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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48158
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I paid over the phone postgraduate diploma course with a

Customer Question

I paid over the phone for a postgraduate diploma course with a distance learning college.
Having previously completed a Diploma with college a number of years ago, I was surprised to see that most of the course material was the same level and content as the course I previously completed with them. I would just be submitting more assignments for marking, not extending my knowledge to a postgraduate level.
I wrote to them cancelling my contract and a refund on the 9th March (within 14 days of payment) having sought advise from Citizens Advice. I entered in to a contract for provision of tutoring, marking and assessment of assignments leading to a postgraduate diploma.
They advised that as I have accessed the online portal and looked at some of the learning resources, they would not issue a refund as I have accessed 'digital' content. I replied that I entered in to a contract for provision of tutoring, marking and assessment leading to a postgraduate diploma and that the pdfs were one small element of the service I had paid for. £1,300 to download some pdfs is extortionate. I offered to pay the £35 (the cost of a text book on events management) as a gesture of good will if they refunded the remainder of the fee.
They did not issue me with a contract of service or information required under The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.
My emails have since gone unanswered. I issued a section 75 claim against my credit card on the 9th March and they have just advised that they did not find in my favour.
I am at the end of my tether as I am left with a bill of £1,300 for a service I have cancelled within 14 days.
Please help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

I understand you paid for the course over the phone but was it initially advertised online?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it was on their website
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. Now that you have tried to resolve this directly with them and they are no longer responding, plus the fact you have already tried the Section 75 protection, means that you are only left with a couple of viable options, one of which is legal action. Whilst this may sound daunting at first, the good news is that this is a claim that will be heard by the small claims court as it is for a sum less than £10,000. This means it is a relativeLy low risk thing to pursue because the fees are not extortionate and even if you lose you would not be responsible for the other side’s legal costs. The lead up to the claim could also as a type of warning to them and hopefully force them to reconsider their position. However, if they refuse to sort this issue out then you may have to proceed all the way until you get a judgment in your favour which you can then enforce against them. Another option is the statutory demand route where you can eventually issue bankruptcy petition against them if they do not pay. Neither option is necessarily better than the other but at least you have them available to you if you want to take this further.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow to take this further, whichever option you choose, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and 5 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben. Thanks for your reply. I will try and rate the service now. Hopefully it won't close the thread :-)
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:

1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. Before you consider starting legal action you may wish to consider sending a formal statutory demand. This is a legal request which asks the debtor to pay the outstanding debt within 21 days and failure to do so will allow you to bankrupt the debtor (if they are an individual ) or wind up the company (if they are a business). For the relevant forms to serve a statutory demand see here: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-demands/forms-to-issue-a-statutory-demand

4. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben. Many thanks. Does the same apply to a company with a registered address in the UK but operates from the ROI ?Many thanks Matt
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

If it has a registered address in the UK then you can sue them here

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's great. Does the same apply to the application to wind up the company?Best regards
Matt
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Yes, if it is a registered company at Companies House int he UK then these rules will apply to them