4 December 2017Tweet Follow @TrainXUK
Topics ADDED DAILY include: Agile | PRINCE2 | .NET / C# | SQL | Train the Trainer
We suggest that you read the entire article and as all of the material is public domain its easy to review it for yourself:
We'd noticed over the year a large number of Pay Per Click adverts showing a very poor quality classroom promoted by Focus On Training (entirely QA owned). Following the links through showed higher ratings than would be expected. The conclusions are:
The classroom has multiple issues including:
The ads are showing on practically any page visited - even Hello! Magazine:
The information is directly from www.qa.com. Here are the main links:
These are the key ideas behind the concerns:
Marking up the reviews is perfectly valid and good web marketing practice as long as they are truthful and importantly, complete - cherry picking distorts the results.
Focus On Training are completely owned by QA and sell on QA courses. A key difference is that the prices are generally much lower - See below for details
Again, only a subset of the reviews (all favourable) are available - 10,000s would be expected.
'Microdata' has been used in the website's markup to attempt promote the ratings to Google.
The graphic below is on the main page of their site. The actual number of reviews and the ratings values are as:
|Data Source||Rating out of 5||Number of Reviews|
|Focus on Training||4.9||367|
|Actual Analysis*||4.55||367 - source formatting inconsistent|
* We captured the webpage using a C# program referencing Microsoft's HTMLAgility Pack. The data was then loaded into SQL to allow easy inspection. The reviews appear genuine, though no dates are provided, the average of the ratings is lower (4.55 approx.) than the 4.9 given.
Note: TrainX provide C# and SQL courses - the equivalents to QA's are much lower in price, limited to 8 attendees and in comfortable rooms with space for your elbows:
The information for this section comes from www.focus-on-training.co.uk and from www.qa.com.
QA and Focus On Training are within the same 'company group' and have the same directors.
Focus sell the same product albeit at widely varying prices - for example the PRINCE2 30th April event is amazingly double through QA even though its the same company!
|Focus on Training||SQL Language||28 Mar 18||London - City||£1395.00|
|QA||SQL Language||28 Mar 18||London - City||£1658.00|
|Focus on Training||PRINCE2:2017 Foundation and Practitioner||30 Apr 18||Manchester||£1089.00|
|QA||PRINCE2:2017 Foundation and Practitioner||30 Apr 18||Manchester||£2141.00|
Same product (PRINCE2) - nearly 100% Inflated Price
QA own Focus On Training entirely so you'd expect parity in pricing etc. and even that they'd combine the two operations.
Training has been historically over-priced in the UK and is seen as a cash-cow by many investors.
Premium Pricing is a common marketing strategy and with carefully managed branding customers will assume the product is superior and this appears to work for QA.
In practice training prices are similar to air fare prices and vary, this is at odds with a Premium Pricing strategy as it undermines the branding and the very substantial profits that go with it.
QA have Focus On Training to allow two bites at the cherry and have lower prices and vary them at short notice. Its very hard to find that Focus belong to QA from the Focus site at least - it appears to be a separate company.
Although part of the same 'Company Group', there's a possibility that both QA and Focus On Training could be asked to provide quotes under the 'three quotes rule'. This increase their chances of providing to government department.
Note: For comparison, TrainX SQL Language (equivalent 2 day event) is £595 and PRINCE2 is £1095. Data from QA, Focus On Training websites 5/12/2017.
TrainX provide authorised training at much lower pricing - often 50% cheaper - than major providers including QA.
We've the highest UK pass rates for PRINCE2® and AgilePM and the most competitive pricing for Microsoft, CompTIA, plus!
Contact us now for further details and to discuss your learning goals.
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