• Report:  #1073

Complaint Review: Barbizon School of San Diego - San Diego California

Reported By:

Barbizon School of San Diego
591 Camino de la Reina, Suite 1150 San Diego, 92108 California, U.S.A.
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On December 7, 1999, I signed up my daughter for a modeling course taught at Barbizon School of San Diego. We were charged a non-refundable $200 "registration" fee, along with a down payment, for a total of $395.00.

The contract also specified that 10% of the tuition was non-refundable as well, once the first session was attended. Before signing the contract, we discussed at some length the age of the other girls who would be in my daughter's group, and the importance of starting at the same time on Session One with this group.

Both my daughter and I emphasized these two points as necessary conditions of enrollment. We were firmly and specifically assured that no one would be over the age of 18, and she would start at the first session for her particular group. However, when my daughter arrived on time the correct day for Session One (Saturday, December 11), she was enrolled with a group consisting of a wide variety of ages, up to 21; one woman was married. In addition, the session was NOT the first, it was the second, and she was told she would have to "make up" the first session some other time, such as on a school day. My daughter spoke with the saleswoman, Suzie Lindsey, the following week; Suzie said she could wait and start with a different group on January 15.

When I sent a FAX with a contract cancellation notice on January 4, I was informed we would not receive a refund for the registration fee or the session attended in December, bringing the total amount charged to approximately $350.00. The director of the school, Candy Westbrook, made it clear that any given group could contain women over the age of 18, and refused to refund even the 10% (approximately $160) for the one session attended in December.

We feel strongly that the full $395.00 should be refunded, as my daughter would never have registered in the first place had the saleswoman been honest in her description of the ages of the groups.

2 Updates & Rebuttals


Modeling schools are misleading anyways

#2Consumer Comment

Tue, June 18, 2002

I think a better term for them is " self improvement schools" not modelling schools. All the schooling in the world usually does not make somebody a model. These schools will take anybody's money and give them the false hope that any girl can be a model. NOT true. Most girls that graduate from these schools probably do not find any legitimate work. What you weren't born with, $5000.00 won't get you.

Our company has a spotless record with the BBB in San Diego


Sat, September 30, 2000

From: [email protected] Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 21:28:22 EDT I am very distressed that Mrs. Laurie Hawn has been able to post this with many inaccurate facts. As the President of this company for over 15 years I would first like to state that our company has a spotless record with the BBB in San Diego. Ms. Hawn brought her daughter to Barbizon for an interview on December 4, 1999. At that time her daughter wrote things on an application that indicated she wanted to loose weight, take better care of her skin, have better self confidence, etc. These are typically things teenage girls come to Barbizon for. I have no personal knowledge if my counselor Ms. Lindsey told Ms. Hawn if the class her daughter was starting on was session 2 or not, but it is COMMON practice to have girls start class up to session 3 (there are 22 sessions offered). Ms. Hawn''''s daughter had missed only 3 hours out of a total of 66 hours when she started class with us. I can only speculate that perhaps since Ms. Hawn''''s daughter needed to loose a great deal of weight and the session she started on was a diet and exercise class that perhaps she became discouraged since the other girls in her class were thinner. As to the ages of girls in the class I have NO idea why Ms. Hawn had a problem. There were 11 girls in class. Three girls were over the age of 18--two were 19 and one was 21. Of the remaining 8 girls (including Kate Hawn who was 15) one was 13, two were 14, four were 15, and one was 17. Mrs Hawn never expressed a problem with the ages of the girls and why she had a problem with her daughter starting on session #2 I have no idea but we told her that we would move her daughter into a new class after January 1, 2000. When we advised her of a new class we received the following fax dated 1/4/00 sent on 1/5/00 "UNFORTUNATELY KATE WILL BE UNABLE TO START HER BARBIZON MODELING COURSE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP, HOPEFULLY SHE WILL BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE AT A FUTURE DATE." Ms. Hawn made it seem that her daughter had never started the class. Again I feel that her daughter had started the classes felt either out of place, or decided that it was something she didn''''t want to do and her mother is making up excuses to get her money back. Teenage girls occasional sign up for modeling classes and then decide they don''''t want to continue attending which is probably just part of being a teenager. We at Barbizon understand this, and that is why we offer partial refunds up until a certain period of course time to attendance time. This was the case for this mother. We issued a credit of $55.50 to her credit card. We are sorry that we lost Kate will give her credit for the money that has been paid in. This is something we legally don''''t have to do but feel that is only a fair business practice.

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