I live in NY State. I bought a skype type language course on line. The salesman who sold me the course said I could pay monthly and stop anytime I liked, even thought the course had a one year duration. After 3 months I tried to stop and they billed my credit card for the full fee, an additional $666. My credit card company has been no help. The credit card company say the agreement with the course vendor says I must pay for the full year. The verbal statement of the salesman is not controlling. I am quite unhappy with the credit card company, but my question is: can I sue the vendor of the language course in small claims court in NY?

1 Answer 1


That would depend on whether the defendant works or lives. The state court informs us that

You must bring your claim in the municipality (or, if it’s a city court action, in the county) in which the person or entity you are suing resides, or has an office for the transaction of business or regular employment

so if for example the company only operates in Indonesia, you cannot. The general rule is you have to sue someone in their jurisdiction. The other problem is that a New York court has no way to enforce a judgment in Indonesia.

I assume that your objection is that they charged you the rest of the cost all at once, whereas you assumed that the charges would be spread out over 9 months (nothing in the verbal agreement, as you have reported it, indicates that you would owe less than the full $1000, it just indicates that you can stop). Your verbal agreement doesn't clearly indicate whether the monthly payment option is available only as long as you actually are continuing the course. There is probably a clause in the written contract that says something about stopping participating in the course, which would fill in any unclarity of the orally-indicated monthly payment option.

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