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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My 18 yr old son signed up with Camp Leaders who organise US

Resolved Question:

My 18 yr old son signed up with Camp Leaders who organise US summer camp jobs. he paid £49 application fee and was accepted after a phone, then face to face interview. The website encourages early payment in order to get discounts. He paid £480 - the full fees in September, which entitled him to £100 discount though this wasn't deducted. After hearing little, he recently attended a camp fair to try to get a placement He then discovered most of the camps wanted 19 yr olds and that his UK lifeguarding qualification is not accepted by US camps. He had been led to believe this was a key skill and would help him get placed. Having been offered a place in the police force, he decided to withdraw his application. At this point we discovered the company's policy is to only refund £100 if you drop out. I have asked them about the £100 discount they promised and they have now offered £330. The terms and conditions are not visible on their website and were only available to our son on the website when he was given an account to process his application. I feel this company is taking advantage of inexperienced young people. No mention of this policy is visible on their "parents page". Should we accept the £330? I accept losing the £49 deposit, but feel the percentage of money they would keep under their terms is unfair and I would like to help other young people avoid the same predicament. My son did sign the agreement, but I feel he was strongly influenced by their marketing techniques to pay in full without realising the consequences if he dropped out.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

How was the fee paid please?

Customer:

It was paid by debit card from my son's bank account.

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.


 


If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.


 


The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.


 


If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.


 


Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

So does this apply even though my son signed an agreement which states that their conditions are only to refund £100 if you drop out of the application process They emphasise that he signed this, though I find it rather suspicious that these terms aren't on their website but only visible to the applicant once they have begun the application process. They argue that they need to cover their costs - admin, overheads etc, and that they could place him if he remains in the programme. He does not want to spend more money in getting a US lifeguarding qualification as this would mean paying for the course, travel to and accommodation at a UK venue. I feel that if I tell them I have taken legal advice, they might offer to refund more. Is there a law I can quote to support my claim?

Alex Watts :

Yes because you can seek protection under:

Alex Watts : Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts
Alex Watts :

Regulation 5 states:

Alex Watts :

A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer.

Alex Watts :

A term shall always be regarded as not having been individually negotiated where it has been drafted in advance and the consumer has therefore not been able to influence the substance of the term.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything?

Customer:

That is what I had read about online and wondered if it applied in this case. Thank you!

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.


Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.


 


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