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National Federation of Fish Friers - unfair Non-Refundable Course Deposit

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Hey,

 

Having paid a substantial course deposit in March of this year, increasing health concerns are going to make it practically impossible for me to attend.

 

I have emailed them to discuss a refund and received this reply:

 

"In order to confirm a place on a specific training course either the full fee or a 50% deposit will be required at the time of booking.

 

 

If a student cancels a place a 50% administration fee on the full cost of the course will be charged.

* If a student cancels a place within 7 working days of the course commencing, a 75% administration fee on the full cost of the course will be charged."

 

They've told me to go whistle for it!

 

The chosen course dates are far in advance (December 2017), and I certainly believe a refund to me will cause them no financial loss..

. their courses are very popular and in high-demand!

 

Is there anything i could possibly do to try and get this money back, as i just feel this is totally unfair?

I don't really want to lose out on £500+

 

How can companies get away with lining their pockets in such a way...

 

Any help will be greatly appreciated 😊

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Which company please?


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Thanks. Well the National Federation of Fish Friers is probably a first for this forum.

 

There are two things here. First of all can you tell us something about their terms and conditions when you enrolled on the course. When did you enroll– and was it online? Could you try and find the terms and conditions please – the ones that would have been displayed to you before you committed yourself to the course.

 

In any event, I'm struck by the fact that they claim that the money you are meant to be forfeiting is apparently for their "administrative costs". By claiming this, they immediately shoot themselves in the foot because they would have to demonstrate that the money they are trying to withhold from you really does represent their administrative costs.

 

You haven't told us anything about the value of this.

 

Please will you give us details of what you paid, when you paid it, when you served notice of cancellation and what was the proposed starting date of course.


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Are you claiming you entered into the contract as a consumer or part of a business?. Will they claim it is a course related to business?

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Are you claiming you entered into the contract as a consumer or part of a business?. Will they claim it is a course related to business?

 

I'm not sure what difference that makes.


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I'm not sure what difference that makes.

 

Consumer rights act (and its precursor UTCC).

Much more limited scope for business to business contracts.

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Hey,

 

Apologies for the lack of information in my previous posts..

. currently suffering from General Election insomnia! :)

 

I can confirm I enrolled through a paper application pack (sent online through email) and the enrolment/deposit date was 10th March 2017.

 

 

The total fee for the course amounts to £916.00,

I paid a total deposit fee of £458.00 via credit card

and the proposed course dates were 4th - 6th December 2017.

 

 

My initial contact to discuss a course cancellation and refund was sent on 5th June 2017,

and they replied with their previously mentioned answer on 7th June 2017.

 

Considering how popular and in-demand their courses are meant to be,

I simply can't see how they would make any potential financial loss through a very early cancellation!

 

I can also confirm the course enrolment was done as a consumer.

 

Edit - I have attached the T&Cs that were sent to me on enrolment.

NFF - T&C.pdf

Edited by Sverian

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Consumer rights act (and its precursor UTCC).

Much more limited scope for business to business contracts.

 

But unfair terms under the Consumer Rights Act would not be the only way forward. Misrepresentation also suggests itself and would be a far more serious allegation against this organisation. I cannot imagine any court would countenance a situation where an organisation falsely represented the level of these administrative costs in order to keep back a substantial deposit from a customer – whether that customer was an individual consumer or functioning as a trader.

 

Hey,

 

Apologies for the lack of information in my previous posts... currently suffering from General Election insomnia! :)

 

I can confirm I enrolled through a paper application pack (sent online through email) and the enrolment/deposit date was 10th March 2017. The total fee for the course amounts to £916.00, I paid a total deposit fee of £458.00 via credit card and the proposed course dates were 4th - 6th December 2017. My initial contact to discuss a course cancellation and refund was sent on 5th June 2017, and they replied with their previously mentioned answer on 7th June 2017.

 

Considering how popular and in-demand their courses are meant to be, I simply can't see how they would make any potential financial loss through a very early cancellation!

 

I can also confirm the course enrolment was done as a consumer.

 

Edit - I have attached the T&Cs that were sent to me on enrollment.

 

well these T&Cs definitely refer to administrative costs so you are entitled to receive a detailed justification of those costs and if the breakdown is not satisfactory then my view is that you may be able to claim for the money. However, I'm also bothered by the fact that you say that these documents received after you enrolled. What I gather from this is that you entered into a contract, paper money and then they sent you this document as part of the course materials.

 

If this is the case then they are on even more fragile ground because if they did not bring these terms to your attention before you entered into the contract, then the question of administrative costs is at large. They would not be entitled to introduce new terms into an existing contract.

 

Are you sure that nowhere in the process these terms and conditions – or any terms and conditions were brought to your attention – even if it was simply a checkbox where you agreed that you had read them (but maybe you simply ignored them)?


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Should I send an email asking for a detailed administrative cost breakdown?

 

I'm absolutely positive there were no other terms and conditions related to this course, other than the agreement I have already shown. I'm a little hopeful, that a little persistance and annoyance might just help them cave in and refund me.

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I would suggest that as an experiment, you go through the registration process again – as far as you can without actually committing yourself – just to double check whether or not there were any terms and conditions. It won't make a lot of difference because I think you are in a very good position anyway – but it's worth crossing all the T's and dotting your i's.

 

Then yes, I think that you should send them a letter – not an email – saying that you note that they require you compensate them in respect of their administrative costs and that you require a full detailed breakdown of these costs.

 

I expect they won't want to reply and you may not hear from – or else you will get a load of flannel from them.

 

Come back here when you hear something – or if you don't hear anything in about 10 days and come back here anyway.

 

Meanwhile, if they won't refund your money as a result of correspondence and pressure on them, and I'm afraid that the only thing to suggest who would be to bring a small claim in the County Court. On the basis of what you have told us, I expect that your chances are better than 85% success. In a small claim, even if you lose you won't have to pay the other side's costs. In a situation such as you have described, I would expect that the organisation will be unwilling to go to court and will be unwilling to have it known that they had a judgement against them. I fully expect that they won't be very interested in what you have to say but I also expect that once they receive court papers, you will find that they suddenly become quite compliant. They may try to bluff you that when they realise that a court hearing is imminent then I would expect that they would settle your claim plus costs plus interest on the claim of course.

 

I would imagine that they would try to claim merely as a gesture of goodwill and if they did settle they would try to do it on condition of confidentiality. I would suggest that if they do that, that you tell them to go and do the other thing.

 

Let us know what happens and we will help you with the next step.


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paid by credit card..

 

the card provider is equally liable and must justify those T&C's are legally enforceable [iMHO they are NOT!!]

 

section 75 claim is also an option.

 

let the card provider do you arguing...

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?473624-Section-75-and-Charge-Back..-gt-Whats-the-difference-and-how-to-utilise-them


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WE CAN'T GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU SEND ME A LINK TO YOUR THREAD - I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER HELP THERE

Single Premium PPI Q&A Read Here

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Reclaim Bank Account, Loan & Credit Card Charges Read Here

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@BankFodder;

 

 

Hey,

 

I received this response today:

 

"Thank you for your email. As you can appreciate Terms and Conditions are a part of all company business and are set in place to outline what a person is agreeing to when they chose to buy a product.

 

Our terms and conditions state that a 50% administration fee is charged should a course be cancelled. As this is something that you have chosen to do then unfortunately we have to follow the terms and conditions that we have in place.

 

The training courses fill up very quickly and even though as you state your course booking was not until later in the year we still have to follow the terms and conditions in place.

 

The administration fee charged is inclusive of the work involved spent on making the booking and also the cancellation of the booking.

 

However as we have offered we would be happy to change the course to an alternative date, however we are unable to refund any monies paid as per the terms and conditions in place.

 

I trust that this answers your questions."

 

They have ignored my request for a detailed breakdown of the 50% administration charge.

 

@dx100uk;

 

Would you recommend a credit card chargeback or small claims court?

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Well now it is up to you.

 

You can have a look at making a claim against the card issuer. They will be less than happy about it – but if you can get them involved then it will cause a lot of trouble for the National Federation of Fish Friers. Alternatively, if you want a more certain outcome – although you will have to risk the court fees – you can begin a small claim in the County Court.

 

If you want to bring a claim in the County Court then you should read up about it on this forum – although it's not very difficult. Your claim would be that their "administration fee" is not a genuine pre-estimate of loss and therefore amounts to an unfair term creating and unenforceable penalty contrary to the unfair terms provisions in the Consumer Rights Act and also contrary to Common Law.

 

Decide which way you want to go – but if you want to take court action then you will have to write to them and tell them that you do not accept what they say and that you note their failure to provide you with a breakdown of their alleged costs and that if they will not either provide a complete justification of the fee or a refund that you will start a County Court action against them in 14 days and without any further notice.


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Considering everything you've told me, i'll weigh up the costs of the small claims court and go from there!

 

If the company decided they were going to contect this in court, how much notice do you usually receive for a court attendance date? I'm often out of the country and don't want this to cause any issues.

 

I really apprciate your help :)

 

PS. This is completely irrelevant but you might be able to help... when you have previously accepted a 'gesture of goodwill' payment from a company, in regards to a previous complaint, can you actually change your mind and reject this e.g. return the monies paid for complaint settlement?

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If you are frequently out of the country then this is the kind of thing which will cause you a real problem. You need somebody at home who can open your mail and scan it to you immediately and you need to be up to respond immediately.

 

You will normally get at least 4 to 6 and maybe 8 weeks notice of a court hearing. You will probably need to provide a bundle of documents before the hearing date – normally 21 days in advance. These need to be properly prepared, arranged, indexed numbered et cetera.


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T&C can be challenged!!

else we'd never have gotten the millions in bank charges back

nor PPI.

 

as for the section 75 [iT IS NOT CHARGEBACK]

 

might be the easier route

then p'haps court if that doesn't work.

 

dx


PLEASE DONT HIT QUOTE IF THE LAST POST IS THE ONE YOU ARE REPLYING TOO.

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please do not post jpg images directly to a topic..USE PDF ....READ UPLOAD.

 

WE CAN'T GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU SEND ME A LINK TO YOUR THREAD - I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER HELP THERE

Single Premium PPI Q&A Read Here

Reclaim mis-sold PPI Read Here

Reclaim Bank Account, Loan & Credit Card Charges Read Here

The CAG Interest Tutorial Read Here

spreadsheets 

 

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Hey,

 

I have sent the notice for potential court action, but I wanted to ask...

 

If I decide to try for a Section 75, could I still proceed with court action if this fails? What would be the grounds for requesting this charge reversal... unfair terms and conditions?

 

Thanks.

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course never provided


PLEASE DONT HIT QUOTE IF THE LAST POST IS THE ONE YOU ARE REPLYING TOO.

MAKES A THREAD TWICE AS LONG TO SCROLL THROUGH!

please do not post jpg images directly to a topic..USE PDF ....READ UPLOAD.

 

WE CAN'T GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU SEND ME A LINK TO YOUR THREAD - I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER HELP THERE

Single Premium PPI Q&A Read Here

Reclaim mis-sold PPI Read Here

Reclaim Bank Account, Loan & Credit Card Charges Read Here

The CAG Interest Tutorial Read Here

spreadsheets 

 

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Hey,

 

I have sent the notice for potential court action, but I wanted to ask...

 

If I decide to try for a Section 75, could I still proceed with court action if this fails? What would be the grounds for requesting this charge reversal... unfair terms and conditions?

 

Thanks.

 

 

It would basically be this: –

their "administration fee" is not a genuine pre-estimate of loss and therefore amounts to an unfair term creating and unenforceable penalty contrary to the unfair terms provisions in the Consumer Rights Act and also contrary to Common Law.

 

But we will help you with the actual wording once you start drafting the claim on MoneyClaim.

 

Don't draft anything without us helping you or approving what you put


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Hey,

 

I recently received the attached reply.

 

I'm currenrly working out if i'm i'll be able to commit to court action, being abroad a lot, and i'm also discussing a Section 75 claim with Barclaycard.

NFF Response.pdf

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I have forgotten the detail of the story. Presumably you have asked them for a full breakdown and they have either refused to provide it or they have not responded to that point.

 

Clearly, if Barclaycard will pay out on a section 75 refund then this will spare you the hassle and also the risk of taking the matter to court. However, I'm fairly certain that if you do go to court that you will be successful – especially if they refuse to provide a breakdown of their costs even to the court. Frankly I think that rather than disclose this kind of information – they would rather put their hands up.

 

Committing to court action on this kind of figure is not going to be very expensive. I think you will find that it is less than £50 – although there is a directions questionnaire fee and also a hearing fee if it goes that far.

 

This link will tell you what the risks are http://www.compactlaw.co.uk/compactlaw-admin/court-fees.html


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Hi,

 

Yes,

they still failed to provide me with a full breakdown of their costs

e.g. how they can justify not returning the 50% course deposit.

 

 

I sent off the terms and conditions of the course, and also showed Barclaycard the company's refusal to provide me with a refund.

 

Today, I received this response from Barclaycard:

 

"Dear Mr Porter

 

Thanks for your message.

 

We have checked your account and noted that we received your documents on 16/07/17.

 

On this occasion,

in absence of documentary evidences substantiating that a refund is due, it is with regret I inform you that we are unable to assist you further.

 

 

In the circumstances, I can only suggest that you pursue the matter direct with the merchant.

 

Our earlier letter informed you that we had suspended the amount of the transaction from the interest calculation and minimum payment amount.

In the circumstances, I have today removed this suspension from your account."

 

Can I challenge Barclaycard over their decision, or should I now consider going through the small claims court?

 

As always, help is appreciated!

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I'm away at the moment.

Please monitor this thread for a fuller response in the next few days


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Hi,

 

No problem!

 

I appreciate your help so far :)

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