GeoMatters/ Trail Guide to Learning CS


#1

Hi,

I called GeoMatters with some questions this week. We are thinking of trying POE next year. I have to say it was the most unprofessional communication with a business I’ve ever had. It scared me enough that I may not purchase it. I’ll give you a synopsis of how it went and then would love some feedback if anyone has an experience with them.

Called mid afternoon to ask about packages and what was included. A man answered the phone but sounded so tired that I wasn’t sure if I had the right number. I asked if this was GeoMatters and he said yes. I asked about what the full package included. “Well ma’am, it includes it all, you know, all the stuff.” Seriously? I asked if the bible cd is included. “No, it’s not.” What about the Lapbooks? “No, they’re not.” Ok, well, then I explained that I’d like to purchase everything and also that I’d like to know what supplements are available (such as the ones I just mentioned)…”Well, you can go on the website and check em all out. I’m not sure, but you don’t really need all the lap books or whatever other stuff they’re called.” Okaaaay. It says there are updates coming in April for Paths of Settlement, with a 20% discount when you sign up to get notified. Can you tell me about that? “Yeah, that’s takin’ longer than we thought. Prob not till late this summer.” I asked about discounts. “Well, we just had one in February, but I don’t think we’ll have another one.” Do you give any discounts for Curriculum Fairs? “I think we give free shipping.” How long does it take to ship/how much? “Well, depends on how much but if you pay extra for fast shipping we tend to get those out faster cause people paid extra.”

Nice guy. I’d want to talk to him on bus. Not the type I feel comfortable ordering my children’s educational material from though. I also sent an email last week to GM because when you sign up for their newsletter, it redirects you to an “error” page… got no response. Honestly, with my order totaling near $1000, this is not the customer service experience I’m looking forward to having next year. TGTL may be a no-go if this doesn’t have a turn around.

Thank you for your help! I’m hoping for the best as I loved the curriculum at the Expo but just wasn’t ready to pull the trigger yet. What do you think? Any experiences like this?

Jen


#2

Well that stinks to have a bad phone experience when you’re excited to learn more about a program! I would caution you to not judge the company\program based on an off phone call, even though I understand how it can make you question things. Remember that this guy did not write or create the program. I believe that there is a delay in some future materials due to the death of Debbie Strayer. (Hope I’m spelling that right and I am remembering the correct name?) She was one of the program writers. While I have not called GM on the phone, I have written them two emails and got a quick and polite response from a woman answering my questions. Ultimately, if you like the program, and you think it will be a good fit for your family, I wouldnt let a disappointing phone rep keep me from using a program. I don’t know what questions you have about the program and options but I’m a big fan of Rainbow Resource and I know they sell TGTL materials and they have great customer service so you might want to do a search on them and call/email/chat with them if you don’t want to try GM again. Also, I believe we have women on this forum who use TGTL that would be glad to answer questions! Hope this helps some!


#3

I had the same experience with the older gentleman!!


#4

Thank you both! I really don’t want to let this experience dictate my curriculum, but it does give me pause. They should really consider who is represents the voice of the company when they have them answer the phone. :grimacing:

@Luvmyboys would you mind telling me what happened? Any different outcome? Did you use the program?

Thanks!


#5

I’m so sorry this happened! I have called them a few times, and each time they were very professional and helpful. I have also received helpful responses by posting questions on their Facebook page, and they are very prompt there, too. The only thing I would suggest is to keep in mind that this is convention season, meaning they are traveling to many places and taking many of their people with them, so it’s possible someone was answering phones while others were away. The materials themselves have been wonderful. When I didn’t have something I needed because it wasn’t released yet, they sent me all of the digital files I would need to keep going until the materials were fully printed. We are in POE right now, but I definitely plan to continue on to POS and beyond when we get to that stage. I can definitely understand how that experience can be off-putting.


#6

I also inquired with them on Twitter and they told me to email or call them. Sent an email yesterday. Will let you know when they respond.
Thanks!


#7

It is so frustrating to have an experience like that–I am so very sorry. I know nothing about the curriculum or the company.

I did want to share a caution, however, because of my own faults. I have called two homeschool curriculum companies in the past where both respective gentlemen on the line seemed extremely disinterested and even bordering on rude. I tried to be kind and patient (not always my strong suite!)

God, however, was working in spite of me: in one case, the company was being taken to court–no fault of their own–and struggling financially; in the other case, the wife/mother who developed the curriculum had just passed away–I was speaking to her husband.

Needless to say, I realized that I never know what might be happening to others on the other end of the phone line or email. And while I absolutely expect professionalism, I also know people might really be struggling with something.

I can’t speak to your situation but I know I was deeply moved and convicted by my experiences.

I do hope it all goes well with your plans.

Blessings.


#8

Thank you so much. Great perspective.

I had two people reach out to me by email last week from Geo Matters to apologize and explain. I thought they were very considerate and this experience will not deter me from using TGTL. Here is one of the emails.

Hi Jen,

Thank you for your email. I am sorry to hear about your experience. We lost our secretary a few months ago and have not been able to find a suitable replacement as of yet. The man you spoke with is in charge of our shipping department and has been a part of GeoMatters for over ten years. He is faithful and hardworking, but his job does not entail detailed product knowledge. He usually passes on customers with questions about the program to me. I am sorry that this was not the case when you called.

We are a small family run business, but we do create quality products. You will not find them to be perfect even though we go through multiple editors with each project. You will not find any curriculum, even widely used textbooks, without errors. Our goal has always been to create an opportunity for children to enjoy learning while meeting national standards and building critical thinking skills. My mother, the main author of the Trail Guide to Learning series, was an educator who taught varying levels of public and private school before homeschooling my brother and I. She was a gifted teacher, curriculum consultant, author and national speaker. Her love of learning and teaching along with her knowledge of how children learn best (by making connections across subjects and including a multi-sensory approach), is what makes the Learning series so special.

I am sorry you had an unfortunate experience with our company. I can assure you that we are a hardworking and reliable group of people. We have been helping homeschool families for over 25 years. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding our curriculum, I am more than happy to help.

Thank you,

Ashley Wiggers
Public Relations Director


#9

Follow up: Spoke with Kay Chance today from Geo Matters. Wonderful conversation. She answered all my questions and then some. I feel confident going forward with the program and would encourage it to others. We’re working together on ordering the full package, supplement for my youngest, bible study and lap books. Exciting stuff!!

I’d encourage anyone with questions to email her: kay.chance@geomatters.com and she can correspond with email or give you a call if you’d prefer to talk.

Thank you for all the help and support through this process!