to have asked this question re toddler class fees?

(50 Posts)
StardustDogs Fri 09-Nov-12 11:30:43

In the summer we went to a fun day , the only thing that ds liked was a lady with instruments that did a music class.

She said you could pay week by week so we started going . It was the summer holidays after a couple of weeks she did summer specials and we went to a few.

Then in September we started going and there were then signs up saying you pay in advance so we did except I asked not to pay on his birthday as we planned to go out with family . She was fine about this but it rained so we attended anyway and paid on the day .

So today as we are away in a few weeks I asked if I could pay for one less week and she bit my head off , she properly turned and said "well no because I have to come don't I " ? I had asked by saying my husband is on holiday so we are away . She said " bring your husband too" I replied I can't as we are away said nevermind and paid in cash in full. The atmosphere was really uncomfortable , so I said oh he really enjoyed it today , okaay see you next week, and shuffled off!

I understand people must let her down but in a year there are 39 weeks of her classes , surely she should give some grace? Another group used to let you make up a class as more than one a week.

I will continue to attend as ds really responds to music but I just felt a bit shitty in the way she said it. I was only asking a question! I never use her bloody biscuits or juice so perhaps that could be a fiver saved for her per year ?

Anyway go ahead and give it to me. Ds loves her as well that's even more annoying now!

INeedThatForkOff Fri 09-Nov-12 11:35:19

YABU. We attend a similar class and to guarantee our place, we pay for the term up front. She can't offer a place to someone else if you're arsing about non-commital about attendance.

This term I knew we'd miss quite a few sessions so we haven't been at all.

MrsCantSayAnything Fri 09-Nov-12 11:36:19

YABU. She's been more than accommodating and you can't expect to chop and change now that she has a pay in advance arrangement in place.

INeedThatForkOff Fri 09-Nov-12 11:36:31

Oh, and not using her biscuits or juice is your choice hmm.

WorraLiberty Fri 09-Nov-12 11:37:36

She still has to pay for the venue though

Still she sounds very rude so I'm not surprised you're annoyed.

fluffywhitekittens Fri 09-Nov-12 11:39:20

You're both being a bit u. If she's said it's ok before I can see why you wouldn't have expected such a hostile answer but most places have the same policy.

redskyatnight Fri 09-Nov-12 11:39:50

YABU. Unless it's a drop in class, I don't know of a single group that you don't have to pay a month/half term/term up front.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 09-Nov-12 11:40:42

You pay for these classes by the term, this is the second time you've asked not to pay for a week and I expect she just had enough...

It's not usual for anything I've been to on that basis for anyone to even ask once so I'd just ignore it.

WileyRoadRunner Fri 09-Nov-12 11:41:23

agree with worra

joanbyers Fri 09-Nov-12 11:43:39

lol @ discount for not eating her biscuits

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 09-Nov-12 11:44:21

YABU a bit.

All these kind of things that I have been to, you pay upfront for a block of classes.

StardustDogs Fri 09-Nov-12 11:45:50

Yes you know what it's not the fiver I'm bothered about its that she dropped the nicey nicey music class person thing sooo much I'm surprised I didn't step back. If she had said it normally I wouldn't have been bothered really. I have emailed her about my ds's special needs and she had always seemed so friendly before. Guess not eh?!

I know it's my choice not to give him the juice or biscuits. Perhaps I should go back to the one that allows one make up class per term.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 09-Nov-12 11:47:49

Did everyone miss this bit ...*She said you could pay week by week*

I would be reminding her of that.

I agree it's hard to run a class like that and that most are pay in advance for the term whether you can make it or not etc and if that's what you sign up for fine - but to advertise as one thing then do another isn't on.

StardustDogs Fri 09-Nov-12 11:48:08

I agree in the usual paying up front thing but to start it was week by week then she popped up some laminated demanding the money upfront without a word. Haha sneaky.

StardustDogs Fri 09-Nov-12 11:48:44

* laminates

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 09-Nov-12 11:49:42

I can see why you have been upset by her attitude and not by the situation itself - it's horrible when someone you think is nice has a go at you for no apparent reason sad It's also disappointing to discover someone isn't how they are portraying themselves. I woudn't want to go anymore, irrespective of the money side of things.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 09-Nov-12 11:50:06

Maybe she was just having a shit old day.

If your ds enjoys it and she is normally ok I'd just go.

I won't sign up to anything by term now as ds misses loads. It's annoying.

You are both being a bit unreasonable I think. If she started saying that you could pay week by week then changed it I think she should expect questions, but it is normal to pay for a full term.

StardustDogs Fri 09-Nov-12 11:53:42

I know but I've given her £30 for the half term now, can you imagine asking for a refund! Also ds loves it and I take him as he is 2 and getting assessed for Autism soon, he laughs so much sometimes at it and responds well so I don't want to stop . I always feel on edge there as he does funny squeaks and stuff and legs it all over given half a chance. It just upset me a bit. I wouldn't dare mention the week by week thing now.

mrskeithrichards Fri 09-Nov-12 11:54:20

I hate these ridiculous pay by term set ups there nonsense classes have. I don't want to pay some airy fairy numptie £60 up front for the pleasure of watching her prance about with a tambourine for half an hour once a week.

Some weeks I might be busy, other weeks ds might be napping. In short I'm not committing me or my baby to being somewhere every week. Life's too short.

I've found a lovely Sally army group wi I instruments and music and nicer people for £1 a week and I get a cuppa and a digestive. Happy days!

MammaTJ Fri 09-Nov-12 11:54:32

MY DD goes to dance classes that have to be paid for in advance. That's fine. The teacher also says to notify her when paying if they won't be there for any weeks and they don't have to be paid for. Not notifying means you have to pay. Much fairer imo!

mrskeithrichards Fri 09-Nov-12 12:00:14

And why is this normal for baby 'classes'? I don't pay in advance for zumba or anything else I go to. I don't pay in advance for ds's boxing or karate either.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 09-Nov-12 12:01:29

I bet babies are damned unreliable.

And if there is a finite number per class they could end up out of pocket.

CelticPromise Fri 09-Nov-12 12:07:29

All the classes I took DS to were drop in. You could pay in advance for say six classes but you could carry them over if you couldn't go one week. If you didn't attend two or three in a row they rang up to check we still wanted the place.

Except swimming. Swimming had to be paid in advance.

mrskeithrichards Fri 09-Nov-12 12:07:31

But the pay by term thing totally excludes those on low incomes who may not be able to afford it all at once.

Groovee Fri 09-Nov-12 12:14:17

The teacher will still have overheads to cover such as the rent of the hall. You often find they don't make much to support themselves from the classes.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 09-Nov-12 12:14:43

They are running a business though mrs k.

I don't think they get paid a load either.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 09-Nov-12 12:16:22

MrsK - no it doesn't. Save the weekly amount one term, attend the next.

Journey Fri 09-Nov-12 12:19:34

YABU. You were very cheeky asking not to pay for a day because you weren't going to be there.

How would you like it if she turned to you and said by the way John is going to take your ds's place next week but your ds can come back the following week. I don't think you'd be impressed. You're paying for a space and you should respect that.

StardustDogs Fri 09-Nov-12 12:32:15

The paying for a space thing I understand. I just feel she could have been much nicer in the way she refused. I can see that whether I'm on holiday or not she still drives there uses petrol, pays for the room. Sometimes there is only 4 of us , sometimes 10 so I think perhaps she could be nicer to those who do come. Nobody really chats that much but often people who come one week don't come again , maybe they ask her the wrong question too!

You would have thought when her group appears to be dwindling she would be friendly to her regulars at least. Oh well I will keep going as ds enjoys it and just pay up front no questions asked. When we have to miss it for his appointments or hols I will just have to accept it as its worth it for the joy it brings to ds!

fuckwittery Fri 09-Nov-12 12:33:12

I think this is all down to miscommunication. It sounds something like you could pay the first few week by week and now you have to pay half term in advance in full.

You should say to her next week, can I just check about the payment, as I think I might have offended you last week when I asked not to pay when we were away. I had thought it was OK to pay week by week, is that not the case, is it that we have to pay for the half term?

presumably she will say something like, it was week by week over the summer, during the term it's pay in advance half termly or so on

You can say, Ok I am sorry I misunderstood, I thought it was week by week, however it wasn't clear to me.

Yes? all smiles after? I bet she is having money problems and that's why she reacted as she did, and she hasn't made her payment terms clear (or you haven't read them).

StardustDogs Fri 09-Nov-12 12:40:51

There was no miscommunication , when I first attended the class it was week by week as stated by her at the fun day.

Now since the September term it is pay in advance per half term. This wasn't communicated verbally there were signs up suddenly and she said at the end of class fees are now due . I only had a fiver on me so felt a bit embarrassed. I won't mention it again. I feel like letting her keep my £30 and never going the nasty cow but as I said ds loves it so will keep going while he enjoys it.

Dozer Fri 09-Nov-12 12:42:40

yabu, but she doesn't sound like she knows much about customer service!

DeWe Fri 09-Nov-12 12:45:42

I went to a craft session, Really well done. On a pay by week arrangement. There was a huge waiting list, and I was surprised when I got there to find that generally it was only half full.
People took their place off the waiting list, and then turned up when they felt like it. It was only £3 a session, so not very much really considering all the craft stuff plus venue hire.

After a couple of terms they started a system where you paid half a term at a time. Suddenly all the people who only came 1-2 times a term found that actually they could manage nearly all the sessions. In fact they then put the prices down to £2.50.

(and I know if you struggled to afford it they were happy to do it so you paid for the next session when you were there for the present session, so you only paid double at the first one of the term, because I knew one who did it that way)

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 09-Nov-12 12:46:09

I don't think there was any miscommunication at all - she advertised it as pay week by week, to get parents through the door. Then, instead of acting like an adult and speaking to the class to say it wasn't working and she was sorry but it would have to change to paying in advance for the half term after the next 'break' (or whatever) she slunk about sticking up some posters. Not professional & not friendly.

I wouldn't want to go back either, her attitude is crap, but as you say - it's paid for and more importantly DS loves it, so - like you - I'd suck it up for the rest of the term and then re-assess.

StardustDogs Fri 09-Nov-12 12:56:47

Yes I agree chipping , just before the 6 weeks hols there was hardly anybody there. Also during the summer specials it was pretty quiet. I won't directly mention it again but I hope she realised the way she spoke to me was out of order. If she had breezily said no sorry you have to pay if attending or not now sorry, with a smile, I really would have thought oh well no harm in asking. I knew nobody could be that happy! She probably hates kids too. smile

INeedThatForkOff Fri 09-Nov-12 13:01:03

to start it was week by week then she popped up some laminated demanding the money upfront

Are these Rhythm Time classes by any chance? This summer our group ran a similar set-up. It wasn't a secret that school term time classes were block-booked and that holiday classes were PAYG (presumably because people are likely to, er go on holiday during the school break).

Don't forget there's a good chance that the group leader has paid a hefty franchise fee (hence the difference between this and older kids' karate classes mentioned earlier). Hadn't you realised that the baby and toddler market is awash with this kind of arrangement because new parents like me are daft willing to pay? Perhaps she has paid a fortune for the franchise and can't afford to be messed about.

DamnBamboo Fri 09-Nov-12 13:01:17

Imagine if everyone else that attended did what you do?
How could she rely on a regular income?

mrskeithrichards Fri 09-Nov-12 13:02:58

It's hardly a business, prancing about singing to a bunch of tots!

DamnBamboo Fri 09-Nov-12 13:05:21

Of course it's a business... it's just a very small one that doesn't turnover much.

Perhaps she had to swap to pay in advance because so many people did what OP wants to do.

It's probably not about making loads of money, but not losing any either.

mrskeithrichards Fri 09-Nov-12 13:09:00

I just think these things have got to formal and structured and aren't very inclusive. And a bit naff really, probably full of first time mums. The few I've been too are full of competitive mothers trying to out mum each other.

I much prefer library sessions, more relaxed groups and community led activities. That, and I'm tight.

DamnBamboo Fri 09-Nov-12 13:12:11

I have never liked classes or toddler groups and really don't like going to them - never have.

What I found really amusing and actually guffawed when she told me the price, was the £18 charge for an equivalent of tumble tots for 45 minutes.

£18 feckin' quid shock

mrskeithrichards Fri 09-Nov-12 13:13:59

They really do have tickets on themselves!

ThisIsMummyPig Fri 09-Nov-12 13:22:54

I actually have sympathy for the teacher. I do guides, and we ask to be paid half termly. (it is £7.00 a half term). We then do various activities. It is really galling to find that half the girls have gone somewhere else one night without mentioning it the week before (school trips etc they've known about for weeks), leaving you with a load of craft stuff you have paid for, but won't get used for ages.

It isn't that they're not there though, it's that they don't tell us, which is slightly different to your situation.

StardustDogs Fri 09-Nov-12 13:25:22

I used to do the library and £1 church Playgroup but as my son is likely to be diagnosed with autism these things don't work anymore due to his behaviour. The music class mainly keeps him engaged and he enjoys it. It is also very local to me. I'm definitely not a competitive Mum I have no time to watch others parenting I'm too busy trying to manage ds.

trixymalixy Fri 09-Nov-12 13:29:34

Probably because numbers were dwindling she wasn't covering her overheads letting people pay on a week by week basis, so had to change to termly fees to make it viable.


amarylisnightandday Fri 09-Nov-12 13:32:55

Yabu - sorry. I've been to loads of different toddler classes and its quite usual than you can pay as you go for a trial period then thru expect you to commit for a term. These people are earning a living not doing you a favour.

DontmindifIdo Fri 09-Nov-12 13:55:48

MrsKeithRichards - the difference is between someone running a group as a business (and it is a business, in the same way that "someone just painting your nails" is a business when they work as a nail technician rather than doing it for friends) and a Church group doing outreach work. The church group don't have to make a profit, the point of them doing it is to get to talk to you, the woman running a class the point if it is to make some money. The churches don't charge their own groups to use the rooms so they have no overheads, whereas the same church hall hired the following day by a class round here would cost about £70-80 for a half day.

The person running the class often has to book a whole half term in advance to ensure they will have the room every week and the church won't give it to anyone else one week randomly, so if the woman running the class needs to know she's got 30 people in a class paying to ensure the overheads are covered.

OP, if she started with 'pay as you go' I guess not enough people who said they would go every week did to make it worth her while running the class, so she's had to move to this system. I think she was rude about it though.

StardustDogs Fri 09-Nov-12 14:02:40

Thanks all! You weren't that bad! I can see I w bu about not attending and expecting not to pay but she was bu about not discussing the new pay system properly and also in her manner with me. Hey ho she was probably having a crap day. I'm over it now anyway just felt reaaaallly pissed off at the time.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 09-Nov-12 16:45:16

I went to sing and sign and the majority of the mums were lovely and just wanted to get out of the house.

I won't be doing it with dc2 I have to say but I liked it at the time.

I ain't no competitive mum, I'm a normal! grin

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