Cancelling a course

Hi can anyone help me with some advice? 

I booked a beauty course via a sponsored advert on Facebook on 21st Nov. The company sent me a payment link on Facebook messenger and called me to book in a date (12th Feb). Just before Christmas a close family member was diagnosed with serious illness and I am no longer able to do the course. 

I looked at the cancellation & refund policy which states that refunds are permitted up to 14 days before the start date (minus a £50 admin fee) so I contacted the company on 5th Jan to cancel the course and initiate a refund. 

They replied that they would not refund me as I had exceeded a 30 day cooling off period. 

I knew nothing about this cooling off period and they did not inform me of this when I booked. Instead it stated on the confirmation email that I must let them know 48 hours in advance if I wanted to postpone or cancel the course.

I checked their T&Cs again and found to my horror that there is a SEPARATE section much further down the page that details cancellations of specific courses and details of the 30 day cooling off period. 

Under the cancellation & refunds policy it doesn’t mention that there are any courses are excluded from this policy or that there is another policy for certain courses.

I also found within the T&Cs that I could have paid a deposit for the course and paid the rest in cash on the day. But I was told I must make full payment. When I queried this I was told that it is the company’s right to impose new terms for flash sales, however they would not tell me what these terms were.

I have tried to negotiate with the general manager I have been speaking with and have tried to escalate an appeal but she will not allow it.

She gave me three options 
Moving the course
Changing the course for another course
Transferring the course to someone else

When I pointed out that transferring the course to someone else was against the company’s own T&Cs she ceased all communication.

So now I am left with nothing. No course, no refund, and no communication.

Does anyone know what I can do next? I’ve paid £4000 for this course and I feel so sick that I am in this situation 

Thank you
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Comments

  • Aylesbury_Duck
    Aylesbury_Duck Posts: 13,805
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    Bonnie773 said:
    Hi can anyone help me with some advice? 

    I booked a beauty course via a sponsored advert on Facebook on 21st Nov. The company sent me a payment link on Facebook messenger and called me to book in a date (12th Feb). Just before Christmas a close family member was diagnosed with serious illness and I am no longer able to do the course. 

    I looked at the cancellation & refund policy which states that refunds are permitted up to 14 days before the start date (minus a £50 admin fee) so I contacted the company on 5th Jan to cancel the course and initiate a refund. 

    They replied that they would not refund me as I had exceeded a 30 day cooling off period. 

    I knew nothing about this cooling off period and they did not inform me of this when I booked. Instead it stated on the confirmation email that I must let them know 48 hours in advance if I wanted to postpone or cancel the course.

    I checked their T&Cs again and found to my horror that there is a SEPARATE section much further down the page that details cancellations of specific courses and details of the 30 day cooling off period. 

    Under the cancellation & refunds policy it doesn’t mention that there are any courses are excluded from this policy or that there is another policy for certain courses.

    I also found within the T&Cs that I could have paid a deposit for the course and paid the rest in cash on the day. But I was told I must make full payment. When I queried this I was told that it is the company’s right to impose new terms for flash sales, however they would not tell me what these terms were.

    I have tried to negotiate with the general manager I have been speaking with and have tried to escalate an appeal but she will not allow it.

    She gave me three options 
    Moving the course
    Changing the course for another course
    Transferring the course to someone else

    When I pointed out that transferring the course to someone else was against the company’s own T&Cs she ceased all communication.

    So now I am left with nothing. No course, no refund, and no communication.

    Does anyone know what I can do next? I’ve paid £4000 for this course and I feel so sick that I am in this situation 

    Thank you
    That's the part that fills me with horror.  Facebook is full of dubious retailers and service providers, alongside genuine ones of course.

    How did you pay?  I hope it wasn't bank transfer?  Was any of it paid on a debit or credit card?  You have legal options available to you as a last resort (small claims court) if the business is UK-based and you have their address, but action via your card company may be an easier option to start with.
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,707
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    In effect no chargeback rights as a change of mind.
    S75, again change of mind (even with a reason) is not going to cut it. As Op is breaking contract.
    Life in the slow lane
  • Aylesbury_Duck
    Aylesbury_Duck Posts: 13,805
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    In effect no chargeback rights as a change of mind.
    S75, again change of mind (even with a reason) is not going to cut it. As Op is breaking contract.
    I was approaching it from the angle that the retailer's contract may not be a) fair, or b) clear.  They appear to have conflicting terms in it.
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,707
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    Even so Chargeback is out. Then fear that despite " appear to have conflicting terms" CC would argue that it is OP cancelling.
    But further info is required on company. & totally agree, anything such as this on ANY Social Media is best avoided as 
    sponsored simply means the company has paid for the add....
    Life in the slow lane
  • Bonnie773 said:
    Hi can anyone help me with some advice? 

    I booked a beauty course via a sponsored advert on Facebook on 21st Nov. The company sent me a payment link on Facebook messenger and called me to book in a date (12th Feb). Just before Christmas a close family member was diagnosed with serious illness and I am no longer able to do the course. 

    I looked at the cancellation & refund policy which states that refunds are permitted up to 14 days before the start date (minus a £50 admin fee) so I contacted the company on 5th Jan to cancel the course and initiate a refund. 

    They replied that they would not refund me as I had exceeded a 30 day cooling off period. 

    I knew nothing about this cooling off period and they did not inform me of this when I booked. Instead it stated on the confirmation email that I must let them know 48 hours in advance if I wanted to postpone or cancel the course.

    I checked their T&Cs again and found to my horror that there is a SEPARATE section much further down the page that details cancellations of specific courses and details of the 30 day cooling off period. 

    Under the cancellation & refunds policy it doesn’t mention that there are any courses are excluded from this policy or that there is another policy for certain courses.

    I also found within the T&Cs that I could have paid a deposit for the course and paid the rest in cash on the day. But I was told I must make full payment. When I queried this I was told that it is the company’s right to impose new terms for flash sales, however they would not tell me what these terms were.

    I have tried to negotiate with the general manager I have been speaking with and have tried to escalate an appeal but she will not allow it.

    She gave me three options 
    Moving the course
    Changing the course for another course
    Transferring the course to someone else

    When I pointed out that transferring the course to someone else was against the company’s own T&Cs she ceased all communication.

    So now I am left with nothing. No course, no refund, and no communication.

    Does anyone know what I can do next? I’ve paid £4000 for this course and I feel so sick that I am in this situation 

    Thank you
    That's the part that fills me with horror.  Facebook is full of dubious retailers and service providers, alongside genuine ones of course.

    How did you pay?  I hope it wasn't bank transfer?  Was any of it paid on a debit or credit card?  You have legal options available to you as a last resort (small claims court) if the business is UK-based and you have their address, but action via your card company may be an easier option to start with.
    Hi thanks for you reply

    They sent me a payment link on Facebook messenger and I paid using my debit card. It was a payment system called Square 

    The company are in the UK and I have their address 

    I tried to open a dispute with my bank today but one of the questions was ‘when did you expect to receive this service?’ and the course isn’t booked until 12th February, so it won’t let me open the dispute until that date
  • Aylesbury_Duck
    Aylesbury_Duck Posts: 13,805
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    Bonnie773 said:
    Bonnie773 said:
    Hi can anyone help me with some advice? 

    I booked a beauty course via a sponsored advert on Facebook on 21st Nov. The company sent me a payment link on Facebook messenger and called me to book in a date (12th Feb). Just before Christmas a close family member was diagnosed with serious illness and I am no longer able to do the course. 

    I looked at the cancellation & refund policy which states that refunds are permitted up to 14 days before the start date (minus a £50 admin fee) so I contacted the company on 5th Jan to cancel the course and initiate a refund. 

    They replied that they would not refund me as I had exceeded a 30 day cooling off period. 

    I knew nothing about this cooling off period and they did not inform me of this when I booked. Instead it stated on the confirmation email that I must let them know 48 hours in advance if I wanted to postpone or cancel the course.

    I checked their T&Cs again and found to my horror that there is a SEPARATE section much further down the page that details cancellations of specific courses and details of the 30 day cooling off period. 

    Under the cancellation & refunds policy it doesn’t mention that there are any courses are excluded from this policy or that there is another policy for certain courses.

    I also found within the T&Cs that I could have paid a deposit for the course and paid the rest in cash on the day. But I was told I must make full payment. When I queried this I was told that it is the company’s right to impose new terms for flash sales, however they would not tell me what these terms were.

    I have tried to negotiate with the general manager I have been speaking with and have tried to escalate an appeal but she will not allow it.

    She gave me three options 
    Moving the course
    Changing the course for another course
    Transferring the course to someone else

    When I pointed out that transferring the course to someone else was against the company’s own T&Cs she ceased all communication.

    So now I am left with nothing. No course, no refund, and no communication.

    Does anyone know what I can do next? I’ve paid £4000 for this course and I feel so sick that I am in this situation 

    Thank you
    That's the part that fills me with horror.  Facebook is full of dubious retailers and service providers, alongside genuine ones of course.

    How did you pay?  I hope it wasn't bank transfer?  Was any of it paid on a debit or credit card?  You have legal options available to you as a last resort (small claims court) if the business is UK-based and you have their address, but action via your card company may be an easier option to start with.
    Hi thanks for you reply

    They sent me a payment link on Facebook messenger and I paid using my debit card. It was a payment system called Square 

    The company are in the UK and I have their address 

    I tried to open a dispute with my bank today but one of the questions was ‘when did you expect to receive this service?’ and the course isn’t booked until 12th February, so it won’t let me open the dispute until that date
    In which case, speak to your bank on 12th February.  As born_again advises, it might not be an applicable route anyway, but you may as well see what the bank has to say.
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,700
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    edited 25 January at 3:19PM
    @Bonnie773, what's your job?
    Is the course to help with your trade or profession, or is it just for interest? £4K is quite a lot to pay just for a hobby.

    With respect, it is a little unfair to say 'So now I am left with nothing. No course, no refund, and no communication.'
    You still have the course booked for 12 Feb and you now also have the option to change the date, change the course or change the person attending.

    If you are a consumer, you can breach the contract (which is what you intend to do) and the course provider can only keep their actual losses. Is the course still advertised or is it fully subscribed?

    We can't really comment on the T&Cs because we don't know who the company is and we can't see the terms. We could help more if you would give a link to the company and share the terms (all of them) under which you agreed to buy the course.
  • Alderbank said:
    @Bonnie773, what's your job?
    Is the course to help with your trade or profession, or is it just for interest? £4K is quite a lot to pay just for a hobby.

    With respect, it is a little unfair to say 'So now I am left with nothing. No course, no refund, and no communication.'
    You still have the course booked for 12 Feb and you now also have the option to change the date, change the course or change the person attending.

    If you are a consumer, you can breach the contract (which is what you intend to do) and the course provider can only keep their actual losses. Is the course still advertised or is it fully subscribed?

    We can't really comment on the T&Cs because we don't know who the company is and we can't see the terms. We could help more if you would give a link to the company and share the terms (all of them) under which you agreed to buy the course.
    Hi thank you for your reply

    I feel as though I am left with nothing as the company have ceased all communication with me.

    i have asked for more information regarding their option of letting me transfer the course to someone else but they have not replied so I really don’t know where I stand or what to do next 

    i have previously worked in security and have never worked in the beauty industry before. I booked the course to start a new career. The course although not named as such is essentially a business start up package and is called Fast track. 

    I don’t know about the availability but I will check

    I can share a link to the terms and conditions, am I allowed to post them in this group? 

    Thank you
  • Alderbank said:
    @Bonnie773, what's your job?
    Is the course to help with your trade or profession, or is it just for interest? £4K is quite a lot to pay just for a hobby.

    With respect, it is a little unfair to say 'So now I am left with nothing. No course, no refund, and no communication.'
    You still have the course booked for 12 Feb and you now also have the option to change the date, change the course or change the person attending.

    If you are a consumer, you can breach the contract (which is what you intend to do) and the course provider can only keep their actual losses. Is the course still advertised or is it fully subscribed?

    We can't really comment on the T&Cs because we don't know who the company is and we can't see the terms. We could help more if you would give a link to the company and share the terms (all of them) under which you agreed to buy the course.
    I checked the availability for the dates I booked but the dates have been removed. The courses which are not available are showing as ‘fully booked’
  • In effect no chargeback rights as a change of mind.
    S75, again change of mind (even with a reason) is not going to cut it. As Op is breaking contract.
    I was approaching it from the angle that the retailer's contract may not be a) fair, or b) clear.  They appear to have conflicting terms in it.
    In terms of entering into a contract, have I officially entered one if I didn’t book via their website and they haven’t provided them for me to agree to? 
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