Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: The One where I Have a Chat with Don from WP

We had an interesting late night phone call earlier this week.  From Don at Winter Promise.  The owner.  This isn't the first conversation I've had with him but it's definitely the most illuminating.  We talked for quite a while so I'm only going to give you the highlights.

I started with the Draw Your World maps.  It actually stunned him that there were errors with the maps.
"I don't believe we've had anyone ever complain about that."  Really, Don, really?  Do you want to bet the farm on that statement?

From the Winter Promise message boards...

That is just one of many complaints I've found on the WP boards.  That one was from 2007.  Nice!

I actually got out our Draw Your World Book and went down each and every error that I found during the five weeks that I'd been using WP.  To say that he was stunned  was an understatement.  And I'd only been using the Europe map.  Who knows what's going on with the rest of the book?

He also said it could be a file glitch and that's why they're printing out poorly.  Maybe a file error caused the seas to look like lakes and 1/4 Europe was cut off the map.   Uh no!!  Because your giant "Travel With Me" map looks exactly the same only it's bigger and in color.  It was drawn that way buddy.

He did say that he is going to have his people look into that because he wouldn't want to keep sending out an incorrect product.  I promise you that I DID NOT laugh out loud.  I held it in.  Because now we all know that they've been getting complaints about the maps since 2007.

I decided to move on to the $30 Children of Many Lands book written and published by WP.  I told him that I couldn't believe the amount of grammatical errors that I find on every, single page.

Don's response..."Oh yeah, we know about that.  We hired an editor and they didn't do the job properly and we totally got burned on that one."  That was it.  They knew there was a problem with it and sold it to people anyway.  At a ridiculous price.  Thanks for passing along the "burn" to your customers.

Now I get that they're a small company and they probably couldn't afford to reprint it until they sold what they had.  But a heads-up and a price decrease were in order.  My daughter is currently using it for editing practice.

I also commented on the lack of cohesiveness to the reading and how I wasn't exactly sure what she was supposed to be learning.  We study Switzerland and instead of reading Heidi then, it's scheduled for our Africa study.  I'm unhappy that the notebooking pages ask for information and mention things that we haven't studied.

Apparently we spent hundreds of dollars on books that weren't going to to hit the main points and we're supposed to spend hours researching other resources that will tell us the complete story.   They don't really offer suggestions for other books or movie ideas.  And I am not the only person who is unhappy about all the extra work.  Just check the forums.

 And apparently I just don't understand scheduling books.  (Please note my eye roll now.)
I do understand, Don, that things can't always line up.  But when they can, they should.  I could list about 10 changes to your schedule to fix that issue but I already paid you to handle that.  BTW, people complained about that on their forums too.

He kept mentioning how he could see CAW wasn't meshing with my family.  No, Don, it's not.  We like a point to the study, decent grammar for the most part, and proper maps at the very least.  He kept saying how CAW is "unique" and that I'd probably have enjoyed one of their other programs much better.

No I wouldn't.  I've bought some of your activity packs/notebooking pages in the past and wasn't exactly pleased.  The quality was poor and there were even a few "facts" that were totally incorrect.  I even emailed the company about the errors and never got a response.  That should've been my clue.  My bad.

I really thought these forum posts summed up the problem nicely.

My husband tackled the issue of a refund with him but I don't think that will happen.  Oh well, I wanted to keep the Christmas books anyhow.  Lesson learned.

On a positive note, our Sonlight box arrived Thursday but I'll save that for another post.

Check out other wrap-ups over at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


Very Blessed Mamma said...

Man, I am so sorry you have had to go through all of that. I am glad you have got something you like now though.

I would try to sell the WP stuff.

Or have a giveaway!

Mama Manuscripts said...

Wow, that is sad. I would likely giveaway this product. I wouldn't want to sell it to someone else but with a warning this could potential bless (maybe, or is it really THAT bad) someone else.

We used Sonlight for a while and LOVED box day! I look forward to reading that post!

Little Badgers Academy said...

"My daughter currently uses it for editing practice" - that line made me laugh, not in a good way. Yeah, it's exactly the reason you bough a geography book, so your child can learn how NOT to write a book. Grrr... Sorry, you have so many problems with it.

Our Village is a Little Different said...

As much as I've laughed reading through your experience, this one made me mad!

These problems are documented so far back, and nothing has been done about them?

I have now sent 3 people to your blog when they write, "Winter's Promise looks wonderful, but it's so expensive! Does anyone have any experience?"

Their business practice is shameful, and most homeschooling families are probably a lot like mine. Our curriculum budget needs to be wisely spent!

Grr! This is just disgraceful.

Enjoy Sonlight. You deserve it. You sure did give WP more than a fair chance. I'm sorry it was so bad.

Jennifer said...

Soon after we started homeschooling, I returned a "curriculum review in a box" that fell far below my expectations. I never heard back from them and never received a refund. I chalked it up to lesson learned, but now with Crew reviews feel like I have more awareness of what is out there. I do listen to other's views about products and appreciate you sharing as this company had been recommended.

Debra said...

Thank you SO much for continuing to post about this. And I hope you love Sonlight... I'll have to watch to see which core you are doing. We're doing 100, G and B this year. :)

Our Homeschool Reviews said...

Your whole story is just crazy. You should just write as many forum and blog posts as you can about it so others know. Sorry you had to go through all that.

Julieanne said...

I was considering using Winter Promise when the girls were in high school, but after reading your blog posts and hearing horror stories from others, I want nothing to do with that company!

The fact that it still exists, and that they are still printing/selling/advertising horribly faulty products and refusing to give people reimbursements on items that they hate, is shameful.

If Don, the owner, is a Christian, he had better really rethink his business policies. While he may think he's getting away with treating people in this horrible way while he's on earth, he will face judgment on Judgment Day for his deceit and anti-biblical practices. I'm not questioning his salvation, but his wrongdoing is evil and will be punished either here on earth or later.

I'm ashamed to even think that a company like this calls itself a service to homeschoolers. I've never, ever had any homeschooling curricula company act in this way, ignoring the issues and refusing to make things right.

I agree - keep sharing with us how horrible it is. Hopefully, lots of people will discover this before purchasing the curriculum, and the company will either change their ways, or go out of business.


Joesette said...

I've been following your "situation" with WP and geez! What a total waste of your money, and time, not to mention your daughters tears!

So sorry for all your woes, but thanks for posting to save the rest of us!!

Michelle Smith said...

Wow, I have occasionally heard WP mentioned by others but since I knew little about it, I honestly had no idea about all these things.

I'm sorry your family has had such a difficult time using this curriculum that you obviously spent far too much money on. I agree that you should share your own experience.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!!! We have used SL for several years but I was looking at WP. From the catalog it looks so good. I loved the note booking. But, sounds like it isn't as good as it looks. : (


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