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Recruiter Says College Played Fast & Loose

PHOENIX (CN) - An "enrollment counselor" says Grand Canyon University fired him because he refused to "call and threaten" a prospective student about a $100 application fee that does not exist, or to shred records of calls to people on the Do Not Call registry each day, or to use a copyrighted sales script cadged from the University of Phoenix.

In his complaint in Maricopa County Court, David Haigler says the college trained him to use Grand Canyon's script and process when calling prospective students. But on the job, he says, he was told to use a University of Phoenix script, which "would be more successful."

After training on a Grand Canyon script and going to work, Haigler says, his boss "on the floor" told him to use a script from the University of Phoenix instead. He says he "was told that this particular script and process was something that had been utilized by the University of Phoenix and therefore would not be given to him in writing."

Haigler says he complained to his manager that the material was copyrighted, "and he could not legally use it, as was set forth in his own offer letter where he agreed not to use material from another company."

He said that management's response was to tell him to "hit his numbers," and that the other college's script would be better than Grand Canyon's script.

Haigler also claims that his manager "told him how to get a call back from a prospective student by leaving a message with an individual who had partially applied online, asking them to confirm their address so a bill for the $100 application fee could be sent to them. Since no such fee truly applied, plaintiff was being asked to lie to a student in order to simply get a call back and have the opportunity to convince that student to enroll. Plaintiff would not do this."

And he claims that "despite what was said in writing by Grand Canyon," his bosses "would verbally override that directive" and encouraged "counselors" to call numbers that had not been "run through and compared with" the Do Not Call list.

When he complained about this, Haigler says, the "director of enrollment, sent out an email to the department managers on December 11, 2008 specifically stating in bold print 'Make sure all blitz sheets are destroyed/shreddar. (sic) These should not be kept past the day of blitzing.' The blitz sheets were the phone numbers being referred to by plaintiff in his discussion with management."

And finally, Haigler claims that Grand Canyon told him during the interview process that he would be eligible for free tuition, but upon going to work, he was told that he had to nail down eight applications per month to be eligible for free tuition.

Haigler seeks punitive damages and lost wages for wrongful firing and labor law violations. He is represented by Marshall A. Martin of Scottsdale.

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