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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I booked to do a course based on being told that the teacher

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I booked to do a course based on being told that the teacher had previous experience in a particular field (in this case upholstering a particular type of chair). the teacher had not done this particular chair as I had been told. I did not agree with the corner cutting way he was trying to get me to do things so I left the course after just 2 hours. I requested a refund and was told a day's teaching would be deducted from my refund. I said this was unfair as I only booked based on false information and that I would leave honest but negative feedback on review sites stating my experience. I have since found out that he has contacted one of my clients behind my back and tried to slander me. When I call the teaching centre to complain, the woman wont talk to me and the teacher just shouts at me. Do I have any rights to take this matter further?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Is this type of chair unique in some way? How does it differ from others?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

it has a floating seat cushion and a loose cover that is fitted in a unique way to other chairs

I presume the course covered that type of chair?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

the course was a 5 day course in which you could take any chair you like. I asked if they had specifically done a lurashell chair and was told yes but this was not true.

they have since informed me that they will give me a full refund but I am furious that they in the mean time contacted one of my clients (I had mentioned them by name and they are a very important and well known design group) and said that he thinks I am not suitably qualified and have mislead them and am not able to do what I have said I am. I have since had a very unhappy and confused important client on the phone asking what the hell is going on.

I want to know if them contacting my private client (nothing to do with their teaching centre at all) and saying un true accusations is allowed?

Well, it depends. That is a separate point.
If they said something that was untrue at the time of sale and you relied upon that at the time of booking then that is misrepresentation. If the misrepresentation strikes at the heart of the contract then you are entitled to a refund. If it is a fairly trivial one then you are probably only entitled to the diminution value which would be something like what they are offering.
In terms of contacting your client, there is wrongdoing in that per se.
In terms of what said to that client, that might be actionable. It depends. You would need to get chapter and verse upon what was actually said. If it does amount to something untrue that cannot be considered a fair comment or otherwise reasonable in all the circumstances then there is an argument that is defamation but I wouldn't go stampeding towards an action at the outset. It is expensive and you need to gather evidence first.
What you could do is get a solicitor or a barrister under public access to write to them warning them of the laws of defamation. That would probably cost between £50-£100 plus VAT and it is often very effective.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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