About this case

A student was unable to attend their course in New Zealand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They withdrew before the start date of their course and did not take up the offer of online classes as an alternative.

Upon reviewing the refund policy, the student saw that the education provider could deduct up to 25% of the fee, which amounted to thousands and was a huge amount for the student. The student wanted the school to justify why they were deducting this amount.

The student contacted iStudent Complaints to discuss the matter and sought some advice on how to proceed, as they were also concerned about the outcome if they made a complaint.

How we helped

iStudent Complaints acknowledged the student’s enquiry, clarified their contract terms with them and encouraged them to make a refund request with the education provider. We explained that it is important to give education providers the opportunity to resolve the matter.

The student gave us permission to alert the education provider to the matter, so we passed the information on.

The Provider responded that they would investigate the situation. They had, following the closure of the New Zealand border, made a special policy of reducing the 25% deduction for this type of situation. Under their COVID-19 refund policy, they would retain a $500 fee rather than 25% of the total fee.


Within one week of contacting iStudent Complaints, the student reached an agreement with the education provider. The student accepted the provider’s offer and was extremely grateful to iStudent Complaints for the assistance provided.