Troubleshooter: Academic honor

March 29, 2010 9:00:05 PM PDT
When a letter arrived in the mail saying her daughter was being recognized for her academic excellence, Darlene Hudson was very happy.

"My family and everyone I talked to was very excited," she recalled.

The letter said Hudson's daughter Victoria was nominated for the Who's Who Registry of Academic Excellence, High School Edition - and claimed: "The esteemed publication features only the most elite students in the nation based on exceptional academic success and overall achievement."

To get her daughter listed, Hudson responded to the letter.

"We filled out the paperwork and sent in her GPA and what her grades were like," Hudson said.

There was no fee to be included in the publication, but Hudson paid $125 to get the Who's Who book with her daughter's name in it. The money was also to pay for a plaque displaying the honor. Hudson says she was told she'd get the book by the new year.

"First they said before Christmas, then they discovered she was a high school student and said would be after the 1st of the year," she recalled.

That didn't happen. When she called the AWWA office in Washington, DC, she says she was told February 1. When that didn't happen, she was back on the phone.

"Every time I would call, I would get voicemail and tell me to hold on," she said.

Frustrated, Hudson contacted ABC11 Eyewitness News I-Team Troubleshooter Diane Wilson. We did some research and found AWWA's website which states: Due to the current economic conditions that persist today, AWWA has ceased operations. We are working to fulfill all outstanding orders at this time. Please check our website periodically for further updates.

With a little more digging, we found some major red flags about the company. Many people on the internet say they got the same letter - some who admit to not having a good GPA or being involved in any activities to qualify. One online post even claimed a cat got a letter saying it qualified for the honor.

"I'm very disappointed. As a single mom and the money come hard for the kids, I'm very disappointed. I will never do anything like this again until I really check into it," said Hudson.

There are a number of different organizations that have "Who's Who" in their name and most of them are separately owned, so before paying anything do your research on that particular company.

Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | Most Popular
Follow @abc11 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook


Load Comments