Buyer Beware

The Great Courses Plus

Source: Shadiversity YouTube Channel
3.5Expert Score
Avoid The Great Courses Plus!

The Great Courses Plus doesn’t provide all the courses from the original Great Courses, and it is flooded with politically biased courses. They have received hundreds of complaints from customers about horrible service. Many users have reported money being taken from their credit cards without permission. Avoid this useless and exorbitant company.

Trust
5
Customer Service
2.5
Value For Money
3
Reputation
2.5
Relevance
2.5
PROS
  • Some Courses Are Nice
CONS
  • Misleading Marketing
  • Steal Money From Customers' Credit Card
  • Functionally Useless App(s)
  • Fake 5-Star Reviews
  • Racist Workplace
  • Very Politically Biased Courses

There are going to be quite a few people who disagree with me and most will probably ignore the points I’ve made in this post. But I’m not putting hours of work into this article for people like them. I don’t like it when companies try to manipulate their customers and potential customers in order to get more money out of their wallets. And I noticed that The Great Courses were doing this with their Plus subscription service. I hope this review helps you make an educated decision on is The Great Courses Plus legit or not.

In this report, we will go over what exactly is The Great Courses Plus, who is the owner, how they are defrauding their customers, and their heavy political bias. This report took me two weeks to complete, hope you enjoy it.

Note: I’m not an affiliate with The Great Courses or The Great Courses Plus. This post has no affiliate links, this is essentially an investigation on this company and its founder(s).

What is The Great Courses Plus?

The Great Courses Plus Website Homepage

The Great Courses Plus is said to be the Netflix of learning.

Chances are, if you are reading this article then you probably know what they are all about and if you do, then feel free to skip this section.

They stream on-demand courses on almost every subject out there. It is the kind of service which Neil DeGrasse Tyson would love.

The company started way back in 1990. Back then they used to send CDs and DVDs to your door step, however, after the advancements in video streaming, they also started offering thier courses digitally online.

The Great Courses Plus is a subscription based service which provides you select courses from the library of The Great Courses. A thing to note is that they don’t provide all the coureses available on the The Great Courses library, which is kind of a bad move on their part. As the service itself isn’t pennies as well.

They claim to add 3-4 brand new courses every month and it might seem like the best hting in the world, but the quality of their courses isn’t what it used to be in the early days. In trying to catch up to highly competitive brands like SkillShare, The Great Courses are slowly diluting their quality in order to match up with the quantity.

Who should go for The Great Courses Plus?

People who love to brag about how much they know. Because if you want some actual useful & applicable information/knoweldge, you’ll have to pay for a college. Unlike what their marketers say, this is NOT a good replacement for a college degree.

Most of the coureses will make you feel intelligent, but will provide little to no value to your actual lifestyle.

If you are perusing mastery in a specific subject, then please avoid this service, as it will only waste your time. But if you want to feel smart among your friends, go for it!

The Teaching Company: The Racist Parent Company

The Teaching Company has a terrible work environment, which is handled by a racist owner and senior executives. They reportedly overwork their employees while giving them less than adequate pay.

At first glance, The Teaching Company seems like an innocent parent company, but when I took a closer look, I found out that it is quite a racist operation.

There are dozens of employee reviews on this company available at Glassdoor, and the top concern most employees have is the lack of diversity.

Many people like to ignore racism, some even say that it doesn’t exist, however, Mr. Rollins seem to have tons of it in his company. I find it very shocking that we still have large companies like The Great Courses Plus being racially biased in 2021.

This isn’t the only issue that the employees report. The company tends to overwork their employees while giving subpar benefits, pay and gives horrible opportunity for career growth. The business owners are raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they still prefer to not pay their employees in a handsome fashion, shows the passion Mr. Rollins have for his employees.

Pushing Political Agendas Through Courses

One thing that the right and left both agree on is that we shouldn’t push political agenda in educational courses. It is just unethical and is looked down by most people. But it seems The Great Courses have some ulterior motives behind their courses.

A SiteJabber user (Josie M.) received around fifty upvotes on her Great Courses review. She has been buying courses from this company for more than a decade, that too on varying subjects like philosophy and history. She does say that most courses are good, however, then she revealed something shocking.

Professors who actually teach the course inject their political views into the courses. And now all the courses have a heavy political bias towards “wokeness” and “political correctness”.

One of their courses is just propaganda from 3 teachers who literally worked for an NGO which was funded by Soros and Gates, the course is named “Fighting Disinformation”, I actually checked it out myself and it is full of propaganda.

This is just horrible and it goes to show that The Great Courses Plus seems to have more snakes in their sleeves than anyone expected.

The subscription service will mostly be used by young university students who are easily manipulated by such propaganda and the company probably knows that.

More Proof Of Political Bias

If you thought The Great Courses only had “a little” political bias, then you are in for a sweet surprise.

A former Great Courses Plus customer was dismayed when he found the horribly biased Winston Churchill lectures which he purchased from the platform. The lectures were historically and factually biased. The customer was obviously not pleased and they went ahead and left a comment on The Great Courses’ Facebook wall. The comment received a lot of traction from the people and it received a lot of likes/replies. The staff however did not take a liking to the customer’s comment and decided to publically troll him and make false accusations against their character.

This was a display of horrible customer service which, as we will see, is a common pattern in this company’s actions. They simply don’t care about their customers.

The appalling thing is that the customer didn’t even write anything offensive or obscene, they simply pointed out the flaws in the product.

Fake Great Courses Plus Reviews Everywhere

Here’s a quick activity for you. I want you to go ahead and search the following term: The Great Courses Plus review.

You’ll probably see something similar to this:

The Great Courses Plus Review & Complaints 2021
No unbiased reviews appear on the popular search term “The Great Courses Plus review”

Now, at first glance, nothing seems out of place. But let us take a closer look.

If you look carefully you will realize that all of the listings on this page are on unverifiable review websites or affiliate websites.

And there aren’t any reviews here which are even remotely critical of this service. This seems very suspicious considering how many of their customers have actually complained about it.

On the top we have an ad by the company itself, the next we have a PCmag review by Jill Duffy, then we have a review by experteditor.com.au, then wisdomfuel, etc.

ALL of these websites are being paid by the Great Courses (The Teaching Company) to write amazing stuff about their service. This is a dark affiliate scam that is mostly used by scammers like Sam Ovens and Tai Lopez, however, it seems like service providers are also delving into it now.

You won’t find any reviews or complaints on this page, because they have been deliberately buried underpaid PR articles. It’s a clever move by the company’s marketing team, it essentially makes sure that potential customers don’t get to know about the horrible customer service, the fake reviews, or the fraudulent charges.

Surpisngly, I’m not the first one to notice this fake review shinanigan.

A user on SiteJabber.com posted a review on the company listing talking about this fake review issue in 2019.

Dale R. noticed that the company doesn’t have Google reviews anywhere and he came to the conclusion that The Great Courses Plus manipulate their own reviews to mislead their customers.

He did a little digging and found some actual reviews and complaints on the company which talked about the horrible customer service and fraudulent charges.

The company also seems to post fake “negative” reviews on their listing to “balance things out”. It just helps the listing seem more realistic and believable. This is not the only issue that Dale talked about in his review.

He also went over the heavily politically biased courses and the terrible censorship of the courses provided in the service.

The Great Courses Plus Review & Complaints 2021

No Great Courses Plus Refund!

Great Courses doesn’t provide refund to their customers

If you buy a membership for the Great Courses Plus to try it, be ready to lose all that money, because this company has a strict no refunds policy. This is quite an unethical thing to do.

Even giants like Amazon provide their customers with a refund when asked, however the geniuses at Great Courses Plus decided to not give refunds to their customers.

The company has faced a lot of backlash for this policy however, these complaints have been buried under sponsored PR articles. This is a common tactic used by companies to create a false “good” reputation. The biggest and most prominent example of this kind of fraud is Eric Porat.

They only offer a 7 day free trial which requires your credit card information. First of all, 7 days is not enough to determine whether a platform is worth paying for, especially when it’s an education based one. Netflix offered a 30-day free trial during its promotions because they understood people needed time to evaluate and get hooked on their platform.

Secondly, The Great Courses Plus requires you to enter your payment information before you can start your free trial. By now most people know why shady companies ask for this information. They do this so after the 7 days pass, they can start charging your credit card behind your back. A lot of people forget that they gave their credit card information to a service and those companies keep charging them for it.

It is a shady method which takes advantage of people’s busy schedule.

Fraudulent Charges From Great Courses Plus

The Great Courses Plus has received a ton of complaints where the customers were charged for the subscription even when they canceled the free trial. Most of these complaints can be found on their BB listing. As of the editing of this post, they have received 35 complaints on BBB, and a vast majority of them are of this charge.

Considering how many people sign up for free trials for this service, it is fine to assume that hundreds of people have been charged for a service they didn’t even want. This is fraud and The Great Courses Plus execs know this, that’s why they have gotten a “BBB Accreditation Badge”. This simply means they pay BBB.org money for making sure they don’t get a bad rep in the market.

This is highly unethical but that’s how these guys make money and Mr. Rollins (the founder), seems to have no problem with it.

The Problematic Great Courses Plus App Stealing People’s Money

The Great Courses Plus has an app of its own. You can download it on your smartphones and start learning, but beware, you might lose your money!

The app has horrible reviews on the Google Play store. Hundreds of people have complained about being charged for the subscription while not getting the service.

It seems as if the app takes your money but doesn’t give you the service you paid for.

It might be just a bug, but the company doesn’t care enough about their customers to do something about it. After all, this “bug” is putting money in their pockets without putting load on their servers.

The Great Courses Plus Review & Complaints 2021

The subscription is not the only issue with the app. The app also tends to give errors like “invalid password” even if you enter the correct credentials. Sometimes the app doesn’t rotate and you are stuck in the portrait mode until you restart the phone or clear the app cache.

Overall, the app is a mess. So if you plan on subscribing to The Great Courses Plus membership, be ready to only use your laptop or desktop or maybe your phone’s browser, because the app won’t work.

This is actually a big hinderance as most people would prefer to use their tablets or smartphones.

The Great Courses Plus Complaints & Reviews 2021: Customers Hate It!

I’m not the only one who is making attempts at spreading light on the horrible service of The Great Courses Plus. Many Twitter users and Reddit users have also complained about it, some even calling it “trash”.

The customer service of this company is quite mediocre, they will respond to the Tweets on the public forum, but will not actually help the user. This is a very common problem among service providers, they will post an apologetic Tweet in response to any complaints they receive on the platform while not actually helping the user. They do this to make it seem like they have excellent customer service in public, while not actually doing the work for it. The Great Courses seem to do this quite often.

Let us take a look at some Great Courses Plus complaints from Twitter now:

The Great Courses Plus Review & Complaints 2021

This user highlighted an important point in his Tweet, The Great Courses Plus doesn’t offer all of their courses in their monthly subscription service. This is actually very misleading as they don’t mention which courses are excluded or included in the course. It is plain false marketing.

A lot of the courses aren’t available in the service, and you’ll have to pay upwards of $300 to get access to them.

The Twitter user @kaveinthran is a blind user of the app and he struggles with the horrible UI of the company’s iOS app. A lot of the sections of the app aren’t accessible through the screenreaders which makes it useless for blind users.

After checking through my sources I found out that The Great Courses Plus still hasn’t fixed this issue and blind users are still struggling with the same problem.

Finally, we have @profain, they have been a paid customer of the service for many years and they recently saw an advertisement where the company was offering a lower rate than what they were paying. So they contacted customer support and asked whether they can get the same deal. Instead of giving good customer service the company straight-up canceled their account without even a request.

The Great Courses Plus Review 2021 Verdict

The Great Courses Plus has awful customer service with hundreds of unresolved complaints from customers. They have posted fake The Great Courses Plus reviews to hide the criticism they receive regularly from real customers. Their employees have complained about blatant racism in the workplace and bad pay. While the owner is a respectable intellectual, he seems to push his heavy political biases in the courses and defraud the customers. I would strongly recommend you to avoid this overpriced service.

2 Comments
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  1. I want a refund from Great Course Plus but they don’t issue me one. They give an automated response but that’s about it. They wouldn’t do anything about my issue. What kind of a terrible organization are they? I didn’t know their courses would be so pathetic. Otherwise I wouldn’t paid for such a long membership. All of my money just went into the drain.

  2. What kind of hypocrites these people are? I’m okay with promoting your political views but if you can’t practice those principles in your own workplace, then it’s proof that you’re a liar and an opportunist. Horrible, really horrible.

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