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Dance School - Can I Get Refund?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Jenni, 20 June 2014.

  1. Jenni

    Jenni Member

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    Hi, my daughters were enrolled in a dance school where fees were paid during the first week of the new term. There had been ongoing issues in first term due to the teacher's bullying, comments on my daughters' sizes and general communication.

    I had approached her on several occasions to try and sort these. In the first week of term 2, the teacher again verbally attacked my 15 year old, and told her she was out drinking and partying rather than dancing, that was why she was apparently looking bloated and fat (none of which is true as she is underage). I immediately withdrew the girls and over the course of 4 weeks I sent 4 emails and two texts to get a refund on my fees. I then went to consumer affairs to help mediate, but she said she had done nothing wrong. I can get statements about her poor communication and bullying from others. She has since then held a public meeting about my daughters and saying that we are lying, and that she never had any communication from us and threatening people to stay away from me.

    I have not signed any contracts for this service and neither does she have any advertised terms and conditions. She was also suppose to credit 2x tap classes on the new invoice and never did. What would I have to do to provide a case in small claims court?
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jenni,
    What was the outcome with Consumer Affairs? Did they close the complaint?
     
  3. Jenni

    Jenni Member

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    Hi consumer affairs have left it open if any other complaints come in but have said that there is technically nothing else they can do. They have suggested I go to small claims court.
     
  4. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Which state/territory are you in? Because of the reference to Consumer Affairs, I assume that you're in Victoria, Tasmania or the Northern Territory.
     
  5. Jenni

    Jenni Member

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    I'm in WA. They have kept the complaint to be used if there are any further ones and have suggested that I approach small claims. My biggest query is would I have more chance of winning due to the fact that I have not signed a contract and there are no terms and conditions on her website or invoices. At the moment the Principle is saying we merely changed our mind and it is like a health club. However the environment became very mentally damaging to my daughters and I did not sign anything.
     
  6. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jenni,
    The chances of someone "winning" in the Small Claims Tribunal is generally heavily dependent on their ability to clearly set out the:
    1. payments that you have made (e.g. On 23 June 2014, I paid $100 to ACME Dance School. My credit card statement as proof is attached);
    2. the terms on which you believe payment was made (in the absence of any written contract or terms);
    3. the amount that you believe is owing to you; and
    4. the response that you've received to any letter of demands that you've sent to the debtor to pay you the amount that you believe is owing to you.
    I understand that the cost of a Small Claims Tribunal application is ~$80 plus any fees to serve court documents on the Dance School (if you are unable/unwilling to serve the documents yourself).

    Further information for your consideration:
    Hope this helps. Please keep us updated with your progress.
     

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