Southern Polytechnic State University / Southern Polytechnic Tried to Rip me off for $1,300
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meal plan that was cancelled and unused for the Spring semester of 2010; however, the invalid charge was not correctly rescinded.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 On May 3, Kasey Helton told me to wait for the charge to be rescinded.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.