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The Great Train[ing] Robbery


felix
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I have to start with a warning to others, to avoid the holes I fell down. I refrain from naming the training establishment in question, as I have no wish to create potential legal problems for this site.

I paid my £1195 earlier this year on the promise of a full paramotor training course, including the provision of equipment, wing and motor, as would be the least expected at that price. This was arranged by the UK importer of a major paramotor brand who will remain nameless, via his buddy with the school.

The derision I was greeted with on enquiring when I could try the paramotor I was to use was extreme. The "instructor" howled with laughter: he felt that to provide a paramotor to a student on a paramotor course was ridiculous, impossible, etc etc. Odd that exactly that package is on offer from others. And training is obviously impossible without. And had been promised from the start.

If I wanted to stump up another £5k they could do me one. I said I had been done enough, thanks. Like a kipper.

OK, I'll have a refund then, their online details include a money back "guarantee". You can guess the standard response to that question: he'd had it away, furthermore do not try retrieving it from the company it was paid to, that account had been hoovered clean and had at least five routes for spiriting money away in to other accounts. Even taking him to court proved fruitless.

It was sounding like he had done this before.

The point? Trust no-one. Pay nothing in advance. There is no reason to. At least one school provides training paid for by the day, clear cut and above board, no training no pay. The majority state what equipment is provided up front, but I would recommend asking to actually SEE it before parting with any moolah.

With the recession biting, it is unfortunate that what I hope is a minority of our movement has decided that crooked dealing and barefaced theft is more profitable than building a customer base. The power of such people to destroy our sport is clear. It is a pity that such experiences then have the potential to poison our approach to others. Except I won't let it.

Personally, I recommend the self training route derided by others. That is the way I am going. Any injuries I receive will be minor compared to my mauling this year.

As to my "friends" at the training establishment that used me? "Leave them to heaven" to paraphrase the bard. Karma has, I have noticed, an interesting habit of rearing up and biting people in the arse when they least expect it. And karma has a lot of teeth. And they seem an awful lot sharper at 2000 feet agl.

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Can we at least confirm that this was NOT a PMC instructor please, if so I need to know ASAP?

Ref Self training... how far did you get in your training? how much is left to do..?

SW :D

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I am gutted for you, nothing worse than watching your hard earned cash getting spunked away by someone else.

I am a self taught paraglide and paramotor - but to be honest I would not reccomend it, much better to have fun with a good instructor and ensure you feel at ease everytime you go up.

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It's a little unclear quite what you mean. Do you mean that you expected provision of a paramotor and wing just for learning or to keep?

A little investigation would have indicated that the price to keep a whole set-up is much more than that. If they had offered this, then it would not have been the quality of kit that I would have liked to trust my life to.

Really, you are looking at 5-6k plus for new kit, so £1195 for (decent) kit plus training would be unbelievable.

Either which way, I would not train myself any more than I would recommend my family to take a car on the motorway and learn as they go.

Paul.

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Hi Felix

I'm sorry that you have been ripped off, I can only say that had you come to Simon or myself you

would have your full training course on our kit (on a you break it you mend it agreement) and it

would be a fair bit cheaper than what you have already paid and lost.

Please let us know how far in to your training you are (if any) and we will see if there is anything we can do to help you.

There are people in all walks of life that take pleasure in ripping people off, I can assure you we are not any of those people.

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Sorry to hear your story Felix. Hopefully this has not clouded your view of the sport and that you continue your training one way or another.

I do however agree with other comments here that good professional tuition is a must. Have a chat to Simon and I'm sure he'll sort you out or know someone who can help you.

Good luck!!

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Felix,

What a ghastly story, I am sure Simon's response was rhetorical. If I look across the faces of ALL of the PMC instructors we have trained I can tell you without further consideration that none of them would have treated a customer and fellow paramotorist that way. :(

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At the risk of sounding slightly unsympathetic (honestly -I really am) The photo that was showing to the right of this thread when I read it was -

"End of bucks

Date: 31/03/08"

It certainly sounds like it was. Having been involved with this forum and seeing the professionalism of those involved in running it, I'm sure it wouldn't be a PMC instructor. However, what goes around...And it seems the PPG world is very small.

All the best with getting another instructor,

Tj

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I am most grateful for the supportive messages, thank you all. In response to the matter of what I expected for my money, no I did not expect to be given a "free" paramotor and wing with training included for next to nothing. Simple arithmetic soon excludes that possibility.

I only expected what I was promised: the [loan] of the equipment needed to achive the result I had paid for, for the period of training, with the expectation of paying for anything I busted on the way. The charge made seemed concomitant with this.

Activity of this type seems to have such currency that the legal eagles have given it a name: "Bait & Snatch". (An attractive item or service [bait] is advertised, but is yanked [snatch] smartly out of the way after payment has been cleared, to be replaced with something inferior or nothing at all for the customer to receive.)

How to avoid this trap? No guaranteed method, but personal recommendation obviously has value, and getting it all in writing at least precludes any differences of opinion. I still believe that there is no reason to pay for more than a day in advance, which at least would limit losses.

As has rightly been suggested, no PMC people were involved, all I know of Simon W et al indicates them to be of the HIGHEST calibre in honesty and morality as well as ability. I have also had dealings to some extent with Paul Williams at Paraventure in Wales, and Chris Dawes at Airways Airsports, also Clive Bunce and believe them to be similarly trustworthy.

I appreciate the concerns on the self training front, I will consider my options as they arise. I have bought a wing and harness with which I am becoming quite proficient at kiting - when I have that cracked I might seek help to proceed, but I currently feel I would prefer to only have myself to blame for the results.

Now, I can only afford a motor OR training, not both.

I do not want to start a witch hunt, another reason for not naming and shaming the people involved. I hope that frauds like this are ultimately self limiting as word gets around: the perpetrators have to either change their ways voluntarily, get forced to do so by their customers or are shunned. But word MUST first get around, a great value of this forum.

My only wish is to help others from falling down the same embarassing hole that I did. If I achieve that I would be happy.

Felix

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  • 2 months later...

Felix,

I'd like to know who the importer was so that I can avoid buying the paramotor brand. I'd also like to know who the training school was so that I avoid going there for any additional training.

Perhaps you can e-mail me? I don't see how it can cause any legal problems since it will be a private e-mail at my request.

Thanks.

Dave

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As has rightly been suggested, no PMC people were involved, all I know of Simon W et al indicates them to be of the HIGHEST calibre in honesty and morality as well as ability. I have also had dealings to some extent with Paul Williams at Paraventure in Wales, and Chris Dawes at Airways Airsports, also Clive Bunce and believe them to be similarly trustworthy.

Felix

Hi Felix - you clearly haven't see Pete and Si after Dark.

with Pete the fire(works party) burns so bright, its daylight. Simon never stops with his perpetual Gibber Jabber. :shock:

Felix, I hope it all works out for you, it is a truly amazing sport. The people I have met through this particular forum, all seems self content, happy, individuals.

they just want to fly.

cheers Simon

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Felix,

this is an unbelieving incident. I never believe this , because I even not expense little two my PM training and I can get lots of help from this site even the equipment like glider, the all people to whom I know they are good , kind and very helpful to people who want to fly and learn something And they help. Today I am a solo PM pilot because of this PMC. They pay my 80 percent of training fee from there side to in India. How can its possible .......? Daji (Norman), Pet B, Simon W, Walt Paul, Alan, Dave and many more all are very good and its really impossible from my side. If any thing is happen that mean the person to whom you go, I think that person try to do something wrong for this site & for its name. Pls be touch with Simon W Sir, I hope and sure You can get the possible help.

:acro::fail::dive:

Karan

" Always want to learn "

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Hey folks,

Having not seen this thread the first time round in October I was shocked when I read it.

I also googled the price to see who it might be that may have supplied this course and one of the prices seemed to match my new employers; Alex and the guys at Skyschool. (Their price was £1195 last year and is still listed as that on some of their 3rd-party manufacturers/suppliers sites)

After checking with him I can assure the reading public that although the prices are similar Skyschool were not involved in this.

I don't mean to hijack a thread in an advertising sense...but more just as a name-clearing way, because if I googled it and suspected them, than others might too...

I really hope you don't give up on it Felix and that you find a way to battle through and learn to fly properly and safely. I can only recommend doing that final step under supervision and I hope you find someone who can help you that you trust.

Best wishes!

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