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My question is regarding an online class. It's a year online…

Customer Question
Hi Good afternoon....

Hi Good afternoon. My question is regarding an online class. It's a year long online certification program for $3200.00 I made the required deposit of $249.00. The policy stated on the program information was that after November 1, the cancellation policy was half tuition due plus a fee. Since that payment, I have just received DocuSign documents to sign and bind myself to the program. I have lost my second job and stated to them that I'd have to withdraw (before signing anything). They are claiming I still owe the money yet in my mind there is nothing binding me to that. What do you suggest?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

VA It's for an online holistic class.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you contacted the manufacturer?

I have contacted the person providing the services with a written email stating I would not be signing the documents and withdrawing.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No thank you.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
11/15/2017
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,438
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
That is fine, thank you.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Getting out of a contract can be very difficult. With that said, there are some things that you would want to consider that the law recognizes as defenses to the enforcement of a contract. One of the defenses is capacity, meaning that a person who is mentally ill, under the age of 18, under the influence of drugs/alcohol can have the contract voided. Additionally, if a party enters into an agreement under duress, it can be voided. Also, if the contract is so one-sided that it would be considered unconscionable, that is another reason. Finally, there is the issue of mistake. A court can declare that there is a mistake made by both parties as to the assumption on which the contract was based. For example, if both parties made an assumption that a certain event would occur, but the event does not occur, then the contract is voidable. Unless the agreement falls into one of these categories, then the agreement is enforceable. There is one possibility for you. Under the doctrines of impossibility or impracticability (meaning you could not comply with the contract because it was not possible or practical to do so). you may be able to get out of the contract. Otherwise, you may not be able to do so and you may be on the hook. I'm very sorry. What other questions did you have for me?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Understood. Are you saying because I paid the deposit only, without signing any documents, that is a verbal agreement to the contract?
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Let's take a step back a moment so I can understand something: you said that they only collected the deposit from you. Was this only to save your seat and nothing else?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Correct. The deposit was paid in September 2017. The course documents/contract was just emailed to me this week.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Which I have not signed or returned.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

I see what you mean. If that is the case, then you aren't going to be bound to that agreement. If the deposit was just there strictly to reserve your opportunity to have a seat in the later class, you're not bound to the agreement. It is a bit odd that they backdated the agreement such that 11/1 was the cutoff; however, unless you specifically agreed to those terms when you paid your deposit, you won't be bound to them. If that is the case, then it is a breach of contract.

A breach of contract just simply means that one party was obligated to perform and they have either have not performed or have said that they will not perform. Typically, the aggrieved party is entitled to be returned to the same position they were in before the breach. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract. It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If this doesn’t work, sadly, the only other option is to either go through an informal mediation or file a lawsuit in your local court.

This website is also pretty cool because they have some state-specific breach of contract forms that you can use as well. Click here to choose your state and get started.

What other questions did you have for me today?

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