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TechSkills / Very poorly run department and course - medical coding

1 United States Review updated:

I signed up with TechSkills for their medical coding associate course of study. I knew I was in trouble after I'd signed up and some of what my mentor was saying didn't seem to make sense with regard to the subject and the market / what I was hearing from those outside of TechSkills and finding online, vs what the mentor was suggesting.

Each time I pressed for back-up to the info, it was suggested to me that maybe I wasn't really ready to study with them and perhaps I should talk to the director. Of course if I'd cxld I wouldn't have recvd a full refund and in the end I stayed. But while the mentor fussed that I did so much independently and seemed to not require the assistance others did, more often than not, when I did have questions, they were dismissed as to be addressed at a later time or not important to passing and getting a job in the field, or I was asked to get with the mentor when they weren't busy with other students (and by my asking questions the mentor appeared to not know answers to, I seemed to make an enemy, and getting ANYthing done became much more difficult).

I spent a lot of time backing up, verifying and using outside sources in the industry to get the expert input and direction I'd actually chosen to pay TechSkills for rather than just studying on my own.

In the end, what suggestions the mentor did offer, a simple search on the web proved contradictory to what the experts in the respective fields recommended. Also, the first and only industry contact I received from the mentor, didn't seem to have a clue who this mentor was or sound like they'd ever done anything with the mentor. This even though the mentor had presented the relationship with the contact as strong and long-standing with regular cooperation between them.

I'm pretty good at doing things on my own, but what really pushed me over, in so much as any faith in any weight that having completed a TechSkills program (with an A)might carry in a new career search, was getting emails and voice mails (many of which I've saved) asking me to re-send info misplaced or not recalled anymore, or to call to remind the mentor of something, or to make an appointment in order to set something up...and then when I'd follow up, it was implied that I was the one requesting the activity or even demanding the attention over the mentor's students.

In addition to defending my actions/follow-ups as at the mentor's request, I always wanted to remind the mentor that I was also one of the mentor's "students" and am in debt thousands for that very poor decision.

Needless to say, on the occasions that calls or requests were initiated by me, the return email would simply overlook the subject matter questions, or I'd be asked to get back to the mentor when they had more time or returned from vacation time they were about to leave for etc (leading into another of the previously described senario) etc.

I did complete the program, but am choosing to back it up with other courses and will not list TechSkills on my resume or use them in my job search for positions in this field, as the many miscommunications and confused responses of the mentor, while I was there, left me with a complete lack of faith that any verification calls that might be handled by this mentor would be handled well or knowledgably or, that said, professionally.

I would not recommend TechSkills so long as things stay as they are. When you pay or go into debt thousands and commit months of your life to something, you expect to get more than a stack of books and written worksheets and tests (the equiv of which I've found for free on the web through different sources, free lists of nec. books for study, and the web-based lectures equiv in the form of seminars/recorded lectures on their own for the cost of just the lectures etc).

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Comments

  • Ro
      15th of Aug, 2006
    0 Votes

    I wanted to touch base with you due to the fact that I believe that I have been taken advantage of greatly by a local company called Tech Skills. Last August I enrolled in Tech Skills due to the fact that I had lost my job at that time and I was in search of some computer training. All I wanted was my Cisco certification. I spoke with a gentleman there name Steve Klein who had told that I should get at least 4 certifications so that I would have the all around training that I need. Well the Cisco certification only costs $2500 and the "membership" costs $8,000. He told me that I would make 65k a year at a minimum if I had all of these certifications. Well, I went ahead and took out the student loan based on this hoping to make this kind of money. I was leaving a career to start a new one. So the experience would be helpful. After attending the classes I found out that the rate of pay for a person just having the certifications would only have entry level pay (based on what the "teachers" told me.) Due to the fact that you still need experience in the field to earn the higher pay scale. Well, I decided to accept a job in my current field because I have a family to think about and I had to make at least 50k a year to make ends meet. At that point I asked if I could get a refund (which was 2 months later.) for the amount of the classes not taken because I needed to get a f/t job and I could not finish the classes in the 10 month period allotted for the "membership" that I had paid for. Well at that time Steve Klein told me to not worry about it that they would extend my membership indefinately until my classes were finished. Well, this happened for a while until my teacher Eric told me that it was up to Tech Skills to decide whether to extend me or not. Well, I was shocked by this because of the conversation I had with Steve 2 months prior. Well after that I had a conference call with Tony Hausmann (Director) and Steve Klein and Tony stated that he would extend my classes indefinately as long as I only took 4 certifications. I agreed to that and it was fine. Well on the second page of our updated agreement that I signed it stated that I had only 90 days to get a full refund which I understand was my fault because I did not read it carefully but I totally missed it. This was in Febuary. Well, since then my wife had surgery for cancer so my mind was not on school and it slipped my mind. Yesterday, I went into Tech Skill's website to start my classes again and it said I was locked out because my "Membership" had expired. Well, I would like a refund for the classes that I have not finished. I requested that in writing and Tony Hausmann basically told me that I cannot have one because I signed this document that stated I only had 90 days to cancel which he never told me about that part of the document. I feel I was completely misled from the start and I just want my refund for the classes not taken. I have requested this numerous times and the staff at Tech Skills talked me out of the refund. They would keep referring me to different people to speak with and eventually my time ran out for the partial refund. By having me sign a document that states that I only have 90 days for a partial refund is terrible. Why should I pay for “classes” that I never started???? According to my calculations they owe me $6500. That place is a total rip off and I feel everyone should know about it. Please help! Feel free to contact me at my home as well at 636-464-0218. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
    After further consideration I decided to contact you because I am tired of the run around that I have been getting from tech skills. I wish to cancel my student loan. I would like this portion refunded. Please seek the refund directly from Tech Skills. I am very surprised that a reputable company such as yourselves would do business with a company that is in business to take people’s money and provide “schooling” that is not nationally accredited. Most of the “instructors” are not even certified in the area that they are teaching. My first instructor was supposed to be teaching me A+ certification. Well he was not even A+ certified at the time he was supposed to be instructing me. He was taking his course at the same time I was. How can someone instruct me on a subject that they are not familiar with? What a joke. I am shocked that this Tech Skills has not been fined for this type of action. This is a class action lawsuit on the horizon. I have found that there were two better business bureau complaints this year alone for the exact same thing that I am referring to.

    In closing, it is not the fact that I am trying to just not pay for classes I have taken. I will gladly pay for classes taken but I definitely feel I should not have to pay for classes that I have never started.

    Robert Kern

  • Va
      16th of Aug, 2006
    0 Votes

    Perhaps you should have used your extensive Internet knowledge to research this company before investing with them. I'm sure that's what I'd do when it comes to my money. Or was this a Pell grant and all you invested was your time?

  • Va
      16th of Aug, 2006
    0 Votes

    Thank you for the advise, I did. However,this program and the location were relatively new at the time I signed up. I enrolled, rather than simply studying on my own, for the contact with a mentor suppsdly with a high level of expertise, and for the supposed weight having studied at TechSkills rather than studying on ones own for the cert would hold in the industry.
    My suggestion is still, no matter how computer-smart anyone is, if you're signing up with a school that uses mentors to provide direction and guidance in study, and that individual is supposed to have real-life experience and industry knowledge, request actual industry recommendations for that individual specifically. It doesn't matter what the subject matter or how good a school program if the person the school has hired to oversee it is taking 2-4 hr lunches and forgetting what they've asked for/told you/requested/when they've actually requested some action of you, and most importantly, when you ask them for explaination and detail behind subject matter processes and you're told you don't need to know that or just given the answer from the key verbatim.

  • Va
      16th of Aug, 2006
    0 Votes

    I've seen a lot of complaints like this about ITT Tech, also. Do you suppose they're associated in some way?

  • Va
      16th of Aug, 2006
    0 Votes

    I've never had any interaction with ITT and couldn't say. Personal experience is with TechSkills. And I wouldn't recommend Tech Skills. I can't even get an email back to get a formal copy of my grades while there. I've emailed the director and it's just ignored. Once they have your money, they seem to feel they owe you nothing. Not even formal verification of your attendnce and successful completion. I couldn't use them on my resume if I WANTED to.

  • St
      4th of Oct, 2006
    0 Votes

    You Completed the Program? Got Certified? Sounds Successful to me. A lot of other schools don't offer the flexiblity when personal issues come up and TechSkills has been great about allowing me an extension and helping with getting me certified. My Experience at TechSkills summed up in the end result- I got Certified.

  • Li
      6th of Nov, 2006
    0 Votes

    There are many life experience degree universities online. i have ordered from several and all of them wanted more money in the end.

    Finally i found aib4u.com and got my life experience degree really fast without any problems and they did not ripp me off.

    Most of the other online life experience degree sites want more money.

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