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UPDATE: Are Deeply Discounted CPA Review Programs Legit?

I Pass the CPA Exam was asked if a $799 “Becker” program being sold online could possibly be legit. After asking the owner of the site peddling the stuff, Stephanie asks Becker directly if they allow affiliates to sell their product wholesale to other retailers so they, in turn, can cut the price. Something about this just doesn’t seem right, why would Becker want to get ripped off on its own product, which it routinely sells for $3,000 (give or take)?

When in doubt, maybe you should ask the review course:

I continue my due diligence and ask Becker directly whether the serial number from CPApassmaster would indeed verifiable at their site. This is their answer:

“The only legal site for Becker material is”

Well, I would appreciate if Becker can just be a little bit more helpful in terms of explaining this further, but knowing how Becker is (big and institutionalized with little “real” customer service), this is probably the best we can get.

Then, I heard from industry sources that in fact Becker is trying to stop this offering via an injunction, and supposedly Becker can render all their materials with serial number from this reseller unverifiable if / when they are allowed to do that.

Interesting. I agree with Stephanie’s assessment that whoever she spoke to at Becker is probably just some hack in a headset who barely knows what the CPA exam is, let alone is high up enough to actually comment on their policies.

It would be interesting to hear this directly from, say, a Becker high up. Hint, hint. Perhaps a qualified Becker manager would like to get in touch and clear the air.

UPDATE: Becker spokesperson Molly Tarantino wrote me last night to clarify Becker’s policy on unauthorized dealers. Please consider her comments before going for a cheap review course that is NOT offered directly from the company:

Becker Professional Education does not support materials purchased through unauthorized dealers. Only materials received directly from us are guaranteed to be authentic. Unauthorized dealers, such as CPAPassmaster, are either in violation of their license with Becker or selling counterfeit materials. Counterfeiting is illegal and purchasing counterfeit products supports this illegal activity. This type of activity is especially troubling since it is occurring within a profession whose foundation has always been and always will be based on ethics and integrity.