Online training course - can I cancel?

Hi all,

Around 2 months ago I signed up for an online IT training course, it's a course where you have live session and learning you do at your own pace.

In short, it's been way below my expectations and what they promised, nothing near what I was expecting and they've essentially mis-sold to me. 

I have a monthly payment sent up to pay for it via a third party finance company for this course. 

The training company itself says no refunds after 14 days, so I know if I ask them to cancel and stop my payments they'll say no. But legally, do I have a right to push for a refund, or at least no more payments to be taken? 

I don't trust them in terms of starting the training over again, as they've already promised a re-sit of our first weeks live training 2 weeks ago, but we've still heard nothing! All a bit of a shambles. 

Any help would be appreciated, thanks :)


  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,696
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 13 October 2023 at 6:54PM
    To get a refund you need to show that they have breached the contract they have with you.

    You say it's way below your expectations and what they promised.

    Expectations can be subjective. However if it's way below what they promised you are on much firmer ground.

    You don't tell us the company, the course or even the country where they are based. Can you give any examples of specific things they had promised which they have not delivered on?
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,281
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
    edited 13 October 2023 at 7:44PM
    The financial agreement is separate to your agreement with the training provider, so you can’t just stop paying. They will chase you for the money if you do.
    It’s like when you pay finance on a car and write the car off, but you still have to pay for the amount that you borrowed from the finance company. 
    if you have any issues with the training provider, do you need to raise it with them and argue for whatever refund you can get.

    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Agree with what’s been said - but also worth noting that the marketing materials do form part of the contract (as I guess the contract will be written in their favour to give as much leeway as possible). What I mean by that is that if I’m their marketing they say you will get ‘5 hours of live lectures a week’ and then in the contract they say that they will only provide a 10 minute seminar a week, they can still be said to have breached the contract. 

    I would still speak to the school/online academy first. They may have a more lenient policy that what’s published, and do a lot of ‘as a gesture goodwill…’ sort of stuff. 

    If that doesn’t work, then you will need to show breach of contract (either the formal contract/terms and conditions, or the marketing materials). The marketing materials on the website may be out of date now, and have changed since you purchased the course. You can check on the Wayback Machine to see if the page was archived around the time you took the contract out, or you may have to try and remember precisely what was advertised. 

    As others have said, it’ll be hard to prove any qualitative/subjective points (eg if you don’t feel the course was delivered in a professional manner, but they advertised as a professional course), but the objective facts are easier (the 5 hours of lectures and only 10 mins delivered example). But this should be your secondary option. Your first port of call should be the provider and say how you’re feeling, and that the course isn’t as described. They may give a pro rata refund or they may reject it. If the latter, then go down the breach of contract providing examples to them. 

    If that doesn’t work, you can look at other options like pursuing via the courts, or a section 75 claim via the credit provider but I’m no where near the expert as others on here of the S75 claims. 
  • Thanks for the replies so far, much appreciated. 

    It's a UK based IT company I'm referring to.

    I did send a big email to them on Friday outlining that I feel I've been misled and the quality is sub standard, no reply yet. I asked for them to cancel / refund. 

    My main gripes are;

    - They sold it as post course you will enter the industry as 'x' job role on £65k p/year, but it's misleading as you would basically be applying for junior roles at about half that salary. I wasn't totally naïve on this, but it's still way off way they're telling people to pull them in. 

    - They promise to give you training from 'experts from the field who are actively working in the field', when in reality coaches are people who aren't even qualified themselves, and aren't active in the field. 

    - We were promised mentors, but mentors are also people that are doing the same training as us, who are further along in the course. But they don't have all the answers, which is understandable.

    - The initial 1 week live training (which is where the bulk of the cost must go) was really poor. Slow paced training and they didn't even have a good Wi-Fi connection, so it was very disjointed. 

    I appreciate a lot of this is subjective, but today they sent everyone in our cohort an email saying that due to the issues from our 1 week live training, they're offering another a fresh start in November - so they appear to be owning the fact it was really poor. They even say in the email 'we understand that not having mentors or feeling unsupported can be challenging' - mentors were advertised and one of the big selling points! And it appears they're still not offering mentors in the 'fresh start'.

    I'm not sure whether them offering this weakens my chance of cancelling, as even though they appear to be admitting fault they have offered a re-sit. The trouble is I've checked out with them really, it's been so so poor. 

    I think I'll leave it a few days to see if I get a direct reply, perhaps giving one more push to cancel. 

    If anyone thinks based on above that I could reasonably pursue even if they say no, that would be useful to know :)

  • ThumbRemote
    ThumbRemote Posts: 4,600
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    I think that their admission of problems strengthens your case. They cannot force you to re-take the course. 

    If it were to come to court, you'd have to prove your points. You'll need to get details of the coaches they are using. For mentors, did they say anything about how they'd be trained? 
  • No, we were just told we'd have mentors. No one actually got assigned a mentor, we had to push for it. They've even admitted they're having to train up more mentors. 

    I heard back from them today re cancelling, the main point they're sticking to is "I'm afraid we are unable to cancel your finance agreement / cancel, as the product has been accessed and equally, we have put a plan in place to address the concerns raised".

    So it appears there options are either restart (even though I don't feel confident things will be any better), or not restart and just deal with the fact we've had poor quality to date. Does that seem fair?
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