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Old 01.09.2021, 14:43
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Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

Hi Everyone,

I paid for dog classes for my german shepherd, it was specified when I joined that they had to be in English as I don't speak German. The trainer has now cancelled the english mandatory classes and said that I will have to attend the German version the amount is fairly insignificant (500CHF) it's more of the principle that she hasn't held a class for over a year and strung me and countless others along just to now refuse a refund and expect me to learn another language to take my dog to class.

Could you provide some info on what options I have going forward.
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Old 01.09.2021, 17:34
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

The language shouldn't be a problem given the dog is a German Shepherd

But seriously, do you have a contract or something in writing?
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Old 01.09.2021, 17:38
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

The dog trainer provides a reasonable option and assuming this is the same trainer as for the English class, you could assume that the trainer will translate if needed.
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Old 01.09.2021, 18:19
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

Swiss people are so dodgy.

Since I joined few months ago, I only hear this kind of stories. One guy gets 8k bill for not agreed garden work, another guy gets similar bill because someone mistaken his address and now this.
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Old 01.09.2021, 19:05
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

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The dog trainer provides a reasonable option and assuming this is the same trainer as for the English class, you could assume that the trainer will translate if needed.
Never assume anything. And if you order training in English, that's the contract. The contract has not been fulfilled - the trainer is in breach and should pay back the fees.

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Swiss people are so dodgy.
In my experience it's those pesky foreigners living here who are the dodgiest.

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... it's more of the principle ...
When someone says that it's always the money.

Tell the trainer she is in breach and must refund the money. You ordered classes in English, she's failed to fulfill the contract. If she does not, invoice her for the amount, and when it's not paid issue a Betreibung. If you've legal insurance talk to a lawyer.
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Old 01.09.2021, 19:23
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

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In my experience it's those pesky foreigners living here who are the dodgiest.
Yea tell me about it

https://www.englishforum.ch/3319310-post121.html
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Old 01.09.2021, 19:36
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

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When someone says that it's always the money.

.
Not always. You do read of cases where after getting the money back, they give it to charity, stating that they were doing it for the principle.

No here perhaps, but definitely in other countries.
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Old 02.09.2021, 00:33
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

Rthom, I can't help with the contractual issue, that's for others better versed in legalities than I am.

However, thinking about practicalities:

Is your dog a puppy, an adolescent, or adult? And do you know what your deadlines for course completion are?

The ZH mandatory WelpenfŲrderung and Junghund courses are age-dependent, designed to address critical developmental stages. So if your dog is at either stage cut-off it would be better for your dog to find a solution quickly, so that your dog gets involved in age-appropriate training.

If your dog is already an adult, you'll have been give a date by which you need to have done the Erwachsene course. If a deadline is looming, as above, it would likely be the best thing for your dog to find a timely solution.

I'm all for standing on principle when I am the only one affected by the outcome. But whenever my actions affect my dogs' well-being, I have to think of them first - and then I tend to look for compromise.

So if you are facing deadlines, talk to the trainer, look for a solution that helps you get that certificate on time.

And if that means taking the class in German:

I started taking classes here with pretty poor German - and honestly, the experience was something of a lightbulb moment for me. It made me look at how I train my dogs in a whole new light.

Think about it: Your dog doesn't speak your language either.

To the dog, everything you say is just a wave of meaningless sounds... Think of how frustrated he must be at first, not knowing what it is you want of him, until he somehow starts to pick up cues and clues, starts associating sounds with actions.

Taking a class in German without understanding German put me in the same position my dog is in day in day out. The experience made me better understand the importance of tone, body language, signals, and association. Sometimes it is extremely helpful to stand in someone else's shoes - or paws, as it were.

Our trainer only conducts classes in German, but through the many years I have been attending her classes there have been many participants with less than fluent German - or none at all. And it works. There is always someone in the class who can interpret as needed. But as above, so much of dog training is visual and intuitive - you really are not at as big a disadvantage as you might imagine.

Added bonus: My German is still unimpressive... but my Hundisch is pretty darn good. Seriously, the Hundeschule is my Sprachschule.

---

If you are not facing a deadline or age-dependency, then sure, go ahead and look for a remedy and another class.

However, if time is of the essence... at least consider giving the class in German a try. Perhaps negotiate with the trainer for something to offset the cancellation - say, some additional one-to-one lessons maybe.

---

Just tossing that out there. Wishing you and your dog all the best.
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Old 02.09.2021, 01:36
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

thanks for the replies. Just to address a few things yes I know my dog has developmental stages Iíve already paid for a new course for him with another trainer. My issue is I donít like to be ripped off the amount could be 10 francs or 10,000 what frustrates me is a supposed business thinks itís acceptable to offer me a service charge me then remove themselves with no notice from the class group and tell everyone sorry tough luck Iíve decided Iím not offering this service anymore. I love Zurich and eventually I will learn the language but I havenít yet that doesnít mean I can be taken advantage of.
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Old 02.09.2021, 09:20
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

I would just do the class in German if you can confirm itís a teacher that speaks English and can come help you. Youíll figure out what it is theyíre trying to do anyway as usually thereís an example dog (ie lets teach our dogs how to sit Ö thereís going to be visuals). Just verify the person is going to be accommodating for the language as in once sheís explained to everyone she makes the rounds to see that each person has understood and can help you in English as needed.

My trainer is always giving bilingual classes (German and French) and there is almost always someone around who speaks English if a new person were to need help.

I bought a pack of lessons from a specialized trainer once to do mantrailing with my dog. The lessons expired after six months. During that time (this was before COVID) I was given one very awkward not helpful lesson one-on-one (mantrailing kind of needs more than two people and one dog if the handler is learning) because the other students canceled and the trainer didnít want to cancel the class. I also had multiple classes canceled due to the trainerís health, then one of the other dogs was in season, then my dog was in season, then the trainer wanted to change what we were doing because her other student wanted to do competition nosework which isnít at all the same thing Ö then there were some times where we spent more time helping the trainer with her new puppy than she spent with us Ö I quit with many lessons still on my record, we were nearing the six month limit and I probably could have argued my case to have that extended but the trainer was just driving me nuts at that point and wasnít being helpful for my dog. Lesson? Donít pay in advance for dog trainers if you can help it. Itís really important to have a few lessons first and feel comfortable with the person. I should have run from this lady as she was pressuring me from day one to buy the lesson pack. In the end I did buy it earlier than I felt comfortable doing, and in the long run I stuck with her longer than I would have if I had just been paying lesson by lesson.
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Old 02.09.2021, 10:47
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

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Hi Everyone,

I paid for dog classes for my german shepherd, it was specified when I joined that they had to be in English as I don't speak German. The trainer has now cancelled the english mandatory classes and said that I will have to attend the German version the amount is fairly insignificant (500CHF) it's more of the principle that she hasn't held a class for over a year and strung me and countless others along just to now refuse a refund and expect me to learn another language to take my dog to class.

Could you provide some info on what options I have going forward.
As I see it you have several options. As some others have said, just take the class in German. Would I do that? Unlikely. If the trainer offered the classes in English and that is what you agreed upon, in writing, then you are entitled to a refund.

How do you know there are others in the same situation as you are? If so, then ALL of you should pressure the trainer to refund the money.

Perhaps the trainer is hoping with your "chf 500 is fairly insignificant" attitude you will just give up. Not sure why you have waited this long to resolve this.

Do you have legal insurance? If so, use it. If you don't, you can still try and go after this person for a refund. I think if the trainer could not offer the course to you in English as you agreed upon, you should have been entitled to a refund. What are the trainer's terms and conditions on her website? If it was absolutely clear that you were signing up for a course in English then the conditions have been breached.

Do keep us posted on what happens.
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Old 02.09.2021, 11:00
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

As others have said, it's a breach of contract if they're not offering the services agreed upon.

I would just send them a registered letter mentioning this and saying I expect a full refund. Preferably with a nice payment slip so they know where they can send the money back to. If they refuse to make this payment, then I would get legal insurance involved.
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Old 02.09.2021, 11:08
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

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Swiss people are so dodgy.

Since I joined few months ago, I only hear this kind of stories. One guy gets 8k bill for not agreed garden work, another guy gets similar bill because someone mistaken his address and now this.
Run while you're still able to, before getting established. Escape this dark cesspool while possible.
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Old 02.09.2021, 12:13
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

Like Meloncollie said, it's a fantastic way to learn the language. It has context. How many distinct words can you possibly use in a dog training situation? 10? Fewer? So, without expressly understanding the words, you understand the meaning. German dog training is free German language lessons, with some PMA you could get your money back

If she agreed to give you training lessons in English, believe me, she will deliver bi-lingual lessons. There will always be a free translation from her, or a 'did you get that?'

The most useful thing is what Meloncollie pointed out, you'll deliver commands and not waffle on about things to your dog. You don't have to use the german commands, you choose your own lingo. You don't have to say 'platz' you can say 'lie down' or whatever you want. The trainer teaches you more about your behavior than the dogs. It's method they teach. We all understand what we have to do without understanding the actual words. We get the message.

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Old 02.09.2021, 14:16
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

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As others have said, it's a breach of contract if they're not offering the services agreed upon.

I would just send them a registered letter mentioning this and saying I expect a full refund. Preferably with a nice payment slip so they know where they can send the money back to. If they refuse to make this payment, then I would get legal insurance involved.

I don't think this would be a good use of time and energy for 500 CHF, mindful we could all die or become seriously ill tomorrow. This is not the hill to choose to die on.


I also don't think there's enough in the posts thus far to conclude any devious intent. Our poster posts in a very 1-dimensional, pissed off way, like we're all inclined to do right away when we feel wronged, but without any mention of "the other side". There's no will to compromise. There's just entrenchment and the looming threat of the legal hammer. Perhaps there's more to the story, but that isn't reflected in the posts here. Just based on what's posted, any threat of legal action would be a complete overreaction.



Assuming the dog trainer's running a small business, if the numbers aren't there for multiple classes, it makes economic sense to try to combine the classes, and facilitate multiple languages in the 1 group. In these times when many such small businesses are going under, and people are increasingly individualistic, I'd be inclined to assume the best of intentions on the trainer's part (that they can't afford to run 2 groups, and ask if they'll convey the instructions in multiple languages, to anyone wanting support). I'd also be very reluctant to start threatening legal action over something so incidental - this would be the time to seek compromise and to build a bridge.



I think the first step is to calmly and kindly ask if the instructions will be made in different languages for anyone seeking that.


Lastly, even if the classes were in German only, I don't see that as a ginormous obstacle. A little bit of me also wonders if any thought has been given to making sure German is learnt to a decent standard as quickly as possible, because the dog could have a sudden health emergency, go after another dog, or could be attacked, and how is our poster going to communicate with other dog owners, the police, any vets, and so on? The expectation cannot be that everyone will bend to their will and use English.
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Old 02.09.2021, 16:17
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

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I don't think this would be a good use of time and energy for 500 CHF, mindful we could all die or become seriously ill tomorrow. This is not the hill to choose to die on.


I also don't think there's enough in the posts thus far to conclude any devious intent. Our poster posts in a very 1-dimensional, pissed off way, like we're all inclined to do right away when we feel wronged, but without any mention of "the other side". There's no will to compromise. There's just entrenchment and the looming threat of the legal hammer. Perhaps there's more to the story, but that isn't reflected in the posts here. Just based on what's posted, any threat of legal action would be a complete overreaction.

How much effort does it take to write a letter, head to the post office and send it? I have a pretty average salary as far as EF poverty levels are concerned but I'd make that much effort for CHF 500 easily.

While I agree with there probably not being any ill intent, the fact remains that OP isn't getting what he signed up for and is therefore entitled to a refund. Also he/ she already mentioned that they already signed up for another course in English. Why should they have to pay for two?
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Old 02.09.2021, 16:30
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Re: Paid For English Dog Classes They Are Cancelled But Won't Return Money

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How much effort does it take to write a letter, head to the post office and send it? I have a pretty average salary as far as EF poverty levels are concerned but I'd make that much effort for CHF 500 easily.

While I agree with there probably not being any ill intent, the fact remains that OP isn't getting what he signed up for and is therefore entitled to a refund. Also he/ she already mentioned that they already signed up for another course in English. Why should they have to pay for two?

It isn't just that, though - is it ever so simple at any point in life? It's hour after hour of mental anguish, feeling agitated, wanting revenge - time has a cost. It's losing one's temper with a loved one or stranger, because we're upset with someone else. It's the inner turmoil that comes with treating others badly, knowing the failing is our will to build a bridge to smooth things out, and find a compromise.


It shows a failing in compassion in someone, if their first thought in any tiny bump like this is all the ways they've been wronged, and shows a complete loss of control to start brandishing the "legal action" hammer, threatening others over incidental matters like this.



The mistake is to view this as a legal problem in the first instance. It's a dramatic overreaction to often ordinary, human, incidental bumps, that crop up on an almpost daily basis, because life isn't perfect, and nor are we. It's the mistake of viewing other human biengs as commodities, to feeling one's money entitles us to treat others without common decency, to holding others to an unfair standard we don't hold ourselves to "because I've paid!".


The very first step was to chat about why the change came about, and what it would mean linguistically. The posts here show a lack of empathy for "the other side".
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