College’s sibling discount causes confusion

Mansoer Mallick enrolled his two sons, Waleed and Khaalid, for a course in information technology and business administration, respectively, at the Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology, which used to be the PC Training and Business College, at St George’s Mall. They graduated in April this year and completed their in-service training.

But efforts to get their higher certificates proved fruitless, because the institute claimed there were fees outstanding. Without them the two boys couldn’t study further or get jobs, Mr Mallick said.

The Pelican Heights father paid R33 460 for the two courses, which apparently included a sibling discount bursary. “My sons and I have tried numerous times to get the certificates but to no avail, even though I have paid the fees in full,” said Mr Mallick, who provided a timeline of the payments.

Mr Mallick set up an EFT and deposited R10 in each account to check if the numbers were correct. Which they were. Mr Mallick dealt with various people: Lovejoy Marozhe, Joshua Mabanga and Ayanda Swartbooi, with whom he discussed the payment and the sibling discount bursary, and with Ernie in Durban who confirmed payments and that Mr Mallick was entitled to a sibling discount. The college, according to Mr Mallick, failed to upload the details and it claimed there were fees still owing.

Mr Mallick also had a meeting with Angus who is in charge of the HR department. “Angus agreed I had paid all the fees and I sent him an email to confirm the conversation. Angus did not dispute the facts but he phoned me on June 28 last year to say he needed more time. Up until now I haven’t heard from him but the college sent an SMS to Waleed and Khaalid threatening to hand them over to lawyers if the fees were not paid,” Mr Mallick said.

“I fail to understand why the college doesn’t want to send the certificates even though I had a meeting with three different people in their HR department who agreed that all the fees had been paid.

And because of this my sons are prevented from studying further or even looking for jobs. Can you please help me sort this out?”

It didn’t take long to do.

Dr Muni Kooblal, chief academic officer of the Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology in Durban, confirmed that the two Mallicks studied at the Cape Town Campus in 2015 for the higher certificate in business administration and information technology, respectively.

“Richfield offers a sibling discount bursary of R2 500 which was awarded to one sibling and captured on Khaalid’s account.

A sibling bursary is applicable to only one sibling. Mr Mallick paid R10 000 for each son in 2015 and then another payment of R7 980 for Waleed and R5 480 for Khaalid, which left a balance of R1 500 for Waleed and R1 000 for Khaalid,” Dr Kooblal said.

“Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication by former acting campus manager, Ayanda Swartbooi, that each child will get a sibling discount bursary. Based on the institution’s policy, Mr Mallick owed R2 500 which was why the certificates were not released. However, we have written off the R2 500 as we believe in customer satisfaction and in upholding the integrity of certification,” said
Dr Kooblal who conveyed the information to Mr Mallick.

The certificates were scanned in and sent to Mr Mallick and
Dr Kooblal said the originals would be couriered to Mr Mallick’s house. And it was done all in a few days. That is the right way to handle customer complaints.

Although Mr Mallick still believed the sibling discount bursary applied to both his sons, he was happy with the outcome.

“Thank you for all your efforts in getting this problem resolved. Your column has helped before when I could use your quotes on ‘prescription’ in my case against Virgin Mobile. I can’t express how much your help is appreciated in this matter.”