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(Solved by the clinic) Deposit refund policy


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Is there any medical law about deposit? I put my deposit at a clinic for a surgery months away, they never mentioned anything about non-refundable. 2 days after I asked if I can get it back but they say cancellation fee is 50% and only 50% is refundable. This was not mentioned upfront. A lot of other clinics I know refund until 2 weeks or so before surgery. 

My friends mentioned that until 3 days before surgery you can get a refund up to 90%. I'm not sure about this rule and also don't want to make a scene. 

Edit: With help from @Rey, @Jabba and @kino, I've contacted the clinic again and raised my questions as kino suggested. They agreed to refund the FULL amount to me instead of 50% like before and will make a clearer policy for future patients. I would strongly suggest everyone to clearly ask about deposit policy before sending the deposit to avoid being in a situation like mine. I was lucky this clinic was reasonable enough to agree to fully refund but other clinics might just ignore us and it's our money we're losing. 

Edited by gmcnm1920
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Each clinic has their own refund rule, however do you have it in writing when they asked you to make a deposit, an email or anything. I argued to get my deposit back, but I had to go physically to the clinic. I would advice going face to face and requesting it back. However, it needs to be written legibly and clearly what the deposit rules are so if they did not provide this you have a right legally to refute and request your money back, hope this helps.

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14 hours ago, Rey said:

Each clinic has their own refund rule, however do you have it in writing when they asked you to make a deposit, an email or anything. I argued to get my deposit back, but I had to go physically to the clinic. I would advice going face to face and requesting it back. However, it needs to be written legibly and clearly what the deposit rules are so if they did not provide this you have a right legally to refute and request your money back, hope this helps.

Hi Rey, thanks for your input. All communication was in Kakaotalk so I think it's quite in writing. They also didn't provide their deposit rules.They're sending me 50% back and I hope I can request the remaining back without going there physically. 

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On 11/13/2019 at 12:41 PM, gmcnm1920 said:

Is there any medical law about deposit? I put my deposit at a clinic for a surgery months away, they never mentioned anything about non-refundable. 2 days after I asked if I can get it back but they say cancellation fee is 50% and only 50% is refundable. This was not mentioned upfront. A lot of other clinics I know refund until 2 weeks or so before surgery. 

My friends mentioned that until 3 days before surgery you can get a refund up to 90%. I'm not sure about this rule and also don't want to make a scene. 

The law specifically states that a clinic can create its own deposit refund policy, it can be time based or a percentage based refund that corresponds to certain periods of advanced notice (2 weeks, 1 week, 3 days, 72 hours, 24 hours, same day, etc...), or be non-refundable whatsoever. But they must have provided you with some reasonable informed consent (email, signed document, detailed text) about the cancellation policy and its penalties. If they did not do this, then you are entitled to the full refund. 

Edited by Jabba
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17 hours ago, Jabba said:

But they must have provided you with some reasonable informed consent (email, signed document, detailed text) about the cancellation policy and its penalties. If they did not do this, then you are entitled to the full refund. 

They did not do this, however, I feel like it's extremely hard to argue with them. Since we're foreigner they can just ignore our messages and emails, which suck.

They finally sent me back my 50% today to a Korean friend's account after many days and a lot of troubles like asking for my friend's phone number to "identify", calling my friend to "confirm that the friend know about the refund" - my friend didn't know I was having surgery at first but I ended up letting them know so the clinic can call. After calling they also asked my friend to send an email to request for the refund?? While before that all communication was just short messages from them via Kakaochat. Shouldn't have trusted them without asking about all these stuffs in the first place. This is a well-known clinic and everyone kept talking about how "nice" and "kind" they were.

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18 hours ago, Jabba said:

The law specifically states that a clinic can create its own deposit refund policy, it can be time based or a percentage based refund that corresponds to certain periods of advanced notice (2 weeks, 1 week, 3 days, 72 hours, 24 hours, same day, etc...), or be non-refundable whatsoever. But they must have provided you with some reasonable informed consent (email, signed document, detailed text) about the cancellation policy and its penalties. If they did not do this, then you are entitled to the full refund. 

Do you know korean? Can you help me quote the law?

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On 11/15/2019 at 6:12 PM, gmcnm1920 said:

Do you know korean? Can you help me quote the law?

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20151214001179

This article here references some Korean Fair Trade Commission guidelines.

It says you may be entitled to some partial refund if no guidelines were stipulated. I noticed you reposted on PF. I don't know if you seen the disclaimers, but that place may be monitored by the clinic you are trying to get a deposit from just FYI. BeautyHacker is blocked in Korea.

Email the following for more specific clarification: [email protected]

Quote

Moreover, some hospitals refuse to grant refunds even if a consumer has legitimate grounds for canceling a cosmetic surgery, such as a proven allergic reaction to certain substances or being told that a different doctor than the one they had consulted with would be carrying out a surgery.

Therefore, the FTC has also urged those seeking surgery to closely examine the hospital’s refund and aftercare policy prior to making a deposit or undergoing a procedure.

Even those wanting to cancel a surgery due to a simple change of mind can receive partial refunds, according to FTC regulations effective in such a case where no specific guidelines regarding such processes have been established between a hospital and patient.

 

Edited by Jabba
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@gmcnm1920

This is also going to likely fall under Korean Contract Law and the Korean Civil Act and its various Civil Codes. http://koreanlii.or.kr/w/index.php/Sales

In civil law language, a deposit is considered "Arrha" (an object in ancient Rome, usually a ring or a sum of money / given, upon entering into a contract, as an earnest).

In modern legal terms, it's a deposit paid to demonstrate commitment and to bind a contract, with the remainder due at a particular time. If the contract is breached by failure to pay, then the earnest payment is kept by the recipient as pre-determined (liquidated) or committed damages.

The rule concerned with arrha can be found in Korean Civil Code article 565, stating:

① If one of the parties to a contract of sale has delivered, at the time of entering into the contract, money or other things under the name of down payment, assurance deposit, etc. to the other party, unless otherwise agreed upon between the parties, the deliverer by giving up such money, and the receiver by repaying double such money, may terminate such contract before one of the parties has initiated performance of the contract.

"WTF: English Please"

This law is basically saying both parties can terminate. If you terminate, you give up the deposit, but if the clinic cancels your surgery they have to pay twice the deposit back to you. However @Jabba and @Rey may be referring to more specific law (I know it exists just need to find it) that no cancellation policy was cited or put in place, which may fall somewhere in commercial & civil law that may give you rights to the full deposit or some partial amount. I'll see what I can dig up.

Since this falls under civil law, meaning the law that deals with behavior that constitutes an injury to an individual or other private party, such as a corporation, it can't be reported to the police per se, but you would have grounds to cite it, that you can legitimately file for damages in civil law suit.

I'm no Korean law expert, but essentially this can be cited to them: Korean Version: http://law.go.kr/법령/민법/제565조

My Advice

Before you start busting out Korean law codes at your clinic consultant like Harvey Specter on a K-Drama version of "Suits." Try to exhaust all reasonable, polite and civil means, and escalate as needed.

  1. First ask them for the deposit back since you want to cancel
  2. If they say, "no refunds."
  3. Ask, "can you please show me the no refund policy and where and when I agreed to it?"
  4. If they say, "we don't have one, but still no refunds"
  5. Tell them, "I have legal grounds to escalate this matter. I am not going to waste my time and money on a law suit, but I can easily file a complaint and use free government resources available to me from the Korean Consumer Agency, Korean Federal Trade Commission, and the Ministry of Health, and Korean Tourism Organization. And it's going to be your time that's wasted answering to all of them. All of them will likely ask you for the same agreement or policy, and it will prove that I am right, so let's save that hassle. Please give me my money back, and I will tell others how cooperative and understanding you were, and you can go on to make a more clear policy for others. If not, we can drag this out and I can vent to everyone how difficult this experience has been for me, and I did not even have surgery at your clinic."
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On 11/15/2019 at 4:11 PM, gmcnm1920 said:

They did not do this, however, I feel like it's extremely hard to argue with them. Since we're foreigner they can just ignore our messages and emails, which suck.

They finally sent me back my 50% today to a Korean friend's account after many days and a lot of troubles like asking for my friend's phone number to "identify", calling my friend to "confirm that the friend know about the refund" - my friend didn't know I was having surgery at first but I ended up letting them know so the clinic can call. After calling they also asked my friend to send an email to request for the refund?? While before that all communication was just short messages from them via Kakaochat. Shouldn't have trusted them without asking about all these stuffs in the first place. This is a well-known clinic and everyone kept talking about how "nice" and "kind" they were.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I myself nearly placed a deposit at the clinic too. My understanding though is that 90% of the total surgery fees is refundable if you cancel at least 72 hours before, less the 10% deposit paid. However, I agree with you that my impression of this clinic has since changed with the recent reviews of negative experiences. 

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