This review concerns Michael Daniel Voice Instruction and Guitar Lessons in Phoenix, Arizona, also goes by the name Point Studios Voice Lessons. The three main problems I had with Michael Daniel guitar instruction are:
1. His failure to disclose to us that it takes 3-12 months for a regular time slot for a lesson. He will basically fit you in whenever he has time, which was once in a 6 week time span, in my case.
2. His failure to notify us of his ?no-refund no matter what? policy before we made the purchase.
3. His lack of professionalism and arrogance that he demonstrated as a result of his feeling offended by our request for a refund.
My husband bought me a 4-pack of lessons from Michael Daniel for my birthday in November, 2009. Michael relayed that he had a pretty busy schedule, but that he'd find time to get me in. After just one lesson over about a 6-week period, and no calls from M.D. for over 3 weeks after the lesson, I figured that I wouldn't get much out of this haphazard schedule and requested partial reimbursement for the three lessons I hadn't yet taken. I offered to pay a cancellation fee and over-pay for the first lesson just for processing a reimbursement. Michael still refused and took grave offense to the request --
?I am an extremely patient and professional teacher. But I take great offense when people ask me for a refund. I am not some vagabond, miscreant musician. I am a highly trained, experienced and dedicated professional. Very few people have ever asked for a refund. I think you are the fifth person in 18 years that has done so. I don?t think you want to know what the other four were like as people.?
He did not state to my husband or me that there were no refunds until after we paid for the package. During our email exchanges about this, he said that 3-12 months was the normal wait time for a regular, weekly time slot. He had neither stated this up front ? if he had, my husband would not have purchased this package.
Another excerpt from Michael Daniel's last email - unedited, we didn't emphasize the YOUs --
?...I have laid out the rules and YOU want me to bend my most ironclad rules for YOU. I know what I need to do to make a living and run my business. YOU are the one acting like a total pain so that you get your way. YOU are the one who totally ruined the teacher/student relationship.?
I thought I was talking to a professional, but his emails were full of personal attacks like this. In all of his responses, he never did argue with the fact that he did not mention the no-refund policy before the purchase, nor did he argue about not telling us he had a 3-12 months to get a weekly time-slot. He has decided to keep over $100 of ours, because he believes he is the best and we must be insane for not wanting to work with him. In his last email, unedited -
""If YOU really cared about learning guitar you would at least make somewhat of an effort, and would find your experiences to be one of the best in your life. That is the normal reaction that I get from normal people.""
As I see it, our biggest issue with M.D. was the fact that he overbooked himself far too much to accommodate any new students, yet, he still takes on new students and doesn't disclose his schedule upfront. As a professional, which he vehemently claims to be, he must know that he must only take on clients as he can accommodate them, not just take their money upfront with no guarantee of service. Frankly, we felt cheated by Michael Daniel.
The saga continues: a few weeks later, I filed a complaint with the BBB. Mr. Daniel's response includes: ""I was stunned to see her because she was very pregnant. I have nothing against pregnant women, but you can?t even hold a guitar when you are that pregnant.""
I have since been taking lessons elsewhere and my pregnancy has had no affect on the way I play or hold the guitar.