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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I took my Husband to a rehab centre in Halstead last night

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I took my Husband to a rehab centre in Halstead last night and he stayed the night with treatment, sleeping pills and I was made to sign a contract before they would admit him. He has sobered up and does not want or need the treatment. We asked for the money to be returned but they have said they do not give refunds (with treatment given deducted) and if he needs treatment in future it is paid for.
They have said that I agreed to pay the money in full £7450 in addition to the deposit I made of £1500 as they had another client waiting for a bed - this was not explained to me and I was under the impression that the money would be refunded less any treatment should this not be continued within the 2 weeks.
Can I get my money back?
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have you checked the contract to see exactly what terms you are bound by?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

They did not give me a copy of the Contract but sent terms and conditions for the deposit - I do remember reading on the Contract that there was a 2 week cooling off period.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I cannot see any reply for advice, where do I check?



Hello, sorry I could not respond earlier as my connection dropped. In these circumstances you would really be bound by the terms you had agreed to at the time of signing the agreement or contract. In some circumstances this could be a situation where the fees you have paid are non-refundable. Alternatively you may be bound to pay them for the services you did not go through with, assuming you cancelled when you did not have the right to do so. It is very important to actually read the terms you had agreed to so if there was anything which stated you get a cooling off period you must check this to see if it applies to you and if you have followed the steps required of you to be eligible for this early cancellation.
You may also be able to argue that them keeping the full amount amounts to a penalty clause as it does not compensate them for the greatest loss they could have suffered as a result of your cancellation. When someone charges you fees as in this case they must only cover reasonable losses incurred as a result of your alleged breach of contract. They cannot make a profit out of it so if they have covered all expenses they have spent on your husband and also found a replacement so they do not suffer future losses, then you could argue this is a penalty clause and unenforceable.
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. 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 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.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Ben

Thanks for the information.

I spoke to trading standards and they are looking into this one but I paid the deposit to the Addiction Treatment Ltd and the terms & conditions said a 14 day cooling off period with both the deposit mentioned and the full amount mentioned as payable on admission.

I understood this to mean that there was a 14 day cooling off period but the full amount paid was to the Sanctuary Lodge and I signed the contract there and they got my husband to sign it even though he was not in sound mind or body (could hardly stand or talk.

At no point was he examined by a doctor - I spoke to one on the telephone but surely this cannot be legal?

trading standards have said that I agreed to the distance contract which under the consumer contract regulations 2013 the second was under this law also.

They suggested sending a letter giving them a period to repay but I have received several emails from the Sanctuary Lodge and Addiction to say there is no refund as I agreed to pay with no refund which I did not.

What do you think?



Hello, without being able to see the contracts that you agreed to I cannot tell you what applied or what you had agreed to so it would be difficult to advise of your rights. Are you able to upload the contract by any chance?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Attachment: 2015-05-15_083458_termsandconditionss.l.pdf

Terms hopefully attached.



Ok will review thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

any luck?

I have typed a letter giving 14 days for a refund less money for the overnight stay from the deposit but addressed to the Addiction Treatment Ltd as the original contract and terms and conditions came from them and mentioned the full amount to be paid on admission.



Sorry been in court all morning will get to it asap
Hello again, having reviewed the terms and conditions you do have the right to cancel this contract within 14 days of it coming into force, which in this case appears to be 13 May. Therefore, you cancellation rights expire on 27 May.
However, you will notice clause 9.3, which states:
“If you cancel a Treatment Order after the 14 day Cancellation Period and after the Client has been admitted to a Treatment Centre or if the Client leaves a Treatment Centre during the continuance of the provision of Medical Services then no refund will be due to you and you will remain liable to pay the Fee to us in accordance with these Terms.”
The first part does not apply to you as you have not cancelled after the initial 14 day cancellation period. Therefore, they can only rely on the second part which applies if the Medical Services to which you agreed had commenced and he left after that. However, as mentioned you could still argue that keeping the full amount when they only provided a night’s worth of services amounts to a penalty clause as it does not compensate them for the actual losses they have suffered, it goes way beyond that. As such that particular clause could be unenforceable in law, although only a court can decide if that is the case.
So your rights remain the same – you can write to them and request a refund, highlight the likelihood that this is a penalty clause and unreasonable and ask them for a refund. You cannot force them to refund you whatever you say though, so if that is the case then all you can do is go down the small claims court route as explained above.
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