissattisfied with this experience.

    0 Votes
  • Aj
      May 05, 2011

    This is personally my first time being scammed>I purchase the sample $9.95 Russian cd's and tried to cancle the "Free Trial" and could not get through and then a month later i recieved the chinese (Gold) edition that i did not order at all. I then was charged hundreds of dollars for something i absolutly did not order. How do i take legal action?

    0 Votes
  • Co
      May 15, 2011

    Glad I read all this. I've been trying to figure out how to order the next set of CD's of Pimsleur when I happened across this site. Seeing what I am about to get myself into I immediately called my Citibank card 24 hour line. I explained the situation so they cancelled my card and are re-issuing a new one. They likely bill before shipping but if not then when I receive the Gold Edition unsolicited then I'll wait for them to come to me to get it back. When they bill my card it will bounce back. I'll take others advice on here and order it direct from Simon and Schuster. The program, the trial 8 CD program is really cool. It really works. Shame they're scam artists. They have a good product.

    0 Votes
  • Ch
      May 31, 2011

    HEY PEOPLE!!! Read the website. It clearly explains what the deal is. If you don't bother to read then YOU are at fault not the company. I ordered the 9.95 special and a month later received the level one gold course. I called and cancelled my future subscription and got a rma # which is good for then days. I returned the course cd rate with delivery confirmation and 200 dollars insurance via USPS for 6.88. I was never billed and have had no problems. Since these are cd's you can send them book rate. People need to learn how to read and follow simple directions. I like the course very much but decided I was not willing to put in the time. These course can be purchaed for less on Ebay and other websites.

    0 Votes
  • Er
      Jun 01, 2011

    Customer service are trained Monkeys and have been trained to tell you ... " Sorry we can't take it back .. you missed the 30 cut off. You will be charged. You think it's $64 dollars but it's really $256 for each level. All I want was to try it for 10 bucks - The video is such BS too- How good can a company or "APPROACH" be to use this type of marketing???? Rosetta Stone is the way to go for serious people wishing to learn

    0 Votes
  • Sc
      Jun 21, 2011

    yeah, this program is a scam. so far I received 4 Gold courses for languages I did not want. My credit card keeps getting charged. I can't take this stuff anymore.

    +1 Votes
  • Ti
      Jul 18, 2011


    0 Votes
  • Su
      Jul 20, 2011

    I almost ordered, then thought better of it out of concern that the price is "too good to be true". Will be seeking another route less complicated.

    0 Votes
  • Mi
      Jul 25, 2011

    Based on the number of these complaints I won't even try the product. Things to do when you run across these offers:
    1. Read Everything in the offer. If you see anything questionable, stay away.
    2. Report the business to the Better Business Bureau
    3. Report the business to the FBI's internet fraud web page.
    4. Report the business to your State's Attorney General
    6. Report the business to websites such as this

    0 Votes
  • Hu
      Aug 19, 2011

    its obvious from their advertisements that they are a scam. They promise that you can learn a language in 10 days using there system. Anyone who believes that is just plain nuts. Their programs, even if you baught all the units of a language, doesn't even come to 1% of a languages vocabulary and grammer rules. I got their programs from the library. It took me a year to memorize all the vocabulary and grammer in all 90 units, and I still wouldn't be able to have a converstation with a native speaker.

    0 Votes
  • Pu
      Sep 06, 2011

    I hope you guys realize that IS NOT the website of the actual Pimsleur company. Pimsleur is one of the most successful language learning courses today. Do you really think they would have a website that subpar? Try to save $10 and that's what you get. Order from the official site or from a reputable vendor like Amazon, which also often has competitive prices.

    0 Votes
  • To
      Sep 14, 2011

    First of all, let me say that I think the Pimsleur program is phenomenal...but I wish I had ordered it from the original producers! I was straight up pissed off to see a withdrawal on my account from pimsleur approach. Let me also add that when ordering online, I search thoroughly through the websites searching for additional loopholes or attempts to pull the wool over my eyes, and I saw nothing claiming to initiate a Gold program so many days later. I suspect that the company discovered blogs such as this and altered their website to avoid lawsuits. My heart sank when I found this, and I wish I'd read it sooner. But once again, if you're going to learn a language, Pimsleur IS the way to go...however, order it from an honest vendor!

    0 Votes
  • Sa
      Oct 06, 2011

    I'm reading these complaints and I am in disbelief. I hope everyone reads this. PIMSLEUR IS NOT A SCAM. I oredred from Pimsleur 3 months ago. I too DID NOT read the fine print, which later I actually DID find on their site. I was billed 64 dollars for a package that I had receievd the same day. I called the company. The reps were super NICE and understanding, they informed me the billing was an accident. They not only gave me a 64 dollar refund they also gave me an Extended trial so that I could use their program FREE. I LOVED IT. I couldnt afford it so I did end up returning it the rep issued me a RMA# and gave me instructions, I was never charged again. The product and customer service I rceived was AMAZING. I wonder how many of you IDIOTS received the package let it collect dust for 3 months, got billed then called. Thats YOUR fault, not the company. Stop complaining and scaring future customers from using this approach.

    -1 Votes

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