Southern Polytechnic State University / Southern Polytechnic Tried to Rip me off for $1,300

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A charge of $1, 200 was improperly placed on my student account at Southern Polytechnic State University due to a meal plan that was cancelled and unused for the Spring semester of 2010; however, the invalid charge was not correctly rescinded.

Electing the meal plan is performed annually on a contractual basis, with the option to cancel by "letting the Business Office know" within no specified time limits. I canceled the plan early on in the semester (spring 2010) with the Business Office (by phone). Towards the end of the semester, after noting that the charge still remained on the account, I informed Kasey Helton (the Director of Auxilliary Services) of the cancellation again on April 30, 2010 (effectively cancelling the plan twice.) On May 3, Kasey Helton told me to wait for the charge to be rescinded. Three months later I was told that I never canceled the meal plan, and that the charge was properly placed.

Kasey Helton made every attempt to avoid speaking with me after submitting the initial inquiry on April 30, via email. Mrs. Helton never emailed back. Three days later I caught up with her at the parking office. She told me the money on meal plans had already been sent to the food service company. She urged me to just wait, stating that the hold on my student account would be temporarily lifted until the refund.

Two months later, after arriving from a business trip, Ms. Helton pretended not to hear when I questioned her in person as we coincidentally crossed paths.

Over the course of the last 3 months the school has made use of many circumlocutions in addressing this complaint. I wrote to Barry Birckhead (Dean of Students), filing a complaint against Kasey Helton, and he said that he would forward my message to Ms. Helton; of course there was no response. I have written and spoken to Patrick Mccord--Kasey Helton's manager, Arthur Vaughan (the controller of the institution's records), and the business office. All personnel stated that this was all up to Kasey Helton and that there was nothing they could do.

Contacted the Dean of Students again, requesting contact information for Mrs. Helton's manager, Patrick Mccord. Called Mr. Mccord and he said that it's not his problem that I didn't use the meal plan. I told him that the meal plan was cancelled and it wasn't used. Finally I told him that I'm sorry we couldn't reach an aggreement and that I would follow up again at a later time.

Contacted the business office. The woman working stated that she would remove the charge if Kasey Helton approves it, calls Kasey in front of me, receives a no response and, and relays the "no" back to me.

On September 3, 2010 I filed suit against the University for the amount of $1, 301.50 with the Magistrate Court of Marietta.

On September 17, I wrote to Mr. Vaughan (The Controller) of the the university, complaining about the level of responsiveness on behalf of Mrs. Helton, and Patrick Mccord. My complaint stated that the charges were not properly rescinded due to unscrupulous dealings on Kasey's behalf. He said that he would forward my message to Kasey Helton--no further response.

In the end, I fulfilled my end of the contract, effectively canceling the contract twice as stated in the terms of the contract. I payed off the student account so as to allow for registration in Fall. SPSU personnel have given me the runaround, been unprofessional, lied or have been completely unresponsive. Finally filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and apparently the institution already currently under investigation.

Consumers should be aware of such unscrupulous business practices; the people operating Southern Polytechnic State University only get away with such scams, because students generally do not know better. Letting such an incident go would be setting a dangerous president for defrauding students and families in the future.

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  • Ha
      Nov 24, 2010

    Thank you for sharing this story. I was just about to donate money to SPSU when I came across this complaint. If the school has enough money to wage unwarranted lawsuits costing upwards of $10, 000.00, Southern Polytechnic should not be accepting donations. Besides the ethics involved with stealing money essentially, the school is basically flushing government subsidized funds on lawsuits that should have never been filed. This certainly does not fall under the category of mitigating damage. Unfortunately I cannot endorse that message.

    0 Votes
  • Te
      Jan 28, 2011

    SPSU has the worst administration ever ! My niece and I went to the financial Aid office to see why her grants were not takin care of. First I called before the semester start for spring 2011. My niece let me know she spoke to a Gary Mann and how out of line he spoke to her. So I made a phone call and spoke to him personally. He is not professional at all! He is Very rude to students and parents who are trying to help their child .I went up there personally to speak to him about my nieces grant. This ignorant individual Gary Mann does not know how to talk to people. So me and my niece went to GA tech which she applied to also . Went to the financial aid office and their director of financial aid was so helpful. My niece received her grant and my wife and I paid the rest of her tuition off. Turns out my niece had met a few other students who had the same problem with Gary Mann. I also notified my employer who donates to spsu about my experience at spsu. My boss sent out a memo that spsu is no longer on the list for donations due to several complaints from their employees !

    +1 Votes
  • Ja
      Mar 14, 2011

    I go to SPSU right now. it is my 2nd semester of my 1st year. my 1st semester i lived in the freshman dorms. i had a friend and my roommate mutually agree to swap rooms since we were both on the same hall but i wanted to room with my friend. before swapping rooms tho, we went to the housing department and asked them if we could swap rooms. they said we could but to email a lady, kesha turner i believe, to let her know of the room change so that they could put it on record and that there would be no charge for swapping rooms. we emailed her and swapped rooms. 2 weeks later, we found out that the housing department emailed us and told us that we made an unlawful room change and would be fined $200 each unless my friend and roommate went back to there original room. we asked why it was an "illegal room change" and were told that it was because we only emailed kesha turner and did not go meet with her to get it approved, which we didnt do cuz we didnt know we had to. So in order to not get fined $200 each, my friend and roommate swapped back to there original rooms. When my friend went back to housing and told them he had moved back so that they'd drop the fines, they said they already put the fine on his account and that it was too late and that they were charging him anyways. this just goes to show that SPSU will screw you over if you dont get everything in writing and that they will not work with you on an issue. academic wise it is a great school but as i believe it to be, a college is just as much a money hungry buisness as well as a place for you to earn a degree and they will take all the money out of you they can and dont care about that individual student as more will always come in the next year.

    0 Votes

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