I'm beginning to like S&M's slogan. It's such an easy target.
Below is a scan of a refund letter sent to gthomp62, a commenter here on Die Eigenheit, signed by Kathryn Merritt herself. In it, she says that Smith & Merritt are "sorry", "embarassed", and, "most of all, deeply apologetic" about "unforeseen problems and issues" that "took longer to overcome" than they planned. They're also "truly sorry" and sad about the "anxiety, frustration, and inconvenience" they've caused.
The reason the refunds are late? The acquisition of S&M by College Partnership, which has a board of directors who are now in charge of managing and approving "the funds to be allocated and released to Smith and Merritt for past client services and refunds." I might be naïve about such things, but that sounds like bullshit to me. When one company acquires another it does so with the full knowledge and understanding that it has existing assets and liabilities, as well as pending agreements and obligations. Those things don't suddenly become null and void or change their terms just because their ownership has changed!
Oh, I love this quote (my emphasis):
We have begun putting a comprehensive plan in place to provide better and timelier information to you regarding refunds...As this is decided and we receive the information, we will be able to give you a better idea of the timing on your refund and when you can expect to receive it.Not just the timing, you see, but also when you're going to get it, since "Nothing is more important than providing [the refund] you expect."
Whew! I'm sure everyone who got a copy of this letter feels better already.