Investigating Shaw Academy: The hidden dark side

If you have clicked this article, you’re probably wondering, Is Shaw Academy a legit company? or Is it a SCAM? You probably clicked here or searched here because you heard about it and you just don’t know, if you can trust it or if it’s worth your time. 

I’m here to help save you a lot of time and money by letting you know that Shaw Academy IS NOT WORTH YOUR TIME. It is actually the opposite of worth your time. It will steal away time from you and also your money without giving much in return.

So let’s go ahead and look at what people are saying about Shaw Academy and is it really a scam or some anger that people are showing by writing all the negative reviews about it.

It is not a true scam

I really hate it when there’s a review out there saying like this company is a scam, it’s terrible. They’re not even upfront honest reviews of the company. If you’re reading any review about Shaw Academy, you might think, well is that just a disgruntled person who had a bad experience.

Your experience probably won’t be that bad if, you’re a smart person or an aware consumer who keeps track of all the things.

The Subscription Hassle

Like many online learning sites, Shaw Academy also offers a free trial, and a lot of times with companies that offer a free trial, someone signs up and then they forget to cancel and they get mad. In the end, don’t know what to do, they blame the company.

So, you’re probably thinking maybe all those negative reviews about Shaw Academy like it being a scam, are just from those angry people who forgot to cancel the trial. People forgot to cancel the trial, hence, they get angry. They are also angry about the fact that they did cancel the trial and they still got charged. Sometimes, people also got charged after canceling or they got charged just for no reason at all just because they dared to use Shaw Academy.

Let’s look at some PROS of Shaw Academy

So before we get to that craziness, I just want to tell you some pros about Shaw Academy. Shaw Academy is in fact an online learning site. It’s not like a direct scam that’s taking your information and then you find lo and behold saying the site doesn’t exist. The site does exist. There are actual courses. But they kind of misleading in the sense that, they show you the courses which are live but they aren’t really with live instructors.

Good range of courses offered with legit information

Shaw Academy is a real online learning website that provides courses on different varieties including creativity, photography, graphic design, and businessfocused. There’s even a health and fitness course. I can’t say that the professors teaching all these courses have got a degree and have any experience in their respective fields but the information they provide is legit and solid. It is actually very helpful.

You can schedule/reschedule your class

You can schedule your class and it reminds you when your class is. It encourages you to go to class. So there’s a lot of accountability which is really neat. And that’s where the plus sides end.

Here’s the CONS

The con is that the class says it’s live but it’s not actually live because the instructor is not there live. There might be other students who are live but that’s almost never the case.

Dull, Boring, and Lifeless classes

The classes are a little bit boring and by the end of the class, it just feels like your brain is gonna explode from boredom. The students really have a very hard time engaging with it. 

It’s just like you’re watching a recorded video. By live, they just mean that you can’t rewind it. It makes it very frustrating because not only is the class extremely dull, boring, and slow but also when you miss what an instructor says, even though they’re going so slow and you want to rewind, but you can’t and then you just have to move on and hope that you get the information later or wait until the course is done. You are allowed to re-watch it later and watch a recording of it.

Many students mostly, didn’t show up for the live courses, they just watch the recording because of the fact that they can rewind and pause it, which makes it much better.

Difficult to understand instructor’s accent

It ends up taking two hours for a one-hour course because that’s how many times you have to pause it. It is also because many things said in the videos are confusing or just hard to understand the instructor’s accent.

Every teacher has an accent that is not American in many cases. So, if you are from the UK, it might fit right in your wheelhouse but if you are an American with an American accent, some of the teachers are hard to understand but not too impossible. This is not really a con, it’s just like neutral. But keep in mind, you might have to pause a lot and it makes it difficult with the live recording. You have to go back and re-watch it.

Making way to the SCAM

The majority of the students, that I reviewed about Shaw Academy, don’t plan to renew their subscription after the free trial ended. They weren’t planning or want to keep it going. And that is where the nightmare began and this is why now I believe Shaw Academy is a SCAM.

The Game of Toolkits

After watching some of the classes and being like this is kind of boring, you’ll notice a thing called toolkit. This is something that Shaw Academy posts on their site. There are multiple pop-ups and emails about it. Shaw Academy will send you notifications to your cell phone about it. They call you and try to sell it. You just get bombarded with things about this toolkit. There are about 10 to 22 and 30 buttons on your dashboard where your classes are, where if you click that button, you will end up purchase a toolkit automatically. You can purchase this thing for unlimited times because they have multiple ones per course. It says in really tiny letters, one-click purchase. You never have to authorize that one-click purchase, you just click it, and then it’s purchased.

How you can be TRAPPED

Many were the case when students who don’t have any intentions to click but accidentally clicked it because it’s just right in front and center of the screen. It is very easy to click, and they put it right next to the “start your course button”. If you clicked it, Shaw Academy charges you something like $40-$50.

What if you email them

Many students emailed the company right away saying, “We didn’t want to purchase any toolkit. It was close to the button, and it is clicked by accident”. In spite of that, Shaw Academy was like, “Oh no, sorry about that but we can’t refund you for the toolkit”. So you’re just gonna have to keep it.

If you go into their FAQ section, you’ll see that this is something that happens a lot on their site because they have an FAQ called, “what happens if I get double charged“. If that’s when your FAQ is, then maybe you should fix that issue.

There is also a case when people emailed the company, letting them know that they were double charged. The company responded by saying, “We can’t refund it”. It is because once you had purchased it then you can’t disable it. The company also tricked by said that, “For your troubles, We can give you a whole year for free.” Instead of just the four-week trial, many people let it go because they think that even if the classes are boring, they have a whole year to get it done. They can probably suffer through one class a week and at least learn something even if it’s boring to do.

The Salesman TRICK

Nevertheless, the story does not end here. Many students also received phone calls from an unknown number. It was someone from the Shaw Academy Sales team or a career counselor with a very heavy accent. It was not like the professor’s accent which was understandable but like an accent, one can barely understand. However, it’s important when you’re doing sales, your accent should understand properly a customer or what the person is telling you.

With that being said, the person over the phone claims that he was the student advisor and wanted to see how the classes are going. That man also said that he will get the money refund and all the double charges by giving some extra toolkits for all the modules of the course. And less than two seconds later, it is known that people got charged on their PayPal from Shaw Academy for $99.95. Of course, they emailed Shaw Academy again and they sent back an email saying that you had agreed on the phone to a quarterly plan. Although the salesman or the person over the phone had an accent hard to understand, he did not use the words “quarterly” or “plan” or “upgrade” or “purchase”. He didn’t even hit at a possible agreement.

BEWARE: They might say something like trying to trick you into a purchase like “hey would you like more tool kits? Cool, I can help you, I can add those to your account”

Sometimes salespeople are tricky and they try to make something sound like it’s not going to cost anything. But, a true salesperson from a company that is legitimate will always make it clear that you are in fact purchasing something before they get off the phone. It is illegal to charge anybody for something they didn’t buy that is what Shaw Academy did to many. They did not get any permission or use any sort of phrasing in English or any other language that means you are committing to a purchase and then they charge you a lot. And if you email them again, they used to say, “oh no, we can’t refund it” Even if you email them ten times, they will be saying, “We can’t refund you”.

Shaw Academy vs Udemy, Coursera, or Skillshare

For comparison, you can take classes on Coursera, Skillshare, and Udemy. You’ll never found those classes boring at all. They’re made usually by individual instructors who put a lot of time and care into the cinematography and the creation of their courses. All the courses are very engaging and fun but that is not the case with the Shaw Academy. Shaw Academy classes aren’t very engaging.

My Opinions…

Since I have done research on this company and found so many bad reviews on different sites with so many different stories, many just like mentioned in this article or worse, it’s hard to believe that they are even still in business. They’ve been in business since at least 2017 and then they’ve been running kind of scams like this.

My only thought is maybe because they’re in a different country. They’re in Dublin actually. But, I know Ireland is a great country that has laws and things to protect consumers but maybe since a lot of their consumers are in different countries, it makes it harder to protect them. The other reason might be because it’s online.

I don’t know but all I can say is, make sure you avoid this company and if you did get any money taken from them or you signed up for anything, make sure you call them to cancel. You have to go into your account and click on cancel and keep clicking through until you get the number and then call them. You’ll have to press buttons twice and thrice and sometimes even 15 times before you finally get through to the where it lets you cancel.

Make sure you do that or they will keep charging you for just random things that they claim you purchased. Also please report them to Consumer Forum or any other kind of agency/council that you have in your country or your area.

Reddit page: ShawAcademy_Scam

Now, I did see this is very helpful. There is a Reddit page and it’s called Shaw Academy_Scam. Go to Reddit and search this Reddit page. There are so many useful resources on Petitions, you can sign, Companies you can report fraud – and scam – and even tricks on how you can get a refund from this company. You also get all the names of the people who work for this company, who are making these types of decisions. So, please check that out to protect yourself and protect others.

If you haven’t decided to purchase yet, do yourself a favor, go to Skillshare or Coursera or Udemy instead, so you can actually learn something. You won’t be bored and you won’t have to worry about all your money being stolen.

I hope, you now get your vision right and think twice or even thrice before making any decision on whether to join Shaw Academy or not. I also want to say that all the negative things mentioned in this review is only written by analyzing and reviewing actual or real reviews from students who have been trapped and have some sort of dissatisfaction about this company. I by no means to harm the reputation of the company by writing things which are against their status or is negative. The reviews and recommendations you see on JustEnrolled is cent percent true and unbiased always. Keep learning, keep exploring!