Ex-Nova students sue for refunds

Four people who canceled their English-language lesson contracts with Nova Corp. filed a lawsuit against the language school with the Kyoto District Court on Wednesday, demanding refunds totaling about 2.45 million yen in tuition for unattended classes.

Ten other former Nova students also filed a lawsuit with the court on the same day, demanding that the school refund about 4.1 million yen.

The case marks the first time the firm has been sued by a group of its former students.

According to the suit, the four plaintiffs, who attended Nova schools in Kyoto and other cities, were encouraged by the school’s employees to purchase additional points that would allow them to carry over previously earned points past their expiration dates.

Each of the students purchased 150 points at about 2,000 yen per point between January 2005 and September 2006.

However, when they asked Nova to cancel the contracts after August 2006, the school did not refund the money for the carried-over points.

The plaintiffs claim Nova is obligated to refund the fees for classes they did not attend, according to a law concerning special business dealings.

Meanwhile, the other 10 plaintiffs are demanding that Nova refund them 180,000 yen to 700,000 yen each in canceled class fees.

Although the contracts were cancelled, many of the plaintiffs have received no refunds, while the others have received less than they expected.

A Nova spokesman said: “It’s regrettable the cases were brought to court despite our sincere efforts. We’d like to handle the matter fairly after confirming the details of the suits.”