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Justin Tyme

Tigrent Learning - Can we get out of this contract? Urgent help needed!

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A friend was tempted to attend a presentation hosted by "Homes Under the Hammer" late last year regarding how to buy property for buy-to-let.

 

She was interested enough to sign up (£999.00) for a more detailed 3-day seminar with Tigrent Learning (who say they have no direct affiliation with HUTH) at a hotel in Yorkshire and asked me if I would join her as her guest and share the fee to some extent. I was intrigued enough to accept her offer and contributed £300 to her directly. Let me say from the outset that we are good friends and I in no way wish to burden her in this matter.

 

We attended the 3-day course which was pretty intensive with early morning starts and long sessions but, to be honest, I learned precious little that I did not know before. The material presented was pretty basic and mostly plausible although, in retrospect, overly optimistic in terms of how easy it would be to raise deposits on credit cards, obtain mortgages, select buy and refurbish properties, then rent them out allowing us to remortgage, pull our capital out and start the cycle again. I know this stacks up on paper but feel that, in real life, things are never that easy.

 

Looking back, the course was not only designed to impart just basic information and a 'magic' plan for buy-to-letters, but also followed a carefully planned script to psychologically wind us up with American style ra-ra-ra in order to sell us further training at an 'Advanced University' course.

 

The courses offered looked very expensive but, in the true style of double glazing sales, we were offered discounts to sign up on the day.

 

I don't know why I fell for it, I must have been mad, but was sufficiently caught up in the moment to agree to sign up for their most basic 'advanced' training package course jointly with my friend. I had told the lecturers all along that, although I had an interest in property, the timing was not right for me (neither was it for my friend who was going on holiday abroad over Christmas) and I would like time to think about it and maybe get back to them.

 

But, of course, we were then put under yet more pressure in very subtle ways. To cut a long story short, my friend and I discussed it and, goodness knows what possessed me, I agreed to jointly sign up for the most basic joint package at £9192 inc vat, the earliest course we could provisionally attend being scheduled for mid February 2013. It was agreed verbally that we could each give a deposit of £2000 on credit cards, so long as the balance was paid before the training date. My friend was the signatory, my details were added as a guest (but no signature) and I paid my £2K on a hand written credit card form and I presume she did the same. My friend received a copy of the contract (I would attach but I don't know how!) but I did not see it or get a copy at the time. This was on a Sunday evening.

 

We both left thinking 'what have we done?' but had been told we had made a positive, life-changing decision (!) and, for the moment, that was that.

 

Maybe I should have done it beforehand but I decided to do some Googling on Tigrent and was disturbed by much of what I read. My friend had already gone on holiday and so it was difficult to discuss matters with her apart from a brief email until she returned in early January when I told her of my worries.

 

She emailed me a copy of the agreement a couple of days ago which seems quite official and on the face of it legally well constucted, although there may be some loopholes.

 

But basically, I have decided that I now have no interest in attending the further training (which I now think is massively over-expensive for what it is) and would dearly like to draw a line under this whole business. I certainly baulk at the thought of paying another £2600 odd + travelling and hotel fees. I have certain quite serious health issues now arising which make it impossible for me to be available in February in any case but it appears that we would have to attend together as part of their rules.

 

And, now I have seen the contract, it seems we might be subject to not getting the discount because we did not pay the balance within 15 days - I was not aware of this. This was not what was agreed verbally. There is no mention of the full price on the agreement by the way, just the discounted figure and only three days right to cancel which I am not sure is legal in UK.

 

(I have cancelled my credit card transferred the balance to a zero % card, just in case they try to put through any further charge. My bank (FD) didn't acknowledge any reason to refund me - this was 2 days after the contract.)

 

My friend is resigned to going ahead with the training (whilst sympathetic to my reluctance) but does not want to be landed with paying my extra £2596. I really don't want to cause her any problems. I am resigned to writing off my £2K deposit and chalk it up to experience. But, ideally, I do not want to proceed or have to pay any more. She has suggested one possibility is for her to team up with someone else (there were a couple of guys she met on the course who were thinking of signing up singlely - there is a discount for pairs).

Or maybe Tigrent would agree to put my £2K towards a single fee for her - I just don't know how reasonable they would be.

 

Whatever, we have to contact Tigrent to accept or adjust our attendance dates by Friday 25th January, at which time I am sure they will press for the balance - so not much time to think.

 

I am obviously in a bit of a quandry and feel a very foolish old man.

 

Anyone have any thoughts please?

Edited by Justin Tyme

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quite honestly i'd both do a chargeback on your cards

get the deposit back and stuff'em

 

there is little they can do.

 

dx


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