Statistical Solutions failed to use the correct form of data and failed to provide figures as agreed by the deadline on the contract.
Statistical Solutions was hired on or around January 31, 2012 to perform statistical analyses on data for a research study to be submitted to a scholarly journal. The contract indicated that the work (analyses, tables, figures) would be completed by February 1, 2012. However, there were two problems with the work of Statistical Solutions that resulted in the February 1, 2012 contractual deadline being breached: 1) the data analyses were performed incorrectly by using the wrong variable type, 2) there were no figures provided representing the data analyzed. In addition, Statistical Solutions disclosed and disseminate confidential information in violation of the contractual agreement.
The decision regarding the publication of the research study was received on or around November 8, 2012 with a letter indicating that the study would not be published because the statistical analyses performed was incorrect. The editor-in-chief of the journal and expert peer reviewers explicitly indicated the problem with the data analyses; the ''covariate age was ordinal, but an ANCOVA requires the covariate to be continuous.''
The problem of the incorrect statistical analyses performed and no figured provided to provide a visual representation of the data was brought to the attention of Statistical Solutions on or around November 12, 2012. Statistical solutions acknowledged the mistake in the data analyses and re-performed the analyses on two out of six of the ANCOVAs originally agreed upon. Furthermore, Statistical Solutions failed to provide figures for the original (incorrect) analyses and the re-performed (in-part) analyses provide on or around November 12, 2012. In addition, upon further evaluation the mean or average age of participants, as associated with the data, was provided incorrect (7 +/- years, rather than 6 +/- years).
In an attempt to remedy the time and money associated with the incorrect statistical results and failure to provide figures associated with the data analyze, both original and re-performed, a dispute with the credit card company was filed and an investigation opened. However, no refund or portion of refund was provided. It was at this time that Statistical Solutions breached the contractual agreement again. Statistical Solutions ''agrees not to disclose or disseminate the confidential information confidential and proprietary information without the expressed prior written consent of the Client.'' Statistical Solutions provided the members of the card services bureau with all correspondence and the statistical analyses results conducted. There was no written consent provided for the dissemination of this information in whole or in part.
Statistical Solutions violated the contractual agreement - they provided incorrect statistical analyses results and failed to provide the associated figures by the deadline February 1, 2012. They were aware that the analyzed results were part of a study being submitted to a scholarly journal, and by the very nature of this knowledge it should be implied that they were aware that the time-frame for research study review and decision making by the journal/publisher and their two-week policy for services to be disputed were in conflict. Furthermore, Statistical Solutions breached the contractual agreement by disseminating confidential and propriety information to a third party without written/signed consent.
I am seeking a full refund for services in the amount of $1,175. However, I am willing to consider a reduced refund, because a portion of the services were provided.
Business' Initial Response
We have been trying to reach ****, but haven't had much luck. He has schedule a time to speak, but then doesn't answer when we call at the scheduled time. We aren't quite sure how to proceed from here. We have done all of the extra work he has asked for, at no extra cost, we have tried to work with him, and we are willing to keep working with him to resolve the issue, but it is not possible when he doesn't keep his scheduled appointments.
Regarding a refund, it seems as though he presented his best case to the credit card company (we have already dealt with his dispute with the credit card) and they deemed that a refund was not appropriate in this case. We don't believe a refund is appropriate either, because all of the work that was requested (plus additional analyses) have been completed. With every client we say we will work with them until they are satisfied, but again, it is impossible to work with him without contact.
We are definitely willing to speak with him to work to resolve any issues that he has. Maybe you can organize a time for all of us to speak? We certainly don't want this to affect our BBB rating, and we are at a bit of a loss on what to do. It seems like the only way he will be happy is if he gets a refund, but we don't believe that is fair, as we did all of the work that we were contracted to do. Please let me know your thoughts and how we should proceed.
Director of Operations
Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Statistics Solutions said, that they "don't believe a refund is appropriate... all of the work that was requested (plus additional analyses) have been completed."
First, there were no additional analyses completed unless the incorrect and 1/3 of the correct analyses are counted. The entire CORRECT analyses were only 33% completed.
Secondly, as indicated in the contract, did Statistics Solutions provide a "figure" to support either the initial incorrect analyses or the corrected analysis?
Answer: No figure was provided.
Thirdly, the analyses completed by SS included an incorrect categorical covariate without attention to the fact that the covariate should have been continuous. If Statistical Solutions can officially state for the record that running an ANCOVA with a categorical covariate is correct, then I will withdraw my case and gladly publish their response on the internet -- as a break-through in statistical analysis.
Lastly, I did indicate to Statistics Solutions that I would be willing to communicate in writing via email, however they declined my request. They have lost my trust -- any verbal conversation would need to be tape recorded. They indicated that they scheduled appointments, however there was one phone call scheduled, and they were made fully aware that my ability to communicate by phone would be limited and might be unsuccessful.
I am not requesting a full refund, but only a refund to cover the percentage of work that was not correctly completed. There were six analyses, supporting figures and tables. Four of the analyses were not correctly completed and no figures were ever provided.
Please provide a response to each of the points raised above, in full, and indicate whether or not Statistical Solutions is willing to make a good faith effort to provide a partial refund.