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I have bought two products (services): specifically two parts of a university training course (ITT (Initial Teacher Training) and masters units leading to PGCE). Both are sold separately. I no longer wish to do the masters units, and focus on the ITT.

The terms and conditions say that I must return zero or all. They say that the combination forms a new product ( a 3rd course). However both can be purchased separately. The only connection being that if you pass both you can get a better certificate (ITT + masters units = PGCE). You do not have to buy both at same time, to get the PGCE, you can do the masters units years latter, and still get the PGCE.

It seems to me to be like going to a shop and getting two products at the same time. This in tern seems to be like going to a shop getting the first item, leaving coming back and getting the second. Which says to me that I can return one on its own, according to the company return policy (without considering the 2nd). What does statute (the law) say on this?

Can I withdraw-from (return) the masters units course, according to the university returns policy, as if I had bought it separately? Can you also cite the relevant UK consumer law.


I am in England. Course started, 1st September, but I was not officially enrolled until November.

  • Could you return both, then buy just the one you want? If you agreed to those T&C, it's unlikely you'll be able to bypass them. – Cullub Jan 10 '16 at 1:34
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    If I return them at this time, then I get 75% of fee back (this is in terms and conditions), so I do not want to return A (and loose 25% of its fee). I can not buy at this time, as it is a time bound service September to June. – ctrl-alt-delor Jan 12 '16 at 18:39
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Check the terms stipulated in their terms and conditions. It will include their policy on exactly this.

Usually you can return the item without an issue unless there was a discount applied.

If there was a discount applied then it would be more than likely that you will receive some of the payment back effectively knocking off any discount on the item you keep.

  • I am wanting to know what the law on this is. I know the terms and conditions. I have added more to state these in the question, and why I think that they may not be relevant. – ctrl-alt-delor Jan 9 '16 at 10:51
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    I believe there is no law that says they have to accept unused items back, especially for a cash refund, and it is difficult to prove a negative. – Terry Jan 10 '16 at 1:00
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With few exceptions, the law doesn't say that a seller must take back a sold consumer item for a refund at all. Unless the item is defective, or has been purchased online very recently, there is no legal obligation for the seller to refund an item at all. Of course if the seller told you that they would under certain conditions make refunds, then you can rely on that. If I buy "a pair of shoes that can be returned for a full refund within four weeks" and the shop refuses that refund, then the item is not as advertised and I can return it.

Since other reasons are unlikely to reply, the university has to give you a refund if their terms and conditions say so. More precisely, if reality matches one of the cases in which they promised you a refund.

Now their terms and conditions seem to say: If you buy A, you can return it. If you buy B, you can return it. If you buy C, which consists of A and B, then you can return C, but not one of the components A and B. It seems there is no specific mention of buying A and B separately.

I'd expect that you have an invoice. That invoice hopefully states what exactly you purchased. If it says "You bought A for £1,000 and you bought B for £1,000", then they need to refund. If it says "You bought C, which combines A and B", then they don't need to refund B. And if their terms and conditions say "if you buy both A and B, then we won't give you a refund for one product only", then you are out of luck.

Again, what the law says: Whatever their terms and conditions say, applied to the reality what actually happened, that counts.

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