Relief as parent finally gets refund

Herschel Williams battled for months to get a R5 891 refund from Educor after his son, Brent, who was enrolled for electrical engineering at Damelin Cape Town City Campus, wanted to change his course.

Mr Williams, an accountant at UCT’s conference management centre, said he had initially registered his son for an electrical engineering course with Damelin Cape Town City Campus last year and had paid them a registration fee of
R1 100 and a course deposit of
R8 641, which totalled R9 741.

“When Brent wanted to change courses, I registered him with Damelin Correspondence College (DCC), which cost R3 850, effectively cancelling the electrical engineering one, resulting in a
R5 891 balance due to me. When I submitted a refund claim form on April 3, they told me it would take two months before I would get my money,” said Mr Williams.

However, he struggled for months to get the refund, making phone calls and sending emails to Shane Shaw; Gwynneth Nkqayi, sales manager: Damelin; Lynn Naidoo, regional general manager: Damelin; and Zinhle Ndimande, finance aadministrator: Educor Holdings. “I called Mr Shaw on June 14, and he told me payment was scheduled for July 19, but no payment was received. Later, I spoke to Zinhle, in his absence, and she told me payment was scheduled for August 2, and again it was just a promise.

“Then I was also told the finance department has a backlog, and they were awaiting feedback from them. When I last contacted Mr Shaw, he informed me they escalated the matter to the chief operations officer (COO), but there was no reply from Mr Shaw when I asked for his number,” Mr Williams said.

“I’m really frustrated and even threatened them with social media and a lawyer, but they are messing me around and it seems they want me to give up and I will never get my money,” Mr Williams said.

Mr Shaw failed to acknowledge Off My Trolley’s emails, which was unlike him because he was efficient and managed to expedite matters in the past when I have had other complaints about Educor, which owns Damelin and DCC, not refunding money promptly.

That’s because Shane Shaw no longer works for Educor.

When I contacted Educor, the agent said I had to go through the call centre.

I told her past experience had shown that it was inefficient, and when I insisted on a name she gave me hers: Valencia Arthur, and she promised to escalate the matter to her COO, which she did.

A day later, she said the matter had been addressed with their COO. “Our finance department will be processing the payment. Once we receive proof of payment, I will forward to you and Herschel Williams.”

She did this, followed by another copy from Ms Ndimande, who also sent Mr Williams proof of payment.

The same Ms Ndimande who promised Mr Williams he would get paid on August 2.

However, neither of them would say why it took so long for Mr Williams to get his money or admit there was a problem in their admin department.

The excuse in the past has always been, “It’s the process”.

Mr Williams finally got paid just before Christmas after months of empty promises.