‘No refund’ policy for fees paid illegal, private colleges reminded

Voon Shiak Ni

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KUCHING, July 1: The ‘no refund’ policy for future contract services is illegal under the Consumer Protection Act 1999, but some private colleges in the country still have a strict non-refundable policy for fees paid.

In advising students of their rights under this Act, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) national women vice-chief Voon Shiak Ni advised these private colleges to reconsider their ‘no refund’ policy.

She noted that it was the norm for private colleges nationwide to encourage full payment of fees before the commencement of any course.

Voon said although the students who paid in full tend to enjoy a slight discount, there would be no refund should they decide to quit the course for various reasons.

She made this comment in a statement today after several college students and their families approached her recently to help them appeal to their colleges for refund of the fees that they had paid in full.

Voon said these complainants, who were studying in Kuala Lumpur, were now in dilemma after being told by their respective colleges that the fees were non-refundable.

“The students were made to sign off a contract for future services before they started their classes. But it is unreasonable for students to accept whatever that comes later, such as inefficient lecturers or unconducive college environment.

“Under the Consumer Protection Act 1999, the ‘no refund’ policy for future contract services is illegal, and I want everyone to be aware of this. When a consumer cancels a future services contract, the supplier of the services can only claim five per cent of the full contract price and the cost of any goods the consumer had used or the portion of the full contract price representing services received by the consumer,” she emphasised.

Voon appealed to all colleges to have a more people-friendly policy in order to support those who wanted to pursue tertiary education.

“Be flexible when looking into issues of students who are forced to quit, and rightfully refund their college fees,” she urged. — DayakDaily