The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfactionResolved Scholastic Advantage Services — Steven Smith
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
To Whom It May Concern,
I am Nhuan Q. Nguyen, and my wife is Thu-Trang T. Nguyen. We are parents of Christina Nguyen who was at first grade at Jolly Elementary school in DeKalb county. Before Christina took the summer break, we received a handout from Jolly school asking parents to sign up for summer programs for the student to study at home. We wrote our name on the paper, signed and returned it to the school through Christina’s daily homework.
On June 10, 2009, a lady called my wife on her cell phone which she used as contact number with Jolly School. The lady told us that she was calling from Jolly Elementary school, and because we signed up the paper that we want to have some programs for Christina to learn during the summer break. She told us that both of us need to be at home, and the school will send teachers to the house to demonstrate the program. We set up an appointment at 8:00 AM on Saturday June 13, 2009.
On June 13, 2009 around 8:50 AM, Steven Smith came to my house. Steven Smith told us that he was a fourth grade teacher at Lithonia elementary school, and he was a representative of the Jolly School as well as other schools in DeKalb county. He told us that Jolly sent him to our house to demonstrate the summer programs to our daughter Christina Nguyen. Steven Smith did show us the piece of paper that we signed up for summer program from Jolly school before.
The name of the program is "National School Curriculum Life Time Course Exchange Software for Life Program". Steven installed a demo program into my desktop computer, and he showed Christina the program. Steven told us that there was only one time fee of one thousand dollars ($1, 000.00) plus $85.00 for shipping & handling. The school will send to our daughter updated software periodically until Christina graduates from high school without additional charges. We wrote him a check of $85.00 per his request.
Steven Smith then asked us for address, phone, social security numbers (both of us), and date of birth (both of us), and he wrote them down on a form that he did not give us any copy. Steven Smith then filled out the order form (as shown in the attachment - OrderForm.pdf). We thought it was a program to support Jolly school, so we signed the order form. Steven asked us to pay $85.00 for shipping and handling up front. We wrote him a check of $85.00 which was cashed a few days later.
On Thursday June 18, 2009, Linda from Fra Lyn Company called me to arrange for payment. Linda told me that she is a representative in the financial department which is taking care of payment and billing. Linda told me that she received our contract to buy the software from Steven Smith, and she told me that our first payment will be on August 1, 2009 with a minimum amount of $41.64. There will be a financial charge of 18% if we do not pay $1, 000.00 in full with the first payment. I also asked Linda what if the company goes bankruptcy in the next few years, who is going to send to us the updated CDs. Linda laughed, and she told me not to worry about it because it is a program for school system, and school system never goes bankruptcy.
On June 26, 2009 Steven Smith came to our house and gave us a box of 6 CDs. A few days later, when we put the CDs into the computer for our daughter, Christina Nguyen, to study, four of the CDs were not working. While running one of the working CDs, I received error message of failing to read disc’s content. The CDs looked like they were duplicated using CD-R blank discs.
I then contacted Steve Smith, Linda as well as the phone number on the paperwork. No one answered my calls. I left them many messages. I also mentioned that if they did not answer my calls, I will report this problem to the police.
On July 3, 2009 I called Steven Smith, and he answered my call. He told me that he will come to my house on Tuesday July 7, 2009 to fix the non-working CDs. Steven Smith did not come to my house on July 7 as he promised. I called and left him messages.
On July 9, 2009 I called Steven Smith to ask him to come and fix the CDs. Around 6:05 PM, Steven Smith came to my house. And Steven Smith verified some of the CDs were not working. He told me that he will send us the working CDs later. Steven dropped three more CDs at my mailbox a few days later (they were not mailed through US Post office service). None of the CDs were working. And again, the 3 replacement CDs appear to be copied or duplicated.
I called Steven Smith and left him messages to let him know that the replacement CDs were still not working, but he did not call me back.
We contact Jolly School at [protected] on July 13, 2009 at 11:30 AM, and Jolly School Principal’s Assistant Mrs. Brooks confirmed that there was no such program at Jolly School. Mrs. Brooks also told us that the school did not send any teachers to student’s house to sell software. They asked us to report this incident to DeKalb School System through www.Dekalb.k12.ga.us
On July 20, 2009, I received the first payment statement from FRA LYN COMPANY who claimed to be the financial institute of the Scholastic Advantage Services company. Steven told me that my monthly payment will be $41.64 as shown in the attached order form, but the payment statement showed that my minimum monthly payment must be $166.67. I attached both of the order form and the billing statement here.
On July 21, 2009 at 12:30 PM, I called Steven Smith. I told him that the replacement CDs that he dropped at my mailbox were NOT working. I also asked him to stop by Jolly's Principal Office with me on July 22, 2009 at 9:00 AM to prove if he was a teacher whom Jolly sent to my house to demonstrate the program as Steven told us before. At first, Steven told me that his schedule was so tied that he could not come to Jolly School with me. I then asked Steven to give me an exact day and time that he can go. Steven Smith then told me that he did not work for Jolly school, and he hung up the phone. I called him again, but he did not answer my call.
On July 21, 2009 around 1:10 PM, I called Fra Lyn company. After giving them my account and reporting the issue that the CDs were not working, they hung up on me. I called them again, they answered my call and put me on hold for over twenty minutes then they hung up the phone. I called again, and I was prompted to leave a message. I left them a message and asked them to call me back. So far, I have not received any call from neither Steven Smith nor his company.
Since Steven Smith and his people have access to the SOCIAL SECURITY numbers and Date of Birth of mine and my wife, we are very concerned that they could use our identities to do things without our knowledge.
We need help from Jolly School, DeKalb School System, Georgia Department of Education, as well as Law Enforcement to investigate this incident. Please help to stop this criminal act/fraud in our school system. We hope that Jolly will alert other students and parents to be aware of this fraud, so that they would not become victims as we did.
Here is information about Steven Smith and the company as it was appeared on the order form.
1. Scholastic Advantage Services
1510 Hwy 74N
Tyrone, GA 30290
Representative: Steven Smith
Rep. Phone: [protected]
Financial Representative: Linda [protected])
Steven’s Manager: Don [protected])
2. Fra Lyn Company
P.O. BOX 968
Branchville, NJ 07826