Computeach problem

  B3rnie 11:23 10 Nov 10
Locked

I enrolled for a course with Computeach in October 2009. It was only once I'd paid for the CIW course that I found out that I only had one year of study (thereafter paying more fees to complete the course which I thought I had already paid for) - this was not made clear to me by the consultant who I first spoke to. I was under the impression that I was paying for a course that I could complete in my own time - but with a year of support if needed. I could have purchased this course through ICS for a much cheaper price and I would have received all training material. I only went with Computeach because of their promise to find me work once I'd qualified.

So, I was unaware that my study period would only be for 1 year, I was not notified of this fact when I enrolled. I cannot afford to pay extra fees to continue with my course after that year.

I have been unable to study since November 2009 due to my sister's ill health. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer so I had to care for her until her death in May. Since that time I have been dealing with her financial affairs - probate, and caring for her 6 year old daughter and trying to help her to cope with the loss of her mother.

Seeing as I cannot study due to unfortunate circumstance, then I do not see why this provider cannot either give me a refund or give my what I paid for - MY CIW COURSE MATERIAL. I am not in the habit of paying for an invisible product. If that provider tells me, once I have already paid my fees, that I have only paid for 1 year of study, then I am entitled to ask for a refund for that product as the stipulations were not relayed to me on the onset. I did ask for a refund once I was fully aware of the conditions, but Computeach refused.

Computeach have extended my study period a few time, but this is no help as I cannot find time to study right now, I cannot study as I have too much to deal with since my sisters death.

I have tried to get help through The Institute of IT Training, to no avail - they seem happy enough as I have been given extended support time.

I did ask Computeach for the learning materials for the course, this was their reply on 03/09/2010:

“…. we would advise that you were sent an email, which was copied to you in our last communication, which stated specifically that there would be no refund of fees. We have maintained all facilities for you, and have tried to be supportive during this period. However, the facts are that you paid for a 12 month study period during which you would progress your studies. We have understood that your family issues have delayed your studies and offered you extra time to move forward. Your 12 month contract has in fact stretched to 21 months (1 month of which was offered due to a delay at the beginning).

Therefore, we stand by our previous communication regarding any refund, and also advise that as per the Terms & Conditions of enrolment as you have not completed the first CIW element we are unable to issue further materials, as the prior stage has to be completed and passed before we can move a student through to the next element.

We are sorry we could not be of more assistance.”

So basically, if I cannot study for the course, then I do not get any study material, whether I’ve paid for it or not.

Any help would be much appreciated.

  Forum Editor 19:23 10 Nov 10

that my study period would only be for 1 year, I was not notified of this fact when I enrolled."

Did you receive a document outlining the terms and conditions attached to your enrolment? You should have been provided with this at the time, or shortly afterwards.

On the face of it, the company has accommodated you during the period of your difficult personal circumstances. It's not your fault that you haven't been able to study for a year, but it's not the company's fault either. It was a business arrangement, and provided they followed the provisions laid down in the relevant consumer legislation you really don't have much of a leg to stand on.

  spuds 19:33 10 Nov 10

Most companies provide their terms and conditions before entering an agreement, and it is always a must to understand these before making any commitments. Judging by what as been stated by you, Computeach have provided what they have agreed, plus a little bit more as a gesture of goodwill.

Like most of these type of courses, they are usually in a pass, then progress system until you have completed the full course, with perhaps time limits, which you would need to forefill. Now whether the course is paid for fully at the beginning, or by further installments, then this would be on the original agreements.

You could contact Consumer Direct click here or you local CAB or trading standards for further help and advice.

  B3rnie 20:24 10 Nov 10

I applied for this course over the internet and then had email communication with the salesman. I never signed anything for this course and only ever got a .pdf document outlining the course curriculum.

Once I'd enrolled and paid the fees, I was then informed that I was only paying for the year of study support. If I did not pass the modules in the year, then I would have to pay after that year to continue with the course.

I did request a refund of my fees once I understood the arrangement, but Computeach refused.

  spuds 21:36 10 Nov 10

Did Computeach allow a 'cooling off' period, when they asked for payment?.

At what point did you ask for a refund "once I understood the arrangement"?.

  Forum Editor 22:42 10 Nov 10

you are protected by The Distance selling regulations 2000.

In general terms this means that you are entitled to:-

1. Clear information about the supplier, the goods or services and the sale before deciding to buy.

2. confirmation of this information in writing

3. a cancellation period of 7 working days in which to withdraw from the contract.


Items 1 and 2 are very important, because if it can be shown that a supplier did not provide the information the contract will be unenforceable. You don't have to sign a contract, it can exist once you have agreed to buy, and the supplier has agreed to supply.

Did you receive the information mentioned - either before you paid your fee, or afterwards?

  B3rnie 18:41 11 Nov 10

As soon as I paid for the course and was told that I had only paid for 1 year support, not for the course, then I did request a refund straight away because I was not happy with the arrangement. This request was made both verbally to the salesman and via email to Computeach customer services. I was told that a refund was not an option, that I was already enrolled, and once enrolled refunds are not given as the course books were already on their way to me.

I was also placed on the wrong course when I enrolled. The salesman said that as I had not worked in the field I was interested in then I would have to complete another course first. I spent a further month trying to get Computeach to put me on the course that I first enrolled on.

  spuds 18:54 11 Nov 10

Once again I come back to the same question. Were you told verbally or in writing that there was a 'cooling off' period and 'a right to cancel'?.

Did you receive any agreement in the first postal consignment, giving terms and conditions for you to sign and return?.

  B3rnie 19:08 11 Nov 10

Sorry Spuds, no I haven't receive any agreement in the first postal consignment, giving terms and conditions. I applied, received a grant to pay for the course, and the organisation that I received the grant from paid the fees directly to Computeach. All I received in the post was the course books, and the hassle.

  spuds 12:08 12 Nov 10

This seems to becoming more complicated, and perhaps the forum editor as further comments to make?.

But it would now appear that a fourth major party is involved, and that is the person or establishment that paid the bill, via a grant aid. The other being The Institute of IT Training.

My suggestion at this point would be that you speak to either your local CAB, Trading Standards or Legal Advice Centre, taking with you any relevant details that you have at hand, including and print-outs or photocopies, and let them decide if there is anyway forward in resolving this issue.

I assume that the main company that you are referring to is Computeach International Ltd of Dudley, who have been providing training services since 1964?.

  B3rnie 13:01 12 Nov 10

Yes, the training provider is Computeach Ltd., based in Dudley. I have contacted Consumer Direct and the BBCs Watchdog. I'm at present awaiting replies.

Thank you for your advise and your patience.

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