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Pimsleur Approach / Scam and lies

1 United States Review updated:
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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
      14th of Mar, 2009
    +3 Votes

    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!

  • Jo
      12th of Apr, 2009
    +1 Votes

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

  • St
      6th of May, 2009
    +3 Votes

    I ordered from 214-929-4954 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 $

  • Re
      13th of May, 2009
    +3 Votes

    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: 202-255-0224. His name is Dan Roitman. Direct line is 215-701-3300 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.

  • Lo
      19th of Jun, 2009
    +1 Votes

    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 (1-800-831-5497), follow instructions and complete the course and we guarantee that you can pass the Level 1, Novice test conducted by Language Line ( 800-483-9590 - 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!

  • Pa
      6th of Aug, 2009
    -1 Votes

    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.

  • Jw
      10th of Sep, 2009
    +1 Votes

    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.


  • Da
      5th of Oct, 2009
    +1 Votes

    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.

  • Ro
      20th of Oct, 2009
    +1 Votes

    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...

  • Tm
      4th of Nov, 2009
    +1 Votes

    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

  • El
      13th of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

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

  • Di
      22nd of May, 2010
    +1 Votes

    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.

  • Wo
      30th of Jun, 2010
    +1 Votes

    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.

  • Tr
      16th of Sep, 2010
    -1 Votes

    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 1-877-802-5283.

    (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.

  • Ch
      20th of Oct, 2010
    -1 Votes

    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.

  • Ma
      4th of Nov, 2010
    +1 Votes

    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.

  • Ve
      2nd of Dec, 2010
    +1 Votes

    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.

  • Mi
      3rd of Dec, 2010
    +2 Votes

    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!

  • Ja
      18th of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    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.

  • Wa
      6th of Jan, 2011
    +1 Votes

    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...

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