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trapped....please suggest some solution

  1. #17
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
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    I'm with Gracey.
    If you have a friend who is a lawyer, get them to write a letter on your behalf for a claim and state that you will go to the small claims tribunal if they do not. I have had a friend write such a note for me once (not in HK but in Sg) over a rogue landlord. And the matter was settled very quickly.

    It is not at all petty to go to the small claims tribunal. For me, it's about what they can and cannot do. I think this is their usual practice. You're probably NOT the first person to be given the run around about the money. They seem to know what they are doing.

    Good Luck! I hope you get it back.
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

  2. #18
    miran is offline Registered User
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    Agree with others... 50 rounds to their office are not going to help as much as just filing with small tribunal OR an official letter worded by a lawyer.

  3. #19
    rs2000 is offline Registered User
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    I dont have a lawyer friend

    i just called them and the same lady said they are not going to give it back......
    i am so stressed.... its just making my blood pressure increase now........
    she said the senior people in school are on vacation.....
    what do I do now? please suggest of a lawyer who can help me
    Many Thanks!

  4. #20
    2010-NewDad is offline Registered User
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    Which school is this?

    I would try reporting this to the police. If they say it is a civil matter, then as already mentioned the Small Claims Tribunal is meant to be a cheap, easy and effective way to settle these sort of claims.

    I would also start documenting your calls and interactions with the school on a piece of paper.

  5. #21
    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
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    Call SCMP!!! Get them to write a story on them!! This is so ridiculous!

  6. #22
    rs2000 is offline Registered User
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    Hi All,

    I went to the school and to the education bureau. Spent 4 hours total and ended up wit high blood pressure.

    School: The office was empty and all the school senior people (foreigners) are actually off and I would imagine they would not come back until the school opens again next month. I spoke to this #$tch in the accounts department who already had a file with all my emails and everything. They told me 20 stories in last one week and seems she has finally found the argument.

    Her argument: We told you on 20th june that you are on waiting list. You pad 1 hour later, knowing that you are on wiating list. so the fee was for putting you on waiting list and hence will not be refunded, as the initial offer letter says.

    My Argument: I paid on 20th June to get my seat and as per the document & the email, I had time till 20th of june and pain in time. I paid to get my seat and forced the school. I tried hard to convince them on 20th. They wrongly gave my seat to someone and put me on waiting list. Depsite the above behavior, I did not claim anything and looked for another school anxiously. I got the shool and paid. I asked you to refind my deposit since you did not acnknowledge your commitment and put me on waiting list.


    She kept repeating her argument and told me how "many parents pay and be in the waiting list". i told her "well they have money and their choice, I dont have". I asked her why they are so keen to rob me off my money and there was no reply. In think, i got up saying I would complain in education department and will also contact a lawyer. This , atleast visibly, did not have any effect on her.

    This school is effecting my health now. I am trying hard not to think about it. Another way to think is that all senir people are off. these are bunch of these stupd girls in office and this one is their "manager" who just does not want to accept their blunder or lose the cahs they have got 1 month back.

    Next, i went to education bureau. The officer met me. listened to the whole story. agreed with me. told me he will email them. but also told me that its a prviate shcool, though they are registered with education dept, they CANT enforce them to do anything. I should contact small claims tribunal. He will email the school and ask for explanation. I know its easy for them to form a "policy" which will say they dont give money back etc etc

    Now thats why next step now, small claims. i got the company registered address from goct website. reading all above, do you think I have a fair chance of winning? considering all arguments above? If you are or if you know a lawyer who can help me write my case or give some verbal advice on solving this, please kindly let me know!

    they havent shown a single moment of apology...never accepted the mistake..never even said it was wrong to put me on waitinglist....i just feel frustrated to have been cheated like this.........
    please keep your support coming!

    thanks a lot

  7. #23
    ssheng is offline Registered User
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    If I go back to your first email, it appears you paid before they told you that you were on the waiting list, so I'm not sure what this woman's argument is.

    Either way, in terms of your case, I think this is simple contract law. Contract law basic principles are that there is an offer and an acceptance, and those two together make a contract. You have to have both. Here we have two potential offers and two potential acceptances:

    Offer 1: Via letter and email - I offer you a spot in this school upon payment
    Acceptance 1: You pay and accept their offer.

    If this is how a court sees the facts, then the school breached your contract because they did not give you a spot, and owe you damages (which in this case you are saying is simply a refund). It does not matter that they later offered you a spot, because once you knew of their breach you took appropriate measures to get into a different school. Your damages would either be for them to pay the other school's deposit and let you enroll in their school, or refund your deposit at their school.

    Their scenario: The school admits, yes, we made Offer 1, but we rescinded it (took it back before you could accept it), and gave you:

    Offer 2: Put you on the waitlist in exchange for payment.
    Acceptance 2: You pay and accept their offer.

    The above is what they are trying to argue. This is of course an oversimplification of how contract law works, but from a reading of your facts, the cannot argue they properly rescinded their offer and gave you a new offer, because their original offer had a deadline that you met, and also, you paid before they gave you the new offer of a waitlist spot.

    Since this is a small claims case you probably don't need a lawyer, I just don't see from these facts how they can take your money.

    By the way, since you are at a new school anyway, what is the harm in telling us the name of this school? It's quite possible parents of kids who attend that school or even school faculty read Geobaby and would see this post and help remedy it.

  8. #24
    rs2000 is offline Registered User
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    Hi All,

    I transferred the money after they told me on phone that my seat is gone. However, I (and i am speaking from my heart), only transferred the money in order to prove to my fair point that I have paid deposit in time (i.e. on 20th June) and argued with them to give me the admission that day. My intent was to prove (and I thought i would be able to prove this) that I had paid on time and I should be given the admission right away

    They kept avoiding this and trying to argue how to count 7 days (the letter says within 7 days from today i.e. 13th June) and the email clearly says 20th June. The whole day passed and I could not pursue them.

    Based on the above facts, is my case strong enough? please give your views

    On a seperate note, I fail to understand how they can say that I paid for waiting list? They say its a school policy and parents pay to be put on the waiting list? 9,000 hk$ to be paid on waiting list? they told me they refund it if the seat does not become available in 1 year. that means that I need to keep waiting 1 year and give up the other school so that these guys offered me???

    The think which makes my blood boil is that there is absoultely not even a slightest node of apology or anything. infact the lady was acting very surprised as per how can I ask for refund. I told them I am not asking for damages in terms of the stress and the breach of commitment . I am simply asking for my money back. she is telling me how there are other parents who have paid and are on waiting [email protected]$#@[email protected] i dont have money. if someone has, is it my problem?

    please people assess the situation and let me know about whether i should have any hope here?

    I though i would not name them as it would damage the repute and also might get my child's name involved somewhere (if i goto media etc etc). its American International School.

    Are these the rights we have in HK (as parents of kids who need schooling and as individuals who dont have fancy lawyers or papers to put policies)? I feel so weak.........

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