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.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75983
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
29905560
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I've had an intensive driving course that was cancelled due

Customer Question

Hi there, i've had an intensive driving course that was cancelled due to covid risk, and the company who i paid over £1000 to to organise this, was then very unhelpful with organising replacement lessons - wouldn't respond to emails, still over a week later has not responded to me in 5 days and obviously has not organised any refund or replacement - however i've managed to speak to someone who will have someone from their refund department call me. I've checked their refund policy online - it basically states that after 14 days from the purchase i am not eligible for a refund at all - is this legal? I didn't know my lessons would be cancelled and that i would be ignored until after this time had lapsed
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I am in England
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Emailed them several times, called them today
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I've had to book more expensive lessons elsewhere in order to ensure that i will be driving in the timeframe necessary
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

When did you pay for the course?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hi Ben, i'm Calum
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I paid for it on Oct 19th
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information Calum. Please leave it with me and I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, usually the same day. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about this situation and any associated issues.

It is certainly legal for them to offer no refund after 14 days as that is specifically allowed under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. Obviously, if the course was cancelled, they would be expected to arrange for a replacement, or refund you and unless they are refusing to provide a replacement course, you would not be entitled to a refund. I appreciate that delays are not ideal but at this stage it would be too early to argue that they have failed in their duties and are clearly not interested in offering a replacement. It would take weeks, rather than days for that to happen.

For now it would be best to push them for organising the replacement course and pursue their official complaints procedure, if they have one. If it has been some time with no solution or a reply, you can consider treating this as a breach of contract on their part and start looking at seeking compensation to recover the amount you paid.

If a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation arising out of a dispute between them, they can potentially do so by making a court claim. However, as legal action should only be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without the need to involve the courts. It is therefore recommended that the following steps are taken in order to try and resolve this:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time – 14 days is reasonable. They should be advised that if they fail to make contact to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for compensation. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this without the need for legal action. There are numerous templates available online for such letters and a simple search will bring up a list of useful results.

3. If the letter before action is also ignored, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome. There will be a fee payable, which depends on the amount that is claimed. The other side will eventually get a copy of the claim and they will have a limited time to answer it. They could accept it and pay what is owed, they could accept it only in part and defend the rest, or they could outright reject it. They could also completely ignore it, in which case judgment will eventually be entered automatically against them. Also, it is worth noting that the simple act of submitting a claim could show the other side that this is being taken seriously and prompt them to consider negotiating a potential solution to stop the claim progressing further, such as offering full or partial payment of the amount sought in the claim.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

I trust that everything has now been dealt with to your satisfaction and your original question has been resolved. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.