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BANGKOK 23 May 2019 04:05

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CatieB

Chiang Mai University Language Institute

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I have paid 30,000 Baht for one year Thai course with Chiang Mai University. They accepted payment, then said they could not get ED visa for me because I am +55. Their website guarantees full refund if no visa, but after a series of over 25 emails and phone calls to the Thai Embassy in London I am still no further along. I'm really disappointed and a bit concerned that I'm being led a merry dance. Does the university actually intend to pay me back? would be overjoyed to just get my money back and forget the whole sorry business. Can anyone advise or help me?

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As Loaded says CM University have a past history of bailing on their students and keeping the money.

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If you paid with a credit card you should ask for it to reversed. Act quickly.

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Thank you all for your advice. I opened some of the attached threads and I'm in disbelief that a university can act like this and get away with it. I think I will just stay here in Scotland where, for all their faults, the major institutions still tend to honour their promises. I phoned Bank of Scotland (payment was with Visa Debit) and it looks like they can 'chargeback' the full amount since CMU actually admitted in email they could not fulfill their promise and provide me with what I paid for. So, for all other potential students - if you have paid by credit or debit card please get on to your bank and make moves to get your money refunded. I hope all the good Buddhist people operating the scam at CMU Language Institute get at least some karma for the upset and stress they cause people who trusted them.

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Few people who need to know will read the thread on this page. I suggest post on the Chiang Mai page.

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First off, I am sorry that you lost money. As stated before they have had issues in the past and have changed directors and policies.

To be brutally honest though. It is entirely your fault and not theirs. Read their web pages fully and carefully. I would never take a course from them after reading it carefully.

"hope all the good Buddhist people operating the scam at CMU Language Institute get at least some karma for the upset and stress they cause people who trusted them.:

As for your biased and unsanctioned statements, there is no scam at all. They didn't refuse you the course. They told you a simple fact that you at 55+ cannot get an ED visa. It is not their fault that the Thai government has put limitations recently on all educational institutions for getting ED visas.

From their web page, it says assistance, Not guaranteed approval from immigration.

"1-year continuous Education visa assistance"

Also before spouting off libel statements, perhaps you should have read the fine print on their website.

"Effective 31st March 2015 - the maximum age for students to apply for this program will be 55 years due to the regulations related to the issuance of Non Immigrant Education visas as per the request of Chiang Mai Immigration for Chiang Mai University's 1-Year Certificate in Thai Language Program."

Probably a good thing that you won't come to Thailand now, because they actually could sue you for defimation.

Yes, they should refund your money. However, they do state on their website quite clearly that there are no refunds whatsoever and they have the right to cancel courses if not enough students enroll.

Personally, I would never do business with institutions that make these kind of statements but many of the language schools in the area do the same thing.

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Their old course was good. The teacher for the short courses is still there and the beginners course....5 days a week was and possibly is one of the best courses there is for beginners. It is a pity they behaved as they did. I have had to hide the certificates I got from their beginners,intermediate and the one year course as I am ashamed of having being associated with an organization that acted as they did.

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First off, I am sorry that you lost money. As stated before they have had issues in the past and have changed directors and policies.

To be brutally honest though. It is entirely your fault and not theirs. Read their web pages fully and carefully. I would never take a course from them after reading it carefully.

"hope all the good Buddhist people operating the scam at CMU Language Institute get at least some karma for the upset and stress they cause people who trusted them.:

As for your biased and unsanctioned statements, there is no scam at all. They didn't refuse you the course. They told you a simple fact that you at 55+ cannot get an ED visa. It is not their fault that the Thai government has put limitations recently on all educational institutions for getting ED visas.

From their web page, it says assistance, Not guaranteed approval from immigration.

"1-year continuous Education visa assistance"

Also before spouting off libel statements, perhaps you should have read the fine print on their website.

"Effective 31st March 2015 - the maximum age for students to apply for this program will be 55 years due to the regulations related to the issuance of Non Immigrant Education visas as per the request of Chiang Mai Immigration for Chiang Mai University's 1-Year Certificate in Thai Language Program."

Probably a good thing that you won't come to Thailand now, because they actually could sue you for defimation.

Yes, they should refund your money. However, they do state on their website quite clearly that there are no refunds whatsoever and they have the right to cancel courses if not enough students enroll.

Personally, I would never do business with institutions that make these kind of statements but many of the language schools in the area do the same thing.

You may like to read this which is on another page.

"

On receipt of the above information, LICMU will start seeking approval by the appropriate CMU officials. In the event visa support cannot be approved, LICMU will process a refund, less Baht 2500.- as administration fee. Once approval for visa support is given, such will be notified to the applicant by e-mail. This approval document, along with other papers and the fee, has to be submitted to the the relevant Embrassy of Thailan

http://learnthaicmu.com/1-year-thai/10-1-year-thai-language-culture-program/2-non-immigrant-ed-visa

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First off, I am sorry that you lost money. As stated before they have had issues in the past and have changed directors and policies.

To be brutally honest though. It is entirely your fault and not theirs. Read their web pages fully and carefully. I would never take a course from them after reading it carefully.

"hope all the good Buddhist people operating the scam at CMU Language Institute get at least some karma for the upset and stress they cause people who trusted them.:

As for your biased and unsanctioned statements, there is no scam at all. They didn't refuse you the course. They told you a simple fact that you at 55+ cannot get an ED visa. It is not their fault that the Thai government has put limitations recently on all educational institutions for getting ED visas.

From their web page, it says assistance, Not guaranteed approval from immigration.

"1-year continuous Education visa assistance"

Also before spouting off libel statements, perhaps you should have read the fine print on their website.

"Effective 31st March 2015 - the maximum age for students to apply for this program will be 55 years due to the regulations related to the issuance of Non Immigrant Education visas as per the request of Chiang Mai Immigration for Chiang Mai University's 1-Year Certificate in Thai Language Program."

Probably a good thing that you won't come to Thailand now, because they actually could sue you for defimation.

Yes, they should refund your money. However, they do state on their website quite clearly that there are no refunds whatsoever and they have the right to cancel courses if not enough students enroll.

Personally, I would never do business with institutions that make these kind of statements but many of the language schools in the area do the same thing.

You wrote "It is entirely your fault and not theirs." and "Probably a good thing that you won't come to Thailand now,"

A nasty and disingenuous response.

As harry already pointed out, their terms and conditions state clearly "In the event visa support cannot be approved, LICMU will process a refund, less Baht 2500"

I have taken a screen shot just in case CMU now decides to 'change' it.

CMU changed the maximum age rule on March 29th after they accepted this woman's money which they haven't refunded.

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Until this year CMU didn't provide work permits for their foreign staff either.

They were 'too rich and powerful' to worry about such laws.

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"Until this year CMU didn't provide work permits for their foreign staff either.

They were 'too rich and powerful' to worry about such laws."

You are fabricating another crock and bull story. FYI each faculty and department handle things differently. So there has never been one blanket policy for the entire CMU in regards to how they treat their foreign staff.

CMU follows all rules from the department of labor and immigration. Every faculty and department provide all visa support and paperwork for work permits. Not paying for them isn't the same thing as not providing them.

FYI, they actually have had a special department for more than 10 years that assists all foreign staff with visas, work permits and other issues.

Part time teachers in the English Department have always had to pay for their work permits and visas themselves, but that is not the same thing as saying they didn't provide them. Full time teachers were paid. I have always had to pay for my own visa, but the different departments that I have worked in have always paid for my work permit but I have always been full time.

Loaded" A nasty and disingenuous response."

I am sorry that you interpret that way. I actually mean that she should get her money back completely. What is her fault is that she didn't read carefully about not getting the visa for her age. And that in their fine print on other pages, they make statements that there will be no refunds. They have some conflicting statements and policies on different pages. They always play hard ball once payment has been made.

I just meant buyer beware. Anyone that pays up front for a class that doesn't check into it first does deserves what they get.

Just because the OP has had problems getting her money back, still doesn't give her the right to slander an entire University for one private entity. Under Thai law she really is libel and needs to be careful.

I am not saying that I agree with it, just that is the fact that you have to be careful even if what you say is the truth.

Don't take my statements as defending LICMU, I wouldn't touch their products with a 10' pole. But I wouldn't tarnish the entire University for what they do.

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Yes, I think it is fair to "tarnish the entire University" in this case. You'd think that after the 2010 debacle, the CMULI would bend over backwards to issue refunds in cases like this. The OP clearly submitted her payment before Immigration decided no more ED visas for people over age 55. Yes, it was a circumstance beyond the control of CMULI, but they should be issuing a refund because there was no "fine print" on their website for her to read at the time she submitted her payment.

The upper management of the University should be aware of the damage done to the entire University's reputation after the 2010 problems and be keeping tighter control over the current management. Fortunately, the OP paid with a debit card, issued by a western bank and will get a refund. Had this debit card been issued by a Thai bank, she would have been out-of-luck, just as many were in the original scandal.

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This matter really should be posted on the Chiang Mai forum where it will get wider readership. The CMULI is still up to its old tricks, it seems, and others should be warned that they should not be lulled into thinking they are dealing with a reputable institution because of its association with CMU. It really is no better than any other visa mill language school when it comes to protecting the interests of the students.

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