I got scammed, too.
The same people owned the one in Longmont and I've lost over $8,000 for a school credit class my daughter didn't get credit for.
These people are scammers and Sylvan has a program that makes it condusive for these scammer type people to scam you. They advertise for them through a central website and make guarantess for their program, but when the franchisees screw you over, they claim no responsibility.
How can you guarantee something and then not actually guarantee it? Is it a well-we-sorta-guarantee-it-because-it-sounds-good-and-is-great-for-sales?
At this point in time, they changed their guarantee to raise your child's educational ability by one grade level in 36 hours. After the statement, they Now add : or we'll give you 12 hours free.
They got sued and had to refund $11,000 back to a client for her two kids, and I am assuming they changed the statement after that.
Want to know something scary? Apparently these particular franchisees (Bruce and Sherry Hassan of St. Augustine, FL) are also Officers/Owners of SBH Investments, LLC in St. Augustine FL. Mr. Hassan's name is listed as President of SBH Consulting in a few other states, including MA.
Withdraw your money and run, folks! They'll be vacationing in France with YOUR money, probably. They just used ours for some Florida fun.
Or maybe they used the money to set up the next scam.
SYLVAN CORPORATE DOES NOT BACK THEIR LOCAL FRANCHISEES.
The Boulder, Greely and Ft. Collins franchises of Sylvan were owned by H&S Educational Enterprises, Inc. which in turned was owned by Bruce Hassan, Sherry Hassan, and Kristin Smith.
In December of 2009 we prepaid $1800 to the Boulder operation to tutor our daughter. In May of 2010 we were notified by the center director that the center was closing and we were owed over $500. We were also told that Bruce had been “Vacationing” in Florida and drawing a “Large salary” from the company. Both the center director and Sylvan headquarters told us to contact Bruce at bruce@sylvan-fortcollins or 904.940.9084 for a refund. We did and of course never heard back.
9 News ran an article after interviewing Bruce saying “For customers of the Fort Collins, Greeley or Boulder Sylvan Learning centers who want a refund on pre-paid services, contact Bruce, Sherry Hassan or Kristen Smith at 332 Edge of Wood Road St. Augustine, FL 32092 or 904-940-9084. For more information call 1-800-514-1639 or visit www.tutoring.sylvanlearning”
We contacted their corporate office again a week later and after going through a lot of people, electronic menus and waiting for calls back we were finally told:
“Sylvan Learning, Inc. is a separate entity which licensed to Bruce Hassan, Sherry Hassan, and Kristin Smith the right to operate a Sylvan Learning Center. Sylvan did not, and will not, assume any of the Franchisee's liabilities. Therefore, we recommend that you direct refund inquiries to the Franchisees, their attorney, or your own private attorney.”
Shortly after this we received a notice that the company had filed for bankruptcy in Florida. As best as we can tell Sylvan is actually run by Educate Inc. 1001 Fleet St.
Baltimore, MD 21202 / 410-843-8000 /
It was interesting to note that the national web site guaranteed a full grade level improvement. It would be tough to do this if there is nobody to tutor the child. Not exactly the individual learning plan they promoted on their web site. In the end to get our daughter the educational help needed we had to hire a private tutor who seems to provide superior results at a lesser price.
It has been quite a poor experience working with Sylvan. If you chose to go this route it might be wise to do a pay as you go plan. Wiser still to avoid them altogether as when times are good they sell you on the national brand; but when it goes south… well then it seems that no one can step up and do the right thing.
Editorial Review. Personalized tutoring programs and test prep for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Offers extensive skills assessment and one-on-one help.
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