How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jo C. Your Own Question

Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 30929
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
12826847
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

I enrolled for a Diploma course at a private college in the

Customer Question

I enrolled for a Diploma course at a private college in the UK . I paid the fees for the whole year in advance as I am an overseas student. I withdrew from the course after half term and requested a refund of my unused fees for the remaining year. I signed a contract which refers to these terms on refunds:
" 3.Whilst tuition fees are not normally refundable, if a prospective overseas student is unable to obtain a student visa and can submit written evidence of this (British Immigration form GV51), tuition fees will be refunded in full, less the £100 registration fee.
4.Where an overseas student has been issued with a study visa and subsequently (and successfully) applies for exemption from their course or any part of their course, any consequent surplus of tuition fees will be transferred automatically to a higher level course if one is available, or else refunded on successful completion of the course."

The unused fees amount to £3000. Do I have any statutory or contract rights to claim this amount?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

JACUSTOMER-uy05ocvk- :

Hello Ben

Ben Jones :

Why did you leave the course?

JACUSTOMER-uy05ocvk- :

I decided to pursue a different field of study that interested me more

Ben Jones :

So you do not actually meet the criteria for a refund as set out in the agreement?

JACUSTOMER-uy05ocvk- :

No I do not but it does not say that refund is limited to this criteria

Ben Jones :

But it does say 'tuition fees are not normally refundable'?

JACUSTOMER-uy05ocvk- :

I notified the college of my withdrawal before the start of the term and complied with the formalities required by them

JACUSTOMER-uy05ocvk- :

Do I have any rights under any statute?

JACUSTOMER-uy05ocvk- :

The principal refused my request and said that the unused fees stays in my account and I can use it to pursue any higher level of studies with the college. I find this quite strange. If it is unused, why can't he refund me the fees?

Ben Jones :

The only way to try and approach this would be under statutory and contractual laws by arguing that you have paid the fees for a service and that by withdrawing from the course they should refund you any unused/unspent part of the fees you paid. You can in fact treat these fees like a deposit.

If the other party is a business, they will be subject to certain consumer rules and regulations. For example, you will have some protection under Schedule 2, Regulation 1(d) of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. It states that if the contract has been cancelled after a deposit has been placed you are entitled to have the deposit returned in full, unless the other party has spent time, effort and money, in which case they can deduct reasonable expenses. Even if some expenses have been incurred, if these are subsequently recovered, for example by getting a replacement for you, the deposit should still be returned in full. It follows that a blanket non-refundable clause that entitles the other party to keep the deposit in all circumstances is most likely going to be unfair and unlawful.

If you are having difficulties in recovering the deposit when you believe you are entitled to have it returned, advise them that you will not hesitate reporting them to the Office of Fair Trading and, if necessary, pursue the matter further through the county court. Exerting such pressure could often work in changing the other party’s position in this matter.

JACUSTOMER-uy05ocvk- :

I have told them that I will take legal action if my request is denied but they seem to be confident with their position. What further steps shall I take?

Ben Jones :

you cannot force them to refund you and if they really wanted to they can continue refusing to pay you back, which means the only way to pursue this is by making a claim in the small claims court

JACUSTOMER-uy05ocvk- :

Are my statutory rights stronger than the wording of the contract which I signed? What are the chances of success of my claim?

Ben Jones :

this is mainly a contractual claim, rather than a statutory one but it is impossible to advice you of your chances, no one can tell you whether you will win or lose or what percentage you have of succeeding - a lot depends on the judge on the day, the defence of the other party and so on - it is just the nature of litigation

JACUSTOMER-uy05ocvk- :

Will I be paying their legal expenses if I lose? How much is it likely to cost if the matter goes to litigation?

Ben Jones :

no you will not be as this is the small claims court. You are looking at around £80 claim fee, £40 allocation fee and £165 hearing fee

Ben Jones :

Before you try and exit chat can you please let me know if your original query has been answered or if you need me to clarify anything else in relation to it before I close this at my end?

JACUSTOMER-uy05ocvk- :

Thats all. Thanks

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome, all the best

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice