Sylvan Learning Center / Beware and stay away
On 1/23/2009 I signed by 4th grade son up for the recommended 100 hour program to bring him up to grade level in reading and math. I foolishly prepaid in full a total of $4790. 2 weeks into the program during an evaluation I expressed concerns that I did not see any improvement.. they said give it more time. By the time I gave it more time my son's report card came and it was not better and in some cases worse. I immediately called to cancel was told I had to give a 2 week notice and all these time lines given to me by Sylvan put me past the 4 week guarantee or full refund written promise. After a couple of conversations they "allowed" us to cancel w/only a week notice. Upon termination I was told my refund would take 4 months. During none of this did I complain - I took responsibility for trusting the program. After 5 months I called and was told "the owner" going through financial hardship I was 4th in line for my refund. 6th month I was 3rd, 8th month I was 2nd. I was ignored by Sylvan headquarters in November and yesterday almost a year from beginning this ordeal I was told "I will be talking to the owner about it tomorrow." After a 2nd email to headquarters last night I did get a response from them: "according to our notes John Weiss (owner) contacted you and agreed to pay you interest on the refund owed to you." Complete lie!! I have never had any such conversation with anyone at Sylvan that went beyond... your (blah) on the list... oh soon... you'll get it...
I couldn't believe that Sylvan as a corporation took the word of their owner/operator and didn't even follow up with the customer to confirm or deny the accountability. I am an 'independant contractor' for a national brand and our company would never speak only to us and relay the message after a second follow up 2 months later!!
Appauling - don't get sucked into the false success of Sylvan. Being located in So California my area is loaded with Title One Schools due to the overwhelming non English speaking students. TITLE ONE SCHOOLS PAY FOR PRIVATE TUTORS SUCH AS SYLVAN FOR ANY STUDENT THAT WANTS IT!! So not only do my tax dollars pay for all the children that go to Sylvan in my area but I lost my after tax dollars for my own son with no success!! I am now working on a full refund based on their deceptive business practices and loop holed written guarantee. Don't go to SYLVAN it is a trap and they will make you feel like less of a parent if you aren't willing to lay $5000 down for program that has no proof of success for anyone that English is their first language.
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