New lawsuit alleges online programming boot camp is fooling students

ATLANTA — A new lawsuit alleges that an online programming boot camp charges students hefty fees and makes big promises, but does not provide what students paid for.

More than a dozen plaintiffs from all across the country filed the lawsuit against a company called Clever Programmer.

In eye-catching and entertaining videos on YouTube and ads on social media, Clever Programmer claims its coding training programs can lead to six-figure jobs with top companies like Apple, Google and Netflix.

But the lawsuit alleges that is not happening. Instead, students end up with large debts and lack the expected job skills or opportunities.

Georgia attorney Cyclone Covey represents the plaintiffs.

“To imply that you can learn this stuff in half a year and go out and make that kind of money is frankly false, and the problem is if you aren’t in the programming space, you don’t know any better you think this is true,” Covey told Channel 2 Consumer Investigative reporter Justin Gray.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

The sales pitch convinced Adrienne Harris to sign up. She’s a medical coder looking to switch careers.

“I can’t even explain how hyped we were at the beginning. We were so excited,” Harris said.

But Harris said she did not get was she was promised.

“You said you were going to teach us, and we have class, and no one’s here, or we have class, and the guy doesn’t know what to teach us,” Harris said.

What Harris did get is more than $20,000 in new debt.

The lawsuit alleges that Clever Programmer would pressure students into taking out big loans ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 to pay for the online classes.


“They have a very high-pressure sales pitch,” Covey said.

The lawsuit demands that the plaintiffs be paid back their money.

Harris says she still is committed to starting a new career but can’t help but be discouraged by what happened.

“In addition to feeling defeated or discouraged, we were feeling really, really stupid. It’s like, how did I let myself into this? How did I get caught up in this?” Harris said.

Channel 2 reached out to the attorney for Clever Programmer for comment, who says the lawsuit is so new, he has not even seen it yet.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]