Online courses provider faces massive complaints

Shaw Academy, one of the biggest online courses provider, has claimed that 12 million people have “graduated” from its dozens of courses with an up to tenfold increase in students after the lockdown.

Aside from this, Shaw Academy apparently attracts online applicants with its “excellent” Trustpilot rating on the front page of its website. The review website meanwhile placed a prominent banner notice on the page, stating: “This company and its reviews are currently under investigation.”

Refund of fees demanded from the online courses provider

The Guardian, a British daily newspaper with an online edition, similarly received complaints from users due to dissatisfaction with Shaw Academy’s online courses during the past week. Many users are asking refunds. This issue has been taken by Trustpilot for investigation of the reviews submitted to their site.

The company offers trials for free within the first month but the user is expected to sign up and give out their payment details. There are various courses offered, ranging from guitar lessons to wedding photography. Users complained that cancelation after the first-month trial is not easy, and thus money was still deducted from their accounts. 

Other cases include agents asking their users to take down any negative review on their page and asking them to instead write affirmative reviews. Despite the Academy showing that their service excellent, Trustpilot seemed to disagree with them as they put out a notice saying that the company’s reviews are under investigation.

99.5% of users allegedly rated the company very high

There had been more complaints about clients being persuaded to enroll in more services through text messages, emails, and WhatsApp. Shaw Academy has denied the allegations as they say their services are exceptional and more than 99.5% of users rated the company very high and have zero complaints.

They further state that they`re doing everything they can in their power to improve their services for their unhappy customers despite facing challenges caused by the pandemic.

The Company was founded in the year 2012 with headquarters in Dublin. They are also based in other places like the US and South Africa. Their main focus is “online learning to help people develop skills in some of the courses offered.”

The strangest thing is that the pop-up…

Daniel  Smith, 40, who has a background in IT from Hereford, says that when he saw the advertisement for free trials for the first four weeks, he was excited. He went ahead and signed up for online learning on the web development course.

Once he was done with the registration, he went ahead and registered for the free online lessons but ads keep showing up on his screen asking if he considered applying for additional resources. It was containing extra information for £39.95.

He explained:

The addons are not new as my field is IT but the strangest thing is that the pop up filled up my screen and the`x` was right at the corner and so tiny and once I was hasty in closing it, a notification from PayPal of £39.95  showing up on the  screen.

He informed the company by sending an email explaining the order of events that happened and he did not accept as he clicked the x. He said that he experienced a lot of frustrations but after a while, he was refunded his money. 

Money was still deducted from their accounts despite the cancellation

The Facebook platform for the Company has experienced many complaints in January as more than 3500 has subscribed. More complaints have appeared on the Trustpilot website similarly from the Shaw Academy customers. Out of the 27,200 complainants, 3,800 are complaints that money was still deducted from their accounts despite their canceling the subscription to the online lessons.

A retailer situated in Dublin named Veronika Solnickova, 33, said that despite requesting a one-day notification before the end of her subscription, she never got any notification. She had registered for £179.95 for a sports nutrition course and realized that she was signed up for another year. She was devastated and ended up filing a complaint with PayPal as Shaw Academy was not following the contract.

She took it up with Trustpilot and went ahead and posted a negative review asking the company to refund her money. Shaw Academy emailed her and said that they`ll refund the money ifrif she would replace her negative review with a positive one. She received several emails but did not do as requested. She eventually got her refund. She says that she has seen many complaints where most people are taken advantage of.

Trustpilot to investigate the veracity of the reviews

Trust pilot has stated they actually take their reviews very seriously and will take up necessary legal action against the Company for falsifying reviews. The Shaw Academy’s CEO, James Egan, has defended the company explaining that the positive is more than the negative reviews and complaints. He contends that they have managed to educate millions of students. He further said that there has been a rise of students, especially during this lockdown due to the pandemic.

Egan stated that they have better refund methods and are rather flexible as compared to other online businesses. He added that Shaw Academy has increased its free trials from four weeks to eight weeks to support clients during this pandemic.

He explained that Smith should have closed the ad popup and the money was refunded. In Solnickova`s situation, she did not end her subscription and was therefore not entitled to any refund. They refunded her money anyway.