If you order toast and complain that you didn’t get a hamburger: is it the restaurant’s fault? 

Open Letter to Bern who gave No Stars to CELBANPrep Listening

Dear Bern,

I was surprised to read your review today, on Amazon, for CELBANPrep Listening Complete. In it you said,

” NO STAR for this! Im giving 1star for the sake of submitting a review. Please don’t buy this. This e-book contains listening guidelines which is free at other website and 6 easy and clear mini-listening audio clips (9-10 questions). Plus you need to be a member (paying additional $10-$15) in another website to access the test questions and answer. Its not worth. Better buy real books or borrow at the library. :)”

I would like to ask you some questions based on what you have written: 

1. Did you read the description? 

It clearly states, 

Because of the limitation of e-books, you will have to access the Test and Answer Booklets at www.myiepc.ca. A nominal fee will be charged to cover online hosting charges, and theft prevention. ***Ensure you purchase your CELBANPrep Membership in addition to your Print Replica for Listening Complete! ***

My guess is that you would like your resources for free; and so I will ask you what I have asked people who have come to me with the same attitude as you have, “Will you provide nursing care for free?” Then why do you expect that of me? 

Do you have any idea of the amount of work that goes into the creation of a resource like this? And to have people like you unwilling to pay $20? Seriously? 

Furthermore, do you know that Amazon makes 60% of the royalties. That is right. Considering I used to yield 100%, and my courses were sold for between $250 and $500 it isn’t like I am doing this for the money!  

So if you are not willing to invest in your future, you are welcome to what you will receive. But do not be surprised if the lack of quality results in you being unable to obtain your goals! 

2. What books are available to you at the library about the CELBAN? 

Do you mean the Readiness Assessment, which is also available for free at www.CELBAN.org? Or is there something else out there that I can inform other IENs about; because they continue to be unable to find books at the library to prepare for the CELBAN. 

By the way, did you know that after teaching CELBANPrep for 10 years I was shocked to see there there continued to be a lack of resources to prepare IENs for the CELBAN? Did you know that that realization in November 2018 is why I dedicated 6 months to reformatting CELBANPrep into Kindle Print Replicas? (Did you know I did that all without pay?)

I would not have done that – created CELBANPrep 2018/2020 – dedicating my time and energy and effort to creating something that wasn’t needed. I have many more worthy projects to dedicate my being to.

Did you know that when I started over ten years ago I was a career developer. My IEN clients came to me asking for resources and there were none. So I started creating them, then I started teaching online because shift work made it impossible for my IEN students to attend traditional formatted classes. 

Did you know, have you read anything on www.Dear-Kim.com from the hundreds of IENs who took CELBANPrep and passed their exam on the first attempt? Did you read how much encouragement they received from me? 

And are you claiming that I have violated copyright and intellectual property laws when you wrote, “This e-book contains listening guidelines which is free at other website”? 

Is there not additional resources and links and guidance in the Listening Study Guide that is not available elsewhere? And if it is, have you not considered that maybe THEY are copying ME?

That is why you are paying $10 for the membership fee; because over the years many people have registered for my classes posing as student so that they can steal my program and teach it themselves! Do I not have a right to protect what is mine? Do I not have a right to be paid for the work I have done in creating 9 versions of CELBANPrep: one each year with the changes in technology. Did you know that when I began there were no smart phones? There were no tablets? YouTube was relatively new and unknown! 

It took me over a month to create CELBANPrep Reading and Listening Complete: without getting paid. Would you do work for free? For an entire month? For six consecutive months? 40 hours or more a week: to create the e-book, to edit the videos, to revise the graphics, to update the information, to integrate everything, to make everything accessible on various devices. All of that work and it is worth not even one star? 

As for your comment, “6 easy and clear mini-listening audio clips (9-10 questions)”. Did you not do your research and due diligence before purchasing your resource? If you did you would know that everything you wrote in your review is disclosed. I am very transparent in what I have done and what I have created. Check out this link and see that I provided information about what you would receive.  It clearly shows the number of tests and clips. 

So then,

3. What were your expecting? 

If a menu says that a restaurant sells toast and you order toast, but complain that you didn’t get a hamburger: is it the restaurant’s fault? 

Were you expecting more videos? Considering it takes 5 hours to create a 2 minute video, considering that I have created 9 versions of CELBANPrep, Considering that there are still more resources forthcoming (like the CELBAN or IELTS: Grammar Essentials and an upcoming Listening Course), considering that I continue to create resources without getting paid: what did you expect? 

Did you expect 100 videos for you to listen to and to practice with? 

Is that what you expected? 

Then you do not understand the CELBAN or the CELBANPrep Method!  You have clearly missed the point that the CELBAN is based on Benchmarks. 

The CELBAN is not about getting a score but on demonstrating skills! 

These skills CAN NOT BE ACQUIRED by practicing one listening test after another! These skills can only be developed by developing your listening skills: as recommended in the Study Guide. 

That is what is written in the description, 

These Sample Tests are meant for you to learn about the FORMAT for the exam; as such they are not evaluative. Remember, preparing for CELBAN Listening requires more than merely taking exam after exam. 

If I provided what I said I would provide. If I have been clear and transparent. If I have explained what I have done and why. If you did your due diligence and researched before you purchased, then how can you write what you wrote? 

What were you expecting? 

If you expected something different then your review is not a reflection on me but a reflection on you, who you are, what you expected, and that what you expected was not what was being offered. 

4. Who else is creating resources for Internationally Educated Nurses that are available on phones, tablets, computers and laptops and other devices? 

Who else is investing time and money into creating courses and textbooks that are available internationally: in 100 nations! 

Do you have any idea of the impact and scope of your negativity, of your review, because I did not meet your unrealistic expectations? There are thousands upon thousands of nurses across the globe looking for hope: hope you just shattered because you made claims that are founded in unfounded expectations as a result of insufficient research on your behalf. 

5. Do you know who you are talking about? 

I just spent a lovely weekend with two of the nurses I taught, this past week. I say nurses, and not IENs, because both are now registered as nurses in Canada. Both of them took CELBANPrep when I was teaching it. One of them was trained up as a Speaking Mentor as a result of the stellar communication skills she demonstrated during a Conference Call. There are thousands of nurses like them that hold me with high esteem – which I deserve – because I dedicated 10 years of my life to creating resources and supporting IENs in obtaining their dreams of life in Canada. 

You may have a misconception of who I am. I am not who you have described me to be. I am one person who took on the mission of assisting IENs living across Canada and from around the world. I have made a difference in hundreds and thousands of lives. Through my e-book The CELBAN Trap I have influenced policy. 

Perhaps, before you make a purchase, before you write a negative review: do some research. Discover the truth about what you are buying, so that your expectations are consistent with what is being provided. 

When you order toast, and you get toast: don’t complain because it isn’t a hamburger. 


If you have benefited from CELBANPrep and you don’t speak up, the voices of those who have slandered CELBANPrep will be heard over your silence. Please Use our How-To Guide to Write a Review on Amazon.

As always, if you have problems in accessing your resources, please demonstrate dignity and respect by contacting me before writing a negative review so that I can do my best to address the issues. Comment here on the blog, or on Facebook. KK


I know you’re hurt. My review is a perspective of a reviewee whatever effort you have put into your book since we are buying it. And I don’t want my fellow IENs fell into the same situation I had on your book. If you want to help IEN, be proactive to criticisms. The listening book does not help at all. You can do your research or surveys to IENs, and we can’t practice in just one set of listening. It is not even challenging. I can say this because I study alot. I use plenty of CELBAN resources, a legal one. And I pay for my resources even your small book. Your website needs improvement too. Be proactive to reviews. I didn’t expect this kind of email, I was expecting like you’ll be asking which part needs improvement. I am a customer here.  Bern

Dear Bern,

You misunderstand me. I am not hurt. And I am not ” asking which part needs improvement” for two reasons:
  1. You did not e-mail me with your comments, suggestions, questions. Instead you attacked my work with a negative review in a very public way.
  2. You continue to misunderstand the purpose of CELBANPrep Complete. It was not created for IENs to ” practice in just one set of listening.” As it states in the description and in my message below:

These Sample Tests are meant for you to learn about the FORMAT for the exam; as such they are not evaluative. Remember, preparing for CELBAN Listening requires more than merely taking exam after exam. To get a 10 in Listening requires a high level of skill (competency) so challenge yourself! Remember that each score on the CELBAN is a Benchmark; increasing your score one benchmark takes as much time as it takes to go up one one grade. Use your time wisely! Use the links and resources in the CELBANPrep Study Guide to challenge yourself. Choose progressively more difficult listening resources. Learn to hear through accents. Pay attention to nonverbal communication. Do all of this for at least 30 minutes a day, and you are well on your way to passing the CELBAN; but, if you are not confident you can get a 10 on CELBAN Listening – wait until you are!

It is not that I failed you or other IENs, it is that your expectations were not met, because the intent for CELBANPrep Listening Complete was never to create a multitude of practice exams.

One of the reasons why IENs fail the CELBAN is because they apply the same study strategies to preparing for this exam as they do for other exams. But the CELBAN is different, which requires different strategies.

Another reasons why I am not seeking out your suggestions is because this resource was first created in 2009 before anyone really knew about this exam. Since then it has assisted hundreds and thousands of nurses to become more familiar with the format of the CELBAN exam. When that is their expectation, having their expectations met, they walk away grateful for what they received.
One final note, had you treated me with respect and dignity by sending me an e-mail, contacting me through Facebook or my blog http://www.Dear-Kim.com your message would have been received differently; you would have been treated in kind. But, you did not. You slandered my work because you expected me to create what others create, do what others do, follow how others teach. I am not them: I am Kim of CELBANPrep. I created the CELBANPrep Method  over ten years ago that has proven itself successful (See: I passed the CELBAN on my First Attempt). And, if you knew how much money I made over those ten years you would know that this was humanitarian service: an act of love!
So, Bern, it is unfortunate that your expectations were not filled; but if this statement were really true, ” And I don’t want my fellow IENs fell into the same situation I had on your book,” you would have contacted me in person and we would have had a completely different conversation with you having a more clear understanding of the bigger picture.
But, that did not happen. Instead you slandered me and my work.
While you have the freedom to express your opinion, whether you are a customer or not, does not give you the right to treat me and what I have created without respect and dignity. 
You reap what you sow.
Again, if you order toast and complain that you didn’t get a hamburger: is that the fault of the restaurant? No. It is not.

I am customer and not satisfied with your book. I am not a happy customer. But the email explains well that negative criticisms are not welcome.

Please be reminded that I am not the only person who gave a negative comment. Thus, it reveals that other IENs find it not useful.

I didn’t slander your works, I particularly comment on the book.

Your book is not challenging not like other listening review, so I can’t challenge myself using your book. It even says COMPLETE.


You still don’t get it! The CELBANPrep Complete Series  isn’t meant to be challenging! It isn’t meant to be a Practice Exam. They are sample exams! The intent is clearly stated. The objective is clearly stated. What you receive is clearly stated. What was described is what was delivered.
It isn’t that constructive criticism isn’t welcome, it is that you have not provided constructive criticism.
  • You want practice exams.
  • You want more exams.
  • You want challenging exams.
That is NOT what the CELBANPrep Complete Series is about! Nor is it what was advertised.
You wanted a hamburger. You paid for toast. You got toast. And now you are complaining that not only did you not get a hamburger, but also that I am not receiving your criticism about the toast not being a hamburger?
If you had something constructive to offer, and offered it in a way that was both respectful and treated me with dignity: you would be heard. But as long as you are saying you want more practice exams that are challenging to you then you will continue to feel frustrated, unsatisfied, and unheard.
The moment you are willing to actually hear what I am saying; then a dialogue can commence. Until then, you have proven your character repeatedly.
You ordered something without understanding what you were getting. You were not satisfied with what you got because you expected something else. The issue and problem isn’t with me or CELBANPrep; the problem is with your expectations. And I am certain that this is not the first time you have had this issue.

RE: Other Negative Reviews on Amazon

As for the technological problems others faced, resulting in the negative reviews, you will see that they are based on technological difficulties and the inability to access the videos. This issue has been addressed because Sherol took the time – in March – to let me know about the struggles she had so that I could understand the situation more clearly. Again, it was not an issue with CELBANPrep, but the limitation when it comes to different devices accessing information embedded within the Kindle App.
Subsequently I created 2 additional work-arounds to ensure others did not have similar difficulties. You can read about our learning journey together. Note the difference in her approach and in yours.
  • She contacted me directly. You attacked me and CELBANPrep publicly.
  • She treated me with respect and dignity and all I have received from you is disdain, entitlement and self-righteousness.
I recommend you do your due diligence before you make purchases in the future. Perhaps then your expectations will be met and you will be satisfied.
That is: when you want a hamburger, ensure that is what you both ordered and paid for!
Please note, I have not requested you remove your review. It remains as a permanent display of both your character and of your inability to read and understand what is advertised. Your review speaks more about you then it does about me and CELBANPrep.

Don’t judge me because you don’t know who I am. And this is the only issue I ever had.  Your book was even called a scam. Worst than my review. Do you know a scam means?
I know what I purchased, even this is only a toast, I don’t deserve a burnt toast!


You finally said something I agree with. ” Don’t judge me because you don’t know who I am.” This is what I have been saying from the beginning, ” Don’t judge me because you don’t know who I am.”

It is your words, attitude and expectations that have burnt the toast, as you have burnt this very valuable bridge.
Do not reply. Your messages are no longer welcome. My assistance is no longer available to you.

I am publishing this on Dear Kim because anyone and everyone who expects more than what is advertised will experience the same disappointment and discontent. 

If you have benefited from CELBANPrep and you don’t speak up, the voices of those who have slandered CELBANPrep will be heard over your silence. Please Use our How-To Guide to Write a Review on Amazon.

How can I help you verify the Authenticity of CELBANPrep books

As always, if you have problems in accessing your resources, please demonstrate dignity and respect by contacting me before writing a negative review so that I can do my best to address the issues. Comment here on the blog, or on Facebook. KK

Dear Friend,

How different would this conversation have been if Bern took responsibility for her feelings? What would have happened if the thread went something like this:

Bern: I was disappointed with CELBANPrep Listening. I expected more exams, more challenging exams. I don’t find this helpful at all.

Kim: I understand your disappointment. The intent of CELBANPrep Listening Complete was never to create an abundance of challenging exams. Instead it was created for two reasons:

  1. So IENs can become familiar with the FORMAT of the Listen portion of the CELBAN, and
  2. So that IENs could access resources that increase their listening skills.

There is an intent to create more, but it takes time. I have a course, but it is incomplete at this time.

Bern: Oh. Ok. I understand. I misunderstood what you were doing, what your intentions were. You are right. It isn’t helpful to people who want an abundance of challenging exams to practice with; but, it is helpful to people who want to understand what the CELBAN is all about. Thank you for explaining.

We are all in this together. Let us work together, as healers, to make this world a better place for all. KK

9 responses to “If you order toast and complain that you didn’t get a hamburger: is it the restaurant’s fault? 

  1. Pingback: CELBANPrep Speaking E-books will no longer be available. | Dear Kim

  2. Pingback: I was thinking why not to create a little grammar resource for CELBAN writings? | Dear Kim

  3. Pingback: If you don’t Speak Up, the voices of those who have slandered CELBANPrep will be heard over YOUR Silence! | Dear Kim

  4. Pingback: What has Happened to Civility?  | Dear Kim

  5. Mr Bern
    ….You have no right to verbally abuse Kim on this platform.
    Kim will always have the support of thousands of
    Internationally Educated Nurses all over the world….
    If you have any conscience at all ! Then just back off!!! One day you will answer to God for hurting the sentiments of someone who has given her heart and precious time to make Valuable resources avialable
    to people like me so that I could make my dreams come true as a internationally educated nurse.
    Indeed it is sad as you will have to deal with plenty of burnt toast, at the rate you are going on with your ruthless online behavior.

  6. Pingback: How can I help you verify the authenticity of your [CELBANPrep] books? | Dear Kim

  7. Pingback: Open Letter to Anuj Bohara who gave one star to CELBANPrep Listening Complete: claiming it is a scam. | Dear Kim

  8. Pingback: Kim, I realized, You are not Fake! | Dear Kim

  9. Pingback: I felt very sad to know that that’s all you have for [CELBAN] Listening. | Dear Kim

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