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Free legal advice

AidanAidan Clever idiotPosts: 2,982 Boards Guru
Hey everyone!

Has anyone ever saught like the 30 minute free (or whatever it is) legal advice from a solicitor you can sometimes get? I just need some sort of legal or consumer expert to check some terms and conditions, and wondered if anyone has any suggestions or recomendations? :grin:

I took an online-learning access course, it was a lot of money so I was paying for it in monthly instalments.

I was having lots of problems with my online-learning access course, my complaints weren't being handled- and the straw that broke the camel's back was one particular set of feedback for my unit that was useless and I couldn't use to improve my work at all. So I failed that one unit and now the rest of the course is pointless anyway as I won't have the amount of credits to go to uni.

I wanted to cancel my course, but they wanted to charge me a lot of money for it (half the value of my full course). Not fair, I said, considering my complaints haven't been heard and they are the reason I want to cancel my course. I took some consumer advice, who suggested I try and negotiate a more fair fee. The college responded saying the fee was non-negotiable.

I read their terms and conditions carefully. If I stop payments on my course, they will lock my course account. That's all that should happen according to their T's and C's. I would've been okay with this.
So I cancel the payments through the bank. Then the college started harassing me with calls and emails and texts and letters saying I need to catch up on my payments. Their T's and C's said they'd only contact me over email and letter for this. 

Then I get a letter saying I need to pay off the full amount for my course, else they take recovery action.
I had no warning of this in their T's and C's, and I want someone with legal know-how to check their T's and C's and see if they can do this.

Besides this, I'm waiting for the 8 weeks to have elapsed since I complained to them in writing, and when that date arrives and the response is not good enough for me or they still haven't responded (it's been over 40 days now, still no reply!), I'll take my complaints to the financial ombudsman.

Thanks! :heart:
but idk tho


  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 2,982 Boards Guru
    Something else I just found out today from consumer advice is some stuff about cancellation fees.

    A cancellation fee:
    • should be a genuine estimate of the trader's direct loss
    • isn't reasonable or fair just because it's in the contract, T's&C's etc.
    So I emailed the college asking how they calculated the fee as it has to be reasonable (and there's no way half the total course amount is what they've lost in 3 months of a 2 year online course!), and if they don't offer me a reasonable cancellation fee I'm complaining to the financial ombudsman.

    Idk if there's any sort of education regulator like ofqual I can complain to, because it's a private learning provider?
    but idk tho
  • MikeMike 🖥️🎧 LandaanPosts: 3,408 Community Manager
    You looked at Citizen's Advice, @Aidan? They tend to be my first stop - you can get free legal advice and you can get in touch in a few different ways (including visiting a local branch).

    Can't say I've ever used the free solicitor's time, but Citizen's Advice might do the job. :)

    The Financial Ombudsman is also a good shout if you need to escalate it further. My cousin's partner works for them and they seem to be pretty diligent and genuinely care about people.

    Did you find any official regulator after you posted last?
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.

    Want to join the community champions? Drop @TheMix a message!
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 2,982 Boards Guru
    Thankfully it's all sorted now @Mike !

    But all good advice, I've been talking with citizens advice through this and I made sure to put a vague threat to complain about them to the financial ombudsman occassionally in my correspondance with the college too :lol:

    In the end it was a review I'd left them that got my course cancelled and my money back!
    but idk tho
  • ZenZen Living the Zen life 🧘🏼‍♀️ Posts: 1,948 Extreme Poster
    @Aidan did they make you take down the review in order for that to happen?? 
    Alis propriis volat 
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 2,982 Boards Guru

    Cos I pulled a sneaky on them and still left them an anonymous 1* review :lol:
    but idk tho
  • MikeMike 🖥️🎧 LandaanPosts: 3,408 Community Manager
    Seaweed said:
    That's good you got it sorted out! (:
    Hey @Seaweed, just closing this discussion for now as it's a good few months old. As a general rule, we tend not to resurrect old support threads for a few reasons (spoilered below). :)

    New and old posts
    As a general rule, any thread over a couple of months old can be considered 'dead' and is best being left in its grave. If an old thread is bumped by someone other than the original poster (sometimes known as the OP), a mod will probably close it.

    There are a few reasons for this:

    1. If the thread is asking for advice, any help will be useless after a certain length of time because the problem will have been dealt with.
    2. Newer posters get confused by all the old and ex posters who originally replied to the thread.
    3. The original poster might not want old issues being brought up and bringing back potentially bad memories/feelings.

    If you read an old thread and find something interesting you'd like to discuss, start a new thread of your own.
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.

    Want to join the community champions? Drop @TheMix a message!
This discussion has been closed.