email to Udacity support- 23/07/2019

Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing to request a refund or an extension to my current arrangement free of charge.  I am paying on a monthly basis – having already paid three months in advance.  Ideally I would like to be dropped back a presentation free or charge so that I can join a cohort where the project deadlines are feasible.  Another reason why I would like to be dropped back to a later course presentation is that I am finding the student hub is full of complaints and less than stimulative.  I hope that by moving to a later presentation I am able to access a much more constructive, calmer atmosphere where the course has bedded in somewhat.
I appreciate that there will be teething problems starting any new course but the following issues have prevented my access to the course, particularly the practical elements of the course.
The main issues:
  1. Firstly eight days elapsed before I was able to contact my tutor because there was apparently a problem with the messaging system.  It was shortly after Jun 26 before I had my first video conference with my Tutor.
  2. I had a problem with AWS educate credits, which took until June 28th to resolve.  This prevented any attempt to launch a Db instance because my free tier AWS service had already lapsed on my own AWS account.
  3. When I did resolve the AWS educate credits issue I ran into a configuration issue, which prevented setting up a postbird connection with the postgreSQL database.  I tried to get this issue resolved on the studenthub, which extended over the course of 5 days at the end of Jun/start July.  Students did provide valuable responses but nothing worked.  Simultaneously I requested my tutor’s help who committed to resolving the issue.  We were able to narrow the issue down but we couldn’t fix the issue either. Finally I resorted to AWS technical help but they could not provide any insight because they do not provide technical support under the free tier option of AWS.
  4. I tried to advance through the course but I was not able to do the practical elements of the course with the postgreSQL in place.
  5. I subsequently resolved the issue by setting up a new AWS account using my wife’s details, which worked without a hitch.  It may be that the AWS account that was provisioned to me – set up a number of years ago – may have config settings that are not compatible with Udacity’s cloud developer course, not sure – it may be a course recommendation to use a vanilla AWS account before starting the course.
  6. Finally this is not meant to be a critical of my tutor but I agreed to weekly meetings with my tutor after our first meeting.  I very politely expected him to be setting up these meetings but several weeks past before I escalated the matter. It was only then that I was made aware that I needed to instigate these meetings.  This was not something I was made aware in the initial programme orientation.  I escalated the issue on July 18th.   My tutor subsequently very kindly provided me with links to the zoom software however as of this correspondence I am still waiting on his personal contact detail so that I can set up a request for him to join a meeting.  I do appreciate that I have burdened him with several issues at this juncture because he has made his best endeavours wherever possible.
I hope you will appreciate that one of the main attractions for doing the course, for me, is having a mentor.  I feel the rubrics around ‘using a mentor’ were not properly communicated and the requirement to use third party software (zoom) are orientations that Udacity needs to provide at the start of the course.
Another issue that is of concern to me going forward with the course is that my AWS educate credits have been applied to my account not my wife’s account.  I am using my wife’s account currently because I still can’t get a postgreSQL database set up properly using my account.  I am therefore wondering will I be able to complete the course using my wife’s credentials or will that cause authenticity issues for markers?  Also are the project applications more resource intensive towards the end of the course, therefore requiring me to transfer the credits to her account or for me to try to create a new AWS account that does not have a legacy.
As you will appreciate I feel that I have lost a significant chunk of time out of my schedule through no fault of my own.   I look forward to an empathetic response to my proposition at the outset of this letter.
Kind Regards,
Martin Mackin