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Language Proficiency Testing Organization Cleared of Alleged Use of Unfair Terms and Conditions for Cancellations and Refunds


On June 17, 2019, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (“KFTC”) issued a “no violation” decision for a language proficiency testing organization (the “Respondent”) in a case concerning alleged use of unfair terms and conditions for cancellations and refunds.  

During its four-month investigation, the KFTC concluded that the Respondent’s terms and conditions, which provided the Respondent right to cancel test applications under certain circumstances, did not unfairly impose disadvantages on its customers (the “Test Takers”).

In reaching its decision of no violation under the Terms and Conditions Regulations Act in relation to the Respondent’s terms and conditions limiting the Test Takers’ retake of the test or refund of the test fee only to situations where the Test Takers were disturbed during the test, the KFTC considered a wide range of factors, including: (i) if, immediately upon completing the test, the Test Takers were to be given their estimated test score and the choice to (nullify the score and) retake the exam or get a refund, some will likely take advantage of this option, causing the test to be less fair; (ii) the Test Takers are not restricted from seeking compensation for damages incurred from a cause attributable to the Respondent; and (iii) some other language proficiency tests do not allow test takers to retake the exam or get a refund even if they were disturbed during the exam by a loud noise from outside.

Our Representation:

Our team successfully defended the Respondent by providing a detailed explanation of the score calculation process that showed: (i) how difficult it is to offer an estimated score at any stage before the final score is actually calculated; and (ii) even if it is possible to provide an estimated score, how doing so would be detrimental to the fairness and credibility of the exam.  We also effectively demonstrated the fairness of the Respondent’s terms and conditions in comparison to other testing organizations based on a thorough research on their terms and conditions for retakes and refunds.