SCHOOL BARS STUDENT FOR OWING $1… Jamaica WTF? Come On YOwwwwwww
A final year UTech student who tried to access information regarding registration from that institution’s website recently was left in shock, as she was barred from getting the information because there was a $1 balance on her account.
Her father Roy Small* of Southfield in St Elizabeth told THE STAR that he was shocked out of his wits when he discovered what had taken place.
“My child (a UTech student) after making several attempts in an effort to get details regarding registration as a third-year student discovered that she has been barred from accessing information online. Reasons as stated: Temporarily barred until outstanding balance of $1 is paid,” said Small.
Small said he called Students’ Receivables at the institution about the balance and was told that he should go to the nearest NCB or travel to UTech to settle the balance of $1 before his daughter could get access to the information she wanted.
“I referred to the cost-effective aspect and asked if the balance could be transferred to the new account. I was told that I had no option other than to pay. The voice with elements not conducive to customer relations went further to mention that a student was deregistered for 47 cents,” said the father.
Small said he ended up spending more than the $1 to pay the fee as well as calling the institution to see if the account had been updated.
“Concerns were expressed about these accruals but I was told that if I wanted anything to be done I should fax the $1 receipt. Through questioning, I got a name for reference. I followed up to confirm receipt. This was another challenge. My entire one hour lunch break was exhausted in my pursuit to get a response,” said Small.
Small said after a lengthy wait he learnt that they received the letter along with its attachment. He also questioned how could a balance of $1, which he knows could have been an institution’s error, have caused so much stress.
“I have given of my services as a volunteer in many areas with expenditure at times exceeding thousands of dollar. Am I going to be held ransom for $1.00 or is this where the buck stops as it relates to volunteerism?” Small asked.
When the university’s Students Affairs Department was contacted for comments, an employee who opted for anonymity confirmed that a student can be barred from accessing details if there is an outstanding balance of even $1.
The spokesperson said the person with the outstanding balance needed to either visit the Accounts office at the university and pay the balance, or visit the nearest branch of NCB and make the payment. The spokesperson said the student’s account would be credited, giving him or her access to all the information related to his or her account.