Study Abroad Programs for College Students

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justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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Was the insurance monthly premiums or one premium for the program? If the latter than I wouldn't foresee a refund for that.

How much of the 4000 was for the excursions vs housing?
 
Apr 27, 2020
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Was the insurance monthly premiums or one premium for the program? If the latter than I wouldn't foresee a refund for that.

How much of the 4000 was for the excursions vs housing?
The insurance was a flat rate for the entire duration of the program. We paid $14K for the entire program. $3840 was for housing and requested back $2400. I am attaching the letter I wrote that details out all of the numbers.
 

Attachments

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
You say there was insurance. What kind of insurance? Did it cover trip interruption?

If it didn’t, you could file a complaint with the Attorney General in the State the business is located but honestly, small claims court is your best option. Although you could win and still not get anything.
 

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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From her letter it was medical insurance for the entire program. API would have paid the insurer that money and can't just refund it without getting the money from them first. I have no idea if medical insurance companies pro-rate plans if they're ended early but I would guess not.

I'm assuming API didn't own the housing she was staying in - have you looked at who owns the housing to see if they are refunding money?

The letter also said there was about a $2000 balance due (waiting on student loan funding). So if the balance is no longer due and you add in the cash refund you received API refunded almost $3000.

Her letter also mentions taking them to small claims court if they don't get a refund by May 4 and cc's an attorney. Both of which usually decreases the chance of the company working with you.
 
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Apr 27, 2020
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You say there was insurance. What kind of insurance? Did it cover trip interruption?

If it didn’t, you could file a complaint with the Attorney General in the State the business is located but honestly, small claims court is your best option. Although you could win and still not get anything.
The insurance was for medical etc in case they needed medical services while abroad. It was not trip insurance
 
Apr 27, 2020
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From her letter it was medical insurance for the entire program. API would have paid the insurer that money and can't just refund it without getting the money from them first. I have no idea if medical insurance companies pro-rate plans if they're ended early but I would guess not.

I'm assuming API didn't own the housing she was staying in - have you looked at who owns the housing to see if they are refunding money?

The letter also said there was about a $2000 balance due (waiting on student loan funding). So if the balance is no longer due and you add in the cash refund you received API refunded almost $3000.

Her letter also mentions taking them to small claims court if they don't get a refund by May 4 and cc's an attorney. Both of which usually decreases the chance of the company working with you.
The letter we wrote was a demand letter; the first step required in CA for small claim court. They have been very unhelpful during the entire process so just starting to compile the paper trail.
 
Apr 27, 2020
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Due to the dispute (they claim we owe them money) they are holding her transcript. I feel that this is unrelated to the money issue and is very wrong. Do you think you can help in this regard?
 
Feb 24, 2018
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All educational programs, including all universities, withhold transcripts if they calculate money is owed. All universities also withhold diplomas for graduating students if money is owed. I do not think you will have any success in arguing that the two are unrelated. I can almost promise that this is in the contracts you signed.
 
Apr 27, 2020
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Additional help needed. We filed a small claims action in CA. We are getting ready to send service via processor server in TX where the company is located. The state of TX website shows the name of a person as the "registered agent". Just to check I called the front desk to make sure that person was at the location. Receptionist said she left the company 14 months ago. So.... how do I confirm the proper person to serve the court papers to?
 

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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I have no idea about this company, but a lot have a part in their T&Cs that you have to file any lawsuits in a specific jurisdiction. For example, I know the cruise lines that are headquartered in Miami require you to file any lawsuit in Miami courts. Similar to how some companies have parts that require you to go to arbitration instead of filing a suit.

Like Neil said, an attorney is needed.
 
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Jun 24, 2019
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Generally you cannot sue an out-of-state company in small claims court unless that company is "present" in California, such as by registering with the California Secretary of State. You can search the secretary of state business search. I did for API and could not find this company.

Ordinarily, I would refer you to the small claims help people at the county courthouse, but that function is probably closed. I believe in Los Angeles County small claims courts may start again on June 22. Whether the help people will be in is unknown. Try this link from the California courts which reports that you must be able to serve the defendant in California. https://www.courts.ca.gov/1062.htm?rdeLocaleAttr=en

Now serving this company in Texas may, of course, get their attention. And even if not subject to California jurisdiction, maybe they will just show up. I doubt it.

And I endorse Justlisa's recommendation that you check the contract. Perhaps there is an efficient arbitration provision.

A California lawyer can advise you best on these issues.
 
Apr 27, 2018
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I think doing this on your own is a bad idea..... you mentioned a facebook group of parents. Maybe you can all chip in for a lawyer. I think you should give this lawyer a change to negotiate a refund before you go to a court.
 
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