I should probably be gloating but I’m not. In fact, the whole experience has left me with a rather sick feeling in my stomach. However, I strongly believe I did the right thing and am pleased that I followed it through to the end.
As many of you know I went on a Social Media course back in March, which was by run Ecademy and delivered by Thomas Power. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that they covered the content that they advertised. I quietly asked for a refund on a couple of occasions but to no avail. In the end, I blogged about it ‘How Not to Master Social Media‘ and it received far more attention than I could’ve ever imagined. The post went ‘mini’ viral receiving over 100 comments and was retweeted on twitter over 200 times. At one point I was hiding under my desk.
For the most part people were incredibly supportive and I thank you for that. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Nikki Pilkington and Nigel Morgan, who were always at the end of the phone when I needed propping up.
In the end, it has been a very long drawn out process, so I’ll give you a condensed version. I was encouraged to file a claim with the Advertising Standards Agency as the course did not deliver what was advertised. If you weren’t aware the ASA now also covers marketing on the web. On the 10th of August 2011 they upheld the claim and Ecademy was told that the ad could not appear again in its current form. The full adjudication can be read here.
Following the adjudication, I waited to see if a refund would now be issued. Sadly, it was still not forthcoming so I had no other choice but to file with Small Claims Court, which I did online via MCOL, which cost me £60. Initially, I was only asking for a refund of the course fees. However, when filing with small claims you’re allowed to include reasonable expenses such as lost wages, childcare, and travel. For whatever reason, Ecademy has decided to settle before it went to court. Last week I received a check for over double what I was originally asking for.
I know I’ve learned a lot from this experience but I also hope that Ecademy has also learned a valuable lesson about social media and customer service.
21 thoughts on “Ecademy Update”
I am fully aware what a journey this has been for you and at the very least a small part of you should triumph over the bitter taste. Perhaps unwittingly you tapped into the long fabled role of the ‘Underdog’ which us Brits love! By standing up to Thomas Power and Ecademy, and surviving the criticism and anger your stance created, you inspired others. That is something special.
Best of all you won! And I hope Ecademy, and indeed anyone who has followed this saga, has learned a valuable lesson.
And as I’ve said, you’ll always be welcome to train with me!
Well done Chrissie, as Nigel said you withstood a huge amount of criticism for doing what was right. Am pleased that they settled out of court, it wouldn’t do for them to have a CCJ or other against their business.
Let’s hope Ecademy have learned from their experience and now run quality courses that are documented fully and supported with training materials post event.
And the important thing here is you finally got what you signed up for, a fully blown course on social media. I am sure the last six months have been a lot more helpful in understanding how social media works than any course given by the “Master of the Retweet” could be.
Nothing like a bit of real-world training! Sounds like you’ve done a great job Chrissie, full kudos to you.
“Master of the Retweet” hehe I like that Graham
Now that’s what I call a job well done. I’ve followed the saga in it’s various guises from the beginning, and I’m delighted to see that it has now been closed – in your favour.
Maybe Ecademy will take a step off the social media bandwagon for a moment and think about how they treat their customers.
Nice one Chrissie – thrilled it ended happily for you :)
So – it cost them twice as much in money and God knows how much in battering to the reputation, when they could have simply said ‘sorry’ and refunded.
No wonder Ecademy is (according to these independent stats) in decline:
Page views: http://tinyurl.com/3u6blg4
Putting that bunch behind you is the best thing you can do – their business model depends on ‘churning’ members, which, together with several friends, I spotted years ago: http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=dompannell+ecademy
I’m glad you succeeded.
Well done for seeing it through.
Now you’re free to examine how you came to sign-up for the course in the first place.
Well done you for pursuing it! Sounds like a victory well worth the effort.
Well done, Chrissie. I’m amazed (but not surprised) they held out so long – when all they had to do was do the right thing.
Well done Chrissie!
Such great news – congratulations!
Going to court is distressing, frequently even for those who go there for a living such as barristers. That’s why court work is highly paid.
When someone with no court experience has to act as either a plaintiff or respondent a few sleepless nights and days of nausea are to be expected prior to the event.
In this instance Ecademy were right to settle twice your claim out of court. They upset you and the ASA ruling showed them to be at at fault.
I hope life returns to normal for you soon Chrissie.
Well done you – glad to hear that you have finally got it all sorted out
Can’t believe that people were charging that sort of money for a course that was quite frankly pants – hopefully this means nobody else gets sucked in by them
Hi Chrissie, good to meet you!
Oh dear, do you suppose that whoever sanctioned and/ or signed the cheque to you on Ecademy’s behalf in any way appreciated the delicious irony of the whole sorry saga? The fact that it was largely discovering the support for you on the very media the course was supposed to teach you how to use that kept you going?
Mind you, if I were a slick barrister (like the ones you see in the movies) I could use the fact that you’d gathered support and won your case in order to prove that you had, in fact received adequate and valuable training… How else would you have known how to do it? :-)
Then you could counteract with: Nay, it was despite inadequate training from Ecademy and only though the help of those who actually really knew what they were talking about that you were able to garner enough sustained support to keep you going…
I suppose right has eventually come to join you, after all it could have run and run, couldn’t it? :-(
Chrissie, Well done for following it through! Most people would not have gone all the way. I am so happy you have won. Sure you have some battle scars, but as others mentioned before, just think of all you have learnt from the experience.
Now, when are you buying those celebratory rounds? ;-)
A result for the “small voice in the wilderness” and I hope that Ecadamy has realised the full potential of social media reach.
You sound “tired” of the whole matter in your post and you shouldn’t feel that way. You had a belief, you fought for it, you won! No, there’s no need to rub Ecadamy’s nose in it but feel proud of what you have achieved.
I’m not sure that Ecadamy have learnt anything from this incident other than to reword their adverts to cover their own arses a little better. Let’s hope that they have also reworked their course to ensure that content advertised can definitely be covered at the slowest pace necessary.
I don’t see any winners here, the whole story really saddened me. Some companies really don’t deserve the chances they have to make a difference or even understand the notion of any form of customer service and I use the word service in the loosest sense. I have still have so much to learn about world class customer service but that journey is made more complex when other companies treat customers with contempt because that brush taints everybody.
Glad to see that the matter has been resolved, Chrissie. And good to see that real-world values and standards are being applied to the so-called virtual world too: it’s really about time that we stopped regarding anything over the net as “virtual”!
I too received finally received a full refund for the course as well as out of pocket expenses without having to go to Court. I probably wouldn’t have pursued it without you so well done, Chrissie, and thanks for all your efforts. Like you, it saddens me that they had to be threatened with taking them to court in order for them to eventually do the right thing.