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MCTs Allege CTEC Rip-off

A CTEC in Florida is under the gun from a number of MCTs who say they haven’t been paid for work done.

A CTEC in Florida is under the gun from a number of MCTs who say they haven’t been paid for work done. Several lawsuits have either been filed or soon will be against Global Training Solutions, which has headquarters in Miami and at least 22 training locations nationwide, according to its Web site. MCP Magazine has spoken with five trainers who claim GTS has failed to pay them for work done months ago. Each of the MCTs had written contracts with the company, and each is owed anywhere from $1,500 to more than $8,000.

Brian Walling’s story is similar to those of the others. Walling, an MCT who’s been training for two years, signed a contract with GTS that would pay him $500 daily, as well as cover travel and hotel expenses. Walling taught his first class the week of May 6, 2002, and worked 22 total days. His contract stipulated he’d get paid within 30 days of teaching the class. Walling did get paid $2,500 in late June, but only after threatening to quit in the middle of one of his classes after explaining to his students why he was leaving.

Since then, Walling says he’s tried multiple times to get the remainder of his $8,500 from GTS, without success. “I’ve submitted e-mails, left messages, spoke to accounts payable. It’s the same story all the way around; there’s never someone there that can write a check,” Walling explained.

He’s filed a small-claims court lawsuit against GTS and its owner, Eric Schaer. “This has caused me to be put behind on all my bills. I’ve had my car insurance canceled, credit cards canceled because of late payments as the domino affect of all this,” Walling said.

Repeated attempts to contact GTS owner Schaer and other GTS officials for comment for this article were unsuccessful.

Walling did get some money, though, which is more than Adam Cassidy got. He taught two classes for GTS, one June 10-14, the other from June 24-28. Like Walling, Cassidy had a net-30 day agreement on both contracts. He said he’s yet to see a dime. GTS owes Cassidy $6,125 for his work, and he even offered to take $500 less if the company paid him by a certain date, figuring it was better to get most of the money than none at all. He had similar experiences as Walling when trying to get paid, hearing one excuse after another.

Cassidy, a SQL Server specialist, has been in contact with attorneys, and while he hasn’t filed a lawsuit yet, he said he’s “certainly” looking into the possibility. While it hasn’t affected his bottom line significantly, it has made him more leery of working for companies he hasn’t had a previous relationship with. “I’m more in contact with training facilities I’m familiar with and have done work with in the past than ones I haven’t done work with,” he said.

Harlan Mott wasn’t familiar with GTS either when he taught a week-long class on XML programming last June. When GTS failed to pay him the $1,500 he was owed within the 30-day timeframe, he tried, like the others, to get the company to honor his contract. And, like the others, got only frustration in return.

“I called GTS around 15 times; that’s when I realized they weren’t going to pay me,” Mott said. When payment was a month overdue, “I called a lawyer and had the lawyer call them. My lawyer called their office, and they said they’d get payment out to me right away. GTS called my wife and said they couldn’t find my invoice and to send it again. We re-sent the invoice.” But still, nothing. Since then, Mott has reported GTS to the Florida Better Business Bureau, and contacted Microsoft. He reported that Microsoft told him there’s nothing they can do unless GTS violates its CTEC agreement.

Mott also wonders what will happen to the MCTs currently training for GTS. The CTEC, he believes, has “Just decided ‘we can get away with this.’ I’m sure there’s someone teaching now for them that isn’t going to get paid.”

Bob O’Neill puts his feelings toward GTS succinctly. “I’ve been betrayed.” He said he’s owed $5,250 for two weeks of work in late June in the Miami office, and is angriest that the company won’t even talk to him.

“Since doing the classes for them, I can’t get anyone other than the receptionist to speak with me,” O’Neill said. “Everyone else I need to speak with including the accounts payable person, the general manager and even the owner won’t even speak with me. This is after several attempts both by phone as well as e-mail. I’ve sent and left messages but I’m ignored. I even contacted the law firm that represents GTS. The lawyer did speak with me and he says he relayed my message but still no action. The response to my request to be paid is, ‘We are not willing to offer a settlement at this time.’ I’m not sure what this means, but all I want them to do is what they agreed to do.”

It was the same for Wes Knight, who taught two weeks’ worth of Cisco classes for GTS, one in Florida and one in Atlanta, Georgia. He said he’s owed $6,500 for his classes, and has filed a complaint with the Florida Better Business Bureau. He couldn’t get hold of GTS either, despite multiple attempts.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization Review.

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