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Text / Lu Li
Source/Zinc Scale (ID: znkedu)
Not long ago, the Weibo topic “Several school students caught in training loans” had a total of nearly 5 million readings, and many of them read “I often saw some groups before posting some information about free teaching and drawing, and it is estimated that it is the same routine. “Some people said that campus loans are because of students’ blind consumption. What about this time? What’s wrong with wanting to learn?”
In fact, most of the college students who are “loaned” want to improve themselves in order to better cope with the test of stepping into society.
Relevant research shows that contemporary college students are facing the pressure of intense employment competition in the future. In addition to academic qualifications, more and more college students pay attention to cultivating hobbies and specialties, as well as the acquisition of “hard currency for job hunting” such as high-quality certificates. With the rapid development of the Internet era, many college students have turned their learning opportunities to online, and the resulting “staged” learning has become the norm for most students.
The so-called “installed” learning means that the tuition fees of training institutions are paid in installments on various lending platforms.
When college students are more inclined to “spend tomorrow’s money, garden today’s dreams”, they may have to bear more behind the scenes. On the one hand, due to the instability of economic sources, the burden of “debt” has increased; on the other hand, during the bonus period of online education platforms, more institutions have flocked to this track, enjoying the benefits brought by the times, and there are also “Potentially dangerous”.
“Part-time wages are used to pay off debts”
Wen Xiao, who has been interested in painting since high school, decided to reward herself with “a chance to learn” after the college entrance examination.
“Because my family lives in the countryside, the learning conditions are not as convenient as those of classmates in cities and towns, so I looked for a learning platform on the Internet.” Wen Xiao said, “In the end, it was recommended by a senior who claimed to be a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts. I communicated with the head teacher of Dapeng Education.”
The full name of Dapeng Education is Beijing Zhijin Dapeng Education Technology Co., Ltd., which was established in 2015. Its main course is “focusing on zero basic interest education for adults”. Today, the institution has successively established 8 branches including Jinan Branch, Wuhan Branch, and Zhengzhou Branch. According to its official website, the number of registered students has exceeded 50 million.
After learning about the company’s background, Wen Xiao did not sign up immediately, but watched three trial lessons under the temporary student account that the head teacher applied to him. “In general, the audition effect is really good.” In addition, Wen Xiao also asked the students who learned sketching offline in the town, “They are 80 yuan per class, and the whole course is about 5, 6,000 yuan.” And the text The sketching 4in1 course that Xiaoxiang learns is priced at 6,200 yuan on the official website of Dapeng Education, and the total number of courses is 146. “The head teacher said at the time that there were special promotions, and it only cost 3,200 yuan. In addition, they also gave away sketch color pencil watercolor tool sets and courses.”
In contrast, Dapeng Education’s 22 yuan class is indeed much cheaper, but due to Wen Xiao’s family, she is unwilling to burden her parents, so she is again anxious about “tuition fees”.
Perhaps it was because of Wen Xiao’s entanglement, “The class teacher would keep chatting with me and asking me what I thought, and at that time I really felt that I was ‘valued’.” In the end, Wen Xiao officially signed up for the course with a down payment + installments. “The down payment is 20% of the tuition fee, that is, 640 yuan is paid first, and the rest is completed in 6 months, 427 yuan per month.” Since Wen Xiao is using Huabei for the first time, the limit is only 500 yuan, and this is also Just enough to pay the monthly installments.
427 yuan per month does not seem like much, but for Wen Xiao, who lives in the countryside, there is really nothing he can do about this money. After two or three lessons, Wen Xiao began to worry about her “bills”.
“The drawing tools given are not very practical, including drawing paper, pens, and other auxiliary tools that need to be purchased separately. Once the monthly bill is overdue, there will be interest. Therefore, I am going to do Part-time job to pay off debts.” After that, Wen Xiao started her part-time life in a hot pot restaurant, “15 yuan an hour, sometimes until three in the morning.” In other words, her time was taken up by the “bills”.
According to Wen Xiao, in addition to daily expenses, a total of three months of installments have been saved. For the rest, Wen Xiao said that he would continue to work part-time at the university. Regarding the course issue, Wen Xiao said: “At first I thought the course would be valid all the time, but later I found out that if I need to continue studying after a year, I will have to pay more.”
It is true that after paying in installments, there are still many uncontrollable problems. For Wen Xiao, one is rational, because she does not want to increase the burden on her parents;
The tricks behind paying training fees in installments
Previously, “Consumer Finance Channel” once wrote: Education installment is an installment product applied by users to pay tuition fees when they purchase a study course. However, in practical applications, “prepaid + consumer loan” has turned a good installment loan into a “separate loan”. When buying a course, I do not know whether it is the installment payment, which leads to the withdrawal of the course and the difficulty of refunding, and the educational institution runs away with the money. Suspension of classes without loan, etc.
From this point of view, “staged” learning is indeed profitable for institutions.
But not for students. After working part-time for more than a month, Wen Xiao mentioned the refund to the head teacher, but the head teacher persuaded her with “Qian Jing” that “existing students started to take orders”.
In Wen Xiao’s words, “I feel like I’m being ‘PUA’. On the one hand, I don’t say anything about refunds; It’s over.” In addition, Wen Xiao didn’t know that she needed to sign an agreement to pay the fee. During her registration process, it was entirely through the hands of the head teacher, and the head teacher never explained the existence of the contract to her. .
Zinc scale has also consulted with the class teacher of Dapeng Education about applying for classes. When explaining that there is not enough funds to apply for the class, the class teacher will also explain the “support” instalment, and said: “Huabei and credit cards are fine, but there is no instalment. any pressure.”
In fact, Zinc Scale found that Dapeng Education has 5,268 “black cat complaints”, most of which are inducing consumption, inducing loans, difficult refunds, and false publicity. Contents of the collective complaint.
From this point of view, “staging” is “attractive” at first, but the problems after that are really “annoying”.
Also caught in the “refund whirlpool” after the installment is Coco, a sophomore. Because I accidentally saw the advertisement of “0 yuan audition” for the Tanzhou education broadcasting course, and I loved the radio very much, so I also processed the installment under the “guidance” of the course teacher after the audition. “The preferential price for the all-around class is 6,480 yuan, and the pre-registration fee of 500 yuan is paid. The remaining 5,980 yuan tuition fee can be applied for 12 interest-free installments, each 498 yuan, and the course is valid for 6 months. After finishing the course, there is still half a year to repay the tuition fee.” Coco said.
It is understood that Coco signed up for the course on August 20, 2021. When Coco asked if the contract would be refunded if the contract was terminated in the middle of the course, the course teacher replied: “Yes. But I believe that students do not want to terminate after learning. You can also work part-time to earn extra money.”
Cocoa’s enrollment course is divided into three stages. After completing the first stage, Cocoa came up with the idea of refunding. “There will be repeated uploads of courses from time to time, and doubts will not be resolved. In addition, teachers and classes are frequently changed, and the ‘all-round class’ is indicated at the beginning of registration, and the operation of changing teachers is difficult not to make people feel inserted in other courses. In the class, as a result, the fee for the all-around class is ‘not in line with the price’.” When she applied for a refund on October 20 of the same year, the teacher of the course also refused to refund.
“After refusing to refund the fee, the teachers of the institution continued to send the course link, even if there was no reply. In other words, they ‘defaulted’ that I had finished the course,” Coco added. As for the one-year installment bill, in addition to saving in monthly living expenses, Coco also “donated” his own 2,000 yuan scholarship.
It is undeniable that online education can enable institutions to break through time and geographical constraints, thereby saving costs and obtaining greater benefits. Therefore, customer acquisition rate is very important for online agencies. However, from the experience of the above-mentioned students, behind the staged learning is often “moving forward with a heavy load”.
Online training from “teaching” to “selling”
Those who “walk forward with a heavy load” must also “walk lightly.”
Today’s college students are also known as the “Net Generation” of Generation Z. They also have unique views on their own consumption, pursue quality and price ratio, and personalize. Similarly, they are also very concerned about “self-investment”. Therefore, online training has become a trend, and its development has come to a new outlet.
According to the data from Guanyan Report.com, with the implementation of the “double reduction” policy, the K12 online education market has decreased to 86.74 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of %. The K12 track has suffered setbacks, and related companies have begun to transform vocational online education. With the blessing of favorable national policies, vocational education has become a new growth point of online education, which is enthusiastically sought after by capital.
So, can it be said that the dividend period of vocational education among college students has come?
“Who still goes to those online training courses to learn skills? There are resources at station B and Xianyu at any time, including Xiaohongshu and Weibo. There are also relevant resources on Weibo. With just one attention, he can share the resources he has. The money spent on online learning is better spent elsewhere.” Xiaoxiao, a senior student, said that, according to her, in addition to the necessary textbooks, other online courses cost one or two yuan to find “resources”. Including teaching-funded examinations, computer secondary examinations, etc. “Because the student union needs to learn PS in the second year of my sophomore year, I also followed it at station B, and I did master a lot of technical things.” Xiaoxiao added.
It can be seen that “shared resources” is extremely popular among college students. Zinc scale found that searching for “sketch” on station B will not only provide tutorials but also related live broadcasts. There are related courses for entry and advanced level.
But everything is a symbiosis of opportunity and challenge. Like Wen Xiao and Coco, the reality of “it is difficult to refund the fee once paid” is not uncommon in today’s online education platforms.
In addition, there have also been many negative news such as inducing consumption (loans) and false propaganda. On August 4, according to the data of a large number of disputes in 135 Internet consumption platforms across the country accepted by the well-known domestic online consumer dispute mediation platform “Dianfubao” in July 2022, the E-commerce Research Center of Netease Society released the “July 2022 China E-commerce User Experience and Complaint Data Report”, in this report, Dapeng Education, Tanzhou Education, Kaikeba and other online education platforms have the top 10 complaints, while Jushi.com, Suntech and other platforms also have high complaints No less.
Previously, “People’s Daily” once commented that “online education must first educate ‘online'”: online education ushered in explosive growth, but at the same time, false propaganda, money-burning marketing, induced promotion, and poor course quality, etc. Problems also surfaced, and many consumers suffered from it. Online education, online is only a form, the essence is still teaching and educating people. If you deviate from this essence, burn money in marketing inducement but cut corners on teaching quality, and work hard to make quick money but have no plans for the long-term, you will only lose the trust of consumers and ruin the future of the industry.
In general, the resulting phenomena such as “teaching” changing to “selling lessons” and “learning” changing to “debt” are still difficult to deal with. Whether it is honey or arsenic to study “by stages” may vary from person to person, but some of the current chaos should also be worth thinking about.
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