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Parents Upset With Company Selling College Prep Materials

ADDISON (CBS 11 NEWS) - Lorraine Batch says the trouble began week ago when her home phone rang.

"I got a call from a gentleman who claimed my son Clayton had requested SAT materials so I proceeded to give him my Visa number," said Batch who paid an Addison company called Student Services, Inc.

But her son Clayton says he knew nothing about it and hadn't ordered anything.  The family found that getting a refund for $143 dollars wasn't easy.

"They told us we couldn't send it back without a return authorization number," recalls Clayton's father Don Batch.

Student Services Inc. promotes itself as a non-profit organization and is based in Addison. CBS 11 was turned away when we tried to ask employees about the 107 complaints from parents in 32 states along with the F grade from the Better Business Bureau.  Its owner, Frances Stuart, was the target of the Texas Attorney General when her previous college prep business, The SAT And ACT Prep Center, triggered similar complaints.  She agreed to pay $15,000 dollars in fees and restitution.

The Batches eventually got their credit card company to drop the charge.  Student Services promotes itself as nationally recognized and to dozens of parents like Don and Lorraine Batch it is, but only for taking advantage of their families.

"They're trying to prey upon parents who want to do good for their children," said Don Batch.

Parents who complained to the BBB say the company gets information about their kids by asking students to fill out a questionnaire.  The company's owner and attorney did not respond to our request to an interview.

The company did send a response to the Better Business Bureau saying, "Students do not order the study materials. They simply check off an interest in going to college."

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