Saint Lucian Student Wants Money Back From Barbados Cosmetology School

Barbados Today:– A St Lucian on a student visa here claims she has lost thousands of dollars while seeking qualifications at a cosmetology school – and she wants her money back.

Sherline Gabriel came here on a student visa to complete 15 months of training at Barbados Cosmetology School, located at 116 Roebuck Street.

After paying almost all of the full course fee she found out that the school has no accreditation and her efforts to recover $2,840 she paid for tuition have been frustrated.

St Lucian national Sherline Gabriel said she wanted to be compensated 2,840 paid to Barbados Cosmetology School.

“It makes me feel bad because I saved a lot to come to that school and I came legitimate and it was the school that is at fault as I did not do anything wrong. It makes me feel bad that I came here and have to spend all of this money and someone [deprived] me of my money. It does not set a good example for her and the country because when she does that other people would not want to come here and go to school,” she told Barbados TODAY.

The young woman said she first became suspicious of the institution after the school was scheduled to reopen on January 8 after the Christmas holidays but had apparently run into problems with its landlord.

 She [the school’s principal calls me] asking me for money telling me she wants the monthly payment which was for December  that was [owed] her. I said, “I have the $600 here for [you] so when the school opened [the following day] I would have given it to her. But on that particular day, she wanted to come to my house to collect the $600. I told her I was not home.”

Gabriel said she was unable to do her final exams to complete her certification due to a claim by principal Pearl Francis that she owed $600. Gabriel said she cleared the tuition bill on the morning the school reopened on January 8 but up to now she has been unable to sit the exam.

She told Barbados TODAY that the class arrived at the school on February 25 and found the locks on the doors had been changed and their calls and Whatsappmessages to the principal were unanswered.

“All of us were standing on the side of the road the school was locked… but she still let us dress and come and stand on the side of the road facing public embarrassment.”

The St Lucian national’s frustration was further heightened when she realised the certificate provided by the Cosmetology School was not accredited. The school is not listed as a registered provider with the Barbados Accreditation Council as of April 1.

“I went to the accreditation council to find out if her school is under the accreditation council and [found out] she has never been registered with the council.”

It was at this point that Gabriel said she confronted Francis over the lack of accreditation and asked to be reimbursed for the $2,840 she spent in tuition.

Her request has gone unanswered since February 25, and now she has turned to the authorities, including the police, in a bid to get her money back.

“I went to the Royal Barbados Police Force Criminal Investigation Department. When I went there was a female officer who contacted [Francis] and asked her why does she have foreigners in her school… ‘If you are not accredited you should refund this person back the money.’

She said ‘OK’ to the officer. She called me the same Friday and said ‘Sherline, I would have the money for you on Friday,’ and up to today she is telling me she needs to take out a loan and she is waiting on the money and she will give me the money.”

Gabriel said she returned to Barbados Cosmetology School on Monday to again ask Francis for the repayment of the $2,840 but was met with hostility.

“She started carrying on and telling me I can’t talk loud in her place. I told her if she does not want me to talk loud then she has to give me my money.

It is very unfair and unacceptable. I let the Immigration [Department] know that I am not going to her school anymore and I explained to them why,” she said.

The St Lucian said she felt as though she was being victimised because she was not a  Barbadian and has no understanding of the educational system here.

“I would not know if the school is accredited,” said Gabriel. “Maybe people from here would know a little more about that part of it than me. If I am coming to do a course and the Immigration Department [gives] me a permit to do the course I would believe everything is ok with the school. It is trouble for me to get my money back from her.”

Barbados TODAY visited the Roebuck Street institution to speak to Francis who was not present at the time. Repeated calls and Whatsapp messages to the Principal also went unanswered up to news time.

14 COMMENTS

  1. That serves you right. Barbados Cosmetology School can never offer a better cosmetology programme than the NSDC in St.Lucia. St. Lucia TVET council iworks with all TVET providers in the region, to offer regionally and internationally accredited CVQs. Why then should a St. Lucian travel to Barbados to obtain a qualification that is readily available in St.Lucia.

  2. I feel for you young lady. I do think that if one is applying for entrance to a program/school, especially one that you need to pay for; there should be a need to get as much information on what one would be getting for their money. The info is out there, you just need to spend some time looking for it. No different than buying anything valuable. Doing the upfront work would definitely be helpful and save all the hassle later.

  3. But how is that even news? Couldn’t she verify whether the school is accredited before being enrolled in it. How is it possible for the school to refund her. I’m sure she signed something to be enrolled. No registration would allow students to get a full refund no matter what

  4. Nothing strange it happened here,and the issue was never solved,and they ran with the money they stole,and those that facilitated all the scam laughing.

  5. Can you imagine 15 months of time waste and MONEY.
    I have contacted this school a month ago but no response from them.
    I did alot of research and nsdc have the same program which is roughly $4000.
    Research before giving people your money.
    Sadly she wouldn’t get that money back and her time.
    Things already hard and people trying to better themselves and scammers and thieves are out to fool people.

  6. This reminds me of the time I took my hard earned $5000 to do a course in St Lucia and never got the qualification because Madame Gomez ate the money. People should not be allowed to get away with these things. It’s wrong! There was no compensation. Nothing. And today she stepping 60 with all her fashion bling. But God is not asleep. I was not the only student there was about 15 of us in the class. God is not asleep.

  7. She should take the matter to the courts, The school had committed Fraud, by fraudulently misrepresenting itself. If one wants to run an educational business, they should obtain the proper permits and National accreditations. The Barbados legal system is culpable in this matter. This is what they courts are for, not need to be afraid of the costs, sue for refund, time and legal costs.

  8. Here is my take on this. Granted the young lady should have done her due diligence by researching thoroughly.

    However, how could the Barbados Immigration Department grant this young lady a students visa for a non accredited school in Barbados. With this I see a big problem which should guarantee this young lady a 100 percent refund.

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