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Crystalline Entity
August 14 2014, 03:33:33 PM
Anybody have any thoughts?

The story:
Aunt went to talk to an accupuncture walk in shop and paid 10 for a discussion about her shoulder. Aunt explained she had Frozen shoulder and they asked for 80 for a one off session.

She had the session which was painful. At the end, on the doctors couch she was told that she needed 15 more sessions as her injury was so bad. Half naked and very groggy after the treatment, she was told she could have a ‘package ‘ which would save her a lot of money. The card machine was produced and she put in her card.

She found out she had spent 1345. She contacted the doctors and explained that she was bruised and in much greater pain after the session and with less movement than before. The clinic told her it often got worse than it got better which was why she needed 15 more sessions. Then they refused to offer her a refund.

She asked to see the contract and they sent over the attached 'Registration Form'

Edit: For clarity, she signed this form BEFORE anything was done to her.

Edit 2: She paid 10 for a consultation, she then paid 80 for the first session, then she paid 1345 for 15 more... to clarify


http://onebit.us/x/i/lZuQGzuD24.jpg


So far: I have thought about undue influence and duress, which I don't think quite fit with the definitions set down. I asked if they subjected her to wacky 'eastern smokes' or hallucinogens.. she said no, the treatment was more needles and heat.

The practise doesn't belong to an 'official' chinese accupuncture society but there is one. I have browsed through the Sale of Goods Act, I admit not massive depth..but didn't see anything that could help her get a refund.

Brother suggested trading standards, Aunt tried but they direct her to the CAB who say they might be able to get back to her in 3 weeks.. and her bank says if the transaction isnt fraudulent they won't reverse it...

I think she has been the victim of hard selling and she should live and learn

So yeah, looking for thoughts or advice?

Rakshasa The Cat
August 14 2014, 07:52:05 PM
So she actually paid it? And after having been told the price?

Keorythe
August 14 2014, 08:40:20 PM
There is nothing on that form that says she agreed to 15 treatments.

"Unless there is fundamental fault with the treatments" - What is fundamental fault exactly?

There is a lot of chinese gibberish on the registration form. Why is it not in legible english and what does it mean?

That wouldn't really hold up too well even in American courts. But the big question is: Is it cheaper to eat the cost and go to the treatments or is it cheaper to hire a lawyer and fight it? What legal options do you have available that are cheaper than 1345?

TheManFromDelmonte
August 14 2014, 10:46:04 PM
For that much money I'd do a charge back and argue it in court. But if you've already agreed with the bank it's not a chargeback situation you can't change your mind now.

That's a really, really shitty way to do business though. Even for a placebo seller like acupunturists.

Melichor
August 14 2014, 10:55:52 PM
If you fight it you can probably recoup legal fees if you win right? Also it may be easy win due to your mom's age and a spotlight on elderly abuse

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

Nordstern
August 15 2014, 12:55:39 AM
Can the firm produce a bill of sale for the 1345 quid? If not, it's possibly fraud. Thought I doubt you will get anything back, even if you went to small claims court.

Your best bet is to take the matter to the press and get some small publicity. Asians will not patronize an establishment that is unscrupulous and dishonest. That pressure alone might make them cough up.

Mendolorian Girl
August 15 2014, 09:38:30 AM
small claims court is your best option.. odds are they'll cave as soon as they receive the summons.

TheManFromDelmonte
August 15 2014, 09:42:07 AM
The small claims limit was changed. I don't think this would be small claims now.

Mendolorian Girl
August 15 2014, 09:54:48 AM
The small claims limit was changed. I don't think this would be small claims now.

the small claims limit was increased http://bit.ly/1oUCsdx

TheManFromDelmonte
August 15 2014, 10:02:54 AM
My mistake! Good to know.

QuackBot
August 15 2014, 12:00:13 PM
My mistake! Good to know.
Thats good to know.

Ort Lofthus
August 16 2014, 05:01:36 AM
At least in the US, if the contract language is vague it is interpreted against the person who wrote it. I.e. "Unless there is fundamental fault with the treatments" is vague and therefore worth arguing that since the pair got worse, it is fundamentally flawed.

Another part of contract law is that there must be "a meeting of the minds" which means that both parties need to understand what they are agreeing to. It sounds like she had no idea how much they were going to charge, so there is another point of contention that could stick. Considering that it was 80 for 1 session, that 15x80 is only 1200, and that she "was getting a deal" with the 1345 package, there is another thing that points to this being bogus.

Do you have a consumer protection agency, nonprofit or governmental? They should be able to help you out. Going to the media is good too.

This sort of shady business practice relies on people just accepting the 'hard sell'. Don't be one of the suckers that propagates this shitty behavior.

balistic void
August 20 2014, 03:21:17 PM
Just get her to do a chargeback. Ring card company up, solved. Say they took money which was not authorised.

So easy to do this... My local GP in Ireland refuses to take card payments anymore for this reason.

Crystalline Entity
August 21 2014, 12:24:08 PM
Thanks for the input guys, p much as I expected.

Cheers

Tellenta
August 22 2014, 04:07:16 AM
Thanks for the input guys, p much as I expected.

Cheers

What they gave her, or what you are sharing is a receipt for a 10 pound consultation fee, which is non-refundable blah blah blah. I see nothing about the session she received nor the 15 future sessions she paid for. Unless there is something else contractual she signed they need to give the money back.

Crystalline Entity
August 26 2014, 01:05:54 PM
Thanks for the input guys, p much as I expected.

Cheers

What they gave her, or what you are sharing is a receipt for a 10 pound consultation fee, which is non-refundable blah blah blah. I see nothing about the session she received nor the 15 future sessions she paid for. Unless there is something else contractual she signed they need to give the money back.

....there is a whole post there that I am not going to TD;LR...

Cool09
August 26 2014, 02:31:11 PM
You cannot sign away a right. Most countries have consumer protection laws that protect people from things like this, by enforcing a "cool down" period. So after signing a contract, you have 14 days or whatever to cancel, regardless if the paper says "no refunds" or not. I'd call up your applicable agency and explain the situation.

My dad signed something similar. He went to a "cooking workshop" and ended up buying $3000 of cheap pots and pans. They literally locked everyone in a room and gave them a 3 hour show that ended with everyone signing up. After coming to his senses, we returned the stuff, wrote them a letter explaining that the transactin was void, and that was the end of it.

Also, that paper means nothing as she signed it with the understanding it was for just the one treatment or consultation or whatever. I don't see why you could sign something that voids your rights for all further transactions.

So:

1. cancel the transaction, chargeback, whatever.
2. if you really want to cover your bases, write a letter formally declining the services, explain under section <applicable section> of <the UK consumer protection act> the contract is null and void. Several angles you could take: your aunt was under duress, in pain from both her injury and the painful treatment. She was not in a state of mind to agree to any contract. They lied about saving money, as someone else said the math doesn't add up. UK must have a cool down period for contracts, so you can probably cancel it anyway. Get a note from her doctor saying the treatment is fundamentally flawed. They can't prove that it works (it doesn't). Lots of things you can do.
3. send it registered mail, and save a copy
4. you'll never hear from them again, end of story.

Hels
August 29 2014, 04:21:10 AM
I got a couple stories from the pacific and Asians giving me hard sales. ;)

Lallante
September 2 2014, 12:29:18 PM
The obvious thing to do here would be to tell her credit card company she authorised a 90 payment and the larger sum is therefore fraudulent, and then following the chargeback let the company try to sue (they wont). Don't admit that she agreed the 1345 payment (don't try to claim she did but was groggy etc, just say she didnt).

She hasnt signed a contract. That registration form is merely a release of liabilility and doesnt in any way constitute an obligation to pay for 15 sessions. This kind of situation is why credit cards are awesome - tell them its fraud and let them fight it out.

Is there some reason she cant do the above?

metacannibal
September 2 2014, 01:22:11 PM
You cannot sign away a right. Most countries have consumer protection laws that protect people from things like this, by enforcing a "cool down" period. So after signing a contract, you have 14 days or whatever to cancel, regardless if the paper says "no refunds" or not. I'd call up your applicable agency and explain the situation.

My dad signed something similar. He went to a "cooking workshop" and ended up buying $3000 of cheap pots and pans. They literally locked everyone in a room and gave them a 3 hour show that ended with everyone signing up. After coming to his senses, we returned the stuff, wrote them a letter explaining that the transactin was void, and that was the end of it.

Also, that paper means nothing as she signed it with the understanding it was for just the one treatment or consultation or whatever. I don't see why you could sign something that voids your rights for all further transactions.

So:

1. cancel the transaction, chargeback, whatever.
2. if you really want to cover your bases, write a letter formally declining the services, explain under section <applicable section> of <the UK consumer protection act> the contract is null and void. Several angles you could take: your aunt was under duress, in pain from both her injury and the painful treatment. She was not in a state of mind to agree to any contract. They lied about saving money, as someone else said the math doesn't add up. UK must have a cool down period for contracts, so you can probably cancel it anyway. Get a note from her doctor saying the treatment is fundamentally flawed. They can't prove that it works (it doesn't). Lots of things you can do.
3. send it registered mail, and save a copy
4. you'll never hear from them again, end of story.

This, also CC chargeback say you authorised 90 bux and they charged 1.3k

Aea
September 3 2014, 08:03:28 PM
You cannot sign away a right.

Nah dude, contracts are 100% binding. All of the time. No exceptions.

Straight Hustlin
September 3 2014, 08:28:44 PM
Since you live in the UK, is there some obscure middle ages law that allows you to assert the right to trial by combat, or perhaps a duel?

Virtuozzo
September 3 2014, 10:35:08 PM
You cannot sign away a right.

Nah dude, contracts are 100% binding. All of the time. No exceptions.

Don't be an idiot. Law > contract.

Aea
September 3 2014, 10:46:34 PM
You cannot sign away a right.

Nah dude, contracts are 100% binding. All of the time. No exceptions.

Don't be an idiot. Law > contract.

Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooosh

Tellenta
September 4 2014, 12:52:37 AM
Thanks for the input guys, p much as I expected.

Cheers

What they gave her, or what you are sharing is a receipt for a 10 pound consultation fee, which is non-refundable blah blah blah. I see nothing about the session she received nor the 15 future sessions she paid for. Unless there is something else contractual she signed they need to give the money back.

....there is a whole post there that I am not going to TD;LR...

I read the whole post. Twice even! You make it sound like she was charged an amount without her knowing the amount she was being charged. The piece of paper mentioned no refunds, it also only mentioned 10 pounds (edit: yes yes I know the follow on same day treatment gets added). Are they trying to insist that a verbal agreement for a prepaid 15 sessions far above the stated payment is ok? Was there a contract for those treatments that she did sign? Is there a receipt? Why did she only learn the amount later and not on the spot?

Fuck that shit, get the money back.

Sp4m
September 24 2014, 03:46:44 PM
Let me know if you want me to smash the windows or burn the place down.

QuackBot
September 24 2014, 04:00:16 PM
Nah dude, contracts are 100% binding. All of the time. No exceptions.
Nah, the great hollow is that huge archtree. You can probably try waiting. If you are, yes.

Lallante
September 24 2014, 04:03:49 PM
The obvious thing to do here would be to tell her credit card company she authorised a 90 payment and the larger sum is therefore fraudulent, and then following the chargeback let the company try to sue (they wont). Don't admit that she agreed the 1345 payment (don't try to claim she did but was groggy etc, just say she didnt).

She hasnt signed a contract. That registration form is merely a release of liabilility and doesnt in any way constitute an obligation to pay for 15 sessions. This kind of situation is why credit cards are awesome - tell them its fraud and let them fight it out.

Is there some reason she cant do the above?

Did she follow this advice?