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Positive Birth Company

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Hi everyone, 
Looking for some advice. I recently (2nd Jan) purchased a hypnobirthing course online via credit card (cost £60). The course consists of  videos and mp3 files. However, I realised on the 5th Jan that access to the course was actually provided complimentary through a pregnancy Pilates programme that I want to sign up to. So I contacted them to cancel and ask for a refund.

I realise that digital content you lose your consumer rights once you listen/watch/download content but that you are bound by the terms and conditions. The terms and conditions state that the company has a money back guarantee if you find the course not helpful and contact them within 14 days (I contacted on 5th Jan) and have watched less than 20% of the content (I had watched 15%). I perhaps foolishly was honest that I liked the course but didn’t want to pay twice. They are refusing a refund based on the ground I said I liked it. I have argued that not finding it helpful isn’t well defined and that although I like the course I don’t find it helpful to pay for something twice. I also now won’t find the course relaxing and helpful as we have had such arduous email exchanges but they won’t budge and have said they have nothing else to say on the matter.

I have asked for a written address so I can formally complain and also a copy of their complaints procedure and whether they are a member of an ADR scheme but have not yet had a response. However I’m a bit worried that they don’t want to engage and realistically it’s a small amount of money so I’m not going to take them to court etc. 

I feel they are being unreasonable and any advice on how or whether to pursue this is appreciated. 
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Replies

  • edited 12 January at 8:38PM
    powerful_Roguepowerful_Rogue Forumite
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    edited 12 January at 8:38PM
    faykceb84 said:
    Hi everyone, 
    Looking for some advice. I recently (2nd Jan) purchased a hypnobirthing course online via credit card (cost £60). The course consists of  videos and mp3 files. However, I realised on the 5th Jan that access to the course was actually provided complimentary through a pregnancy Pilates programme that I want to sign up to. So I contacted them to cancel and ask for a refund.

    I realise that digital content you lose your consumer rights once you listen/watch/download content but that you are bound by the terms and conditions. The terms and conditions state that the company has a money back guarantee if you find the course not helpful and contact them within 14 days (I contacted on 5th Jan) and have watched less than 20% of the content (I had watched 15%). I perhaps foolishly was honest that I liked the course but didn’t want to pay twice. They are refusing a refund based on the ground I said I liked it. I have argued that not finding it helpful isn’t well defined and that although I like the course I don’t find it helpful to pay for something twice. I also now won’t find the course relaxing and helpful as we have had such arduous email exchanges but they won’t budge and have said they have nothing else to say on the matter.

    I have asked for a written address so I can formally complain and also a copy of their complaints procedure and whether they are a member of an ADR scheme but have not yet had a response. However I’m a bit worried that they don’t want to engage and realistically it’s a small amount of money so I’m not going to take them to court etc. 

    I feel they are being unreasonable and any advice on how or whether to pursue this is appreciated. 
    Digital content is excluded from the right to return after used. You openly admit you have watched 20% of the material.
    As such, you are now relying on their own returns policy. This is above and beyond your consumer rights and saying you 'liked' the material, in their opinion means you found it helpful.
    I don't think they have been unreasonable. In fact it would seem the other way round.
    Only option is to send a Letter Before Action and start a Small Claims Court action. You're chances of winning, in my opinion pretty slim.

  • faykceb84faykceb84 Forumite
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    @powerful_Rogue I’ve watched 15% of the first component and 0% of the second component. Their t&cs say you can have a full refund if it’s not for you or you don’t find it useful. I don’t think listening to the woman who I’ve argued with about consumer rights is now going to be helpful in creating a positive mental state for birth and I’m still within my 14 days stipulated by the t&c.
  • powerful_Roguepowerful_Rogue Forumite
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    faykceb84 said:
    @powerful_Rogue I’ve watched 15% of the first component and 0% of the second component. Their t&cs say you can have a full refund if it’s not for you or you don’t find it useful. I don’t think listening to the woman who I’ve argued with about consumer rights is now going to be helpful in creating a positive mental state for birth and I’m still within my 14 days stipulated by the t&c.
    Then it will be a LBA and then court. Let the judge decide.

  • faykceb84faykceb84 Forumite
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    @powerful_Rogue yeah I’m not going to do that the cost of small claims will outweigh the refund. My last experience of small claims where my kitchen was installed the judge ruled in my favour but I never received any money so seems a pointless and costly endeavour.
  • brisbris Forumite
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    Well you watched some of it and admitted you liked it so they are in the right.  

    The fact you want to buy something else and can get access to the course for free is not their problem and just you really being unfair.
  • faykceb84faykceb84 Forumite
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    Ah ok I’m surprised people see it that way.
    There t&c clearly state if the course isn’t for you/not helpful you can have a full refund. I raised my concerns that I had effectively paid twice in 72hours and stopped watching instantly. I think the wording isn’t for you/not helpful isn’t clearly defined and quite subjective I don’t find it helpful that I’ve effectively over paid. I’m still in my 14 day period and have no desire to continue now the point of the course is to promote feelings of relaxation before birth and yet listening to the lady’s voice just annoys me as I feel I’ve been treated unfairly. 
    They have suggested I gift my duplicate voucher to a friend but I wouldn’t generally spend that much on a gift so money will go to waste.
    Honesty gets you nowhere cause if I had told them I wasn’t enjoying the course they would have given me a full refund!
  • gettingtheresometimegettingtheresometime Forumite
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    Personally I don't see that you have paid twice ....the Pilates course is giving you the hypnotherapy course free so aren't charging you for it.

    Yes it's galling but, imo, you were always going to be at their goodwill.
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card / JD Williams cleared :) thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge
  • faykceb84faykceb84 Forumite
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    I am paying twice I have to pay the Pilates course a one off fee for their starter pack (£40) which includes the hypnobirthing in addition to the Pilates subscription (£35 a month) and I’ve already paid for the hypnobirthing (standalone cost £39).
    I’m happy to pay for Pilates as it’s a completely different service. I’m just surprised that I can’t cancel when I met the objective criteria for cancelling I.e. within the time limit and within the allowed usage amount. They are disputing it based on the subjective criteria that I found it helpful/or that it’s just not for me. The content is pleasant but nothing I’ve not heard before. I could easily live without it. I also bought a book from the same lady and it’s basically a summary of the videos (I didn’t know that when I signed up so I could easily digest the info from the book at a much cheaper cost).

  • Manxman_in_exileManxman_in_exile Forumite
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    If you knew that their returns policy was based on "not finding the course helpful", why did you tell them you liked the content?  I admire your candour, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to argue that the "not finding the course helpful" is subjective and shouldn't apply when you've admitted you subjectively liked it.

    I'm sure you don't want to pay twice for the course, but I think you'll have to rely on their goodwill to get any refund.
  • edited 12 January at 11:51PM
    Aylesbury_DuckAylesbury_Duck Forumite
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    edited 12 January at 11:51PM
    I'm another who doesn't think you have a valid argument.  If I bought something, used it and then a few days later realised I could buy the same thing for less or even get it for nothing, I have no right to a refund unless the returns policy said I have.

    You haven't paid twice, you've paid once and have been given the second one for nothing.  Your argument to them is flawed because you cannot credibly say it's not for you and simultaneously tell them you want it from elsewhere.  You either want it or you don't, and you've told them you do.  Why on earth should they refund you?
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