NEWS: The College Network Class Action Lawsuit Filed

  1. A Class Action Lawsuit against the College Network has been filed in Ohio. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission is investigating TCN (again) for numerous violations.

    This is relevant news to those nurses who were affected by this company, those who are currently using this company, and those who may be thinking about using this company.

    An informed consumer is a smart consumer.

    Posting the link to the article from Indy Star news:

    http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2...suit/13848511/



    If I have placed this in the wrong category, please relocate.
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  2. 57 Comments

  3. by   Medic85907
    "An informed consumer is a smart consumer"

    It's hard for me to fathom how some people, in the age of the internet and instantaneous information, can't grasp that simple concept. I will spend hours researching a $50 purchase and yet some people are willing to sign a contract that they didn't read, in a Starbucks, because some guy they never met was in a hurry.

    Part of me feels bad for these people and yet another part of me is ambivalent. How far should we go to protect people from themselves?

    Beyond that, if the FTC is digging, TCN is screwed, big time. Between the law firm and the FTC, I'm sure both entities have already gotten lots of footage of TCN salesmen doing what they do best.
  4. by   Pixie.RN
    These kinds of practices make me sick. I am always glad when people post here or in Facebook groups BEFORE signing and find information for themselves, but I know many, many people who have fallen for some slick sales talk.
  5. by   elkpark
    (I tried the link, and access is by subscription only. But, yay, FTC!!!)
  6. by   JustBeachyNurse
    If you wait a moment a pop-up appears that you can get limited access to read the article and linked legal documents once you close the pop up. (Unless you blocked pop-ups)
  7. by   elkpark
    Quote from JustBeachyNurse
    If you wait a moment a pop-up appears that you can get limited access to read the article and linked legal documents once you close the pop up. (Unless you blocked pop-ups)
    Thanks!
  8. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Has any one read the links on the FTC website? The linguistic tools, semantics, and obscurities used by the TCN lawyers would keep my college linguistics professor busy for several semesters!

    Forewarned is forearmed. Do your research especially if pressured to sign on the dotted line ASAP. Reserve your right to review the terms before signing. If they say no that's a clue.

    The links regarding issues EC call centers had from students that were lead to believe they had to sign with TCN or were already enrolled in EC by pushy "advisors" were almost heartbreaking.

    I know only in the past few months TCN added that they are neither affiliated with nor endorsed by Excelsior College to their website and subsequently printed materials though EC requested they post the disclaimers per legal C&D notices back in 2003!!
  9. by   monkeyhq
    Part of me feels bad for these people and yet another part of me is ambivalent. How far should we go to protect people from themselves?
    I think what has to be considered is the marketing method, and semantics used by the sales people.

    These sharks circle the water during finals week in their various regions. They love to hit trade schools, and there is a reason for that. Its because many of the students who graduate from a trade school have no prior college experience (in the traditional sense), and are not familiar with admissions, programming, study, or even the cost of textbooks (Tech School books are typically thrown in with tuition). The TS they are graduating from is generally expensive--VERY expensive ($15K-$30K). So they are hitting (for the most part) a highly vulnerable class of people at a highly vulnerable time.

    Also, we can't underestimate the power of the 'lie'. I have read all of the FTC filings and the full text of the CA in Ohio, and all the complaints filed with AG's that are publicly available. The filings regarding the 'trucking school' that the owner of TCN had back in the 80's are just as bad.

    Consumer Protection laws are not just to protect the naive. They protect smart, reasonable people from lies and deception of businesses, and I am glad they are there.

    Otherwise, we would all have been 'riped-off' at some point in our lives.
  10. by   caliotter3
    I have always found endorsement by schools to be deplorable when I read or hear of, captive audiences when schools have representatives speak to classes. It does not matter what the entity is, the school should not be pushing this stuff on their students. My daughter had to sit through such a presentation. She was forced to participate and the boxes of material was shoved from room to room in her apartment for years afterward, but the bill for it was not.
  11. by   HarryTheCat
    Thanks for posting this link. I remember the flap in Indiana over Gary Eyler's truck driving school back in the late 80s, and every time I would read something about TCN it always somehow reminded me of Eyler. Until I read this article I didn't know that it was the same guy behind both of these entities. There always seem to be a lot of scams associated with the education industry. With the economy in the tank there are a lot of people desperately trying to get into nursing schools and on to what they think will be a stable, recession-proof career. I feel bad for people who fall for the slick pitches from schools that look like "The XYZ School of Nursing and Diesel Engine Repair", but you can't let your "passion and dream of being a nurse" overpower your common sense.
  12. by   malesia
    Thanks for the comments and for reading the story, which is available for free. I would really appreciate it if you would share the link with others who might be interested. --Mark Alesia, Indy Star

    Test preparation or predator? The College Network faces complaints, lawsuit
  13. by   monkeyhq
    This would bother me if I were an LPN looking at the TCN/Indiana State BSN route:

    "Melony Sacopulos, Indiana State's general counsel, declined to comment specifically on The Star's findings, but acknowledged the FTC had requested documents about TCN from the university.
    Sacopulos told The Star that depending on the outcome of the FTC investigation and class action lawsuit the school would "likely" reassess its relationship with TCN."

    The class action suit, and the FTC complaint, each carry their own set of huge financial penalties. I hope it bankrupts them and dissolves their company and credit unions and collection agencies, and that all the nurses affected get their money back in full.

    Some of the responses by TCN customer service reps I have read on complaint forums are boastful, pointing to youtube videos of happy customers, and bragging about 'only 1%' of customers complaining. The real number, according to the pleadings, is over 35%! A salesman of TCN said that 67% of commissions are withheld because charge backs are so high. And in another lawsuit filed by an employee of Gary Eyler said that he was fired because he refused to contribute a huge chunk of his salary to the 'political action committee' Eyler set up to line the pockets of politicians.

    Walks like a duck, quack likes a duck, swims like a duck...
  14. by   monkeyhq
    Will do, Mr. Alesia. Thanks for a great investigative article. It is great information to know! Thank you!

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