Gaining new knowledge online or taking traditional courses is a popular and in-demand service. Recently, however, many companies and entrepreneurs have appeared that provide educational services of poor quality, not in full, or do not provide them at all. In this case, the possibility of a refund is provided by law. And you can return them, even if the client unilaterally refused to start or continue training.
How is the relationship between the student and the “teacher” regulated?
Civil law relations arise between the student and the company (entrepreneur) that provides educational services. In most cases, a separate training agreement is not drawn up when registering for online courses, but this does not mean that there is no regulatory document.
In such a situation, contractual relations are formalized by a public offer or user agreement, which is usually posted on the site. In addition to the main conditions, this document should contain a section that describes the procedure for payment and refund, as well as ways to unilaterally change the terms of the contract or terminate it.
Federal Law “On the Protection of Consumer Rights” No. 2300-1-FZ dated February 7, 1992 has priority in regulating relations between the parties. Therefore, if Art. 32 of the law describes the right to refuse the provision of these services, then the client can use it. A norm in the contract that contradicts this article will be considered invalid and not subject to execution.
However, termination does not mean that all money paid by the client will automatically be returned. The procedure for resolving this issue depends on the stage at which the failure occurred. Several options are possible.
- The training hasn’t started yet.
In this case, there is a chance to return all the funds spent, since the service has not yet been provided. But, according to the law, a company that provides educational services may require the client to compensate for the losses actually incurred under a specific contract.
The contractor must justify the fact of the existence of expenses and their size. Otherwise, the client has the right not to compensate the company’s costs.
- The training is already underway.
The amount that can be returned when classes have already begun depends on the reason for terminating the contract.
- subjective reason. The client may consider that the courses are not suitable for him, he does not have time to take them, and so on.
- objective reason. Usually related to the quality of service delivery. For example, the course does not match the description, the terms or the training program have been changed, and so on.
If the reason is subjective, it will be possible to return the money only after deducting the cost of the training already conducted. But in cases where access to lectures and test papers is provided immediately, it will not be possible to receive a refund, since the service will be considered fully rendered.
Poor quality of service means that:
- the course program does not match the description in the promotional materials;
- the volume of teaching does not correspond to the specified;
- there are no teachers and speakers who were announced;
- there are no materials necessary for training;
- changes in the composition or schedule of lectures and seminars.
If the consumer is faced with the listed shortcomings, he, according to the law, has three options:
- require the elimination of identified factors, if feasible;
- reduce the cost of payment and get back the difference;
- refund in full.
- The training did not start on time.
In a situation where the course is purchased, but did not start at the specified time, the service is considered not provided. The client has the right to demand from the company that is the executor a full refund without additional conditions.
The procedure that will allow you to return money for low-quality or unprovided training, as well as part of the payment in the event of unilateral termination of the contract, is as follows.
- Fixing the facts that substantiate the claim.
Before starting the return procedure, it is necessary to record the facts that prove the case of the client or the plaintiff in the future. To do this, you need to save the offer agreement, data on the terms of the service, the course program, the list of speakers.
- inspection of the site and fixing information from it with the help of a notary;
- saving correspondence in instant messengers and mail client;
- recording of conversations, including the possible refusal of courses.
Any details that prove the non-provision of the service or its low quality are important. These include messages about changing the terms of training and the composition of teachers, excuses in case of rescheduling classes.
If there is no offer, then other data can confirm the fact of a contractual relationship. For example, from correspondence in messengers, where there is an offer to enroll in courses and an indication of their cost; from email notifications and other similar sources.
- Making a claim.
The request for a refund is drawn up in the form of a document and sent to the address of the executing company indicated on the website and in the registration documents. It is important to record attempts to pre-trial settlement of the dispute. To do this, the claim should be sent exclusively by registered mail with notification.
Expect a response to your claim within ten days. If the issue is not resolved and the money is not returned, you can go to court with a statement of claim.
We especially note that it is important to get a refusal or other answer (if any) in writing. Phone calls should be avoided.
A claim to the court for the return of funds within the framework of consumer protection legislation is filed in the general manner, in accordance with the Civil Code and Code of Civil Procedure of the Russian Federation. It is recommended to use the help of a lawyer who will help you competently draw up a claim and support it at court hearings. The cost of the provided legal assistance may be recovered as part of the claim from the defendant in the event of a positive decision in the case.
Well-known schools and conscientious performers usually return funds at the pre-trial stage of conflict resolution, without bringing it to publicity and trial. Problems can arise only if the training was provided by one-day companies or scammers, whose task is to collect as much money as possible from potential customers for a poor-quality or undelivered service.