What is Mathemagic Computer Tutor, and how they are ripping off Single Mothers
April 7, 2010
Mathemagic Computer Tutor is at it again, trying to find a fiesty red female, who looks like she walked out of a pornographic movie, with the following sales pitch. I’ve included it below, but just a few comments:
– She looks nothing like a teacher, just ANOTHER sales agent, the same people we know (and hate) who ripped off little children just as pedophiles touch little kids inappropriately. It’s called CHILD ABUSE when you’re abusing children’s finances
– They are trying to get testimonies from people by selling it at $390, didn’t the web site say it’s now costing $650? Which one is it?
– Why the hell are they still called Australian Institute of Maths? I thought this fraud owned by Gary Rosenberg was shut down??? Now renamed Maths Worldwide? So mathemagic is the same thing as Maths Worldwide then? What’s happening?
– Why aren’t any names given? If you have a consultant come in your house, ask their name and post it on here. THEIR FULL NAME.
– Even at $400… they’re still charging $31 a week for 12 weeks – what a RIPP OFF. stil trying to enter parents into contracts. ripping people – they’re at it again.
Anyway, here is the copy of the advert:
“Hi, and thanks for your time. We at Maths Worldwide are dedicated educationalists who have a genuine interest in improving the standard of childrens edcuation here in the greatest country of the world, Australia. We believe that education is power, and power creates opportunity. We want all our chidlren to make the most of their opportunity. During the past year or so, you allowed an education consultant representing the Australian Institute of Maths [You’re shitting me, they’re still using that name???] enter your home, to demonstrate the mathemagic computer tutor. During the time spent in your house, your children would have conducted a diagnostic test, to see how they were going with udnerstanding maths. Remember that? It was almost a reflection of your children’s report card. Well just as a refresher, why do some chidlren perform very poorly at school? And excel once they go to work? Just because they are not doing well at school doesn’t mean they won’t do well in their chosen career. What will affect yoru chidlren’s willingness to want to achieve is confidence. Maths and its concepts are used every day in life, regardless of what or who you are. Maths is about concepts built on top of each other. Understanding them and practising them. Remmeber the brick wall? You need to understand fractions before you can udnerstand the concepts of decimals, and you need to understand decimals before you can udnerstand percentages, and so on. Not understanding and trying to move to the next concept is almost impossible. This is why your chidlren fall behind at school. It’s called the matheial effect. Teachers aren’t to blame. They do their very best and teach to the very middle of the class, and how long has it been since you’ve done maths? Doing homework is great if you undrstand the concept, but if you don’t, it would be like practising a bad golf swing. You can hit as many balls as you like, but you’re not going to get better unless if you’re shown how to grip the club, position the club, and swing it smoothly. Having our program at your home is like having your very own coach. It is not just a revision program. it takes your child back to the last concept they understood, and work forward, teaching your child a better and complete understanding before moving forward to the next concept. effectively, filling in the missing bricks. the same is said for bright students who may have grasped the concepts very early in class, but need more stimulation and challenge. The program allows them to move forward at a faster pace than their class, increasing in difficulty each time. When the institute consultant visited your home, one of the main reasons why a number of our families decided not to proceed with enrolment is the cost of the program at $6,500 was out of your budget. We undrstand and accept that. However, rather than maths worldwide spending thousands on advertiisng, we would prefer to spend that on you. We are very strong believers in the program, and how it changes lives, their confidence in life, and life in general. 50,000 children using the program agree. Our offer to you is to become one of our testiominal families, offering you the program reinstalled, using and benefiting. We want you to write an honest appraisal of the program, good bad or indifferent. and we want you to allow you to use some of your testimonial in some of our future marketing and surveys. We will reduce the csot of the program by 80% if you agree to the above. It’s just $390 plus $31 per week if you’re satisfied for 12 weeks, no interest, no hassles. Then the program is yours forever. Now that is an offer every family can afford. Just call our office to take part in this special offer. It is only avialable to the first 100 families and friends. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone +61 (02) 9988 0900, www.mathsworldwide.com.au
Sixteen reasons not to buy from Maths Worldwide (Mathemagic):
1) Misleading claims, Maths Worldwide is claiming they have sold 35,000 copies to date – but this is likely only what the bankrupt (Mathemagic Computer Tutor Pty Ltd and EDU Group Corporate Pty Ltd) did. Another web site (now removed from the Internet) stated they had 600,000 students, another 750,000 students. Employees were asked to say they had around 800,000 students worldwide, and 88,000 families in Australia (Gorey.com.au). They claim to have 7 offices in Victoria, 6 in Queensland, 2 in Northern Territory, 4 in South Australia, 3 in Western Australia, 2 in Tasmania, but they were just in the process of setting the office up (Gorey.com.au). If the product is so popular, why has it a ranking of 4.1m as supposed to a ranking of 6000 for MathsOnline.com.au
2) No names of managers provided, why?
3) Misuse of market power, acquiring a bankrupt’s previous customers, only to charge them $30 for product activation (TPA s46). Assuming Maths Worldwide sold 800,000 copies of debtors worth $5,995, this is $4.796bn in annual sales revenue. This would tower the $60m development cost (Gorey.com.au); and is indicia that the Mathemagic liquidation may not have been done in good faith.
4) Inflating price of goods, targetting vulnerable customers with hefty tags, who are just trying to care for their kids (TPA s51AA), as reported on Channel 9. The prices don’t justify their difference from tested and reliable products from OfficeWorks which are only priced from $59 to $129.
5) Misleading and deceptive conduct, in relation to its duplicated menus; and its “tutors” who cannot be quizzed, as recommended by the NSW Teacher’s Federation (TPA s52). Furthermore, Mathemagic has been accused of its non-compliance with the misleading fee structure; no-lemons policy.
6) False description, since the software does not match description, often hyped up during the one-hour sales pitch (TPA s74C). By stating that the program is a “tutor” program, it also upholds that the firm is a professional educational organization, but yet it is not kept accountable by the peak educational institution of Australia. This is thus a false descriptor.
7) Un-merchantable quality, since the software is not of a quality suitable to market, and should be banned permanently (TPA s74D). They claim to help children with mathematics, but one parent stated that it left their child “stranded and again failing maths”.
8) Child protection concerns, because tutors and salespeople hired by the Company do not need to be screened for child protection by the Police, as do all other professionals dealing with children. This is a very concerning stance, by a “professional” firm.
9) Not placing the interest of children first, which is an obstruction against the International Law set out by the United Nations. Courts of countries who do not find in favor of children, may be taken to the ICJ (International Court of Justice).
10) Intentional liquidation, by the use of the corporate shell rule, which stipulates that a parent company is not liable for the damages caused by a child company if it was not aware. As a result, Maths Worldwide creates small subsidiaries, all of which it are “unaware”, but there is a repeating pattern of bankruptcy and respawning. If they received $4.8bn in sales revenue, how can they bankrupt – particularly when they are still live in New Zealand, Singapore, and United Kingdom?
11) No guarantee, the new Maths Worldwide web site Terms & Conditions also states (an attempt) to exclude to implied terms of the Trade Practices Act, and liability in general.
Now what about Mathemagic (which is now owned by Maths Worldwide)? (And importantly, have they changed ways from their old ways?)
1) Abusing employees, employees who were trained without payment by the company (TPA s53B, and now Work Choices Act)
2) Coercing employees, by requesting their employees state they inflate sales by at least 10,000 than they actually were. (TPA s59)
3) Harassment, for harassing existing customers over the phone; and coercing new customers into contracts (TPA s60)
4) No warrantee, for not upholding express warantees, having shrunk into liquidation, voiding contracts (TPA s74G)
5) Unsuitable goods, since the software is not suitable for the purpose of tutoring children, and is unrefundable (TPA s74B) In Australia, educational “tutor” programs should be registered with the Australian Tutoring Association, Maths Worldwide is not.
This is a television report (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xp9ZnX7rJM)
They’re sold as a sure fire way to give your kids the edge at school, but many parents are now discovering some tutoring programs [Mathemagic, now known as Maths Worldwide] can be a fast track to financial ruin, rather than a passport to academic success.
“Fucked off (with Mats Worldwide)”
“They’re [Mathemagic are] low lives, they’re manipulative, they’re money hungry, they’re abusive on the telephone”
“How did it make you feel about maths,” the reporter asks.
“[Maths Worldwide] Made me feel – I hated it,” the kid replies.
Kim Hyde regrets the day they let their high pressured sales person through the front door.
“It’s just that we try to do the best for our kids, to get them a good start in their lives in maths, and where they’re struggling with – and look, we’ve just got paperwork [from Gary Rosenberg, CEO of Mathemagic].”
She and her husband Rob [Hyde] believe the computer software product pedalled by the Australian Institute of Mathematics (now known as Maths Worldwide), would provide solutions for their three sons.
“They got them to do a maths sheet, a test, and of course, the scores were low. And then they showed us the program.”
Within minutes, they’d signed up for the overly priced mathemagic computer tutor program, and an even bigger head ache. The Hyde’s were struggling with finance, but were told, “no problem”, the sales person got to associated company Lombard Finance, who could provide a loan at a “staggering” itnerest rate of 24% interest rate over 48 months, totally more than $8,500K!
The Victorian Consumer Action Law Centre stated Maths Worldwide was a “top complaints” product, concerned about the price of the software that they can’t make the payments, and that support that’s offered, and the selling techniques. Caroline Bond from this Center said those complaints more often than not come from low income families who don’t have the money to support their claims.
“If they won’t tell you the price up front, if they won’t advise you to see your child’s teacher, if they won’t tell you teh commission they are earning, send them away!”
$117 a month on something that doesn’t work, just gets my kids frustrated – I don’t know how we’re going to manage. My kids are just like ripping up money.
Nathan, Justin and Anthony says the program just doesn’t work.
“I’ve felt like melting it, blowing up the CD, smashing the computer, smashing up the harddrive, I was frustrated!”
“I’ve sat up at night thinking, I’m just going to lose everything,” the mother says.
“They’re gettign away with it – they can’t!”
Desperate, the mother tried to sever her contract, but was unsuccessful, so she stopped her repayments.
And then they get the threatening phone call that if they don’t pay at such a time by a time, they could take their house, we will make it hard for gas, power, and electricity. “What did you do?”
They threatened to take her home.
Elise Mooney reports that this company is preying on vulnerable families. Their oldest son has Asburges autism, and he’s strugglin with the program.
Believe it or not, the family next door was also shelling out for the program. Their daughter has intellecctual learning problems, shelling out thousands for the program, and has the same issues.
“Not really comfortable with it”
“Has it helped you with your maths at all?,” the reporter asks.
“No,” she simply responds.
Eleven year old Brooke is going backwards with her maths, whislt her mom is struggling to balance the weekly budgets.
“The money is now being wasted where it could have been of benefit to Brooke”, her mother says.
It makes her mom felt “like I’ve let Brooke down”.
Looking for answers, the Current Affair approached the Australian Institute of Maths, who’ve said “we feel like we’ve put everything we feel like we want to make comment on , in writing” from some blonde bimbo.
They say “our sales methods are resasonable”. You kidding me? $5K for a rip off program.
“Please don’t suck any one else in who is trying to do the best for their kids,” the mother ends up saying.
~ Alise Mooney (from Channel 9 ACA) reporting.
What you can do:
1) We will be gathering the 800,000 students, so we can launch a lawsuit against the company, to have it received under “public interest”, coerced by the courts to act in the interest of mom and dad investors. We will be taking both civil and criminal action against the past and current Directors, where possible. You can sign any of these petition: PetitionOnline or PetitionSpot to join us in this action, if you have legal standing.
2) Under a court order, we will try to ensure that all 800,000 customers are refunded the difference between the ridiculous price ($5995) and a more reasonable price ($600). This amounts to a lump sum payment of $4.3bn that we are asking for. Each family will be entitled to $5,395 of this trust fund.
3) We will be getting involved with the ACCC (1300 302 502, 02 6243 1305, or email@example.com), ASIC (1300 300 630), the Australian Federal Police, and the Australian Federal Court. You can yourself fax these institutions to show how seriously we are taking this action. Although we already have our own lawyers, you can contact your MP to ensure the Australian law is flexible enough to change as we need to win this case. Lobby for an educational ombudsman, which now exists for lots of other industries already. The Western Australia Consumer Protection Agency has been particularly effective in fining directors; try calling 1300 30 40 54, or firstname.lastname@example.org to get hold of them.
4) Contact Maths Worldwide directly and fax in a complaint. You can contact them on 02 9988 0900 (voice), 02 9988 0911 (fax), or 1800 280 800 (free call). You can also visit them personally and protest outside of their building, at Suite 101, 1A Eden Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060. Their email address is email@example.com;; this is the email address existing customers send emails to.
5) A Current Affair (Channel Nine) stated that 180 schools in Australia have Mathemagic. It should be banned from our schools by the Attorney-General in each state.
6) Trying to connect with other victims of the “Maths Story” and “English Story”, which has been confirmed to exist in South Africa as well as Australia. If there exists “subsidiaries” of this bankrupt in the United States and the United Kingdom, we want to hear about it. Help us spread the word, blog about it, put it on your social networking status, and help feature this on the news.
Because the Company has not provided any names (very secretive), we cannot ascertain specific fault yet. It is assumed the Company has done this intentionally, to prevent managers from being “named and shamed” (a classic public relations move).
1) Gary Rosenberg, the chief executive of the Edu Group Corporation, and the managing director of the Australian Institute of Mathematics.
2) Grant Thornton, specifically, the receivers (November 26, 2008), Paul Billingham (firstname.lastname@example.org or +61 2 8297 2400) et al. This Company has threatened us with legal action, David Newman from Maddocks. We need you to help us do an audit, to get more information about the Math’s Worldwide accounts, by complaining to these professional organizations: Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, and the Insolvency Practitioners Association of Australia. The Institutions should provide that Grant Thornton put children first, when dealing with liquidations. If not, please lobby them to do so, and contact these following family lobbies: American Family Association, Australian Family Association, Family First, Make A Stand, UNICEF, Festival of Light Australia, and Save the Children.
3) BOS International (Australia) Limited, who appointed Grant Thornton as the receivers and managers, pursuant to a security granted over the assets of the Companies to secure borrowings, possibly under vicarious liability.
4) Manfred Holzman of the firm Holzman & Associates, who was appointed liquidator of the Companies, possibly under vicarious liability. Liquidators have a standard of care required by their professional organizations. If they do not meet the duty of care, they can be claimed under a tort of negligence. This could include handing a Bankrupt’s assets over to unfit Directors, and not taking into due consideration, the “best interests of the child” (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child).
3) Glenhutt Holding Pty Ltd, based in 2065 (New South Wales), has been active since July 1, 2003. There is a possibility this corporate head was started for the pure purpose of avoiding liability to Mathemagic. This is illegal if this is the case. The ABN of this firm is 81 105 679 641, and the ACN is 105679641. This is the registrar of the MathsWorldwide.com.au domain name.
4) NSW All Schools Track & Field Championships, who are cobranded in a five year naming rights sponsorship, ending August 2009, with the Australian Institute of Mathematics. Doing so, may have been misleading for NSW customers, thus they were negligent in their partnerships.
5) TPP Internet, the firm that hosted the Australian Institute of Mathematics and Literacy Pty Ltd (ABN 48080351597). The webmaster is under Raj Singh. The Company is also linked to twoplums.com.au. By keeping the domain mathemagic.com.au, and linking to Maths Worldwide, the new company may be misleading customers Maths Worldwide has purchased Mathemagic (if it hasn’t yet).
6) South African Government organizations, which seems to be where the program originates from (based on the accent of the voice prompt on the program). The South African Government should ensure software which bankrupts shouldn’t be able to be exported into Australia.
7) CAMI (Computer Aided Mathematical Instruction) Educational, Advanced Learning Power, Maths and Excellence Learning Pty Ltd, who seem to be based only through the Internet, and are selling the product. Selling a bankrupted product means you can be vicariously liable for damages suffered, if you reasonably knew the company would go bust. The web sites on the Internet are scattered, but include camiweb.com; cami.com.au; aiewa.com.au; orangeeducation.com.au; learnmaths.com.au; future4kids.com.au. The best is probably the Indian CAMI, accesible at speedmaths.in. Web hosts, web designers, and web masters can be legally liable for content on these web sites.
8) Lombard Financing, the Company that charges a 19% annual interest rate, selling the total product over 4 years for $7940.
9) Mathemagic Computer Tutor Ltd (Company No 05642193), based in The Lodge, Darenth Hill, DARTFORTH (DA2 7QR). This Company was administered on March 2, 1997 – only later to reappear in Australia.
10) Laton.com.au, which is profiling the Mathemagic Computer Tutor web site. They also detail a contact address, Level 2 79 Hay Street, Subiaco (6008) in Western Australia. The phone number listed is 08 9489 7600.
11) Damian Bock and Damian Frearson, the director of Mathemagic Computer Tutor AIMWA Pty Ltd, who were fined $1,200 in a Perth Magistrates Court for failing to give mandatory customer information about their rights to cancel door-to-door trading contracts.
12) Renaka Senaratna of Croydon in Victoria, was fined $1,000 in the Joondalup Magistrates Court for not ensuring his company provided mandatory customer information about their rights to cancel door-to-door trading contracts.
Please note that Back To The Future Education Australia Pty Ltd is not associated with Maths Worldwide (Mathemagic). Anthony Tannous stated that the Australian Institute of Mathematics Pty Ltd were “unethical scammers” who they took legal action against in 2003. In court, he claimed that Mathemagic rode on the good reputation, affordability, and honest business practices of Back to the Future Education Australia Pty Ltd. We understand they are family owned, Christian, 100% Australian, hire professional teachers, are Government endorsed. We want to make it clear to our constituents that mathspower.com.au and Back to the Future Eductaion Australia Pty Ltd is not the target of this class action.
* The $4.3bn figure is calculated, by multiplying the 800,000 students worldwide, by $5,995; subsequently deducting the figure by 800,000 students worldwide, multiplied by $650 (current cost). The software sold cost may be greater in some jurisdictions/transactions, and the number of students doesn’t necessarily represent the number of copies sold. We will need more forensic evidence.
^^ please note the above is just my comment, and may not represent the fact.