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  1. Hi, Please can you advise? In March I had a couple of in depth conversations with a programme advisor for DPG - a company that offers training in HR. In these convos I covered much territory including what if I don't pass (they claim you won't or your money back), what if I lose my job and can't pay etc (they allow for mitigating circumstances). One of my questions was 'what if I just decided to drop out because it wasn't for me/wasn't convenient at that point? Is it that you lose whatever money you've paid?' and I was told that is indeed the case. As a result of these calls I signed up for a 10 month course costing £4200 and I paid a deposit of almost £800. In return they sent me a mini iPad as a welcome gift. They provide no other materials other than access to the online training content. Within days I had my life ripped apart. My fiancee, the love of my life, ran off with my best mate and I am in pieces. I've suffered insomnia, weight loss, violent outbursts,spontaneous bursting into tears, paranoia and truly feel I am losing my mind. Seriously, I am on the verge of cracking up. I tried to struggle on, bury my head in the course to distract myself but it was no good. After just 4 hours use of the training programme I called to say I was leaving. The person on the phone asked for details and I broke down in tears on the phone as I told the whole story. To my surprise she said that as the 14 day cool off window has passed that I am liable for the full fee of the course. This is when I was expecting a sizeable refund of the £800 already paid! At no point in my conversations with programme advisor who answered all my questions - who also took my payment - was there any mention of the 14 day cooling off period which I would like to think would be required as they are effectively distance sellers and their product was purchased over the phone. She said mitigating circumstances may result in a 'partial decrease' and would speak to her boss. I told her that she's had £800 for just 3 weeks access to learning material and just 4 hours was used and that £800 is more than enough. I also said that charging the full fee is scandalous and immoral - not the way a HR-orientated company should operate. As they are a business I made the financial argument that they can keep the £800 as it will be a huge profit margin for them. I was asked to put everything in an email so I did. The programme director replied, ingratiatingly sounding caring and concerned yet and offered the option to defer for the - get this - 'admin fee' of £495 or that I can leave altogether, at which point there is nothing he can do and the full fees must be paid in order to be "consistent and fair as a business". Annoyingly he then said that he can waive all fees if I provide medical documentation stating I cannot continue with the course - which means he can waive the fees if he so wishes! My life is in tatters! My social circle is gone as many knew what was going on behind my back and my so-called mate works in HR which means I have no desire to go that route anymore. I pointed out that I feel trapped and cornered at a time I am most vulnerable (and about to go off work with stress) and that the only options he is leaving me with is to deteriorate further to the point where medical intervention is required (which is sadistic) . Pre-course they mentioned mitigating circumstances - isn't what I'm going through 'mitigating'? He replied saying he understands and doesn't want to add to my stress (ha!) but that he wants to help me (really?) and be fair as a business (by charging £3500 for services not yet rendered). Please help! This cannot be legal, surely? Companies are prevented from applying excessive parking charges because the amount demanded is disproportionate to the loss to their business. What is fair and reasonable about anything they are doing? What is fair and reasonable about basically saying "I can waive the fees if I want to.........but I'm not going to"?
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