Heather’s* daughter, Kate*, had been enrolled in ballet classes since she was little. Now in high school, she was an experienced ballerina in a pre-professional program. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and in-person fitness and dance classes became a health risk, the ballet studio was required to close its doors. That meant Kate would miss out on nearly 25 hours a week of professional instruction from the studio in which she was enrolled.   

“Eventually [the studio] started offering classes through Zoom,” says Heather, “but they were not of the same caliber as what we had signed up for.” There were also fewer instruction hours than before. 

Heather recognized the business was in a challenging situation but knew her daughter was not getting the professional instruction for which she had paid. She wanted to cancel the contract with the dance studio and get a refund for the unused services. 

Heather tried to work with the business to reach a fair solution. “I tried to negotiate with [the business] but there was no clear fee structure in the contract,” says Heather. The ballet studio refused to refund her all the money she was owed. Heather decided it was time to contact Consumer Protection BC. 

Consumer Protection BC contacted the business and stated that because they had changed the services they were offering, Heather was within her rights to cancel. After determining the business was closing permanently and selling off their assets, Consumer Protection BC put a freeze on the studio’s bank account to secure the refund amount. In response, the ballet studio eventually agreed to provide Heather with her refund. 

Heather wishes more people knew about Consumer Protection BC. “The other parents in this scenario thought their money was gone,” she explains. “I recommended they reach out to Consumer Protection BC for help.” 

*Names changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved. 

Curious about your rights when it comes to things like dance classes?

Are you signed up for dance lessons, personal training or self-defense classes? Do you have a membership to a gym or yoga studio? These types of contracts are ongoing and physical in nature and they’re known as continuing services contracts. By law, you have certain cancellation rights, including if the business has changed the services they offer. Find out more.

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About Consumer Protection BC

We are not-for-profit regulator responsible for overseeing certain industries and specific consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will try to offer a referral to a relevant organization, if one exists. Other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.