Washington Attorney General sues tech sales bootcamp, says jobs guarantee false

June 17, 2022

The Washington state Attorney General sued a South Carolina-based “tech sales bootcamp” this month, claiming it duped people into paying $30,000 for an online course. The company, Prehired, had marketing materials that claimed, “We guarantee you land a $60k+ job offer (from a tech company YOU choose).”

Prehired’s job guarantee is false and illegal, the Attorney General’s office alleges. In addition, when students didn’t pay on debt from the program, the company used aggressive collection techniques such as lawsuits and forced arbitration to get the money.

The suit was filed in King County Superior Court against Prehired and owner Joshua Jordan. It claims the company violated Washington’s Consumer Protection Act by engaging in deceptive advertising, as well as deceptive collection practices. It also claimed the company operated in Washington without a license, making its contracts in Washington state invalid.

“Washingtonians forked over tens of thousands of dollars in hard-earned money based on Joshua Jordan’s lies,” Ferguson said. “I intend to make sure Jordan and his company do not prey on anyone else. I will fight to see his victims paid back and help get them out from under these illegal contracts.”

At least 39 Washington residents entered into contracts with Prehired and they could collectively owe more than $1 million, the Attorney General’s office said.

SIA reached out to Prehired for comment.

Prehired has been operating online since May 2017 and advertises that it prepared individuals for a career in software sales, according to the Attorney General’s office. Its online program lasts six to 12 weeks and it provides access to internal mentors to help people find employment.

However, the Attorney General’s office said the program consists of 15 hours of videos Jordan made himself to teach people how to being a “six-figure career.” Jordan claimed his program prepared students — including those with a high school diploma or GED and no sales experience — for jobs with a starting salary of at least $69,000. The Attorney General’s office says the salary is reflective of industry standards for software sales but not reflective of Prehired’s ability to get a larger salary for anyone in the program.

Prehired claimed 90% of its students find employment, but it does not disclose that students must apply to 20 or more jobs per week until they find employment or risk violating the job guarantee, according to the Attorney General’s office. The 90% also does not include students who left the program early or who were removed from the program by the company. Prehired students also had to follow a “code of conduct” that included not disparaging the company and returning communications within two business days — failure to follow these meant Prehired could remove a student from the program and still charge them full price.

Prospective students could pay between $5,000 and $15,000 upfront for the training and membership or sign an “income sharing agreement” to pay up to $30,000 over eight years once they have a job, according to the Attorney General’s office. Prehired’s contracts required student who leave the course after a week of training to still pay up to $30,000 regardless of where they find employment. The Attorney General’s office also said the company’s restrictive cancellation policy violates Washington law.

The income-sharing agreement called for student to pay at a rate of 12.5% of their gross income, the Attorney General’s office asserted the agreements amount to student loans but with rates that exceed any legitimate student loans.

Read More: Washington Attorney General sues tech sales bootcamp, says jobs guarantee false

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