Pimsleur Approach Scam: Fact Or Fiction?
“Learn a language in 10 days with Pimsleur”– that’s the title on the Pimsleur Approach website, but I personally think that’s stretching it a bit. Some people may be able to, but I know from my own experiences with spending sometime in a foreign country that it takes a lot longer than 10 days to “learn a new language”.
In 10 days the only thing you are realistically going to pick up is maybe the basics…hello…how much?…where?…maybe some numbers…and maybe a few simple sentences.
Initially the Pimsleur Approach website looks like a good site with a couple of recommendations from Forbes and PBS, but the recommendation from Forbes was just a mention on an article written in 2006 with a comparison on price between learning at university and purchasing this course. However it was only a comparison rather than a recommendation.
On the Pimsleur Approach website there is a special offer where you can buy a package for under $10 with free delivery but this part stands out to me:
“Entry in the Pimsleur Rapid Fluency Purchase Program”
Is this a free addition, or are there more costs involved? Nothing is mentioned about this on the front page. However, after a considerable amount of searching on this website and clicking on the sale tab I was able to discover the additional costs involved.
It seems that after 30 days you are automatically signed up to the Gold Course, and the amount that you pay is dependent on the language you have picked.
Gold Level 1 is 4 monthly payments of $64, totaling $256
All languages have a minimum of 3 levels apart from:
- Spanish which has 4 levels.
- Modern Greek and Korean have 2 levels.
- Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese), Polish and Vietnamese have 1 level.
The actual product does seem to be a reasonably good product as Amazon themselves sell it, and it does have some very good customer reviews.
Looking at this then some of the language courses can be very expensive to purchase and there is a lack of clarity when it comes to what is really included.
Without doing a thorough search through the website this can be very confusing for any would be purchaser to suddenly find additional costs taken from their credit card.
With that in mind, I can see why some people feel like they are possibly being scammed.
When purchasing anything from any online merchant it always pays to look through the website thoroughly before making a purchase…no matter how tempting the offer might be.
After doing a reasonable amount of research into this website I discovered that there are many complaints about the lack of service, the additional charges, failure to deliver anything ordered and so on. This is a great shame. One thing that we notice with the majority of complaints made to us about a website or service online is a distinct lack of TRANSPARENCY when it comes to explaining what is included, and any additional costs that might occur at a later date.
This is of course what businesses refer to as a ‘sales funnel’, where a cheaper or even free initial offer encourages the consumer to eventually consider the more advanced (and expensive) version to be something they simply cannot live without.
This is an unfortunate situation that we all face in life from time to time, but in the online world it often results in a scam claim.
As already stated, my main concern is that there is no clear display on the front page of any additional costs involved, nor any link.
Also, the fact that once you have signed up and paid for the the Quick & Simple Course you are automatically set-up into a rebilling program without your prior knowledge, DEFINITELY rings alarm bells for me.
If you really do want any of the language courses then my recommendation would be to purchase it from Amazon rather than Pimsleur Approach because you will at least have the added security of being able to return the product.
Neil – WFHW