A mix of 55 students and teachers have claimed one of the top electronic music production and DJ schools of scamming them out of classes that they have paid for, reports Thump. The students and teachers have accused Dubspot CEO, Dan Giove, of fraudulent activities and erratic behavior.
Classes paid for by the students were never delivered, with no refunds offered by Dubspot. Classes cost students anywhere between $150 and $10,000. Students complained of poor communication by the Dubspot staff, and constantly rescheduling classes on numerous occasions. Students were left scratching their heads, instead of their turntables. Classes that weren’t cancelled saw instructors not showing up due to teaching fees not being paid.
Nina Braith, a student from Austria, paid $4,396 for a Ableton Live Producer Certificate course that was supposed to start in March at the school’s New York location. She decided to visit the school in person after not hearing of an official start date for the course. After many unsuccessful attempts to have her money refunded, she took to her credit card company who did refund her money. Braith stated about the events:
The school was a mess. There was hardly any equipment there anymore and I was offended by a guy who was [at the school], and rudely asked me to leave. I have spoken to two teachers who had worked at Dubspot before and can’t believe how much money Dan Giove already owes to so many people, students and teachers, and for how long this situation is already going on.
Dubspot’s primary location in New York and its outlet in Los Angeles have both been closed without explanation. Some say that Giove, didn’t have sufficient funds to open the L.A outpost and was told several times by many colleagues that opening the L.A branch would not be a good idea. After a meeting in New York, Giove immediately fired at least six employees. Rumors are spreading that opening the L.A. portion of Dubspot, drained the company of funds, resulting in the closing of both locations.
While some students were lucky enough to have their money refunded, several students from other countries already attained visas and apartments in the United States for what they thought was the beginning of their careers in the music industry, only to have a small vacation in the United States instead.
Former Dubspot employee Mike Henderson helped design a vast majority of the school’s curriculum, and even taught his Traktor class with DJ Shiftee. Henderson stated that an apologetic Giove gave him a variety of audio gear, as payment for back paychecks and commissions owed to him. Dubspot, which was founded in 2006, saw several top level employees leave the company within the last six months.
Days after the story broke, Dubspot CEO Dan Giove, sent an apologetic email to teachers and students which was attained by Thump. Giove admitted that opening the L.A. branch was not a good idea. Having to scramble for a new N.Y. location after the building they were housed in was sold, left them paying higher rent at their new location. Negotiations failed to lower the cost with landlords. Giove also cited personal problems as another reason. Giove will step down as CEO, which was requested by Dubspot investors.
Dubspot online classes have resumed according to schedule, states Giove, with live classes coming down the line after the company holds down a new place of residence.
Giove’s Full Email Statement:
I write this letter today to apologize. These past several months I have let you, our community, our staff, our partners and extended family down. I have not been the person that I know myself to be and have been trying to get both my physical and mental health in order. I have been unresponsive to emails, calls, text messages, and social media. For this, and for anything else I have done to disappoint you, I am truly sorry. When I started Dubspot 11 years ago, I had a vision of building a place where I could learn to create music while at the same time being around like-minded individuals who were also trying to do the same. I never could have imagined the worldwide success that Dubspot would become over the years that followed. We have had so many happy students since 2006 who have realized their dreams and I am sorry this wasn’t the case for many of you.
There are times when companies go through tremendous challenges and misfortunes. That time began for us about 3 years ago when I decided to open Dubspot LA. To be blunt, and looking back on things, I now realize that Dubspot was undercapitalized and without enough infrastructure in place to open the new LA school. From that point on, I have had a very difficult time sustaining and at the same time I have made some poor decisions. More recently, in June of last year, we were kicked out of our home on 14th street because the building was sold. We tried to move as quickly as possible to find our new space and did so. But after almost a year of struggling, we weren’t able to afford the rent, even after many attempts to negotiate with our landlords.
Over the past several months, I have been doing everything I can think of to save the company and make things right. Contrary to some reports, we stopped taking registrations for NYC and LA Mid-March once we realized there was no way to survive in the physical locations. We have issued many refunds over the last few months and will continue to do so. Fortunately, I have found silent investors to help turn things around and return Dubspot to the successful business it once was. To that end, the core teachers of Dubspot have all agreed to a going forward financial arrangement and our online courses are now operating as usual. We have a small active staff committed to answering the phones, responding to emails, live chat on our website and we are dedicated to insuring that each and every student who has paid for classes will receive one on one consultations in order to best fulfill the classes that were paid for. We are also actively restructuring and looking for new studio space so that in addition to our online presence, those of you that want to come to live classes will be able to do so.
I have been asked by my investors to formally step down from CEO of Dubspot for the foreseeable future to focus on my health and the birth my son. I will be assisting in a support role and will be focused on making sure all students are either refunded or continue online. In the next few weeks, we will be announcing the new interim director of Dubspot. Please stay tuned in the coming days for very important upcoming announcements about Dubspot and our students. In the meantime, please email us at email@example.com, or call us at 1-855-9-DUBSPOT, so we can address any other questions or concerns. Or please email me directly here.