Help, How Can I Get It Back?

Updated on May 25, 2008
A.C. asks from New York, NY
8 answers

Any advice will be welcomed. We thought we were moving out of the city in mid-July so I researched and signed up our daughter for full-time summer camp for the first 2 weeks of July so I could pack and get everything ready. We also have a newborn so this was a necessity. Turns out we need to move out on July 1st.

I called 74magic in NYC, the director said she will not refund me. I explained we are on a tight budget and we only signed her up was because we really needed to have her busy and out of the home. I explained to her that once we move, I'll need her busy there so I can get settled in and I really need at least part of the money. She explained that there is no guarantee that she will fill her spot so she is keeping the money. "Don't take it personally, it's just our rules". I asked if she found someone she would refund me? She said "NO, our rules are clear, don't take it personally".

While I understand "business is business" I'm basically nauseous at this organization. We are talking about $1,250, which could be nothing for some people but for us is all we budgeted for the summer. I'm feeling pretty hopeless since their no-refund policy is pretty clear on the paperwork. Any ideas? Knowing that my daughter will not be able to do any summer activities this summer bc we are not getting a refund, she still did not budge. I feel so disgusted since they run a business for children, I thought they'd be more compassionate. Do you think I could try to reach the owners? Would you just let it go? It's not easy. Since I decided to stay home to care for my children we are on a tight budget and we think very carefully before spending every $. I'm willing to try anything to try to move them. $1,250 is not going to break their bank but will ours. Plus they will deprive my child of something we had carefully planned for her. And if they fill her spot and keep our money knowing our situation, this is just wrong.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

I wrote to Mamasource regarding a summer camp that would not refund me at all because of our relocation. Thanks everyone! I took a little bit of each advice and concocted a letter to them. Interestingly enough the 2 women I spoke to about the refund were completely nasty and lacked any understanding whatsoever and continued saying "business is business, mam". So I researched some more and found that it's a family business. I had spoken to the owner's mother and to his wife. They even hung up on me when I called to see if they got my letter. I then wrote the letter directly to the owner and he granted us 50% refund. I'm thrilled since it really looked like we weren't getting anything back.. With this $650 we are going to put our daughter in the summer camp at our new location. Thanks everyone, I would not have pursued him if it weren't for your advice! XOXOXO

Featured Answers

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K.B.

answers from New York on

Just a thought but maybe try the news segments such as "help me Howard" or "shame shame shame". You can go on channel 2, 4 7 or 11 tv station websites and submit something. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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D.Z.

answers from Binghamton on

Ava,

You are right, business is business with these places. There are things you could try to get your money back directly from them, but would they let a substitute child go in your daughter's spot? If so, you could "sell" the week to someone else's child. I don't mean letting them fill the spot, I mean, run an ad or talk to everyone you know and find a child to fill the spot. Even if you have to offer a discount, at least you would not be losing all of your money.

There might be a way to go to the better business bureau, but I really don't know anything about that. In my experiences, the businesses are always protected, not the consumers. We actually lost over $4000 cash once that we prepaid for furniture that was being ordered for us, and then the furniture company went bankrupt, kept our money, and we received no furniture. The company was protected under bankruptcy law, not the consumer. Ridiculous. I hope your situation turns out better. To this day my kids still have plastic dressers because of that loss.

D.

1 mom found this helpful
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L.A.

answers from New York on

Ava

That is BULL*** -- I understand policy, but it's not like you are cancelling on July 1st, it's 6 weeks before!

Try your best to call and discuss, if that doesn't work - how did you pay?? Please say credit card-- if so , DISPUTE the charge.

I'm sorry, but I agree with you, it's not chump change. YOu have kids in diapers, they are probably suffering and not getting lots of registrations, but that is pure WRONG if they do not refund even 80% of your registration!!!!!!

it's not like they went and bought your daughter a new desk, bicycle and bed!!! Give me a break!!!!!!!

Please keep me posted sweetie... i want to hear how it turns out.

All my best

L. A.
###-###-####
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[email protected]____.com
www.ahealthyworld.com

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L.M.

answers from New York on

Unfortunatly if their policy is clear about refunds there's not much you can do. I would try writing to the owners. It's worth a shot, but don't expect much.

Is there anyway your daughter can still attend the camp at least part time? Do you have a relative or close friend that can take her two or three days each week?

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C.R.

answers from Syracuse on

I would call back and get the owners name and number. If they won't give it to you then I would explain that you need to be called back by the owner asap....if you don't hear from the owner(or when you do) Explain your situation and that although you were happy with their program how unhappy you are with their lack of compassion and that you expect a higher character from a place that you entrust with your child. Then I would explain to them that if they aren't willing to refund your money how you are going to handle it...you are going to contact the local news and complain, you are going to go on to the Mamasource website and to other mom groups that you are in and make it known how unwilling they are to work with parents, that instead of getting the high recommedation from you that they would have recieved before all of this you will tell all the mommy's you know NOT to enroll their child with them. Mom's trust mom's , how many of you put your child in somewhere w/o a recommendation from someone? We mom's have each other's backs and thy can work with you or they can know that you'll be warning other mom's to stay away...at the library, little gym, playgroup...you name it! Odds are, they might not care because they have it in writing that they don't do refunds but as long as you stick to the facts they can't stop you from telling everyone how unhappy you are with them...and totally go to the BBB website and make a complaint...that sticks with them for 4-7 years! I truly hope you get your money back, don't back down...it's not their fault how much $ you have to spend so I wouldn't focus on that, it's up to them to make the right decision. Best of luck!

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A.T.

answers from New York on

You received 2 very good pieces of advice. See if you can do either. Use mamasource to see if you can sell the slot to another mom. Good luck.

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P.M.

answers from New York on

That is horrible. Unlessthey were sold out, and your spot was not going to be filled, they should give you all of your money back. Even if it wasn't filled, they should give you back the money. I would contact the owner, and if that didn't work, contact the local news.

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G.P.

answers from Utica on

I would ask for a copy of the rules in writing and have her point out where it says abolutley no refunds. If she can't provide that informatin and still refuses to refund your money I would tell her you are contacting you rlawyer. Juts the threat of it may get her to give in. If not - call the Better business Bureau or the Attorney General. This worked for me once.

Good Luck - sounds like this woman is a real peach. (insert sarcasm here)

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