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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71130
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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HiIm a small two-man band ltd company and sold a course of

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Im a small two-man band ltd company and sold a course of pre-paid ( 3 ) colon cleansing treatments this year to a client. She had used all 3 treatments and was very happy with them, so she subsequently bought another course of 3 treatments and paid £199 for them upfront via card in May this year. No contract was signed but it was verbally mentioned and explained to her about the treatments during the time I treated her the (terms and conditions), which are also clearly displayed on our website. Pre-paid packages paid for upfront are non-refundable. Three months later after paying for the treatments, I had a text from her saying she was pregnant and she wanted a refund on the 3 treatments due to this. I explained via text again the terms and conditions, but as a good will gesture, I would extend the length of time on the prepaid treatments (usually they have a year time frame to use) to a longer time so that she could take the 3 remaining treatments anytime after her first baby was born. Or Alternatively she could transfer the treatments to someone else. I did not receive a reply back from the text message but her husband (I don't know whether it was) kept calling me on the phone for days. I also explained to him the terms and conditions and asked him that she should speak to me directly due to patient confidentiality. He still kept calling after I told him to stop from a withheld no (the one day on/off 6 times in one day) which I spoke to him many times about the terms and conditions, I really felt very harassed by these calls and in the end told him to stop or I would report him to the police.
I have now received a complaint letter from the client that she felt the matter was a failure to resolve on health grounds she can't use the treatments during the time of pregnancy and that she didn't want to wait until the baby is born to take them. She also didn't want to transfer them. The letter says if she didn't receive the refund to resolve this she would take it straight to a small claims court.
Where do I stand in the eyes of the law on this? Do I stand my ground on our refund policy terms and conditions? and the offer I have given to resolve the matter for the client. Or would the court deem that I should give a refund in this situation? I'm Just trying to get the refund policy set in stone legally for any future queries should they arise.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How much notice did you receive?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi she paid for them on 9th may 2015. The text messages are attached for your information on the notice. Normally in my rules I ask the client to give 24 hour notice if they cancel there appointment and on the 23rd may I text to remind her of her one of 3 colonic treatments the next day to which she did cancel this giving less than 24hr notice. They usually loose this session. I decided to align my policies on refunds with larger companies I.e. The aircraft industry, if someone bought a ticket etc and they bought it upfront it was non refundable.
What I need to know is how much notice you received?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There was no notice given by her as such, she bought the course of treatments on the 9th may and she text me for a refund on the 29th June.
When was the treatment due to take place?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She booked the one of paid three cleanses for the 23rd may. I text to remind her of the booking the night before and she cancelled,giving less than 24 hour notice (which the client usually looses the treatment off the package). She said she needed to reschedule but no further communication on treatments were booked after this point.
Were you able to sell that appointment to somebody else?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry the 24th may the booking was supposed to take place sorry, the 23rd may I sent the booking text message reminder. No it was too late notice to fit any other paying clients in.
What your contract says is a non issue.
The law is this. She is locked into a contract. She can demand cancellation rights in accordance with your contract but she doesn't otherwise have them. If she tries to cancel she is in breach.
However, you only have a claim for the sum of your loss which is basically the cost of one appointment because you couldn't sell to another. The others have not resulted in loss so cannot be claimed.
That said, it is quite unlikely that she would sue and the Court would not be remotely interested in her pregnancy. Some women seem to think that is an excuse for everything combined with, of course, the old chestnut of domestic abuse.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If she did sue me, what would be the likely outcome be and costs incurred by me?
You would have to repay everything except the cost of one treatment and costs of about £50.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't understand Why would I loose? She bought a non refundable course and one sessions was used up when she lost it not given the 24 hour notice. Thanks
you only have a claim for the sum of your loss which is basically the cost of one appointment because you couldn't sell to another. The others have not resulted in loss so cannot be claimed.
Not to mention the fact that non refundable contracts are unlawful.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I've never stopped her taking the treatments, she can take them after she has had the baby. I don't understand how phone contracts and gym contracts, airline tickets etc don't give refunds? What's the difference with my business ? Thanks
Usually because they suffer loss.
Or have taken out finance agreements so the money is not owed to the gym but to the finance company.
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