• Claim against US organisation

Hi,

I have a question about suing an international organisation. 

I registered for the GRE Psychology test online at www.ets.org (ETS is a non-profit American organisation that conducts several tests including the GRE at locations around the world) on July 22, 2016 but later decided to cancel it as I wanted to take the GRE Physics test instead. I tried cancelling the Psychology test but was unable to as the cancellation page was not loading. I went ahead and registered for the GRE Physics test anyway, thinking I'd cancel the Psychology test later. Both tests are scheduled to be conducted on October 29, 2016 at Calcutta. The registration for the GRE Physics test was carried out by me on August 8, 2016 and I received a confirmation email at the time from ETS. I have the email with me. 

I tried multiple times to cancel the GRE Psychology test on the ETS website but was unable to. On all these occasions both the Physics and Psychology tests were listed under the 'My Upcoming Tests' section on the ETS website. Then on 24 Sep, 2016 I logged in to my account at ets.org and found that the Physics test was not listed on 'My Upcoming Tests'. Only the Psychology test was. I canceled the Psychology test (I was finally able to) and sent an email to ETS asking them why the Physics test was not listed under 'My Upcoming Tests'. They replied on Oct 2 (even though it is their policy to respond within 2 business days) saying that their records indicated that I had cancelled my test - they were referring to the Psychology test. I clarified that I was referring to the Physics test and attached the confirmation email they had sent when I had registered.

They then replied (on Oct 2) that their records indicated that payment had not been received for the Physics test. So I sent them the details of the payment which was made via credit card. They replied (on Oct 3) that they'd take 5-7 days to resolve my inquiry. On not receiving a reply for 10 days I called them on Oct 13 and was told that the registration for the Physics test was automatically erased from their records because it was scheduled at the same time as the Psychology test, they offered to refund the money for the test. Since I didn't want a refund I emailed them on Oct 13 asking them to fix the problem. I was again informed that the registration was cancelled and I would receive a refund. I replied by email that I didn't want the refund but needed to take the test instead, and if I wasn't allowed to take the test I would take legal action. They replied on Oct 14 that they would look into the matter and I'd be informed as soon as their investigations were complete.

Having not received a reply for 10 days I emailed them yesterday asking for an update on the matter and received the following reply: "We have processed an additional refund of $150.00.  Unfortunately, because you have registered for two GRE Subject tests for the same day, one of the exams was automatically canceled out.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you." 

The Physics Subject test is offered only once a year in India and I need to take the test in order to apply to graduate school in the US. I had taken a previous Physics GRE test 2 years ago and I shall now have to send that score when I apply to graduate school. Not being able to take the test this year means I won't be able to improve on my score and this significantly hurts my chances of admission. 

On the ETS website it says: "You agree that any claim, action or proceeding arising out of the Terms of Use, or your use of this Website, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the United States and the State of New Jersey, without regard to principles of conflict of laws. Any claim, action or proceeding related to the Terms of Use will be resolved exclusively in the state or federal courts located in the State of New Jersey and you consent to the jurisdiction of those courts."

My questions are the following:
- Do I have a case against ETS?
- If so, how and where would I file my claim? Since I am an Indian passport-holder I am not sure if I can sue them at all.
Asked 1 month ago in Civil Law from Calcutta, West Bengal
1) you had booked 2 tests simultaneously 

2) one of tests was automatically cancelled out as you cannot take 2 tests at same date 

3) organisation has agreed to refund you your fees 

4) further additional refund was remitted to you 

5) litigation is expensive proposition in USA 

6) jurisdiction as per webiste is only in USA 

7) don't take any legal proceedings 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23328 Answers
1220 Consultations
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In case you have to file suit in USA and claim damages you will have to engage a local lawyer in USA

2) without cancelling one test you should not hav e applied for another test 

3) both tests were to be conducted on same  date and hence your physics test was cancelled and money refunded to you 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23328 Answers
1220 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. You have a case for sure. You may file a suit for specific performance against the institute to seek binding directions to it to allow you to take the test, but the moot question here is of jurisdiction. If the institute has an office or branch in India then you may file the suit in India, but if it does not then the suit will have to be filed in New Jersey through a US attorney.

2. Engage a US lawyer to serve a legal notice to the institute at first.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18167 Answers
449 Consultations
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My questions are the following:
- Do I have a case against ETS?

If what you have stated are correct then you have a case agaisnt the ETS.
No doubt any action taken by you now may not fetch you fruitful result at this late hour, but you can send a legal notice pointing out their discrepancies and mistakes and stick to your original relief alone by not accepting the offer they made to give additional money as compensation. 






- If so, how and where would I file my claim? Since I am an Indian passport-holder I am not sure if I can sue them at all.

You can send a legal notice through your attorney to the firm at US from India containing your grievances and the releif sought, you will certainly get a reply which shall give you lead to further action in this regard.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14138 Answers
127 Consultations
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I have to wait a year before I can apply. Plus they allowed me to register for two tests at the same time, didn't ask which test they should cancel and didn't inform me after they'd cancelled. Isn't that sufficient cause for a legal claim? 
In case I did want to proceed with filing a suit how would I proceed?


Actually this is a system generated fault and such errors do happen at random.
You are a victim to the brainless computer system 
The management has to rectify the same without an excuse and they would compensate suitably. 
For proceeding legally on this you may consult a local advocate on this. 
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14138 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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