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Train2game

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  • lmlmlm
    started a topic Train2game

    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

  • sloane82
    replied
    That's odd?

    Leave a comment:


  • Amethyst
    replied
    Originally posted by sloane82 View Post
    Train2game have now gone bust time to get your money back.
    Where have you got that from?

    Train2Game - https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/c...filing-history

    Metropolitan - https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/02646404 ( who appear to claim to trade as Train2Game currently )

    Marlborough - https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/05501636 ( who used to trade as Train2Game )

    Leave a comment:


  • sloane82
    replied
    Going to be loads of new claims against Jan Talensky.

    Leave a comment:


  • lmlmlm
    replied
    'Well at least they won't be scamming anyone now so good news.'

    I'd like to believe that but it seems more like hydra's head shell companies to me, this: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/c...filing-history seems to be the real company behind this and so many other 'vocational training' schemes/organisations: not just around the computer games industry but also general I.T., plumbing, electrical work and so on.

    Maybe they've given up on selling 'courses' in and around the video games industries but it seems completely plausible to me that they're merely rebranding after a spate of bad publicity, or even just as part of a regular routine.

    It seems they also routinely abbreviate this umbrella organisation's name to 'MSI' at least partly so that when dealing with certain people - i.e. credible industry figures, accredition organisations and so on - claiming to be 'Marlborough Information Services' as they apparently tend to do creates confusion around complaints, press releases and so on.

    The Picadilly address is, perhaps unsuprisingly, the location of a (genuine as far as I can tell) organisation that offers the services of a virtual office - again, no doubt in an attempt to impress industry types and get whatever reputation they can.

    This website, incidentally: http://metropolitaninternationalschools.co.uk/ perhaps relates to some wrangling around tax that the people/companies seem to be trying to do that, as I understand it relates to whether or not they're genuinely an educational organisation or merely a group of booksellers. As far as I can tell if they can convince the authorities that they're the latter rather than the former then they'll have a significantly reduced tax bill. Of course this is entirely contradictory to their own sales material, and entirely in line with reports from disgruntled students who, when they phone the 'tutors' available for assistance are invariably merely referred back to the textbooks that they found problematic in the first place.
    Last edited by lmlmlm; 6th July 2020, 16:55:PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • sloane82
    replied
    Yes too right.

    Leave a comment:


  • EXC
    replied
    Originally posted by sloane82 View Post
    Train2game have now gone bust time to get your money back.
    Well at least they won't be scamming anyone now so good news.

    Leave a comment:


  • sloane82
    replied
    Train2game have now gone bust time to get your money back.

    Leave a comment:


  • ATHolder
    replied
    I entered into an agreement with Train2Game in November 2013. The total cost of my course (Game Designer) was 4,690. I feel I have been mis-sold this course without appropriate advice and guidance. No support was given throughout the duration of my course, and my course expired before I could complete it. I know this thread already has a bunch of similar cases but I am starting from the bottom and I am struggling to find the first steps to take. TIA

    Leave a comment:


  • lmlmlm
    replied
    I don't know if anybody is interested but I have filed a claim against Metropolitan International Schools (t/a Train2game) and just received their defence this week.

    Leave a comment:


  • lmlmlm
    replied
    I have sent Train2game a letter attempting mediation through a local organisation with numerous mediation accreditations - approved mediation provider for the Ministory of Justice, Accredited Mediation Provider by the Civil Mediation Council, Accredited Mediation through 218 Strand (previously LSM), Professional Member and Trustee of the charity Society of Mediators, Members of the National Mediator Database, Fellow Member of the Chartered Management Institute (all taken from their website) and in their reply Train2game have written (amongst other things):

    'We would inform you, that as a company licensed by the FInancial Conduct Authority (FCA) we only accept dispute resolution submissions from bodies recognised by the FCA, specifically in this case the Financial Ombudsman Service.'

    Is this accurate? I don't think that I have time to go through the Ombudsman before six years elapses from my signing the contract. They also mention Carnegie Consumer Finance in the letter and my finance agreement - my dispute, complaint and mediation letter never mentioned anything about my finance agreement (which was with Career Finance 4 Trade Skills)not Carnegie Consumer Finance anyway), but misrepresentation and so on; I had already fully paid off my loan when I was kicked off of the course.

    Can anybody help me with this? I didn't expect mediation to work, or even for Train2game to engage with it but assumed that I should try anyway so it didn't reflect badly if I go to small claims court - is what they're saying true or will it now look like I have at least attempted mediation if I go to court?

    I also received the letter on the 26th October by recorded delivery (I've been sending everything that I send to them by recorded delivery, they also have multiple addresses registered too) but they've dated it 5th October - particularly relevant since they say to complain I must: 'contact the Ombudsman within six months of the date of this letter.'
    Last edited by lmlmlm; 28th October 2018, 15:56:PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • lmlmlm
    replied
    Does that seem hopeless? To argue against the contract? I am approaching it as misrepresentation by the salesman which is also verified to a degree by the Train2game website from the time which claims 'students progress at their own pace' and doesn't mention anything about a 36 month deadline even with multiple pages about the courses, the game design course and even a downloadable course guide and study plan.

    That seems to be a direct contradiction and with so many opportunities to mention this appropriately it seems suspect to only have it buried once amongst a stack of promotional material.

    Similarly while it says 'this course leads to...' with the City & Guilds logo all over the material at every opportunity, the fact that the City & Guilds is actually ultimately entirely complete and seperate - so this is further misleading.

    Then there are all sorts of further claims about the course content, industry links and so on which seem further evidence of potentially misleading promotion.

    How would you go about putting websites as evidence in a small claim form? What about a video like the Rob Ager Skillstrain one if that is appropriate as further evidence? Is there any point to collecting other peoples complaints to indicate that it is an potentially intentional sales policy?

    Is there a potential legal perspective upon the culmination of all these things essentially indicating the fact that they are selling an inappropriate/sub-standard product/service and they're aware of it?

    Also how does it work in terms of a cooling off period when you don't ultimately see the full course (and realise it doesn't contain all you were told it would until completing it?

    Can you kind of say you never even began the '36 month time limit' if it was so sub-standard it didn't count as being the service you were sold?

    I think that I need help but I also feel ashamed of being duped and scared to post online.
    Last edited by lmlmlm; 22nd September 2018, 14:06:PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • lmlmlm
    replied
    City & Guilds have given me a link to prove that the course is accredited - for a while there I was beginning to think that it didn't exist at all:

    https://register.ofqual.gov.uk/Searc...0to%20learners

    I've found a mediation service nearby and I have been looking up things about small claims court and preparing myself to go down that route. I don't know if I have any chance of success - I thought I need to really think through my legal case/argument before completing the mediation letter and sending it but I'm hoping to have it done within a week or so.

    I've sent a Subject Access Request to Train2game, I might do one for the credit service too.

    Leave a comment:


  • labradorpup2001
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • lmlmlm
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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