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Advanced Real Estate Education/Success Path Refund for training not received

Opening StatementProvided by: Susan B., Plaintiff
I need to have my Discover credit card refunded for training I didn't receive from Advanced Education Real Estate Education/Success Path. Although the 3 day cancellation policy was on the back of the contract I didnt not see it nor was given verbal warning about the policy which I feel would have been more fair with such a large purchase amount for the seminars. I did ask to be refunded before the training began but was refused. Capital One did rule in my favor to have the company refund the 20 000.ºº ( the company had gotten me to max out on the card which they had me open up on sign up day) and 2792.00 on my Usbank credit card was also refunded since the said company refunded in lieu of going to arbitration. However Discover credit card company ruled in favor of Advanced Real Estate Education Education because of the 3 day cancellation policy so the 5000.00 that was charged on Discover for the diamond still remains. I feel it would be fair to  have the company refund the 5000.00 since I did not go to the training and had notified them that I wouldn't be attending. I did make a counter offer that says since I did go to the sign up meeting which cost 1795.00 where the main emphasis was signing up people for the diamond package to learn the real estate flipping business-that I would accept the 5000.00 minus the 1795.00. But I didn't hear back from Advanced Real Estate Education/Success Path after posting the request or didn't hear back even after calling them again to discuss this.

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    • [-][+]My resolution
    • 7 years ago
    Mary W. (Neutral)
    Check out and join this against them
      • [-][+]My resolution
      • 7 years ago
      Jessica L. (Advocate for respondent)
      While refunding the money would perhaps be the advised business practice, as a matter of principal, the company gave notice. This is a buyer beware scenario. The price tag on this seminar was significant and a buyer has the burden and responsibility to understand the conditions of the service they are agreeing to. A set timeframe for cancellation is required for other services like hotel reservations and some doctors appointments. Advanced Real Estate Education/Success Path did not deceive this client and should not be liable for costs charged--unless there was deception in the transaction. However, it is important to note that high-pressure is not the same as deception.

      Plaintiff did receive a significant amount of her money back from other vendors. At best she is owed 3205.00 based on some services already received. Irene G. makes a good point that Advanced Real Estate may have produced materials for the Plaintiff or might have reserved her space and turned away other participants. While this information is not known here, Advanced Real Estate also has a right to retain money paid if a person committed to attend. It is commonplace for universities to have a sliding percentage refund scale based on the date a student withdrawals.

      Here, Advanced Real Estate should not be required to refund the money in full--the set policy required a 3-day cancellation for 100% refund. The client did not follow through. As a matter of best practice, and considering Advanced Real Estate did not give an oral notice to supplement the written policy, they could offer the client a small percentage refund of the 3205 depending on how much they paid to prepare materials or if they had to turn away others. Perhaps, they could offer a 1500 refund to settle the issue and promise to provide an oral notice in the future; however, their policy is legitimate and it is a buyer's duty to inform themselves prior to buying.
        • [-][+]My resolution
        • 7 years ago
        Peter D. S. (Neutral)
        Plaintiff's proposals – (1) a full $5,000.00 refund or (2) a $3,205.00 refund accounting for attendance at the initial seminar/sign-up meeting valued at $1,795.00 – both sound grounded. Contracts and refund policies should create a framework for how business is done, but (unapologetic real estate pun coming) a floor is not a ceiling. A refund was requested before training began. Even if that refund request was received after the three-day cancellation period, the company should consider the underlying and overarching principles as a provider of educational services. The agreement contemplates reciprocal retention of the benefits of the services offered by the company (e.g. educational materials, mentoring, software, etc.) and the costs paid therefor ($27,792 total in this case), but to whatever extent these services were rejected within a reasonable time frame, the courtesy of a refund would be appropriate.

        Note, the Trump University settlement approved by a federal judge for a $25,000,000.00 payout to former students alleging similar high-pressure sales techniques and false claims about what they would learn about the real estate industry is not binding law, but instructive here. Even after completing the training in question, Trump University students were able to recover nearly 90 cents on the dollar.

        Here, plaintiff requested a refund before training began. A full refund of $5,000.00 would be fair, but alternatively, a reduced refund of $3,205.00 would be reasonable, since there was some (albeit arguable) benefit retained in having access to the initial seminar/sign-up meeting.

        Note, I'm a NYS Licensed Real Estate Broker, Attorney, Arbitrator and Mediator, but approached this trial as a neutral.
          • [-][+]My resolution
          • 7 years ago
          Irene G. (Consumer)
          Absolutely you should get your money back. Did they give you a good reason for not refunding ?
          Although possibly not required by law, a product or service provider should facilitate refunds in cases where no product or service has been provided at the time of the request. Its a different story if they go out of pocket to process your order. For example, if they allocated a space in the class and turned down other students to accommodate you, then they'd have a good reason to deny a full refund. In cases where they simply made a high pressure up- sale and don't want to lose it its a bad business practice and possibly says a lot about the true value of product. Anything that has to be hard sold and then they hide from you to avoid a legitimate refund request is at best suspect- at worst a scam.
            • [-][+]My resolution
            • 7 years ago
            Sophia P. (Neutral)
            I agree with your proposed resolution. Did they respond or stonewall you? These high pressure real estate courses are becoming big business and seems there are a lot of victims. I doubt very much if anyone ever recovers the cost of the course from what they learn from it. Sorry you went through this but perhaps this will at a min warn others to avoid these types of "up-sell" tactics from dubious operators in this industry.
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