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Train2game

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  • Train2game

    Okay I've seen that there are threads for this already, but I didn't know if I should post on those or start a new thread? So I am doing it here...

    It is a long post and I'm sorry, but I think that I need to say all of it - it is just the way that I am

    I completed an MA in 2007 before being diagnosed with debilitating acute stress (which then led to a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome), and was still in this same situation when, in 2012 I saw an advert online for a games design course.

    There was an online form to fill out if you wanted more information and I filled it out I guess assuming that they'd send me out a prospectus or something similar but instead I received a call from somebody related to the course asking to make an appointment to talk about it and they came to my house.

    Everything he told me about the course sounded so good, he was saying that the it would be a foot in the door to get into the games industry, that it was like a university degree but much cheaper (about £5,000 in total) because it ran differently and didn't need a physical building and so on, and that in-fact it was actually better than many degrees as it was more vocationally orientated and more of a technical qualification.

    He told me over and over that it was flexibly delivered which would suit me with the issues that I have and I remember very specifically that he told me over and over that there are no deadlines – that exact phrase.

    I remember this very well as knowing how my autism affects me and how erratic I can be and how bad my health was – given the fact that the course was compared to a regular degree I took it to be roughly three year of full-time study – I was worried about the impact it could have on studying, even given the fact that it was online and flexibly delivered and so on, i.e. that I wouldn't be able to study effectively to that level to complete a time-limited course.

    He said that there was also an arrangement that is available with a financial company to save people having to go to their bank and ask for such a big loan. This seemed good as on top of my health one of my main concerns was whether or not I'd actually be able to literally afford to study at all.

    In the end I agreed and filled out the contracts and I can't say how excited I was as I've always had a strong interest in computer games since being a child (seems quite common with autism) and had planned on getting into them in some form ideally, I'd studied a BA in Creative Writing and then an MA in Writing for Film and TV and was hoping to move into that direction – and I was excited to at the thought of being able to study and then hopefully find work, having already been on sickness benefits for 5 years.

    Over the next three years I had other commitments and various personal issues – I had a housing crisis and it almost looked like I was going to be homeless basically due to deceitful support organisation making promises that they weren't able to deliver on but didn't bother letting me or anybody else know and more or less completely stonewalling me and my family and other people acting on my behalf – I had only a few weeks to find appropriate affordable accommodation considering autism issues relating to location and so on.

    I then also had problems with Interserve hassling me not making reasonable adjustment and making unreasonable demands which meant I was getting more and more ill when I had work-related activities to pursue that I'd found independently, which they were actually making it harder for me to do!

    I also then had medication issues and was hospitalised for an accidental painkiller overdose, itself related to the fact that professionals were making it harder for me to get pain relief because they believed that I had an addiction... I was referred to a secondary care drug and alcohol unit before finally being able to have an autism specialist involved who confirmed that actually autism-related pain was the problem the issue rather than a substance use issue.

    Even with all this going I'd managed to do a certain amount of studying for the games design course (I'd actually completed a significant portion, very quickly, and been reset to the beginning with 'improved' course material) but suddenly I found that I couldn't log in to the online student website and when I got in touch with them to ask why and they told me that my study period had finished.

    I was gobsmacked as I'd been repeatedly told that there were no deadlines – and as mentioned this was key to my signing up. Looking through the significant amount of course material I'd received I found that it was true and mentioned, once or maybe twice, in small print, amongst all of this material.

    It was also never mentioned online in advertising material or the student world or in any of the correspondence I received in letter or text or any other form and it also linked neatly to the final payment that I'd been giving to the finance company.

    I contacted them to explain all the above: my personal issues combined with the apparent oversight of the salesperson to accurately describe the nature of the course; and in fact to technically contradict the real information, and I couldn't believe it but they completely refused me absolutely any extension in relation to these mitigation circumstance instead referring me to another organisation – one that 'sources excess training capacity' for a further fee.

    Looking into I found that this new website seems to be owned by the same people, as is the credit company that I took the loan out with.

    I sent a formal complaint to which they responded with a dismissive and derogatory letter saying that many of their students complete their courses whilst working full-time and that it was all my fault, implying that I was being disingenuous and – perhaps strangely given that I'd not made the claim – saying that their salesperson was very highly trained and would not have promised me a job.

    I told the Citizens Advice online who outlined my rights and said they'd pass the details on to Trading Standards, although they don't follow up on individual instances

    I also tried to complain to City & Guilds, the only organisation accrediting the course (there used to be another The Independent Games Developers Association – but they severed all ties to the course in 2014) but while they were sympathetic they said that they couldn't pursue any complaint because I didn't have a student number so I'd never been registered with them.

    There were also a few other issues/irregularities that I haven't mentioned but this all happened almost three years ago now and although I looked into what other possibilities there were for me to deal with it – legal action I guess – which would involve an attempt at mediation initially (although I have no hopes that they'd agree to it) I ended up really dragging my feet on it.

    Of course I can take full responsibility that I should've read everything thoroughly – that was just stupid and I won't be making that mistake again of course – but ultimately there's no way for me to prove anything that was said in the interview.

    It has always felt like there are other more positive things to focus my time and energy upon, and also just thinking about it makes me increases my stress and the related pain – but as I understand it there is a 6 year limit to take legal action which for me is coming up – I signed up to the course on 29/11/2012 – and so it feels like it is now or never if I am going to do anything.

    £5,000 is so much money, I have no savings to speak of except a few hundred pounds to stop me going into overdraft and for the three years I was paying them it was a very significantly large part of my disposable income; kind of the difference between whether or not I would be able to have an external activity with my support (i.e. going to cinema/for food, that sort of thing...)

    That's just the thought of the money that I've lost, aside from all the hope I'd had about actually being able to enjoy studying and then being in a position to actually start some form or related employment – and also the feeling that I could've completed this course if I'd only know about the time limit - I feelt like they've treated me like a complete idiot and blamed everything on me for a mistake I'd expected most reputable organisations would be disgusted that a sales representative did on their part... and all I WANTED to do was study!!!

    I know that there's plenty of people criticising the Train2game material... they may wel be right... be for me even to have the chance to improve my CV/projects, even a less than stellar course would be something... as it is I never even got that, and they've still taken £5,000 off me, or just under.

    I've seen other similar courses since then online, and much cheaper, but I don't know if I trust any of them now. I am even paranoid about Train2game and what suspicious things that they might be up, i.e. planting stories of successful court cases against them just to encourage people to try, knowing it will go wrong and end-up as positive publicity for them (as has happened with Financial Ombundsman rulling City&Guilds is a better qualification than the TIGA certification that was lost when TIGA washed their hands of Train2game.

    So ultimately I guess I was wondering if anybody has had similar experiences and/or can help me, perhaps finding legal advice with a particularly disability/autism focus (I am in Yorkshire).

    I guess I'm wondering if it seems as though this was an autism-related issue, to take the salesperson so literally like this?

    Thank you for reading this long post.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Wow that really is long! I'm sorry about that.

    It just sort of comes out as one long block when I try to write about it.

    Comment


    • #3
      (I'd actually completed a significant portion, very quickly, and been reset to the beginning with 'improved' course material)
      Have you discussed this part with them regards an extension ? ( I'm not saying that would be any kind of successful resolution but interested in their attitude to their 'students' having to redo part of the course due to the change over from TIGA to C&G ) Were you two years in to the course at that point ?

      Can you tell us the company that 'sources excess training capacity' ?

      Also, do you know the exact City & Guilds Qualification you were working towards? https://www.cityandguilds.com/qualif...prenticeships/

      they couldn't pursue any complaint because I didn't have a student number so I'd never been registered with them.
      Did they say that you could still have actually obtained the qualification despite not having been registered with them? Did you discuss the actual course you were undertaking and confirm the training provider was actually accredited by C&G ?

      I guess I'm wondering if it seems as though this was an autism-related issue, to take the salesperson so literally like this?
      No. If the salesman stated clearly there were no deadlines and you could study the course at your own pace, anyone would take that as read ( many of the issues raised on here about these courses are directly related to that misrepresentation by the salesman ) Your health issues may assist in evidencing that misrepresentation though if you do end up having to take it to court, as that was a primary part of your decision to take this course with the flexibility rather than say attend college full / part time.

      Sorry to ask more questions xxx
      “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

      Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

      Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

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      Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Amethyst View Post

        Have you discussed this part with them regards an extension ? ( I'm not saying that would be any kind of successful resolution but interested in their attitude to their 'students' having to redo part of the course due to the change over from TIGA to C&G ) Were you two years in to the course at that point ?
        I have some paper work to track down but I don't believe that I did; I mentioned autism and my health, the personal issues outline above, and the fact that I was repeatedly told that there are no deadlines by their representative; I think sent a 2 page letter but I've misplaced it now I'll try and track it down - I think by the way they responded to that I already felt that they're being so unreasonable that it wouldn't make a difference and I was already at the point of wanting to outright complain.

        I don't know if it is as simple as the change from TIGA to C&G.

        I have a few booklets (from the new material) with both logos on and then the rest have coloured tape stuck over the TIGA logos (I think that the ones without tape on are the ones I got sent when they changed me over - around Jan 2015 (still before the TIGA press release I believe; which is 2015) - and put me back to the beginning and the rest are after they kicked me off the course 9 months or so later).

        The paranoid part of me wonders if they several 'versions' of the course that they ask people if they want to 'update' to if they're getting too far into to course (and risking discovering how disappointing it is).

        I don't know if you mean 2 years into the course timewise or content wise: timewise, I signed up late November 2012, and was given the 'new' material Jan 2015, so over two years - content wise it's a bit more difficult to say, I might be able to figure it out looking through automated emails, but I think that I was probably about halfway through the second book of the three that get sent to you individually (presumably so you can always have higher hopes that the NEXT part might meet your expectations... maybe that's also why they've started doing more smaller books? As it's more confusing... paranoia again? I haven't gone so far as checking how similar the content in the two versions is.
        Last edited by lmlmlm; 28th August 2018, 12:10:PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Amethyst View Post

          Also, do you know the exact City & Guilds Qualification you were working towards? https://www.cityandguilds.com/qualif...prenticeships/
          I'm a bit confused now... I can't find anything like it in that list you've linked to.

          I remember it being listed as a level 6 City & Guilds qualification in Games Design on the train2game website, but now everything seems to link to their Facebook page which lists them without attached qualifications here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Official...=page_internal

          Train2game IS a City & Guilds training centre, listed on their website: https://www.cityandguilds.com/search...res&s=distance

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Amethyst View Post

            Can you tell us the company that 'sources excess training capacity' ?
            Yes, sorry I forgot to put it in, it's a very... um... 'interesting' website: https://www.benchmarkmediasolutions.co.uk/

            '[They] are helping people'

            'Don't be shy about [giving us more money]. It doesn't mean you're weak, it only means you're wise.'

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Amethyst View Post

              Did they say that you could still have actually obtained the qualification despite not having been registered with them? Did you discuss the actual course you were undertaking and confirm the training provider was actually accredited by C&G ?
              I'm not sure that I did. I think that I just approached them trying to make a complaint - ostensibly about misleading sales and then maybe refusing an extension with all these mitigating circumstances. When I found out that I couldn't do that I think I moved on to the next thing - i.e. Citizens Advice.

              As mentioned I saw Train2game as a listed centre on the City and Guilds site, I remember that... and I don't know if there was a course listed on their qualifications then or not... but no I wasn't as logical as you lay it out when approaching them after I realised I couldn't actually lodge my complaint.

              I remember talking to people about possibly gaining the qualification independent of Train2game but I think we were all worried about spending more money after having lost £5,000, and also, I felt too sick with anger and pain to actually stomach going through the books from Train2game. I'm only just barely managing to do that now.

              Comment


              • #8
                Maybe worth giving C&G a call and asking for the course code for the Level 6 qualification in Games Design they accredit through Train2Game and see what you can find out. Tell them you want to check the course information and syllabus etc as you are considering extending the course and want to check the qualifications you'd receive for completion - it may be a specifically designed course for T2G and not available on their website.
                “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

                Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

                Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

                If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Amethyst View Post

                  Sorry to ask more questions xxx
                  That's fine!

                  Thank you for the prompt response.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lmlmlm View Post

                    Yes, sorry I forgot to put it in, it's a very... um... 'interesting' website: https://www.benchmarkmediasolutions.co.uk/

                    '[They] are helping people'

                    'Don't be shy about [giving us more money]. It doesn't mean you're weak, it only means you're wise.'
                    Ughhh. Yes it's the same people ( https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07900082 )

                    Was your finance through CF4TS ?
                    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

                    Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

                    Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

                    If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                    Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Amethyst View Post

                      Ughhh. Yes it's the same people ( https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07900082 )

                      Was your finance through CF4TS ?
                      Yes.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Cool. Well firstly is to find out if the study would actually lead to the qualification you were told it would and if continuing would actually result in your obtaining the qualification ( at the relevant level - equivalent to Masters Degree? level 6/7 ? ).

                        So I'd have a chat with C&G and find out what's what and then you can go from there.

                        Does your paperwork actually list the exact qualifications you'd end up with ?

                        ( The course work, I believe, assists you in building a portfolio so it isn't time wasted and you may be able to use that portfolio to move to a different course at college etc later if you decide you want to proceed, but you need the actual info to form your complaint fully to T2G and C&G. )
                        “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

                        Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

                        Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

                        If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                        Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Reading through some of the course docs ( via the wayback archive https://web.archive.org/web/20171203...-and-animator/ ), it doesn't actually state what qualification you receive at the end.... seems extremely vague and there isn't actually any specific of what you are studying towards.

                          On the attached documents though it does say
                          "THIS COURSE LEADS TO A CITY & GUILDS ACCREDITED QUALIFICATION"
                          Just not which one or at what level etc.
                          Attached Files
                          “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

                          Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

                          Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

                          If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                          Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yes the paranoid part of me feels that they like to keep it as vague as possible deliberately.

                            I also wonder why such an apparently maliciously designed organisation offered to send out all of the course material to me when I finished - is it so that they can claim that I have affirmed the contract if they want to later on?

                            I have sent an e-mail to City & Guilds asking about the courses that Train2game offer through them. I have also found part of my course material that states:

                            'This course leads to a City & Guilds Accredited Qualification
                            You may achieve the following qualifications depending on the Units you achieve:
                            City & Guilds level 6 Diploma in Games Design for Computer Gaming (Industry Specific)
                            TIGA Diploma in Games Design'

                            (It's a booklet dated 2012, so before TIGA severed ties)

                            I have been looking into misrepresentation and I'm concerned that I have left it so long as Which? state you should act as soon as possible.

                            The complaint that I sent in 2015/2016 did accuse them of aggressive sales and mention some sales acts - I think that I was going by the Rob Ager Skillstrain video.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It seems you've gone through exactly what I have with them. TIGA dropped out, the course material was way out of date and we were so close to finishing before TIGA was dropped and we had to begin again. Granted they gave us the choice to change, and made City and Guilds sound so inviting, but at the cost of starting all over again. Two years into a three years 'no deadline' course and you would only have until the end of the year to finish it. Definitely not fair.

                              Comment

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