Originally Posted by pitmanireland
From: Derek Smith, Director, Pitman Training Ireland
I have in the last few days viewed a number of postings from two students expressing concerns regarding their experiences at our centres in Cork and Tralee. My first wish is to express our sincere regret to both students (Lesleybabe32 and Optimus Prime) that they have found learning with us to be a frustrating experience. As a responsible training provider we are of course sensitive to criticism, and it is our hope that we will be give the opportunity to investigate what has happened in these two instances. It is appropriate for me to meet with the two students and personally listen to their concerns. Where the conclusion points to any need for a change to our procedures, we will put those steps in place. Our view though is that it would be wrong for us as an organisation to engage in any open discussion regarding any student and their individual experience. To that end I hope that Lesleybabe32 and Optimus Prime will consider what I suggest below:
· Lesleybabe32 – You have raised a number of points in your postings and these need to be thoroughly investigated. This is a task that I will personally undertake. I am visiting our centre in Tralee on 1st March and will be available to meet with you at any time between 9am and 2pm. Please let me know via email to email@example.com
if this is convenient and where you would like to meet. If the short notice is a problem I will be back in Tralee in 2 to 3 weeks, so please let me know a date and time that fits for you.
· Optimus Prime – As is the case with Lesleybabe32 I need you to email me with your name, contact details and information relating to the training course fees that you paid. There were a couple of occasions in late 2011 when we had problems with the supply of training materials, which was an issue for us. These problems were resolved and no student should ever find themselves in the position of not having workbooks in order to commence study. I am presuming that you may have been affected by these delays and if this is the case you have my personal assurance you will receive a full refund, and should you wish to meet then this can be arranged in Cork at your convenience.
In proposing the above, each of the two students has my assurance of confidentiality in our dealings. Boards.ie and other similar sites have an important role to play in providing an opportunity for the exchange of views and experiences. Where any student has a complaint or expresses concern we always hope it will be immediately brought to our attention so that we can put things right in a prompt and fair manner. Equally, many thousands of our students are appreciative for what Pitman Training has done for them and I am reminded of this when I visit our training centres and see the gifts to our staff, thank you cards and the letters of praise they receive.
I do hope to hear from both Lesleybabe32 and Optimus Prime very soon regarding this.
Dear Derek Smith,
Please please can you help my niece?
She has an issue with a Pitman training centre in the South East, which has been ongoing since 2009. The way she's been treated has been absolutely terrible to say the least. She's rang and emailed them on numerous occasions with regards to the issue and was told by 2 different individuals that under the circumstances, she would be due a refund. Unfortunately it is still unresolved and so us, her family are now in the process of helping her seek legal action as if she walks away she will be losing over €1500!!
It is such a long story and has upset me so much, you would not belive the immense stress that she has been put through. Yet I feel I have no other option but to warn others against this training centre, in case they go through a similar situation as hers
Here is her story and I hope we can speak to you personally as I am not being unreasonable. I just want this issue resolved for her at this stage and to put Pitman training behind us
First of all, may I STRESS, the ladies who work in the Pitman centres have treated her kindly and sympathetically on almost all occasions and I will give you specific names when I speak to you but not on here. But they have been put in an extremely uncompromising position where they have had to play piggy in the middle between my niece and the woman who owns this south eastern Pitman franchise. Right here goes.....
I will call my niece 'Z'.
In summer 2009 Z had a breakdown, was hospitalised and went on sick leave from work for almost 2 months. In Oct Z joined Pitman Training to do the Executive PA diploma and gave bank details to pay 100 per wk until all fees were paid. Z paid money upfront also but I do not have exact amnt to hand. Just 9 days later Z was admitted to a psychiatric unit where she remained for almost 5 months
When she came out of hospital in Feb 2010, she was obviously not the same person. Her mother(my sister) cancelled the direct debit and contacted the centre to tell them that as Z was on 9, yes NINE dif meds, that she would not be doing the course. At this stage Z had paid €2100!! Z's Mum was told she could not get a refund as she had signed a contract to pay over €4000, but that they would extend the course. Her Mum argued that Z was a very unwell woman at the time of signing contract and that she could get hospital, gp, psychiatrist and psychologists reports to back up same, that she went into hospital 9 days later. But they said they would just extend the course. Z's mum said it would be a long time before Z would be ready to partake in it.
In late 2010 Z attempted her first module. The lady in the centre said Word would be the easiest. In Dec she failed it miserably. She explained she could not concentrate or retain info even tho she'd tried her hardest. In Jan 2011 Z asked once again for a refund and explained she was still on a ridiculous amount of medication. Z was told they could only extend the course. Z told the lady she would try attempt it again in Sept 2011 as she had hoped to be a bit better by then and hopefully off at least half of the meds that prevent her from being able to concentrate, function properly or think straight and retain info. By Summer 2011 Z had become worse. One of her docs wrote a letter in June 2011 stating that she would not be capable of partaking in this course for the near distant future and attached a letter pleading for a refund of fees minus the money for the Word module.
They said this letter was not recieved even though I sent it by registered post for her THREE TIMES?? then after a wk Z's mum rang again and one of the letters turned up. She explained how ill Z was and the additional stress that this was causing her. The lady on the phone told her that Z would most definately get money back as it was circumstances beyond Z's control and considering she went into hospital for almost 5 whole months only a few days after signing that contract
That was mid August 2011. From that date until April 2011, Z's mum, or Z herself called every single wk at least once and sometimes twice. Every time they were told by "A" that a certain individual "B" had to deal with it and that "B" would call back, I was called back only twice by this person and she told me that it was actually ANOTHER woman called "C" who owns the centre who had to make the decision, but that she was sure Z would be entitled to a refund. Each time we called we were passed from person to person and each time were told the owner on the centre could not be contacted personally. Yet each time she was either out of the office, on holiday or sick etc etc.
Z eventually got a letter from the lady who owns the centre apologising but that Z would not be getting a refund but that she wished her a speedy recovery!
The very next day I myself called to arrange a meeting with the owner face to face. I was told by the girl to come on Monday at 12pm to speak with "D"...yes "D", another person!
I told her I would be taking the day off work along with Z's uncle and that Z would be with us if she was well enough. On monday we drove over an hour to this main centre for our county. At 12 we were told that we could not meet with "D" afterall. We eventually ended up meeting with the owner after much persistance as we said we would wait all night if we had to. To get answers as to why Z had been told for so long that refund would be possible, why her calls had been ignored for 8 whole months and why then was she told she could not get a refund even though she is sick and clearly signed a contract when she had been sick before signing and sent to hospital only 9 days later?? Surely that constitutes as an exceptional case? Another letter was recieved a wk later, once again refusing any refund, yet it is clear my niece will not be able to do this course any time soon.
Please please contact me so that I can fill you in with the rest of the story or please please someone tell us who else can be contacted or do we have to continue this legal route? This girl has seriously been through enough and she does not need any additional stress, yet the way she has been treated is absolutely shocking
She remains on 6 different types of medication and attends a psychologist and psychiatrist on a regular basis and is still an outpatient with the HSE.
Please someone help her
Thank you so much for reading this x x x