Exasperated at Kaplan customer service

Discussion in 'Kaplan Medical USMLE Forum (Sponsored)' started by exasper8ed, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. exasper8ed

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    This is the story of how Kaplan happily took my money, messed up my registration, and mostly blew me off for 3 weeks before I finally got Qbank access.

    Back on Nov 18 the "regional medical director" (RMD) came to my med school to pitch Kaplan. I signed up and was actually enthusiastic about getting started studying (I even wrote it in my facebook status). They took our credit card numbers and told us we'd be emailed with login instructions.

    A couple days went by, my credit card was charged, and I still hadn't heard anything so I emailed our RMD to ask when we would get access. I was told it would be 24-48 hours. I waited.

    A day later the RMD emailed to say I should go to the request password page and request a password. I tried that -- it didn't work. I wrote her back.

    I got another reply saying there were "technical difficulties in switching over the system that generates our usernames/passwords" and that it should work now. So I tried again. Still failed.

    By this time it was Thanksgiving break, and I still couldn't use Qbank. So much for getting started studying early (I'm taking the boards early).

    The following week I started to get frustrated. I emailed the RMD again, but this time asked if there was someone who could actually confirm that my account was set up properly and test it before getting back to me.

    Apparently this made a difference. She wrote back to tell me that she actually looked at my account and that the data entry person had misspelled my school's name in my email address. She said she sent my information to a team in LA (??) and I should hear something shortly. Of course, at this point I had no idea what "shortly" meant.

    Nothing Thursday, nothing Friday. Today I decided to give up on the RMD and call the general number. I talked to an indifferent woman who looked up my info and gave me my password. Apparently it was finally fixed last Thursday, but no one had bothered to tell me.

    The attitude throughout all of this from both the RMD and the woman on the telephone was one of utter indifference. The RMD kept making excuses (wait, try again) for why I could not access the system the first 2 weeks -- but clearly had not taken even 5 minutes to double-check whether there was a problem with my account. Even when she did find a problem, she still didn't bother to follow up to make sure that it was fixed promptly, or that I was notified when it was. But really, why should she care? She's probably paid on commission and her work with me was done the moment I handed over my credit card number.

    The person on the phone sounded utterly bored with her job. The conversation was "First name?" "Last name?" "Wait." "Do you have paper?" "Here it is." "Ok? (as in, can I hang up now?)" When I said that it'd been 3 weeks that I'd been trying to get access she didn't even bother to pretend that she cared.

    No partial refund of course. Not even a simple "We're sorry you had to wait."

    So my enthusiasm about studying with Kaplan is dead. Funny that although I'd originally been a proponent of USMLE World, I tried to convince a couple classmates after the Kaplan presentation that there wasn't much of a difference and either would probably work fine.

    I'm sure Kaplan has worked well for others, but to me they seem like they're just just too big a company to care about their customers when things don't go smoothly for them.

    - Exasper8ed '11
     
  2. KapFriend

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    Hello Exasper8ed '11,

    Though we have corresponded with you directly, we also would like to respond to you here.

    Your enthusiasm about our courses when you first came on board is most appreciated, and we hope that you will feel equally as satisfied once you have used Qbank and worked with all of the features designed to help you prepare for the exam.

    We apologize for any inconvenience you have suffered due to technical difficulties or missed communications. As you know from our correspondence with you directly, we want to rectify any issue you had, and make certain that you are set up so you can focus on your studies and pass your exam with a solid score.

    Please know we are here to guide you through the entire residency process. You have at your disposal a team of experts to answer your questions, offer suggestions and provide helpful tips and strategies to maximize your potential. We can answer questions here or through email.

    We are committed to helping you succeed.
     
  3. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
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    That sounds like the biggest amount of fluff.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. KapFriend

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    tkim,

    I'm sorry you read it that way. We take seriously the report exasper8ed posted and will solve any problems.

    Kaplan Medical is made up of a group of professionals who do everything we can to help people reach their goals. Often we guide students throughout their entire residency process, sometimes beginning before they arrive in the US.

    Here on the SDN forum and on the Kaplan Medical message boards, we are happy to answer questions and share strategies with anyone who asks. We also prefer to promote a community of encouragement and support.
     
    #4 KapFriend, Dec 21, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  5. exasper8ed

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    @KapFriend,

    tkim is right. While I do appreciate getting a response, your message seems like more of a general marketing pitch than a personal reply.

    My initial excitement about studying wasn't mean to as an endorsement of your product, and given my bad experience I'm surprised you'd try to twist it that way.

    As for residency, I'm sure I'll do just fine without Kaplan holding my hand. Basically, what it comes down to is that I just wanted to access the online step 1 materials that I had purchased. That's all.

    - Exasper8ed
     
  6. exasper8ed

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    After my original post, I checked on this thread for the next week or so and didn't see any reply from the Kaplan folks. So I stopped checking. However, someone at Kaplan did send me a private message which I never saw, so I will respond to that.

    In the meantime, here are a couple updates...

    First, my email address never was fixed. I just noticed this, so whatever the RMD requested never did get done. I wonder if that means I could have simply gotten my username/password from the main support number right from the outset instead of waiting on the RMD to "work" on it.

    Second, I just talked to a classmate about her experience signing up. Ironically, she's one of the classmates I tried to convince that Kaplan would be just as good as USMLEWorld. She was still uncertain which to do after the Kap pitch so she waited, but then she saw the RMD in the Dartmouth bookstore, so she decided to just go ahead and do it and gave the RMD a check for Qbank right then and there.

    And guess what? She didn't get a login. She called Kaplan, they said they'd look into it and get back to her, she didn't hear anything. She called back, they said they'd look into it and get back to her, she didn't hear anything. Weeks went by, but they couldn't find her check. Finally she got frustrated with someone over the phone (maybe I should have tried that?), and they gave her a login while they continued looking for her check. Several weeks later they did find her check -- and mailed it back to her. In other words, she got her Qbank for free.

    So she's happy... because she says she can still use that money to get USMLEWorld for the final month.

    - Exasper8ed
     
    #6 exasper8ed, Jan 17, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  7. KapFriend

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    Please note
     
    #7 KapFriend, Jan 20, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
  8. KapFriend

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    As I posted on 12/22, we take your issues seriously and are committed to solving any problems you have had. I did not intend on twisting your excitement about studying, but merely hoped that you would be satisfied with the Kaplan products after all.

    Because we offer numerous resources to help people prepare for their exams, I have found that it is helpful to remind students of what is available, including individual guidance. Certainly there is no obligation or expectation.
     
    #8 KapFriend, Jan 20, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
  9. link2swim06

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Wow that sounds crappy [​IMG]
     
  10. KapFriend

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    PRACTICING Qs with a STUDY PARTNER

    An excellent way to practice applying what you know and to improve your accuracy in understanding and reasoning is through test questions. To fine-tune, find a study partner to do questions out loud.

    Sit for an hour or two several times a week. Choose a topic to focus on, then take turns reading the questions out loud, state what you think is being asked, and evaluate the answer choices. The other person should listen for reasoning mistakes and offer feedback. The goal of the session is to refine how you interpret and reason with what you already know, not to worry about checking out every little detail. Use the explanations when you get stuck, or just skip that question and move on.
     

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