Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuition centre offers 'money-back guarantee', but...

One parent complained she did not get $3,000 refund even though her son's grades did not improve after a year.

Tuition centre which claimed to offer students a 'money-back guarantee' if their grades don't improve has not made good on its promise, said one parent.

Madam Lin, 53, told Shin Min Daily News that her son's grades has not improved despite sending him for 30 classes, spending about $3,000 in all.

Madam Lin said her son, who just completed primary school, had scored Bs for his maths and english subjects when he was in Primary 5. Concerned that his grades would not get him into a top secondary school, Madam Lin decided to send him for tuition.

The tuition centre she enrolled her son in had previously visited the school to promote their courses. According to Madam Lin, she was impressed by their 'money back guarantee', and they promised to return all fees paid if the students' grades did not improve.

Madam Lin paid about $100 for each of the 30 classes.

Her son started attending the classes twice a week at the beginning of last year, with each session lasting three hours.

However, at the school's year-end examinations, her son only scored 60 marks for the math paper - worse than the year before.

In the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) last year, he managed to improve on his English grade by scoring an A, but he got a B for his math paper.

"My son was initially enrolled in another tuition centre that charged only $20 per class. This (tuition centre) charged about $100, and I was convinced by the 'money-back guarantee' and so enrol him in this centre instead. But in the end, his grades did not improve, and now I can't get my money back."

Madam Lin also complained that she had found that her son's grades were dropping just six months after enrolling in the centre. She notified the centre, but they only told her that her son will have to do more practice worksheets.

After the PSLE results were announced, Madam Lin tried several times to get her money back from the tuition centre, however, her requests were repeatedly denied.

She said the centre eventually showed her the contract which she had signed during the enrollment, which said only students who scored between 30 to 74 marks in their Primary 5 papers will be eligible for the 'money-back guarantee'.

Her son's grades in Primary Five, which was more than 74 marks, made him uneligible, according to the centre.

When interviewed, the manager of the tuition centre in question said the matter was a result of 'miscommunication' between the staff and Madam Lin.

The matter was investigated and Madam Lin accepted the centre's explanation, said the manager.

Madam Lin admits she did not notice the fine print when signing the document, but said she is still unhappy that there was such a clause in the contract

Edvantage | Sat Jan 15 2011

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