SA Australian Consumer Law on Business Having 'No Refund Policy'?

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Eliza P

Active Member
20 January 2015
I don't even know where to start! I guess my first question is, in the case of a mentorship, if I haven't started the mentoring program yet, and I'm still paying a weekly amount towards it, (I've just found out that the mentor who promoted exclusivity to me has gone back on their word) won't refund my money because I now wish to leave before it starts. And apparently the event I attended which I was invited to and was told was free is now going to cost me because I am leaving. But I have it in writing that it was free, and nowhere is it written on the website or anywhere that they have a "no refund policy".

The game and format was changed while I was still paying for this program. I want out. I haven't started yet and the event was free. Only document I have signed was a ezi debit request form. I have evidence of the money coming out, the invoice for the program and nowhere stating on there that it includes the event costing. It is just soley for the program. But no documentation that has any terms and conditions or policies. Even the website is blank in those areas.

So I guess the question/s are:
Can this person legally have a no refund policy under Australian Consumer Law?
And are they allowed to charge me for an event that was free?
Please if you need more information let me know and I'll see what I can provide.


Generally, businesses can only legally have a "no refund for change of mind" policy. If there is something majorly wrong with the product or service you have purchased, consumer credit laws would dictate that you would be entitled to a refund or replacement or other remedy.

Consumer credit laws require companies to:
  1. Refund or replace a defective or damaged item or service
  2. Repair a minor defect or replace the item.
  3. Replace or refund for major defects at the customer’s option.
  4. Offer to provide a refund on any defective, damaged or faulty goods or services, including goods or services which are ‘unfit for the intended purpose’ for which they were sold.
In this case, there appears to have been a total failure of consideration, because you have not received anything for the money that you have paid (If the initial event was free). You may be able to argue that you would like a refund because since the mentorshipis not exclusive its not fit for the purpose it was sold?? I'm not overly familiar with this type of business. I would start by requesting copies of any documentation that you were given or you signed and read everything to determine what you signed yourself up for.
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Well-Known Member
11 July 2014
I agree with Sophea's suggestions, in particular you might like to begin by 'requesting copies of any documentation that you were given or you signed and read everything to determine what you signed yourself up for.'


Well-Known Member
10 February 2015
Dear Eliza,

Firstly, you may have a right to refund on the basis that the product that was advertised to you and that you paid for was not the product you were given. This is on the basis that the mentor assured you of exclusivity and then didn't follow through with that assurance. Do you have documented evidence that you paid for exclusivity?

Secondly, you cannot be charged for the free event without having had the terms and conditions of the "free" event having been stated in terms and conditions documentation that you had access to before agreeing.

Thirdly, it sounds as though you may be being direct debited for this service? If so, contact your bank immediately and block her payments. If she has taken out payments without your consent, you can put in a dispute with the bank. Most credit/ debit cards come with insurance for unauthorised debit payments.

This webpage on the ACCC website may be able to give you further information: Consumer guarantees | ACCC

Hopefully the information above helps.
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