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How to get a 'School' Closed down by means of Government

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by DeathStar1, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    OK everyone, here's something I've been wondernig. If I have a purpose in life, this would be a good one...

    As I beleive I posted before, I had a shitty time in 'Katherine Gibbs' College, due to inept teachers, money spent that was not well returned with course information, teachers that didn't even show up, inept 'deans' that didn't give a shit, and even more crap.

    After doing tons of research, they have been pulling this crap on students, costing them thousands of dollars a year in regular payments and loans. If I where to petition the government to shut this company down, and get at least SOME of the students money back in the course of a year, how would it best be done?

    Step one, is to register a website with the Company's name in it so it comes up in all searches for future students who do the research. Most of the complaints I See are spread out on various websites and don't even come up unless keywords are typed with quotes.

    Step two, is to wait a year for people to find the site and file their story..

    Step three is to find someone at a high level of government who can take action on this school, maybe even someone who has a relative who got scammed. Someone is needed who will take this personally, not just to get voting points for an election year..

    Step Four is to have the school and company run out of business. There are thousands of students who are scammed every day and it's just not right.
    At this rate, I'd be happy with the site costing them millions of dollars a year because students are wising up to their fraud practices..

    Step 5 - sub step. Write to the cable companies running their commercials and have them pulled off the air.



    Any ideas and advice?
     
  2. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    The crappy school you attended before 'Katherine Gibbs' also ripped you off,
    learn the difference between "there" and "their".
     
  3. CameronJ

    CameronJ Stunt Coordinator

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    Neil,

    Just my personal opinion, but "government" should in no way be involved in the fact that you feel a private enterprise isn't providing the services that you or others have paid for. As far as I know, there aren't any laws against companies providing sub-standard products to consumers (unless of course they are actually dangerous). I'm assuming that they are not state or federally funded, that would be a different story. A couple of thoughts.

    If they are truly engaged in deceptive trade practices (i.e. advertising degrees that don't really exist - diploma mills) than the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may get involved. The fact that you feel like you didn't get the education you paid for doesn't seem to fit this situation.

    I looked at their website, and couldn't tell who, if anyone, they are accredited with. If they are accredited, I would first contact the accreditation body to find out what kinds of complaint procedures they have.

    Lastly, if you feel like they didn't fulfill the terms of their contract with you - your only real remedy is to sue. Of course, they can just as easily claim that you were an awful student and that you didn't live up to your responsibilities to further your education.

    All that being said, you can of course set up web pages, write to media, etc. telling your story. While that may be successful in dissuading some people to pass them by, the chance of you running them out of business is pretty slim. It's still possible, and if you are willing to spend a significant amount of time and effort to accomplish this you may be successful, however I would think that you are more than likely to be disappointed with the results.

    Back to your original thought however, persuading someone in a public position, whether its someone in government, a celebrity, etc. that your cause is a just one can only help - as the media is more likely to pay attention to someone already famous than some poor schmuck like you or me.
     
  4. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    Yeah, I realise that. The whole point of this is to get the government involved in a fraud investigation so we the former students don't have to spend a bit of money to get them closed. It's a very long shot, but what the hell..

    I know it's the past. But I just hate the thought that I got scammed, and that future students are still getting scammed, if only because they might not be able to afford the computer to do a net research. These Schools mostly go after the low income folks and fraud them into beleiving there's a better future if they sign up for this scohol.

    Again, at the very least, I'd be happy if people found the site, word spread, and they lost thousands of future students..
     
  5. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    The goverment? That's awfully vague, Neil. Governments don't just up and close down private institutions because well, customers are unhappy.

    Sure, if they are that blatantly fraudulous, you could bring them to the attention of the BBB or similar entity, or (much) better yet, your state's attorney general. But I doubt any of the above would work.

    So,

    1- Find as many students with similar grievances as you can.

    2- Consult an attorney.

    3- File a class action lawsuit.


    Whatever happened to getting laid? [​IMG]

    --
    H
     
  6. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    The BBB is an option. But since we don't have the funds for a long legal battle, the whole point was to see if we can either cost them money in future students, or have their commercials pulled from cable companies.

    As to where there funds come from, for some reason I seem to remember that they get some government funds for something, but I can't refind the blasted link. I'll have to do another search for it.

    Edit -
    This wasn't what I spotted, but from what I can gather, seems the .gov site mentions funds for building a Gibbs School about halfway through the article..
    http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:...ient=firefox-a
     
  7. Brian W. Ralston

    Brian W. Ralston Supporting Actor

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    1. Holding a grudge like this (which seems deeply rooted) will negatively affect your personal health (mentally and Physically) and really, I would encourage you to not let it consume your life.

    2. If the school was not meeting your needs and you felt it was not a worth while investment in your educational future, there was really nothing stopping you from leaving and changing schools. Sure, it would be an inconvienence, and would have greatly affected your life at the time, but you would have been out of there and on to bigger and better things.

    Adversity and bad experiences only make us stronger. You have learned a lot from this experience I am sure and it will greatly affect your future outlook on a lot of things. That is the positive thing out of all of this is that now...you know what you know about that school. But again...I would encourage you to not let that frustration and hatred for it consume your life as it appears to be...judging by your inquiry here.

    Peace [​IMG]
     
  8. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    too be honest, I havn't really thought about it much over the last ten years. Maybe 4 or 5 times everytime I Saw one of those adds on TV. It was only recently brought up with force when someone at the bank mentioned going to the school a month ago, then I did the research.

    At this point, I'd be happy setting up a website that would get decent search engine placement and help future students avoid making the same mistake. Anything else that would happen is a bonus.
     
  9. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    For which they could in turn sue YOU for...
     
  10. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    Yeah, but hopefully if they ever did, all the testimony from former employees AND students would be enough to get it thrown out of court before it even got there.
     
  11. Brian W. Ralston

    Brian W. Ralston Supporting Actor

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    Yeah...I mean...for something 10 years ago...even if there was some legal precedent for taking the steps you have outlines based on your experiences there...there has to be some statue of limitations that you would have had to file within. But, having said that, there is little there.

    Also as pointed out, you would have to be careful with a website as you describe. You don't want to get into a libel situation and then all of a sudden, the institution you are speaking out against wins a judgement against you for A LOT of money. You can put up a website with specific accounts to your situation only. And of course it all has to be true. Don't exaggerate any aspect. But once you get into drawing conclusions and possibly making statements like "the institution as a whole is corrupt"...or that they steal money and don't offer what they say they will, or whatever...it gets into libelous territory. And, because it is written on a website, is easy to prove on their part, especially if it affects their business. They will have damages they can hold you accountable for.

    So...again. If someone asks for your opinion on the school. Go ahead, Steer them clear of it with your lack of recommendation. But, anything stronger than that...you will really be wasting your time, risking yourself to legal trouble and it won't have an affect anyway.

    For example, there have been several Best Buy employees who have had their websites taken down (by the courts) talking about how bad of a company it is in their opinion.

    It really is just not worth it in my opinion. If your experianece was so bad...I am sure you are not the only one. And sooner or later, it will begin to affect their status and ability to recruit future students.
     
  12. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    I've heard of the Best Buy thing, but I don't know how true their experiences where. I've had nothing but good things with that store customer service wise [​IMG].

    But with this, there are thousands of students, and even a few lawsuits against them, so the proof is there.

    What I might be able to do, is do a 'past student school review'. Where past students explain calmly, and if possible with proof that doesn't give away and personal info like addresses and stuff on their side, that shows they went to this school and what they d o.

    At the very least it could be a place for Students to voice their public opinion and there is nothing wrong with that as it's covered by free speech [​IMG].
     
  13. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I spent about 15 minutes on the WEB myself, checking out Katherine Gibbs College. There are several campuses mostly in New England and the Middle Atlantic states. The schools were bought out by Career Education Corporation (CEC) in 1994. This is a for profit corporation that runs physical and on-line education institutions.

    I then went to the association that provides accreditation for universities, colleges, two-year colleges and so forth for the middle states: The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. For all of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, etc., there is not one Katherine Gibbs campus with accreditation. Further in all of New Jersey (where you live, as I recall), there is not one private, for-profit, associate’s program with accreditation (as a check I did the same search for New York, and a few institutions popped up).

    Just in case, I went the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, which grants accreditation. No Katherine Gibbs College (or any other Katherine Gibbs name) shows up in the Vocational Technical Schools section. There is also no entry in the Independent Schools section or in the Postsecondary Institutions section.

    On the semi-good news front, Gibbs College Cranston (RI) applied for accreditation for their Associate’s program in 2001. They may not receive accreditation, as an institution has only 5 years to progress from application.

    I don’t wish to discourage your task, but I think that if prospective students spent the same 15 minutes in online research as I, they would draw a conclusion without spending any of their money.

    Some sample schools with accrediation in Rhode Island (where Katherine Gibbs was first founded):

    Brown University
    Community College of Rhode Island
    Rhode Island School of Design
    The U.S. Naval War College

    The point here is, that pretty much any reputable school (even those like Brown and RISD that are well known and those like the Naval War College that are an entity unto themselves) apply and receive accreditation. While being accredited does not guarantee a fine education, beware of places that are not accredited.

    It took me far longer to type this than to look it up.
     
  14. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    How did you end up at Gibbs anyway?

    --
    H
     
  15. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    Heh, as a kid just out of highschool, and being disgruntled with the prospects of 4 more years at a traditional college that was Bergan Community and learning even more stuff I didn't care about, accreditation didn't even come to mind. I guess I fall in with the masses and below average joe stereotype with that one [​IMG].

    Chances are everyone else who would be thinking of signing up for this place didn't think of it either.

    But if one of their relatives does, and sees the stories, or the referances on other websites that lead back to the original link, it'll help inform the not so intelligent buyer like myself.

    Something like this is what I'm hoping the site will turn into within a year or so. Reliable, intelligent sounding stories from real students who can type/spell/sentance structure better than I can...

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/education/gibbs.html
     
  16. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    I know you're going to bash me over the head with this stupidity, but the parents found it in a newspaper add that was 3X3 inches in size. [​IMG].
     
  17. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Neil-bro, just curious, what is your occupation?

    --
    H
     
  18. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    From the Katherine Gibbs (and isn't that a nice name?) website:

    'The mission of the Katharine Gibbs School - New York is to provide its students with the foundation for lifelong learning. Whether they choose to continue their education or enter the workforce, Gibbs graduates are trained to succeed.

    With our ever- expanding array of comprehensive, quality educational programs, Katharine Gibbs - New York will continue to uphold the guiding principles that this school was founded upon in 1911. Gibbs prepares their graduates for ongoing success.

    Here, at Gibbs - New York, we believe in creating a dynamic learning environment, both inside and outside of the classroom. Whether students need help within individual courses or are simply looking to expand their horizons through a variety of social, cultural and educational activities, we provide the resources to enable our students' success.


    So, Mr. Smarty Pants Crippen...who needs "accreditation" when you've got "a dynamic learning environment"?

    And where were YOU in 1911? [​IMG]
     
  19. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    I was hoping going to this school might enable me to get a job somewhere in the animation industry, but right now as mentioned in other threads, I'm working in what is now becoming the familly electrical contracting business as a gopher. I definetly don't need to be anywhere near anything electrical, so emptying garbage and doing the grunt moving work, etc is fine with me.... for now anyway. Plus it gets me out of the house.

    I'm working on a project that will hopefully stop that, but it's going to take at least a year of self learning and time to complete.
     
  20. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    I never heard of this place, but it sounds like it's no worse than the average public school.


    > The BBB is an option.

    Not really- all it does is collect complaints. It has no enforcement powers. At best it might dissuade some students from attending the school, but only if they check with the BBB first. How many of us do that? Nobody.


    I agree with the others about moving on.
     

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