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to think I may have been conned?

(90 Posts)
ariane5 Mon 20-May-13 21:30:02

We are a bit short of money so when I saw an. Ad on the local noticeboard of another parenting site about delivering some leaflets in the area I live I jumped at the chance.

I text the lady who seemed very pleasant and said it would be £40 for 1000 leaflets (I thought great £40=1 months dinner money for dd1). I have a double buggy and thought I could put 2 little ones in it and go for a walk and get them delivered.

The lady said she would drop half off, that I could contact when done and she would pay half then when I'd done the rest she would pay the other half.she seemed really nice, friendly and chatty. Dropped leaflets off and I delivered them some that day the rest the day after (and it was HARD work, did it over 2 days as dd2 wasn't well first aft). I let her know what roads as she had said she would be checking and said she would give me money and other half to deliver on sat.

She then said she wasn't well on sat and would be in touch in couple of days but I've heard nothing. I don't want to think I've been tricked as she was so nice, perhaps she is genuinely unwell and I'm just paranoid.

We really need the money and I will feel so stupid if I've been tricked.

Should I phone her? Or will I just look pushy and desperate, I was hoping they might let me deliver again as I'm so short of money and it would have helped us out but I'm really starting to think I will never hear from her again.if I have been tricked I'm obviously a bad judge of character as she seemed really genuine and nice.

AIBU to think I've been conned sad

JumpingJackSprat Mon 20-May-13 21:31:11

Phone her i would! See what she says.

ariane5 Mon 20-May-13 21:36:25

I will do first thing, won't do it now as she said she had dcs and if she really is unwell I'd then feel bad!

Maybe I'm paranoid but I have a horrible feeling I've been tricked. I think it was just odd not being paid first but I sort of saw her point as for all she knew I could have just thrown all leaflets away and she wanted to check first before paying.

HollyBerryBush Mon 20-May-13 21:49:07

What was the company on the leaflets?

You have her number, you must have a leaflet left, so phone her and tell her she coughs up or you are going to the police - it's a scam and you know it is

ArgyMargy Argentina Mon 20-May-13 21:50:20

Definitely phone her - you have done the work and you expect to be paid. If she doesn't respond reasonably, tell her you will contact the police. It seems unlikely that it is a con, she is probably just disorganised and as you say, possibly unwell. But that doesn't mean she can abuse you.

ali23 Mon 20-May-13 21:53:57

You sound lovely. I hope everything gets sorted and you get your very hard earned cash. If not I'd definitely take it further, as others have suggested. Good luck. I know what it's like to be skint too!

MalcolmTuckersMum Mon 20-May-13 21:54:40

Have you Googled her/the company just on the offchance there might be something there?

ariane5 Mon 20-May-13 21:59:52

I didn't have any leaflets but as I'd delivered to my road I asked my neighbour if she still had her one. I will google the company.

I will phone her in the morning and see what she says. Really hoping its just a case of genuine illness but I feel uneasy about the whole thing.

ariane5 Mon 20-May-13 22:49:47

Googled the company-seems genuine and I can't see anything untoward anywhere. I guess I will just have to wait and see.

EatenByZombies Mon 20-May-13 23:34:43

YANBU, but I would ring her and see what's happened first so you don't seem mental if she IS just sick grin

Wowserz129 Tue 21-May-13 08:05:06

Don't wait on it and certainly don't deliver anything more without being paid! Phone and say you need it

ariane5 Tue 21-May-13 09:24:07

All ok, she has been in touch and is going to put the money and leaflets through my door.

So relieved and glad as she did seem genuinely nice (feel bit bad for doubting her now).

BeckAndCall Tue 21-May-13 09:26:14

Have you thought of mentioning this on the website where you saw the original ad to see if others have found the same?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 21-May-13 09:40:31

Why is she putting them trhougb your door? Why not knock and hand them over?

ariane5 Tue 21-May-13 11:12:45

I am not in today as have hosp appts so she's putting them through my door.

HibiscusIsland Tue 21-May-13 11:47:44

Good luck. Wait until you get the money before being relieved or feeling bad about doubting her!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 21-May-13 11:53:48

That's right Hibiscus. And Ariane if the money isn't there when you get back from the hospital, call her back and tell her you're coming to get it.

HibiscusIsland Tue 21-May-13 11:55:28

How long did it take you to deliver 500 leaflets OP?

SavoyCabbage Tue 21-May-13 12:26:18

I hope it all works out for you.

RenterNomad Tue 21-May-13 12:27:25

As for being "pushy": that's not pushy; it's being organised and proactive! Hope the money turns up! smile

ariane5 Tue 21-May-13 15:51:26

Money and more leaflets arrived (phew).

It took me ages I did 2 hours in the morning one day last wk then dd2 was ill so had to spend pretty much the whole of the next day doing them, stopping and starting depending on dcs. It was exhausting.

ReluctantBeing Tue 21-May-13 15:53:45

Sounds like hard work but it'll keep you fit!
Why not try Avon or something?

SpanishFly Tue 21-May-13 15:58:48

So 1.5 days work to do half of the leaflets, ie 20 quid? It DOES sound like a con to me.

McNewPants2013 Tue 21-May-13 16:02:54

I am glad you got paid, read the thread last night and was praying you would receive the money

ariane5 Tue 21-May-13 16:04:03

I think it just took me ages as had both dcs with me in double buggy and had to keep checking dd2 (she's diabetic).

We are desperate for money and 40 pounds will pay for 4 weeks school dinners for dd1 so although it is hard work for not much money its worth it.

I really didn't think itd be so hard though!

PoppyWearer Tue 21-May-13 16:06:57

I've done some leaflet-dropping as a favour before and it's bloody hard work if you have a buggy with you - much quicker/easier without. But it sounds as if you've been paid a pittance for the amount of work put in.

Floggingmolly Tue 21-May-13 16:10:16

Are you the poster with a child at private school? hmm

Fillyjonk75 Tue 21-May-13 16:10:24

I don't think leaflet delivering works out as minimum wage even.

2margarinesonthego Tue 21-May-13 16:11:20

You sound lovely, glad it all worked out for you.
I do think there's easier/quicker ways for you to make money though!
Good luck smile

ariane5 Tue 21-May-13 16:13:20

Dd1 starts in sep, she has a bursary though for virtually all the fees luckily.

DiscoDonkey Tue 21-May-13 16:14:32

So what if she does have a child in private school hmm

Floggingmolly Tue 21-May-13 16:17:22

She's desperate enough for money to do two days work for £40.

Emsmaman Tue 21-May-13 16:17:43

ariane I've seen several of your posts now and it does seem you're having a tough time of it but I can't help but think there must be an easier way for you to earn some lunch money without a physical slog around your local area. IIRC you and your DCs have disabilities so I imagine this is even harder for you than some posters realise. Please do some other research or browse the boards here for some ideas for a supplementary income, I'm sure you can do better than leaflet dropping. Good luck

ariane5 Tue 21-May-13 16:26:07

It was hard but it seemed the ideal option as was the roads where I live and I often take dcs in buggy for walks at nap times anyway so I thought itd be easy.

Def not easy at all though.

Can't think of anything else I could do really, leaflets sort of fit in with me walking around anyway.I just needed some extra money.

ariane5 Tue 21-May-13 16:28:25

We are just above the limit fo free school meals, hb etc too but have debts and pay full rent so I have to do something.

In a way it was nice, I was exhausted but I feel like I did something to help us out.

EatenByZombies Tue 21-May-13 16:34:34

Well done for managing to do it - I could never be bothered and I don't even have buggy-bound kids! grin

deste Tue 21-May-13 19:02:27

If it solves a problem for you keep doing it till something else comes up. I have done some crappy jobs in my time because I needed the money.

SpanishFly Tue 21-May-13 19:05:22

As someone said earlier, what about Avon or something similar. I did it yrs ago and the commission is good

seesensepeople Tue 21-May-13 19:18:15

If you can find another leaflet drop on the same route you could double your money for the same effort.

Been there OP, well done for keeping going.

Have you thought about all the other costs when DD1 starts school in September? What plans do you have in mind to cover school trips, specialist equipment, extra music lessons, etc, etc, etc. Not being nosey but I did have a horrendous year where I had holes in my shoes as every penny went on school extras as all 5 kids were in school at the same time. Thankfully it was only one year!!!

DiscoDonkey Tue 21-May-13 19:55:05

If you are happy to trek around a bit, what about looking out for things at Carboot sales to sell on eBay for profit. People sell things at silly prices at car boots and if you're canny enough you can pick up things to make a bit of money on eBay.

ariane5 Tue 21-May-13 20:04:45

all non residential trips are included in fees, dd wont belearning any instruments and we are saving now for theextras like lunches, uniform etc, booksincluded in fees too so I am hoping we will manage.

Avon would be too much work as involves a bit of paperwork i expect. Leaflets are just delivering and thats it!

SpanishFly Tue 21-May-13 21:19:11

You drop off the catalogues, collect thema week later and fill out the order form, which u might be able to do online now?. Then deliver the goods when they arrive. It would take less time and earn you more than the leaflet drop

maddening Tue 21-May-13 21:27:59

still don't get your point flogging hmm

well done op. Am sure you will find bits and pieces to do - it all adds up! What about evenings? Is your dh home then ? you could get leaflets done in half the time in the light evenings or call centre work?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 21-May-13 21:32:03

OP's DD will not be the only child whose parent's can't afford the latest tat. I know this from experience. Good luck OP.

Sounds good to me. Its not minimum wage but I used to deliver leaflets, free papers, catalogues, phone books etc etc. I once had a two month run of delivering 4 separate items to the same streets. I lost loads of weight and was making about £150 for nearly two days work a week. I had a pull along trolley with me which meant hardly ever having to go home for more leaflets. It also helped I was doing mostly terraced houses. Where I live now there isn't the demand for all night beer deliveries, take aways and drop off DVD rentals. grin

lougle Tue 21-May-13 22:36:19

ariane, well done, but remember that all income is counted for benefits purposes and housing benefit/tax credits can easily be alerted to undeclared income.

IAmNotAMindReader Wed 22-May-13 00:21:45

Great assumption lougle. The OP is short of money so has to be on benefits and fiddling.
She has already stated her family are over the threshold for help.

reelingintheyears Wed 22-May-13 00:40:04

£40 is fuck all,i could spend that and not know where it went.

Pick on the Phillip Greens (Topshop) of the world whose wives hide their fortunes in Switzerland so they don't have to pay taxes

lougle Wed 22-May-13 07:31:31

Wasn't an assumption, it was a tired misreading of a comma, meaning that I thought the OP had said she was just over the threshold for FSM, but had housing benefit.

Ariane, have you double checked your benefit position? With 5 dc with SN your income would have to be very high not to qualify for at least some tax credits.

( which means my earlier post would stand, by the way)

TheSecondComing Wed 22-May-13 07:39:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShadeofViolet Wed 22-May-13 07:44:37

I dont think Lougle was accusing the OP, just a reminder.

You would be surprised the amount of people on MSE or CAG forums who have forgotten to declare small amounts of income and get in trouble.

Khaleese Wed 22-May-13 07:45:20

Can you not send her with packed lunches?

Wishing you well OP, it's lovely to see someone work so hard for their LO.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 22-May-13 08:33:40

Khalese some private schools don't allow that.

deste Wed 22-May-13 10:18:32

Do you not have free papers in your area, they are always looking for people to deliver them.

BOF Wed 22-May-13 12:38:34

Ariane, so many of your posts are about money or the lack thereof- I wonder if you would benefit from some professional advice from the CAB or similar? It sounds like everybody in the house is in some way disabled, but how much DLA are you able to claim? You could be helped to appeal etc.

Two days work for forty quid isn't a great use of your time, and people here and on MSE will have ideas for other ways to make money.

I would say that if you are barely above the free school meals threshold, there is no way you could afford top up school fees plus all the extras that come from being at private school.

It just seems that there are things that could make your life harder and things that could make it easier, but you are choosing the harder ones iyswim? I'm sure there are things that could improve the situation, with the right advice.

Astley Wed 22-May-13 12:48:55

So one week you are going to food banks, then your child is going to private school, and now your back to being desperate for money hmm

I'm sorry, but this is all a bit ridiculous.

RenterNomad Wed 22-May-13 13:23:22

There have always been poorer children at private school, through scholarships and other means, Astley. I had a good friend who was at mine on a scholarship. Why shouldn't lower-income children benefit from smaller class sizes, lots of books in the library, space and sports fields which haven't been sold off?

BOF Wed 22-May-13 13:27:59

Ra ra ra hmm

I think all children should have access to that. Nobody is saying otherwise. I find it a strange decision if the rest of the family are then plunged into begging from food banks and pounding the cold streets with ill children in pushchairs for substantially less than the minimum wage. It all sounds like something out of Dickens, and I very much doubt it is necessary.

TheSecondComing Wed 22-May-13 13:31:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSecondComing Wed 22-May-13 13:31:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HibiscusIsland Wed 22-May-13 13:39:42

OP says she has a bursary for virtually all the fees already.

HibiscusIsland Wed 22-May-13 13:41:49

Is the sports fields being sold off a London thing? None of the state schools round here have sold off their playing fields and they seem to have plenty of books too. 30 in a class though admittedly.

BOF Wed 22-May-13 14:08:35

Virtually all isn't all though, is it? And there are other associated expenses. If your margins are so tight that you are eating off charity, then I would suggest that no, you can't afford it. Or, as I have said, like many other posters, go and get some more long-term financial advice for a sustainable living standard.

lougle Wed 22-May-13 14:27:01

In my defence, I was genuinely concerned. I am a benefit recipient myself (HB) and know how strict the rules are on undeclared earnings.

I was also thinking about the DLA element - if the OP has 4 children who are disabled and claims DLA for 2 of them, that's going to boost tax credits.

Astley Wed 22-May-13 15:39:56

RenterNormad, that is clearly not whatim saying at all..... The point is private school, even with a full scholarship costs more than a state school. The uniform is more expensive, the trips are more expensive etc, so if you are in the position where you need to use a food bank, I personally, would not feel that your finances were in the right position to merit all the extra outlay of a private education.

RenterNomad Wed 22-May-13 18:07:25

So what if the uniform's more expensive? How short-sighted is that?!

I'm sorry to bring in material not mentioned on this thread, but I seem to remember that there is an IL problem with cash flow, not the OP's doing... Give her a break!

whois Wed 22-May-13 18:09:27

Quite surprised someone who is in receipt of food bank help has DC at private school! Private schools are expensive (and not a necessity in the UK) I know my uniform, sports kit, mandatory school dinners etc cost a hell of a lot more when I was at a private school than at state school (hockey shirts, skirt and socks, hockey astro-shoes, hockey stick, netball dress and socks, football boots and shirt and shorts, school track suit, school hoody vs white tshirt and blue shorts)

Anyway ariane5 you could benefit from some professional advice. Your families cash and health situation is dire and something will have to give.

whois Wed 22-May-13 18:10:42

So what if the uniform's more expensive? How short-sighted is that?!

If you can't afford to eat, then potentially having paid out hundred of quid on school required stuff isn't helping.

Astley Wed 22-May-13 18:22:17

How is it shortsighted?! They have been in the position of having NO food and NO money. Children actually need to eat more than they need the educational advantage of private school.

It's not a case of making cut backs for the sake of a better education, that would be a totally different issue. It's the idea that you have nothing to eat but will still send your child to a school that will cost a hell of a lot more in extras than the food from the food bank was worth.

maddening Wed 22-May-13 18:25:10

But they do second hand sales for uniforms - the uniform needn't cost a fortune and trips aren't compulsory.

And isn't the private school able to cope with the dcs disability? Whereas the state is a no go physically? The op is hardworking, not on benefits and doing the best for disabled dc- why the hell is she getting a bashing for making sacrifices to send her dc to the appropriate school? Some of you sound really bitter and unpleasant.

Astley Wed 22-May-13 18:33:52

Oh so it's better to have your child be the one child who doesn't go on any trips and can't invite anyone back to their house because there might not actually be any food...than risk the horror of the state system?

And no, not all schools sell second hand inform, mine certainly didn't.

I've done a lot of leafleting in the past. I reckon that 100 leaflets an hour is good going for an an average estate.

RenterNomad Wed 22-May-13 18:48:11

We don't know what the local state schools are like for ariane's DD, so maybe this school chance is indeed do much better that the sacrifices are unquestionably worth it.

State schools are very variable, so I agree it's not fair to say they're all some sort of "hell". However, ariane and her family have accepted it based on what they know of the choices and their situation.

As for being left out at the private school, that may also be one of the sacrifices: again, a decision the family has made, knowing things we don't.

Astley Wed 22-May-13 19:11:16

Ok fine, what's the point?

I will never prioritise education over eating.

I wouldn't put learning another language over having clean drinking water.

Sometimes you need to figure out the basics before you start going for the luxury. They didnt have any FOOD, that is not making a 'sacrifice' that is not providing for the very, very basic needs for your children.

ariane5 Wed 22-May-13 19:21:14

Sorry, to clarify do getctc but NO hb, ctb, fsmetc.

the school was chosen because of dd1 health problems, trips and books included and lunchessame price as current school.

I have not worked since before dcs and leaflet drop was just to get us through bad week and pay for lunches for dd1.

yes we have terrible debts too, mostly from mil

ariane5 Wed 22-May-13 19:32:03

and yes, wedid have a few REALLY bad weeks earlier in the year hence my foodbank posts as dh had no wages for few weeks when dd2 was in hospital. I am not sure what that has to do with dd1 going to a school that will help her special needs.

some trips she wont be able to do anyway for health reasons.

BOF Wed 22-May-13 19:46:40

If your dd has a statement of special needs, the LEA is obliged to fund an appropriate school place which meets all the identified needs, even if they end up paying fees for a residential place. You would also get free or subsidised transport for her. No need at all for the stress of her being excluded from trips or not being able to invite people home because you have no food in the cupboards.

Are you under-claiming benefits? What debt repayment measures have you managed to negotiate? In some circumstances they can be written off.

Who referred you to the food bank? What other advice or support have they offered to get you out of this situation?

seesensepeople Wed 22-May-13 19:55:58

Please, this thread was about the OP worrying about whether she had been conned into delivering leaflets.

She wasn't, all ended happily, she was paid for what she delivered.

If the OP wants to invite a bun fight on her financial and educational choices I am sure she will start another thread for just such a purpose.

Good Luck OP.

ariane5 Wed 22-May-13 19:57:23

no dd doesnt have a statement as has no learning difficulties. we reaearched all schools thoroughly (state and private) and chose the one that was best for her.

no debt repayment plan we just pay loan/cards back every month.

We have only used a foodbank once it was a self referral andspoke to hv about it, we are not under claiming benefits as get dla for dcs but the period when dh was not in work untill dd2 dla was awarded caused us financial problems and i had to beg the bank to lower loan payment to 200 a mth (is usually 498)

we are getting back on our feet and the leaflet thing was just to get a bit extra to help with bill for lunches, it was just by chance they wanted them delivered nearby and so seemed ideal.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 22-May-13 20:03:36

I am sure the school will be supportive Ariane. My DD went to a small private school on a bursary for reception through to the end of year 2 and the school were great. They have 2nd hand uniform sales a lot too.

ariane5 Wed 22-May-13 20:06:09

the school are lovely, we were thoroughly means tested so they are fully aware of our situation andwe are able to pay the small amount of fees not covered by bursary monthly to make it easier.

blobandsnail Wed 22-May-13 20:07:52

Not sure how helpful this is. But you mentioned one of your children has diabetes. Make sure you're claiming disability living allowance for that child. A lot of parents don't realise they're entitled to it and it came make a difference. Speak to your specialist diabetes team about it and anything else you may be entitled to.

BOF Wed 22-May-13 20:07:58

I will leave this thread now if my contribution is coming across as fighty. I am actually a passionate advocate of people getting proper practical financial advice, especially if they are suffering with children and going without food. It upsets me to hear of people being exploited in badly-paid jobs, and I think mumsnet is a fantastic resource to point to sources of help for OPs in difficulty, and I want to encourage Ariane to look at her options here. Debt counselling at the very least should be a priority.

I don't really understand what you mean about special needs, Ariane- are you saying that the state schools are contravening the Disabilities Act by not providing physically-accessible education?

I didn't know that it was possible to self-refer to a foodbank- it's a shame really that you didn't go through the more usual routes, because they might have been able to refer you to a reputable source of financial advice too.

Good luck, I hope things get easier for you.

ariane5 Wed 22-May-13 20:11:27

the state schools were too big, dd has mobility and fatigue issues and a smaller school is better for her she was unwell on tours ofthe larger schools. at the school we chose she will be able to go to and from lessons and not be in pain or ill as site is so tiny.

ariane5 Thu 23-May-13 10:56:12

Dd2 has just been awarded dla for diabetes and other conditions.

Our finances are slowly improving-we are not at 'foodbank stage' and are doing.
What does worry me is although this is the first time I have ever earnt any extra money since I worked before I had dcs, have I actually done something wrong?

It was just an opportunity that presented itself and I thought it would help us out but am I actually meant to declare it despite it being a one off? I do not want to now get in trouble like lougle mentioned as we do get ctc??

Not sure if my attempt to help us was actually wrong now?

RenterNomad Thu 23-May-13 12:22:15

Everyone has a tax free allowance: within that amount, you will pay no tax on earnings (and that includes bank/building society interest --hahaha, as if). The HMRC advice reads: *For 2012-13, legislation in Finance Bill 2012 will increase the personal allowance for
those aged under 65 to £8,105 and reduce the basic rate limit to £34,370.* However, I don't know how tax credits and other benefits affect that tax-free allowance.

Have the ILs stopped siphoning money off you (apart from the credit card debt)?

ariane5 Thu 23-May-13 12:26:00

They have not had any more money at all from dh for a while now because I have complete control over finances/bill/wages etc to prevent lending.

Mil still reluctant to repay what she owes but at least I know she can't take any more. I think dh has learnt what she is like.finally

Pigsmummy Thu 23-May-13 12:32:58

I am glad that this has worked out ok, as an aside I delivered the phone book a few years ago, it was good money.

RenterNomad Thu 23-May-13 14:12:50

That's good news, ariane smile

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