Have you ever used a service worser than ETS one?

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:06 pm

Have you ever used a service worser than ETS one?

Postby soluyanov » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:05 pm

This company's mottow should be: grab as much as you can - he has no choice but to pay.

It all began with additional score reports. ETS representative in Russian testing center told me that I have to send two separate reports to order General and Subject test. So, I payed 30 usd instead of 15 for every school.

Then, ETS should process two payments. The first one was OK, but the other one failed. My bank representative told me, that they had declined the payment because of the obvious mistakes in the ETS' request. Nevertheless, I was charged a fine by ETS for "not paying in time".

Now, I find out that my score report to Columbia was sent to Columbia..... Medical School... What the ...thing Physics score is supposed to do there? My score request form contained the right code. Probably, someone in ETS simply clicked the wrong button.

All of these "services" grabbed extra 275 usd out of my pockets, and no excuses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:06 pm

Postby soluyanov » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:08 pm

There is one more thing - I still don't have my reports neither on Physics November test, nor on General, wich was taken in September!!!!

Instead of that, I have just recieved another "praparation for GRE Physics" book. The second one already.

Am I the only victim?

Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:55 am

Postby Ghagnastiac » Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:30 pm

No. I have never used a service worse than ETS. It took me eight... yes, eight goddamn phone calls over the course of two hours to get their automated score-report system to do what it's supposedly designed to do. If you can register for exams online, then you should certainly be able to view/report your scores online as well. There's no excuse for malicious inefficiency.

Everyone in that organization should be herded into a septic tank and shot straight into the Sun. :evil:

Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:06 pm

Postby soluyanov » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:44 pm

Online system would be much more easy and comfortable, but the "sudden" income would, probably, disappear...
Such a service could be possible in the XIX century (I bet horses and and fisherman boats could deliver my scores even faster)...

Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:49 am

Postby Daharoni » Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:08 am

Haha, yea... I got my Physics GRE practice book over a month after I took the Physics GRE test.

Posts: 101
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 6:48 pm

Postby rjharris » Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:19 am

yeah, i got mine too about 2 weeks to a month after i took the test. pretty awesome people over at ets.

Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:05 am

Postby CPT » Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:24 am

Is there anyone else here you finds this poster on ETS's website tragicomical in light of the fortune spent on having a single sheet of paper mailed around the country?

If ETS honestly believes their mission statement, then it's no wonder that their weird twisted brand of logic and ideas of user friendliness are what they are. The whole damn process can be simplified so much by at least having an internet based interface. Those of you here, who are international students would have experienced the 8 pages of links you have to wade through to get to your TOEFL login page. I mean can't they put a damn lin on the main TOEFL website???

Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:23 am

Postby braindrain » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:20 am

Here's what happened to me:
I filled out an additional score report form on paper and faxed it in. Then I find out they entered into the computer two schools twice from that form and left a school off. I asked them why would I pay twice to send the same test score to the same school twice? I had to then go back and re-fax proof of my original forms to ETS. I ordered this original a month before my test. The proof got refaxed about 2 weeks after the test and then they waited all through the holidays before entering it into the computer. It turns out the only person that does additional score reports took the first week of January off!!! So I call again and they set it up to go through again saying there is no record of the original proof I sent. I re-faxed and made them give me a direct line phone number to check if the fax went though. When I call she said they did set up for the resend prior when the first fax proof was sent after the only guy got back from vacation but somehow it got deleted from the computer and something about they couldn't see it in the computer but since he entered it it may or may not go though. So, they set up another one. Meanwhile this made me very late at one school due to the ETS error of leaving it off my form in the first place.

The other thing really infuriated me but it was such a small thing. During my computer generals the computer times out a 10 minutes break. I left the room for 5 of those 10 minutes and then came back and the computer asked if I stilling wanted my break. I said yes. The proctor came over and picked up my keyboard without asking me or telling me what she was doing did an override and my test started up again. I'm sure it had no real affect on my score. But, I wanted to refresh my mind and rest my eyes and she went and did that. I was so mad. Another proctor in the same site for the subject test said that all the other proctors were wrong and you really can leave the test 20 minutes early until the end. That would be a quite a distraction. I think the name of the game at this site was that the proctors wanted to go home early. I spent months studying, lots of money, and to get treated that way where the proctors desire not to work hard overrides customer service is shocking. I'm really disgusted with ETS. I'm going to write a letter when I get time straight to the CEO.

Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:06 pm

Postby soluyanov » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:59 am

Braindrain, I'll definetely sign your letter.

There is one more thing: is anybody sure of the quality of scores? If they check your test the same way they do everything?

A little example: I used a service "score it now" offered by ETS to train for Writing part. I finished my essay, pushed "submit" and..... got the score immediately!!! with the analysis, which contained the number of introductory words, the number of "long sentences" and the overall leangth of the essay.

I'm sure, the original is treated the same way. So, to get a high score for "Your attitude to smoking", probably, the best way is to write "First, my granddad died of smoking. Therefore, I think it's bad." then copy/paste and have "Second, my grandgranddad died of smoking. Hence,....." etc. I bet it will work.

Complete bull..stuff organized this way with "9 supporting arguments" may give a better result than some good ideas with just "3 supporting arguments".

Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:45 am

Postby aquarius » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:12 am

Soluyanov, you are definitely right,

I remember having heard about a guy at MIT finding an extremely high correlation between the essay lengh and the essay score. You can find the whole article at http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/04/educa ... wanted=all
Theorically, we should be graded by humans, but I also doubt it. Well, ETS are really swindlers to charge so much even for preps.I wonder how they justify ethically that you can pay more to get toefl genuine exams for prep. If you're rich, it's ok, if you're poor, go die, but anyway, we're non profit because it's written on the web site. And of course, printing a paper sheet and sending it via USPS is astonishingly expensive (but they don't make profit on it, it's just the quality of the paper and of the printer).

Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:23 am

Postby braindrain » Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:01 pm

Someone should do an exposee of the ETS CEO, meaning go to Princeton, NJ find out where the guy lives and film his likely rich lifestyle. I bet he is at least driving a Mercedes, BMW, or Jaguar. That would show how non-profit they are.

I think the old analytical test was better where there were actual questions to figure out analytically. I wonder why they got rid of it.

Some of the scores aren't sent by paper but electronically, which makes it even cheaper. Well, we can't see how much that is even worth. Look at Bill Gates. The expense is software development time but why should he have billions for that when copying existing software is cheap.

Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:23 pm

Postby radicaltyro » Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:20 pm

There is no service worse than ETS, period. Somebody set up us the bomb.

Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:23 am

Postby braindrain » Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:46 pm

ETS usually advertises for summer internships in statistics.
Aren't you going to apply? :twisted:

Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:43 pm

Postby icarus137 » Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:14 am

I agree. It does seem that they must be making a profit. With all of the additional score reports that have to be purchased. And we are forced to use their service as it is required for almost all graduate programs.

I can understand the need to have some sort of control and uniformity to base admissions decisions on but it does feel like ETS has a nice little monopoly going on. They charge you a large amount for the test, they charge you for additional score reports, you get charged 10 dollars everytime you call to find out your score (I mean come on), and of course they want you to purchase all of the ETS study guide material. :roll:

Admissions people should be looking not so much at the actual score anyway but the percentage i.e. how you compare to other applicants that took the test.

Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:23 am

Postby braindrain » Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:27 pm

Aside from the money they make there is additional cost to us. If we gave up a summer job to study for that test, the real cost to us is $3000 plus experience, etc. The amount of hours we spent studying could come out of time for more useful endeavors. It may even be more useful if everyone took an advanced quantum course instead putting in the time for this test.

I'm still mad the one guy who does additional scores reports takes off the first week of January and why do they only have 1 guy? He gets backed up and we all lose. How much does being 1 week late into the completed application pile affect us? Is it silly to think about it with that high a resolution? But, I think a concientious employee would know the situation and not do that.

Posts: 101
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 6:48 pm

Postby rjharris » Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:33 pm

giving up a summer job? so, you would study 8+ hours a day every day over the summer for the thing? that can't be typical.

i'm guessing the real opportunity cost to take the exam is rather much much lower than a summer job. perhaps the hour every day that people play online games or something like that, but not a summer job.

Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:23 am

ETS strikes again!!!

Postby braindrain » Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:13 pm

You are not going to believe this one! I don't even believe it. In fact I think it is surreal. I paid for the general scores to be sent separately from the subject test. Therefore, I effectively paid double. They were supposed to wait until the general test score became available to send anything out. I took the general after the subject test (for obvious reasons). Some retarded moron at ETS decided to group my requests together, the subject and general requests even though I paid separately for them. They sent out subject and general together, gave me confirmation the general was sent, only there was no general data and it was a blank field. This whole time I was thinking the schools lost my scores, because after all I had confirmation from ETS that is was sent. I even paid twice for a few places just to get the scores there. The effect of 'late to the pile' for a month the result of this fiasco is incredible. Some of the schools were just going by my e-mailing them the scores. I'm in shock that this could have happened. I'm seriously considering a law suit. I minimally want my money back for the places I paid twice or had to e-mail a score, but I'm sure they will refund nothing. I totally resent giving this organization my money at all, let alone paying twice, or a third time to resend and they do this!!!

Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:35 pm

Postby baksiidaa » Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:37 pm

What can we do about ETS? I'm thinking that we all need to promise that when we're professors and on application committees we'll try to get our departments and universities to boycott ETS tests and find some other way to check the aptitudes of applicants to our schools. Given, it will take some 20-30 years before we might be in position to do that, but better late than never. Any thoughts?

Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:23 am

Postby braindrain » Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:25 pm

Nah... just blow 'em up now. But, I do think we should do an exposee of how wealthy the CEO must be living. Where are those 20/20 or special news investigators when you need them. I can only imagine that CEO living like a Beverly Hills mansion lifestyle.

Do you want to hear what I heard ETS is doing now? I don't know if I wrote this before, but there are new changes coming to the general test. They are going to score the general test between 120 to 170 and people think its because they are trying to map it to IQ. It has NOTHING to do with an IQ test.

Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:23 pm

Postby radicaltyro » Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:43 am

@braindrain: I had basically the same problem too. I took the general, then the subject. They went ahead and sent my general scores before I took the subject test (understandable), and after I took the subject, I had scores reported. I specifically made it clear that I wanted them to send both subject and general scores. However, when I checked back a month later to make sure they sent them, it turns out they only sent my subject scores! They told me I would have to pay again for the general scores to be sent! So I ended up paying double for some schools. Plus paying multiple times to request additional scores by phone...

I wonder how many people they con this way. I wish I had time to sue them.

Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:31 am

ETS - Educational Testing Services - agent of College Board

Postby walterrausch2001 » Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:34 am

Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:24 am

Postby vicente » Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:09 am

that's what happens when a single company has a monopoly. They have little incentive to improve customer service. Because hey, it's not like you can write some other test instead, since every school requires the GRE!

Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:14 pm

Quick Q

Postby antithesis » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:24 am

I don't want to change the topic of this discussion (which I completly agree with, btw), but since it was brought up by a few people, I had a quick question:

I just wrote the physics test (oct 6th), and I still need to write the general.
I haven't decided where I'm applying yet, so I was hoping to wait about a month, write the general, and specify 4 schools in the application (So at least I don't have to pay for those 4). Given ETS's inability to do anything right, would you recommend this? And how long do you think I should wait before writing the general?

Yeah, working with a company where every single thing you want to do will get you charged, nothing is easy, their systems are outdated (score by phone?!?!), and if ANYTHING goes even slightly wrong in any way, you are severely screwed.

Return to “Prospective Physics Graduate Student Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 3 guests