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NSW Ultimate Forex Trading Course - Is an 85% Cancellation Fee Legal?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by CDS, 3 March 2015.

  1. CDS

    CDS Member

    Joined:
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    Hi there,

    I've been to a free seminar on 5 Feb and at the end of that session, I was offered this company's 2-days coaching/training at a special price. They said the Forex Trading course is normally $12,000, offered to me at $4,995, offer only available on that day. At that time I advised them that I have to review my financial situation, but I paid $500 deposit so they keep a spot for me and this offer open until I advise whether I can or cannot attend. So I gave credit card details so they could draw the $500. They said this is fine, that I can cancel my registration at any time. They registered me for the latest seminar they had available at that time, 29/30 April this year.

    On 27 Feb I sent them email advising I cannot attend their training and to cancel my registration. I gave two reasons, financial and time constraints (training has to be put in practice if someone does it, but then can't find at least 5 spare hours per week to apply that knowledge, then the training is useless and money paid was wasted).

    I would have thought that with over 60 days notice, they would have enough time to find another person to replace me on their April session.

    Their reply to my email is below. I must admit I didn't pay enough attention to some words on the paper I signed on the 5th of Feb when I gave the credit card details.

    What is intriguing is that the terms seem too contradicting. For example, this sentence "You have no right to cancel after 5 calendar days of signing this agreement and any remaining balance of the Tuition Fees are payable in full." is in contradiction with the later one stating "If you cancel on or from the 6thday from the date of agreeing to these Terms and Conditions and by four (4) weeks before the Start Day of the Event, we will retain a 85% cancellation fee of the total price and refund any remaining Tuition Fees paid."

    So you can't cancel after 5 days but you can cancel. And is this cancellation fee legal? Is it normally this high? My other questions are:
    - are they allowed to draw the rest of the money for the course (i.e. $4,495) from my credit card in these circumstances under the Australian Consumer Law?
    - given my cancellation notice, and if I don't attend their course, can they still lawfully take/claim my money?
    - are their terms and conditions legal under Australian consumer law? I thought a contract cooling off period is normally 30 days.

    Here is their reply:

     
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Hi there,

    If you are concerned that the company will debit further money from your account, I suggest that you contact your bank and notify them that there will be an unauthorised transaction coming out. They will probably cancel your card and reissue another. However do note that you will still need to resolve this issue otherwise the company may try to make a claim against you to recover the debt.

    Here is a link to the Australian Consumer Law document on unfair contracts for you to look at: http://www.consumerlaw.gov.au/content/the_acl/downloads/unfair_contract_terms_guide.PDF

    There is also more succinct and easy to read information on unfair contract terms on the ACCC website: Unfair contract terms | ACCC

    I suggest that you contact the NSW Office of Fair Trading and ask for their advice and then go from there. Contact us - NSW Fair Trading
     
  3. Baiazid

    Baiazid Active Member

    Joined:
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