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Aequs Study Finance (Home Learning College)

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by beckyt70, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. beckyt70

    beckyt70 New Member

    Can anyone please give me some words of advice/share experiences with me regarding the finance company Aequs Study Finance that is currently causing me absolute hell...

    Has anyone else had any difficulties with them and the Home Learning College (or Direct, I'm not sure which one to use!!)

    I rang for information on a bookkeeping course, and 2 days later had an 'adviser' (better known as a salesman) in my home telling me that if I wanted to guarantee my place I would have to sign then as the places were running out and the deadline for the term wass close. I was informed that I would have a cool off period ending when my deposit was taken from my bank account. My partner was made redundant 1 week later and I decided I could not afford the course. I tried to cancel over the phone and in writing and was told under no circumstances were they going to accept my cancellation...I informed them that I was grossly mislead and after numerous attempts to contact the adviser, I had a letter telling me I owed the company just over £1200. I have had many calls from them but as I work full time I am unable to answer when they ring during the day. I have tried to contact them with no success...and now I face court action, as they say I would have recieved a letter telling me my cancellation writes within days of signing, although I never recieved this.I was also told that I would become a member of the Accountants and Bookkeepers association with a membership card and details of seminars etc...guess what...I have never recieved anything of that nature either. I don't even know who my tutor is!!

    Any advice/ other experiences would be appreciated.
  2. BrotherBill

    BrotherBill Byte Poster

    To begin with, I would talk to your banker. Let them know what has transpired and make sure that no withdrawls from your account are permitted.

    Send another cancellation request, requiring a signature receipt if possible.

    Then, everytime you talk to anyone with this company, make sure you record the date and time, who you talked to (by name, not employee or badge number), what was discussed, and any agreements that were made.

    Finally, as long as you have not received any services or materials from these people, the next time they demand any money, tell them to take you to court. It is highly unlikely anything will come of it, they'll just be a annoyance for awhile. This is a tactic that collectors use to intimidate people into making payments. Most of the time, it's not worth the expense to take an issue like this into court.
  3. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    I agree with Bill, like he said if you havent received any materials of them then I doubt they can charge you for nothing.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  4. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster


    To be honest whilst some good advise has been given above be warned that you can end up with a bad credit which would remain for 6 yrs. I know this is frightening but to be honest try as best possible to resolve the issue outside of the courts because trust me they would not rest. Unfortunately, the customer seems to be the one burnt on a long run.

    I have been bitten and would not want to again, as I once had a similar issue payed off the money but only to find out was turned down a mortgage loan. To add insult to injury it was the same company that I have already paid money to and cleared the debt. I even contacted them saying I have paid the money I owe to them so why still have me down as defaulted and for them to get it cleared. Till this day no feedback whatsoever. It is easy for others to talk especially when they have not been in a similar situation. Please, am not trying to undermine anyone just speaking the truth. Trust me I know, I have been there and its not worth the hassle.
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  5. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    I think all advice given so far has been sound.

    You say you phoned and wrote to them to cancel shortly after signing the contract.

    You should have been left a copy of the contract after you signed - you should be given a copy of any contract or Ts and Cs that you are legally bound to.

    These will contain your 'legal' cooling off period (which I think is minimally 6 days).

    If you can prove that you wrote to who you needed to contact within that time, there's not much they should be able to do legally to demand your payment or hold you to contract.

    Did you write to both companies, or just to the finance company, or just to the training college?

    If you don't have a copy of the contract, ask for one. They have to give you one, as they're trying to bind you to it. Read through it, and see where you stand. If you have tried to cancel, there is no way they can just turn around and say 'we don't accept that'. It's not legal, if you're in your cooling period.

    So, check the contract, and go from there. I agree that it's best to settle out of court, as when the wheels are in motion on defaulting, credit scores, etc, as already mentioned, I don't think it's reversible once in place.

    Let us know how you get on RE the contract, or if you need further advice.

    If it does go to a Court situation, if you have kept documentation on your situation, you should at least have a strong case. If the items you are saying you should have are written in your training contract, you can just claim it was grossly mis-sold, which should legally entitle you to a full refund.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  6. beckyt70

    beckyt70 New Member

    Thanks guys...all sound advice.

    Re the contract, I was given a copy which stated that I would be sent information on my cancellation rights which I never recieved. However, a bottom copy which was inside a bag of books that were left for me dumped behind my sofa, there was a white pre-contract information sheet that said I had 5 days to cancel the contract. I rang a number that was written on a piece of paper for me (who apparently was my tutor who I have still not heard from) and she said it wasn't 5 days but did not give me a definite time frame, and so I went by the 'deposit time' the course 'advisor' told me. I have read other articles since where people have said they were told 14 days. Even if I was told this, then which one should I have adhered to? Everyone I have spoken to has contradicted another.

    As for recieving materials, when the salesman had got me to sign the contract, he left very hastily and as above mentioned, dumped books behind my sofa and informed me to look at them when I wanted to. I was told I would become a member, with access to official accounting websites, lectures and certification etc, none of which have I recieved.

    One other thing, if you sell credit are you not supposed to be qualified and regulated? I doubt the salesman who suggested I used their in house credit agency was either of these?
  7. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

    It would seem that the legal cooling off period in the UK is seven days. See here for more details.
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270, MCSA
  8. beckyt70

    beckyt70 New Member

    Excellent!! Thank you very much...
  9. BrotherBill

    BrotherBill Byte Poster

    Without spending an extreme amount of time on this, I was able to find a little information on the group.

    While parts of the company at least appear to provide a legitimate service, you are not the only person that has been pressured by this group. This organization is reportedly not a Licensed Credit Broker and should not be providing finance. Their directors and secretaries change every month or two which raises even more doubt as to their validity.

    I would suggest that you contact your legal advisor, local Citizen's Advice Bureau, or local Trading Standards office and inform them of your situation. The incident needs to be reported and the entire transaction may possibly be annulled.

    I've collected a little information below about the company as well as some government links and other informative sites that you may find useful. The fact that the contract was made at your residence and not at their place of business makes a big difference in your right to cancel.

    Business in question:
    Aequs Study Finance
    Barnes House
    Kangley Bridge Road
    SE26 5AR

    Tel 0208 6769477

    Registered Number: 5319441

    Related companies:

    Home Learning College
    Home Learning Direct
    The Learning Library
    Oak House College

    Article posted by The Open & Distance Learning Quality Council
    Worries raised over owners of Learning Library

    Finance company:
    Empress Finance


    Office of Fair Trading

    The OFT is responsible for making markets work well for consumers. We achieve this by promoting and protecting consumer interests throughout the UK, while ensuring that businesses are fair and competitive.

    Home - http://www.oft.gov.uk/
    Contact - http://www.oft.gov.uk/contactus


    Consumer advice - Overview from Consumer Direct

    If you are looking for help as a consumer, contact Consumer Direct, the telephone and online advice service operated by the OFT. It provides clear, practical, advice on a wide range of consumer issues. The advice given is free and you can call as many times as you need to.

    Consumer Direct is a government funded advice service for everyone to use. Our regionally based advisors are specially trained to give practical advice on all kinds of consumer issues - from problems with cars to faulty household appliances.

    Call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or visit the Consumer Direct website.



    Information about cancelling contracts can be found here.

    Know your rights: when you can cancel and how to do it
    Sample letters to help you make a complaint and cancel contracts
    Differences in the law in Scotland and Northern Ireland explained



    Trading Standards Institute
    Advice Leaflet - Your Rights When Buying on Credit
    Can you cancel your credit agreement?



    Something I've learned over the years is that if someone tells me that I need something now, before it's too late, I probably don't need it at all. Stay away from these people if you can.

    Let us know how you come out or if we can help in any way.

  10. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    The info Bill has gotten on them does seem to show they are dodgy at best, like he said get in touch with your local CAB and I would say do it as soon as possible.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  11. BrotherBill

    BrotherBill Byte Poster

    Another note. Complaints to the school about the finance company or vice versa will probably not do much good either. It seems that they are both owned by the same people. Big surprise there.
  12. sezhevo

    sezhevo New Member

    I to have had many problems with this company, i fell victim to the tutor(salesman) that turned up at my home and told me this was the best home learning company and course around!!
    i signed up that day and the guy left all of the books with me and gave me the number of my tutor, and advised me that i didnt have to do anything until my tutor got in cantact.
    Turns out my tutor was not existant and verytime i called her fone was turned off so i called the HLC to get told she was on holiday again!!

    I then got really angry and wrote a very nasty letter to the HLC college demanding to cancel becoz the service hadnt been provided!! was told no way on this earth i could cancel as it was after the 14 days.
    I am now stuck payin £57 a month for 2 years for a course i am not even doing, i have spoken to trading standards and they advised me that the company are not in the wrong as i new there was a 14 day cooling off period, unfortunatly i did not know that they were not going to provide the service!!

    I am really stuck as to what to do now!! Any advice?
  13. tessa

    tessa New Member


    i am a student on HLC. finance company AEQUS STUDY FINANCE.

    after a terrible and service with HLC, i asked to cancell my course. and payment.. started it in october 2007.
    tried to call aequs amswering machine.. HLC says i cant cancell.. called OFT company is registered number is 571059 expires in june 2010. issued 2005.

    same address as is listed above.

    so annoyed i called bank.. cancelled DD. they have put a not on to say not to let them take money,

    tutors been great its just HLC. and aequs .. just cant get a hold of them got letter here to post..

  14. strong

    strong New Member

    I have had the same debacle as yourself. There are A LOT of us. The same sales pitch was given to us when the Home Learning rep came to visit. "Better sign up quickly as there are only a few places left". He was very good! I paid £100 deposit and signed the form. After 2 weeks of not receiving the software, I started the long, laborious, frustrating task of phoning them to enquire about the software. Numerous phone calls and fob offs later, I decided to cancel the agreement. The student forum was full of people complaining about their software. Quite a few also wondered where the 'course supervisor' allocated to them, actually was!!! After looking at the company and it's finance company, Aequs Study Finance, online, I was even more convinced that this company was totally incompetent. I tried to cancel the agreement and they refuse to accept it. Offering, instead, to pay me £150 in compensation. I refused the compensation and reiterated that I would like to cancel. They will not accept this and I have now received a notice requesting payment on, or before, 23/04/08. The software did arrive eventually - once I'd told them I wanted to cancel! I have it wrapped in it's original packaging, waiting to be sent back when they have agreed to refund my £100. I also phoned Adobe direct re the late arrival of the software. Adobe claim they've had no delays or backlogs and were a little confused as to why I'd had a problem. After looking at the Consumer Action Group forum and reading even more nightmarish entries re this company, I suggest the best way forward is for us to collectively take this on. We are being bullied. If we all get together and fight this, we stand a much better chance of winning. Threatening phone calls have been made to people in the same boat by collection agents. I have approached the media with this and they are pretty keen for us to get a comprehensive group together to take this on. What say you?
  15. nats2610

    nats2610 New Member


    I have just joined to say that i too have been duped by this company, but apparentley it is what is called a legal con!!. I would like to ask who in the media were interested as i contacted Watchdog but never heard a thing.
    This company should be shut down, the finance company now is called Apex, its a joke they just pass you on and on and everytime you speak someone you have to go through everything time and time again. Apex dont seem to be as bad as Aequs who i felt like i was being harrassed all the time!! It is about time something was done!!
  16. supernova

    supernova Gigabyte Poster

    Go the the citizens advice bureau, they will probably give you free legal advice on the situation and explain your rights.

    I did the 3 bookkeeping courses with another company and have been a member of the ICB for over a year. I look after a taxi firms books as part-time evening work

    Certifications: Loads
    WIP: Lots
  17. wendy9119

    wendy9119 New Member

    Hi my name is Wendy. i guess we all have been there coz of HLC. i am getting prepared to face court soon. Firstly i would like to tell you more bout problem I am personally struggling with. Past year i applied for a SAGE course in HLC, but because of my personal reasons i had to leave UK. Before my books arrived i phone and cancelled the course. I send a cancellation e-mail as well. The books were send back straight away. But HLC had a huge surprise for me. 3rd January i received a letter from Clarity that i am fully charged for course. Amount of 1,529.84 pounds. If I am not gonna pay a full amount immediately i will receive a letter for court case. I had no idea what to do. I looked for lawyers advice, Birmingham Citizen Advice Center, I basically tried everything. Seem like no one can help me. So I've send a letter to HLC. I got no response. That made me look deeper into case. I found a number of people complaining that they have been mis sold. All of them are paying huge money and each one was in similar situation to mine.

    Right now i have send a really long letter with same cases examples to BBC NEWS. PLEASE IF ANY OF YOU ARE WILLING TO DO SAME THING. we can warn others. if we cant win we can at least try and fight. everyone. we are stronger together.

    I am trying to get as much attantion at this case as i can in my name and all of you. I am not willing to pay home learning college and i want my case to be recorded by media. people have to see! i will try to get out of this mess but i ll make this public.this kind of schools cannot be tolerated in our community. not in england. not anywhere. we are here to study and all of us are ending up with financial problems and no education. if you can at least write to bbc and tell them your own story. do it for yourself and everyone whos signing their agreement every new day. we have to destroy those dirty liars. Thanks and wish you best luck. Dont be afraid to stand up!
  18. Misscalculated

    Misscalculated New Member

    Ive been trawling the internet to see if there are any other people in my situation. My husband and I were conned into signing up with HLC and some of the experiences ive read about are so close to mine. Are there still any people out there having problems? Has anyone reached a satisfactory conclusion?
    JonnyMX likes this.
  19. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    Well, I've liked your post purely because you've got the best username EVER for someone 'conned' by a TP.
    'i thought I'd just be able to cancel whenever I wanted to and get all my money back'
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  20. logic0104

    logic0104 New Member

    I have had the same experience with home learn direct and Aequs Finance. what a headach my probs started under the same dodgy sales technique was used , I enrolled for a computer maint course and was given a number to call for my "personal tutor" I proceeded with the direct debit payments and the study but when the issue arrised for me to get help from my tutor he was not availiable , I tried several times over several days with no help so needless to say the course came to an abrupt halt so I cancelled the DD and wrote to Home learn Direct expaining my reasons for cancelling and thats when the trouble with Aequs started . I wrote to them explaining the issues and even sent letters recorded I telephoned to just be harrased and asked for money. I presented them with all evidence to no avail . after several letters all recorded I decided to take the issue up with Home learn direct and presented my evidence and threatened them with court action for obtaining money by deception as they did not provide what was originally promised.. they then started to ignore all correspondence and when I called they would just put me on hold and not speak to me. all correspondence from Aequs also stopped as they did the same and it turned out that Aequs where a company set up by home learn direct as thier financiers,,,, and where actually residing in the same building.... I realised I had been conned and they where giving me the run around. that was the last I heard from them untill 7 years later as Aequs had instructed another debt collection agency to persue the debt so needless to say I provided all the evidence to the new debt collection agency and heard nothing more about it, I even asked them to persue the debt through the local court so I could provide my evidence to a judge and get this finally nailed down... then today 21-07-2012 I recieved a letter from another debt collection agency regarding this outstanding debt.. can you believe the cheek of these morons.. but it has just dawned on me that these agencys sell debts on and in this cas do so promptly after realising its a lost cause with no hope of obtaining any more cash. they will send letters a saying that they have been issued with court orders (Aequs did this but when i contacted the local courts they informed me that no orders had been issued and in fact no case had been put forward) they Lie, cheat , intimidate and deceive just to get your cash. the truth is that if you stick to your guns and keep all evidence the worst they will do is sell the debt on knowing its a lost cause (its a bit like pyramid selling HA HA) they cant just walk int a court and say he/she owes me money there are protocols and laws to follow and more often than not its these ametuers that break them . so my advice is only communicate through letters and send them recorded. keep all copies and stick to the rules. and as I belive it the cooling off period for any finance is actually 14 days by law if there contract states otherwise then they have breached the unfair contracts act 2004 which states that all contracts must be within the guidelines of the law and any contract that does not is NIL AND VOID. so check the wording you may find that the contract for finance issued is worthless and if it is then they dont stand a chance in a county court as they have breached your rights (check it out with FSA) you may even be able to persue them in court . so many finacial organisations think they can make it all up as they go along. knowing or thinking that we know as customers nothing. they are wrong.

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