I should probably be gloating but I’m not. In fact, the whole experience has left me with a rather sick feeling in my stomach. However, I strongly believe I did the right thing and am pleased that I followed it through to the end.
As many of you know I went on a Social Media course back in March, which was by run Ecademy and delivered by Thomas Power. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that they covered the content that they advertised. I quietly asked for a refund on a couple of occasions but to no avail. In the end, I blogged about it ‘How Not to Master Social Media‘ and it received far more attention than I could’ve ever imagined. The post went ‘mini’ viral receiving over 100 comments and was retweeted on twitter over 200 times. At one point I was hiding under my desk.
For the most part people were incredibly supportive and I thank you for that. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Nikki Pilkington and Nigel Morgan, who were always at the end of the phone when I needed propping up.
In the end, it has been a very long drawn out process, so I’ll give you a condensed version. I was encouraged to file a claim with the Advertising Standards Agency as the course did not deliver what was advertised. If you weren’t aware the ASA now also covers marketing on the web. On the 10th of August 2011 they upheld the claim and Ecademy was told that the ad could not appear again in its current form. The full adjudication can be read here.
Following the adjudication, I waited to see if a refund would now be issued. Sadly, it was still not forthcoming so I had no other choice but to file with Small Claims Court, which I did online via MCOL, which cost me £60. Initially, I was only asking for a refund of the course fees. However, when filing with small claims you’re allowed to include reasonable expenses such as lost wages, childcare, and travel. For whatever reason, Ecademy has decided to settle before it went to court. Last week I received a check for over double what I was originally asking for.
I know I’ve learned a lot from this experience but I also hope that Ecademy has also learned a valuable lesson about social media and customer service.