Liberty MCT threatened to use my card details to silence my complaints: Is this legal?

I applied to Liberty MCT to do my CBT with my Full UK licence (remember this, it’s important) which was issued in Northern Ireland. When booking the training day I was asked if I had a full UK licence and counter part to which I replied “Yes, I do”. They asked me to pay the full fee over the phone and was debited from my account.

Happy days, I was well on my way to becoming a qualified provisional biker!

On the day of the training I turned up 30 mins early because of the AWFULLY written text message I received the day before and also because of the confusing and hard to read neon green terms and conditions stated, if I was late my fee and the training would be forfeit… That and the excitement of getting to ride a motorcycle.

So the day began with an inspection of licences and counter parts, I was last, when my licence and counter part was being studied to my horror I was asked, “What’s this? It’s not a UK licence”.
I was confused as to why someone would query it due to the big blue box with “UK” written in the top left had corner. I was then told I don’t have a UK licence but instead I had a Northern Irish licence… Now I know what you’re thinking, Northern Ireland is in the UK, right? Wrong… Liberty MCT were convinced Northern Ireland is separate therefore leaving me with an “Invalid Licence” and therefore not entitled to a refund or to complete the training!!!

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing… I was embarrassed in front of our little class by “The Owner” (that’s how he addresses himself in this emails, but more about that later). He said, “I don’t have time to explain why you have the wrong type of licence, I’m sure the other instructor explained that to you” (She didn’t).

After that I was told I had 2 options;
1 - Go home
2 - Get something for my money

I chose option 2, I had to, I couldn’t justify wasting money by turning up to go home again.
So option 2 consisted of the emergency stop, u-turns, figure of eight, all of the car park element.

“It’s a shame you don’t have a licence and I can’t take you on the road because you’re a good rider” - that hurt!

Anyway,
When I got home I decided to ring a few companies and the DSA just to see if this is an actual thing (N. Ireland licence being an issue)…

You guessed it… ITS A VALID UK LICENCE!

I rang Liberty MCT back and said I spoke to a few different companies throughout London and the DSA and they all said the same thing “VALID LICENCE!”

I was told they would have to double check with the DSA for themselves, so we arranged for them to call me when they find out.
Meanwhile, I found a brilliant company called Alpha MCT (www.alphamct.co.uk) in white city. They were able to book me in the next day and I was able to complete the training with my Full UK licence…!

Now it gets interesting,

While doing my CBT with Alpha MCT I had a missed call from Liberty MCT.
Shortly after I received a text message, and I quote,
“We have contacted DSA and your information is correct regarding your Northern Irish licence…”

Oh wait, you mean my UK licence?

I thought I better not reply via text message but to reply via email, I think it’s just a little more professional.
So I stated that I had a missed call and a text from Liberty MCT, that I was fully entitled to do the CBT and that I would like a full refund.

This was their response…
“We made a mistake
We tried to rectify it
Grow up and get over it
Taki
The owner”

WTF?! Grow up and get over it?!

I then let them know that I wasn’t prepared to walk away without my money and that I would look into taking further action.

The next day I received a text asking if they had the correct card details for me for a full refund!
Again, I replied via email and this time I asked for an apology for the grow up comment (It really annoyed me) and got a reply…

“This is Taki
You said you are in the film industry, you ought to leave the drama in the studio
Stop wasting our time.
Every time you send us an email we have to stop our work to answer it. We do not work for free. Emails from you will take us 30 minutes to action it , we charge a £100 per hour. Any future emails we will deduct £50 per email you send us from your card.
You got your money , now go play elsewhere.”

Yes, that’s right. He actually threatened to use my card details, supplied to pay for a service they failed to render (because they don’t have the basic education required to recognise a UK license), to extort me into shutting up when I contacted them again to ask where my promised refund was. And he did it using the company email. NICE!

I checked and that’s not legal.

And the battle continues, I’m still awaiting my refund and apology.

All in all… My advice is AVOID AT ALL COSTS, if you know anyone who is attracted by the price it’s that price for a reason, point them in the opposite direction.

I’m no legal bod but if I was treated like that my
blood would boil and I’d be after satisfaction, I’d
certainly chase up options to get my money back.
e.g. small claims?

“Emails from you will take us 30 minutes to action it”

if it took him 30 mins to type:
“We made a mistake
We tried to rectify it
Grow up and get over it
Taki
The owner”

then you might suggest he goes on an IT course to improve his efficiency.

Hi

If you pay via a UK credit card, the card provider facilitated the transaction therefore contact them (ask for Charge Back Team). If Liberty have not provided the service you paid for or charges you for something you have not agreed to you should have no trouble getting a refund from the credit card company.

Shocking behaviour.
I’d be making a formal complaint to the DSA as a start.
https://www.gov.uk/motorcycle-approved-training-body-atb-manual

You hear stories of people like this (steer clear of nordic sounding furniture makers on kings road) but I still find it difficult to believe that they somehow manage to survive and even prosper.

Anyway dont expect reason from them, speak to citizens advice, follow the procedures for getting/claiming your money back and dont let them get you down.

as above make a formal complaint, ensure you do not delete any emails or texts! Use it as evidence.

Contact KAOS on this forum…“have them for dinner” springs to mind…

Thanks guys, I’ve been speaking to Citizens Advice and they have brought in Trading Standards so it should all be resolved shortly and I won’t have to deal with them again (fingers crossed).
I just hope other noobs are able to see this and steer clear

I didn’t even think about reporting them to the DSA, definitely worth a shot!

unbelievable.

this should be in the praise and shame section though.

good luck with your claim dude, by the looks of it they dont stand a chance.

Cheers man,
I’ll see about putting in in that section

shocking !!!

Blimey now I’ve heard it all. I assume “Taki” doesn’t have a British passport. If he does he would have seen his country’s name is “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” lol.

Meet Taki and read about his own biking journey: the training, the travels and his enduring passion for riding.

"On my CBT, I remember my instructor saying to me, “Go home, some people are meant to stay in cars.”

:open_mouth:

LOL.

“I metaphorically take them by the hand and walk them through the maze of the new adventure upon which they just embarked.”

Quite the wordsmith.

If you look at the DAS link I posted…and scroll down to the section titled “foreign licences”, it actually says “licences issued in Northern Ireland are accepted as equal to Great Britain licences”. (Poorly worded but clear enough)
So this guy is running a business, the rules and regulations clearly available to be seen online, which I found by doing a google search in 5-10 mins.
Me, being a complete layman with no connection to the DSA or previous knowledge of running a motorbike school.
His ignorance is what shocks me the most.

Sounds like you are due a partial refund for the road riding part and a more polite apology.

They could try to argue that they didn’t take you on the road because they didn’t think you were competent enough or even that the weather was too bad but if they are saying it’s because there was something wrong with your licence when there wasn’t…well then they should just refund you imho.

I seem to remember several people were told they weren’t good enough to go out on the road when I did my CBT. They all accepted it with good grace and booked some more training…but that clearly wasn’t what happened with you.

If I’ve read your post correctly they have (kind of) apologised but haven’t refunded you for the road riding. You are probably more likely to get the money back for that bit rather than a full refund as you did take them up on the offer of doing the car park stuff…but someone legal will be able to tell you definitively…

Just had a look through their website. Unbelievable…from the spelling mistakes, to the BS self-promotion, to the T&S (including an ‘up to 10% credit card handling fee’)!!!
Oh, and having to have a minimum of a 5 day course for DAS

If you want to have a laugh, read http://www.liberty-mct.co.uk/not-so-small-prints/

jesus christ there a joke.

they cant even remember someone paying them big money to do training and for a test. number 40 what its so post to say is so tat they cabr tell you that you gave been instructed all wrong and unsafe

16-Due to the number of bike tests that we book, it is not always possible to keep tracks of everyone’s test details; it is therefore the responsibility of the trainee to ensure that the instructor is aware of the test details the day before the test. Trainee is responsible for ensuring that LIBERTY is aware of time, date, venue of the test. You are required to carry ALL your documents on your person ALL the time while training or going to test. The DSA will not test you if a document is missing.

40-Trainees are not to discuss training or ask instructors from other training schools for instructions. You are paying us to help you. It has been know for other school instructors giving deliberate wrong information resulting in a fail.

Haha, you actually have to print their T&C for them :laugh: I wonder how thoroughly they go through it when you give it to them in case you made some small modifications.

"WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED FOR TRAINING ?

When attending the training you are required to bring with youBOTH PARTS of your driving license and the PRINTED, COMPLETED and SIGNED Terms and Conditions that can be found in the email we send you or on our website."