Are These Excessive Cancellation Fees From a Merchant Legal?

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gr8spangle
 
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

Are These Excessive Cancellation Fees From a Merchant Legal?

Postby gr8spangle » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:36 am

I signed up for an online workshop and paid a fee of $200. Included with the workshop was a "FREE" 2-day in-person seminar. The person running the workshop says I must cancel by X date to avoid no-show penalties on this "FREE" workshop. After X date, if I am a no-show, I will be charged the full "value" of the "FREE" workshop, which is $1000.

This seems wrong to me. Is this legal or a gray area? I intend to show up for the workshop but don't want to be charged $1000 if an emergency comes up at the last minute and I can't make it.

Would a chargeback be supported by the credit card company in a case such as this? Is this a question to ask the credit card company?

Thanks in advance!


jeffysdad
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Location: Texas

Postby jeffysdad » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:35 am

This really sounds like a scam. You should file a complaint with the BBB in your area and the attorney general's office of your state. Tell the workshop "sponsor" that you're doing this. You might consider looking into filing a complaint with the FTC as well.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

DoingHomework
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Location: Arizona

Postby DoingHomework » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:01 pm

It seems like you agreed to this. It is not illegal if you agree to it. It's called a liquidated damage.

Just show up and you'll be fine.

It sounds to me like this is part of a larger scheme to get your money by getting you to sign up for additional seminars or "training." If I were you I would show up at the seminar and either stay if you are interested of simply start to record it on your phone until they throw you out. Make sure you get that part recorded. That way you'll not have to attend or pay the fee.

And if you record and they let you...well then you should have something truly interesting and valuable to share!

Whatever you do, DON'T SIGN ANYTHING!

DoingHomework
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Location: Arizona

Postby DoingHomework » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:04 pm

What organization is this? If you post the name or PM me I will try to look into it

jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:53 pm

Too funny, DH. I'm a reporter and have from time to time been asked to stop recording meetings, etc., which I sometimes do for note-taking purposes. It occurs to me a good way to get out of jury duty is to show up and start taking pictures in the courtroom, but then one would have a different problem.

Don't know if the vendor's case for liquidated damages would stand up since what it sounds like is the fee would be assessed for not attending the "free" seminar. If the vendor is giving it away, its damages can't be that great. The free part is when the vendor probably gives its sales pitch. I think they're just trying to scare the guy into listening to their BS.

Still, showing up and recording it sounds like more fun than any of the other options.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.



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