My first contact with access training was on 07/12/2016 at 13:08 when I contacted access enquiry line. I was told straight away that one of the course advisors is going to talk to me and explain me all details about the course, including qualification, length of the training and cost. I was soon transferred to gentleman called Ben Lewis. He explained that the main office is in Cardiff, but there is training centre closer to my area which is Welwyn Garden City. The conversation started by asking about the course I was interested in and talking about my background. Ben wanted to find out how much time I have available for the training. Apparently there are two options available. First on is full time course which takes place on week days and second option is part time or weekend course. I told him that I’d like to start as soon as possible and finish the course as fast as I can. Training itself only lasts for 6 weeks by which time I’m supposed to learn everything I need to be able to have a practical session on site which should begin in early March 2017. This work placement if successfully completed guarantees the NVQ certificate. All in all I was supposed to get the NVQ certificate in 8 weeks of training. There was one last place available on 16th of January 2017 and I wanted to start on that day as everything sounded excellent so far.
The full course price is £5,895.01 and I was told that if I pay for the course in less than 12 months I’d get a discount of £1,179.00, which means that total price would be £4,716.01. Biggest problem with this is that I was asked to pay £1,000 deposit, which I could not afford before Christmas. I was asked to pay £100 deposit instead in order to secure my placement for 16th of January 2017.
Access website clearly states that you will start paying for the course when you complete it, so why was I paying £100 for the placement and monthly payments before ending the course?
Later that day I decided that I’d like to see the training centre in Welwyn Garden City. I phoned Ben and asked him if this was possible. He arranged meeting for Monday the 12th of December 2016 at 1 PM with gentleman called Guy Wheeler. Afterwards I had a full weekend to think things through.
On Monday the 12th of December I drove to Welwyn Garden City and found my way to the training centre. It was small and seemed to be work in progress rather than established training centre. I have not noticed any City&Guilds logos and Guy’s office was pretty much just an empty room with a desk and laptop, no filing cabinets or paperwork whatsoever. There were around 10 students spread across the training centre. There were few classrooms where theoretical parts take place as well as some practical training units.
Guy was talking little bit about the company and training centres, this was just general information, but at times it seemed like a selling pitch. He said that students have a very high pass rate and they only expect hard work from their students as they do not appreciate time wasters. My main concern was whether it is possible to learn so much in 6+2 weeks of training. Guy assured me that it was possible, but I will have to work very hard. All in all I spent less than 20 minutes in the centre and I decided that I have seen enough and left with mixed feelings.
In the meantime I started to get worried about the course cost as I felt that monthly instalment of £371.60 per month is way too high, so I phoned Ben again and told him, that this was my concern. He said that he would get back to me with new quote. This meant that I would lose the discount of £1,179.00, but unfortunately this was the only option.
A lady called Moyra phoned up and she took some details down from me in order to fill out the credit application form online through company called Pay4Later. She sent the application request back to me in order to double check that details entered on system were correct.
After double checking my details on the pay4later website I was prompted to press ‘Apply Now’ button. I was very surprised to find out that my credit request for £5,693.74 has been declined and the credit application is only approved for £6,830.00. On top of that I would have to pay another £462.00 for deposit which adds up to total of £562.00 paid so far. My credit rating should be spot on, so this raised suspicion whether the credit check performed was genuine or not. Here is the quote of a finance company called Pay4Later that provides funds for the course.
Outcome of the credit application indicates that I have been declined for the loan of £5,693.74 and could only select he £6,830.00 option. This outcome itself in my opinion lacks any logic. If my credit rating isn’t good enough for loan of £5,693.74 then how come that loan of £6,830.00 is perfectly fine?
This is the first receipt of deposit paid. First transaction was for £100.00 only.
And finally this is second receipt for £462.00, but this time it went straight to Pay4Later.