Man's warning after being billed $14k for cancelled course
ROB Rumac has been left with a sour taste in his mouth after he tried to cancel an online management course and received a $14,400 bill in the mail.
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Mr Rumac is a retired brick layer due to spinal stenosis, severe depression and anxiety and is on a disabled pension.
He wanted to do study online to further his skills and signed up to SmartCity Vocational College for a Diploma of Management with the help of VET commonwealth assistance.
Mr Rumac expected he would start coursework right away but nothing was delivered in the mail.
"Probably about three weeks after I signed up I was waiting for my course materials like a laptop they supply for you so you can do the course online," Mr Rumac said.
"So naturally I rang them up and asked them where is the laptop (and) they said, 'We're not quite sure where it is'."
Mr Rumac said this went on for five weeks until the laptop arrived but he claimed it was faulty.
"With all the run around they'd given me, I decided not to do the course," he said.
"So I figured if I made a cancellation, there wouldn't be any problems, everything would just be negated and there won't be any debts or anything like that.
"Then I got a letter in the mail saying I had a $14,400 debt with SmartCity."
He eventually had the debt reversed, but said it took too much effort and is warning others to be wary.
Mr Rumac said he was concerned when he received the bill after cancelling and called the SmartCity office but was informed he only had two weeks to cancel the course after he signing up which had already expired.
"And (they said) we can't give you your money back," Mr Rumac said.
"I said that's a bit rough, I didn't receive any equipment until five weeks later and I didn't even start the course.
"So if I wasn't given the opportunity to change my mind in the first two weeks how could I cancel the course?"
In a letter to Mr Rumac, SmartCity Vocational College student advisor Kerrie-Ann Smith said "I have been unsuccessful at having your debt reversed".
".. due to the late notification of your intent to cancel."
"I apologise for my inability to stop this charge of debt to you but please be assured I did try."
When the NewsMail approached SmartCity Vocational College campus manager Davin Carlile he declined comment and directed response to SmartCity Vocational College Marketing Manager Rudi Baker.
"Thank you for your enquiry however our policy is not to comment publicly on unsubstantiated complaints or complaints that have been resolved," Mr Baker said.
Mr Rumac felt he'd been "suckered in" by the college and felt it could easily happen to someone else.
"What really amazed me about the whole thing is they have a census period, if you look at when I signed up, when I received my laptop and when I physically would have started the course, weeks had gone by and it was null and void, I had no opportunity to cancel," he said.
"But If I didn't jump up and down and go to head office, I'd still have the debt today," Mr Rumac said.