Complaints in Cram schools increase after outbreak

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REFUND REFUSED:
Legal ambiguity has led to students being denied their money for delayed or misplaced classes online, consumer advocate says

  • By Lo Chih and Jonathan Chin / Staff Journalist, with Editor-in-Chief

Complaints about reimbursements at schools in Cram have peaked following a local outbreak of COVID-19, the Consumers’ Foundation said.

Refund policies have been a continuing source of complaints in the test preparation industry, which serves a large base of consumers preparing for school applications or professional certifications, the foundation’s secretary general said on Friday, Hsu Tse-yu (徐 則 鈺).

The COVID-19 outbreak has exacerbated these complaints as schools have had to delay the start of classes or use distance education, affecting the quality of education, he said.

Schools in Cram typically charge students who drop out of a class 50% of the full tuition fee after the payback period, which could amount to NT $ 10,000 or significantly more, he said.

The penalty can be excessive and some schools do not set repayment deadlines or refuse to honor contracts, Hsu said.

Hsu gave the example of a Korean language school that refused to reimburse a man’s tuition fees, claiming he had taken more than a third of the classes, even though delays from the outbreak meant that there was one month left in the repayment period. .

The current regulations weren’t written with distance learning in mind, Hsu said.

The Ministry of Education and the Yuan Executive Committee on Consumer Protection are expected to come up with new laws and regulations to protect consumers who expect in-person education, as the current laws were not written with Internet classes in mind. , did he declare.

Noting that travelers have the legal right to cancel their group tour membership and receive pro-rated refunds, depending on the amount of service rendered, Hsu suggested that the regulations of bac schools could be modeled from the same way.

Schools should use the start date of the first course, regardless of when it is due, to calculate the repayment period to avoid possible disputes, he said.

The contract should also specify whether the course is to be held remotely or in person, and indicate what insurance policies the school has taken out, he said.

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