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This is a question Expensive Mistakes

coopsweb asks "What's the most expensive mistake you've ever made? Should I mention a certain employee who caused 4 hours worth of delays in Central London and got his company fined £500k?"

No points for stories about the time you had a few and thought it'd be a good idea to wrap your car around a bollard. Or replies consisting of "my wife".

(, Thu 25 Oct 2007, 11:26)
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Computer Home 'Courses'
I love computers. Love 'em. I always wanted to do a computing course in them when I was a bit younger, and a lot less confident.
My lack of confidence and crippling shyness meant that I couldn't really do a college course - I might've steeled myself up enough to sign up for one, but I doubt I would've lasted past the first day.

So then a leaflet drops through the door, about home computing courses. It sounded fantastic, and I booked a home-visit to get some more information.

A nice young lady came to the door. Well, when I say nice, I mean nice in the same way window-salesmen are nice. Nice until you sign the cheque or show them the door.

Anyway, she prattles on about all the fantastic benefits of studying from home, how I would receive a diploma, 24/7 support for the course, fee remissions for the tests etc. All sounded great. Okay, where do I sign? £1000? Okay, if you do indeed give everything you promise, I suppose that's alright. Do I get the parts to build the computer for the course? No? Oh.

Stupid cunt that I am (was?) I still went for it.
I was given a blue satchel with the paperwork and book in it, a computer 'toolkit' (wrist-strap and a couple of screwdrivers), and the phone number for my 'dedicated support advisor'.

So, anyway, I save up yet another £1000 and buy some really good parts - something I can build for the course and then use for 3 or so years.
The main bit I wanted from the course was building and maintaining them. The first book I was given showed how to build them. Which basically was 10 pages of "plug that there, that there and that there". It was horribly out of date and focused on installing Windows 95. Yes, 95. I had bought Windows ME (which shows how much of a novice I was!).

So, I phone up the 'advisor': "The book tells me how to install 95, but I have ME". "What's ME? I only know about 95 and 98".

GREAT! The fucking advisor doesn't know about computers!
After several more probing questions it transpires that she has only got the same books I have, no training, and hasn't actually worked with computers at all! The stupid bitch didn't even know what RAM was!

So I muddle along on my own, inwardly seething at the thought I have splashed out a grand for a course I will have to complete on my own, with no support. I get as far as the first test, and phone up to book.
"Oh, no, you don't do them from home, you have to come to our offices". "Well, I was told you came to me, it was the whole reason I signed up" "Well we have never done home testing"
So, I keep arguing with her, and the subject turns to fee remissions "No, we don't offer any remissions. You have to pay for the tests". "Fuck off do I. How much?" "£75 each test".


End result:

£1000 for some useless, outdated paperwork
£1000 for a computer (Which admittedly I did use a lot, but I wouldn't have gotten it if I hadn't signed up for the course)
£20 for a new phone after slamming it down and breaking the handset.

I have now completed 6 City&Guilds courses, all free, all with proper grades which mean something.

Suffice to say, I would never do another home course. So far I have managed to discourage 3 people who were seriously thinking of doing them with this company.

Sorry for huge post. No, really. No nob-gags. I just had to get it all out. It's been a long time brewing :)
(, Mon 29 Oct 2007, 17:28, 5 replies)
our uni IT department
offers courses for the public, you might wanna try at you local uni, as a uni dept is probably gonna be a little more competent than whatever company you mean, on which note, why did you not name and shame?
(, Mon 29 Oct 2007, 18:28, closed)
I bet it was Computeach.
It was, wasn't it?
(, Mon 29 Oct 2007, 21:18, closed)
No knob-Gags?
"No knob gags" then straight away hit it with "I just had to get it all out"! Classic play on words! :) Awesome!
(, Mon 29 Oct 2007, 21:56, closed)
Name and shame if their that bad. That way everyone can learn from you wasting so much money! If you can ward off 1001 people from them and give yourself a psychological £1 for each one, quids in!
(, Tue 30 Oct 2007, 12:47, closed)
I am fairly certain it was Computeach.
Unfortunately it has been a while since I spoke about it to anyone, and time clouds all memories.
If I find the satchel I'll update this, because it had the name on it.
(, Tue 30 Oct 2007, 14:41, closed)

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