Aggrieved Customer Calls Out Polaris Bank Over UK School Tuition Refund Impasse
A Polaris Bank customer, Onofue Victoria Ife-Michael, has been left embittered over the bank’s refusal to grant her access to funds refunded into her account by a UK university.
In a series of posts on X, Ife-Michael narrated how she had applied to Roehampton University, United Kingdom, and was offered provisional admission.
However, she said, the admission was later terminated over the school’s quota issues after she had been made to pay £2,500 tuition deposit.
The crypto expert said that since November 2022, she made spirited efforts to get a refund of the tuition deposit from the school to no avail.
She said that after many months of agonising back and forth with the school, the tuition deposit was finally refunded into a Polaris Bank domiciliary account she recently opened.
However, Ife-Michael said she was left in tears after the bank informed her that the funds would be returned to the school.
She wrote, “Yesterday, @PolarisBankLtd did something that really broke my heart. Broke my heart so bad that I cried all day and didn’t sleep all night.
“In June 2022, i got into Roehampton university, London and was required to pay a tuition deposit of £2,500 before I could sit for the pre CAS.
“I made a life altering decision and sold my apartment to raise funds for the tuition fee and other traveling expenses.
“But after i paid and sat through the interview, Roehampton’s communication with me drastically changed and I had to start struggling for a response from them.
“Eventually, they said their intake was full and I couldn’t get in. I was hurt, but I moved on.
“In line with their refund policy, I applied for a refund for the first time In November 2022. This would become the beginning of a long and difficult journey to get my money back.
“I wrote so many emails to the school and spent so much money on airtime to call them. There were weeks of total silence and no response from the school, weeks I had to go through not knowing if I would get my money back or not. This singular experience really altered my life.
“Finally, in July 2023, 8 months after the first refund application, I got the first positive response from Roehampton (I say “positive” because I was told to fill a form for the refund, which I did, but in reality, the refund was declined).
“They couldn’t verify the account details.
“I requested a new form in July, and it took another two months to get the link from the school. Again, it was declined.
“It was then a friend in the UK tried sending some pounds to the account and he discovered that the account wasn’t functioning anymore.
“I wasn’t aware because it wasn’t my personal bank account I paid the deposit (£) from.
“I had sent Naira from @PolarisBankLtd in 2022 to a Gtbank account that sent the money to a UK account. This UK account paid pounds to Roehampton on my behalf.
“I did this because I didn’t have a domiciliary account at the time and I needed to pay in time for the pre CAS interview.
“Roehampton’s refund policy states that money can be refunded only to the account that paid directly.
“Since said account wasn’t functioning anymore, I wrote to the school explaining my challenges and how I had no idea about the account’s closure.
“I then pleaded that they send the money to an account I would provide them.
“So I went to @PolarisBankLtd three weeks ago and opened a dom account with them. I provided roe with my account details.
“Fortunately, Roehampton agreed to pay into the account, and they did. It took 7 days, the money got in on Sunday.
“I didn’t even know it had gotten in because I received no alerts. Only to receive a call from @PolarisBankLtd yesterday and was told that the money would have to be returned to the school because I didn’t send the pounds directly from my account originally.
“I would like to know what kind of policy this is because if this money is returned to the school, I have no idea if I’ll ever get it out. Or how long it would take.
“So many people who are directly related to me have been affected by this because that money has its purpose, especially at such a time when the economy isn’t friendly.
“Imagine the heartbreak and hurt this has caused. Is it abnormal to receive funds from a school even after providing all necessary documentation and information requested?”
Ife-Michael urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to intervene in the matter.