No VUE Test Centers in Calgary, AB, Canada!!

Unanswered Question
Feb 10th, 2008

That's right folks - if your a Calgarian like I am, and you want to book a Cisco certification exam, there are now no test centers in the city of Calgary (1 MILLION people). One must drive north to the bedroom community of Airdrie (half-hour drive from Calgary city limits) and the waiting list to book an exam is now over 1 month, and timeslots are limited to evenings only! Why is this? Because Cisco selected VUE as its sole exam vendor (used to be Prometric and VUE), and all VUE test centres in Calgary have closed in the past year or so. And, after talking to the nearest VUE vendor, I was told that VUE provides NO compensation whatsoever to anyone who becomes a test-center. Nothing, except a bunch of flashy posters saying you are a VUE test center. I'm disgusted with Cisco and with Vue for their short-sighted thinking on this. There are going to be many people who are simply going to forgo Cisco certifications in the city of Calgary because its just too much hassle to book an exam.

Sorry for the rant, but I hope someone from Cisco reads this.....

I have this problem too.
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davehartburn Mon, 02/11/2008 - 01:37

The lack of centres as a concern, and it is interesting what you say about test centres not making any money from vue, considering the price of exams.

I am based in the UK and there are no test centres in the entire county of Kent. I have to travel into London, which is 1.5 hours on the train. It costs an additional 40 GBP (that is around $80 USD).

Over the last few years, the only two centres in the county have closed.

Where I work, has a training room which would be an ideal Vue test centre. The company could easilly spare it for two days a week. However, as there would be some administration effort, it would clearly cost the company money. When I mailed Vue to ask about this, what the expected return would be, etc, I did not even get a reply.

Surely Vue should be giving test centres $5-$10 per exam, otherwise what is in it for the centre?

cfritzk1 Mon, 02/11/2008 - 07:11

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. While mine is inconvenient, yours is worse. Are there no educational institutions in your area that could consider taking on the Vue testing program? Here, we've got a university and several technical colleges, all of which are well-established institutions which offer training programs with Cisco specializations to prep you from everything from CCNA to CCIE. But none of them can administer Vue exams and certify you.

Considering my city hosted the 1988 Olympic Winter games, again I think its pathetic that there are no test centers within Calgary city limits here at all. Calgary has potentially one of the biggest IT sectors in all of Canada but I'm starting to think that certifications don't hold much meaning here. My employer doesn't much care whether or not I get certified; and I design large business WAN and Internet solutions for one of the largest service-providers in Canada. I did it iniatially for the challenge. There is no monetary value in it for me.

davehartburn Mon, 02/11/2008 - 08:45

The two centres that closed were in a local college and a University. The University one being far better.

I suppose the real issue is, what is in it for the University? When space and computing resources are at a premium (most UK universities are expanding), why should they turn over a room and employ staff, to run comercial tests for members of the public?

Come to think of it, all UK Uni and higher education sites, have their networks supplied by a central body known as Janet (Joint Academic Network). The rules about what the network is used for are quite tight, so I assume a Vue centre might be against regulations.

While a Uni could get a broadband line or something in for the purpose, again this costs, so with no cash return there is little incentive.

srue Mon, 02/11/2008 - 09:13

I'm curious, are there any Prometric testing centers where you live/work? I know it doesn't matter now, but I was just wondering. I mean, if there are, then this is clearly a case where Cisco screwed some of its biggest supporters by choosing VUE as its sole exam proctor.

cfritzk1 Mon, 02/11/2008 - 09:52

Yes, there are plenty of Prometric Testing centres. One of the local colleges' websites with info on the Cisco programs even directs prospective certification test-takers to go to Prometric's website to book exams. Too bad nobody told them that Prometric is no longer a provider of such services.

All VUE would have to do is provide some monetary incentive to be a test center and we wouldn't have this problem. But because they don't, the test centers we do have provide only 1 antiquated, worn-out PC to take the exams. I went and was 7 questions into my exam on Feb 9 and the PC I was taking the test on crashed...twice (memory failure). So, now I've got to try and rebook. I have two incidents open now with VUE trying to get a resolution ASAP.

jude.abbey Mon, 02/11/2008 - 10:37

The worse of all is VUE is not like the greatest ever and when you get issues with them, you are stuck, you don't have any other option. I recently had a problem with one of their centers and after calling them for about a week, they finally told me to go to a different center which is about 2 hours away by car from me. Unfortunately for me, the customer rep or what not I was taking too, wasn't that nice about it either. Some one at cisco was telling me how they had issues with bometrics. That's fine but CISCO should certianlly look into other avenues for hosting the exams. May be at their regional offices or at other trusted CISCO agents work site. My whole CISCO path was close to a halt just because VUE gave me so much headache.


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