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VIC Company Refusing to Give Me Refund - Take Them to VCAT?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Chippy boy, 26 November 2015.

  1. Chippy boy

    Chippy boy Active Member

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    I need some legal help. $2000 was taken from my bank account by a company and they won't refund it!

    Brief story:

    I went to a seminar to see a famous business man talk. Before him, other "successful" people gave talks and also promoted their products, very slyly may I say. Anyway, I fell hook, line and sinker for one in particular, so we had to sign up there and then after the talk.

    It was a $4500 package. I paid a $1000 deposit and signed a contract (without reading the terms on the back of it). Anyway, I was excited to continue until a few days later, I received an email from the company stating what was included (and they changed the package, the software wasn't included, which is what I was signing up for) so I asked for a refund.

    I was told I was outside 3 day cooling off period. I said it didn't matter that I haven't received what I signed up for. Then 2 days later they took a further $1000 from my account without asking me.

    Absolutely furious! No honest legitimate company would refuse a customer a refund for legitimate reasons.

    They won't refund my money so I'm wondering, can I take them to vcat? Do I have a case?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Based on your description of the facts, yes and yes.

    Start documenting the facts and put the other party on notice.

    Call VCAT, describe your situation and ask them for the form you need to complete. Fairly simple process. However you should first write/email the company, explain your side, demand the return of money within a reasonable timeframe, say 14 days, and advise them the authority you gave them for use of your credit card has been expressly and immediately withdrawn. Throw in a line a or two about unauthorised withdrawals after notice to stop may be reported to the police as theft and directors/offenders additionally charged under section 206B of the Corporations Act.

    BTW, confirm of delivery for your email. You don't want it to somehow mysteriously not be delivered. Sending a letter by registered post is also a good idea.
     
    DennisD likes this.
  3. Chippy boy

    Chippy boy Active Member

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    Thanks for the reply Rod. So I have recorded everything as all correspondence has been done via email. I did send them a letter of demand stating they had no right taking funds from my account etc that I wanted a refund and if I didn't get it I would be proceeding with legal action. They sent me back an email saying I signed a contract, I didn't cancel within 3-day cooling off and that I still owed them $3000 which they would be passing on to debt collectors.

    Absolute joke.

    Surely companies can't get away with this kind of behaviour. Keep in mind I haven't received any services or products from them and they still refuse to refund
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Some companies get away with this behaviour because no-one calls them to account. If they have changed a key term of the contract you may be able to have the contract torn up and money refunded.

    Looks like your next step is VCAT. Let us know how you go.
     
    DennisD likes this.
  5. DennisD

    DennisD Well-Known Member

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    As Rod suggests, too recommend you go through VCAT, here are their contact details

    Also, read over your contract (the one you did not read on signing). See what that says. If it excludes software, see if you were handed any promotional materials on the evening which indicated the software component was included. If all promises about the software being included were made in the course of the presentation, see if you have any recordings. If they have these promotional events all the time and effectively misrepresent what is being sold, then you might consider attending one of these events and record what is being said. Though it would be better to have evidence from the evening on which you attended and signed the contract.

    Agreed however with the general principle that if they promise something critical to the deal and don't deliver it then there was no real deal in the first place
     
  6. Chippy boy

    Chippy boy Active Member

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    Thanks for the help guys. Very helpful. I'm going to take them to vcat, someone needs to stand up to this dodgy business who are taking advantage of people. Sadly I don't have any recordings and there are no other events this year to catch them out at so fingers crossed vcat will be on my side. I was misled simple as that. I asked for a refund within a reasonable time, they were not out of pocket anything because I cancelled so early so we'll see, might have to wait until the new year though have a lot on coming up to Christmas
     

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