Thrive Learning Institute / Awful experience
I signed up for Internet training on eBay and was sold a bill of goods. The problem is in their aggressive sales techniques - and they are responsible for the call centers they contract to sell for them. Thrive Learning promises you can make your money back in 2-3 months, but in fact they have a success rate which is about 1 in 10, 000 actually doing so - and that's ever, not just within 3 months.
I complained after the training was complete, because I didn't actually learn anything that I hadn't already known. Their training at that time mostly consisted of how to set up their proprietary sitebuilding software - which can take you weeks or months to actually build your site on a part-time basis. You are charged additional monthly fees for site hosting and programs - but can't actually move your site without rebuilding it again. There are several free programs that come with most web hosts that you can use for site building - much better than Thrive's version.
As well, all of the training that Thrive offers can be found on the Internet for free. So being charged several thousand to be "coached" and another $40 per month for site hosting is excessive.
The scam continues as they sell you add-on programs and "services" such as credit-card processing, site marketing reviews, and PPC advertising. Some have even been offered the creation of a Montana S-corporation. I've read of people going into $30-$50, 000 in debt with nothing to show for it. (I was "lucky" in this regard.)
They do not have their refund policy stated on their website and it is not covered in their telemarketing pitch. This is an FTC violation. As well, Thrive Learning is a "fulfillment center" for at least 20 other scams - and so could be investigated under RICO statutes for racketeering.
Utah call centers contributed around 1/4 of the Utah Attorney General's election campaign - but are not being prosecuted for known complaints. The manager for Thrive Learning is also associated with these other Utah call centers.
All of this is publically available information.
Another tactic they use is to string you along until your credit card company is unwilling to do a charge-back (usually about two months). While Utah requires any company to refund within a 3-day period, often your training doesn't start until after that time, so you won't find out you're scammed until the State can no longer enforce that statute.
If anyone is approached by Thrive Learning, the best thing to do is to hang up immediately.
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