Nursery Director threatened me & bad attitude!

(31 Posts)
mrsdowd Thu 07-Mar-13 14:52:56

Hi

I am a mum of 3 children; I work part-time, husband works full time. My eldest is 8 and goes to school and after school club on the days I'm at work as I work until 5.

My other two children are 3 and 18 months. I moved them to a new nursery due to moving house they started the nursery on the 7th January 2013.

I paid the £200 deposit and £25 admin fee when they first started. But a week after they started we had some unexpected financial setbacks. Firstly our car failed its MOT costing £420 to pass it through, whilst I know a nursery wouldn't necessarily care about this it was a contributing factor.

Secondly, and the most important was that my mother unexpectedly died on the 12th January after a two year battle with cancer. Not only did this affect me and my children emotionally but financially as I had to contribute to the costs of her funeral and funerals are not cheap even the standard packages.

I informed the deputy supervisor of the nursery in person of these circumstances and explained I could not cover the full fees for a couple of months but I would be paying some money and not nothing. She was lovely very kind and said she would pass on my concerns to the nursery's secretary whom sent out the invoices.

The bills are sent the 3rd of every month a month billed in advance by the way.

Anyway on my February bill I was billed for the rest of February and it included my arrears from January there was a note written on to contact Joyce to discuss a payment plan.

I phoned her the following day in my lunch hour in work and to be frank she was very rude; not sympathetic when I broke down on the phone and explained I'd just returned to work that day from compassionate leave and my current financial circumstances. She barked at me and said she felt I had a lacklustre attitude towards my fees and that she had a board of directors to answer to. She also said that if I didn't pay the amounts they wanted when they wanted she could evict my children from the childcare! To say the least I was gobsmacked and stunned by her attitude and still feeling vulnerable from grief I broke down at work.

I was that upset by this phone call I telephoned the head office of the small chain of nurseries and logged a complaint with a member of staff whom passed on my complaint to the owner/director of the nursery. Later that evening the owner phone my mobile and basically said her secretary was not like that in anyway I had described and she practically made out that she didn't believe me.

Anyway since then she agreed I could pay £120 per week until later in this month and April when myself and my husband get paid we would pay off bigger chunks of the bill. This was in writing.

Then on Tuesday this week she telephoned my mobile asking me to go and see her in person at the nursery to discuss our arrears and bills etc.

I obliged and my husband was with me as we were picking our children up at the same time. The owner lead us up to the office and she was un-friendly; unsympathetic; said he secretary fall out was insignificant and wanted us to up the weekly contributions by another £100 per week and wanted us to make a decision right there and then!

I explained that we needed to sit down and work things out but inside I didnt like her attitude about the situation or my previous complaint.

Then she telephoned me again at work yesterday demanding an answer. I wrote my feelings about the whole situation and my previous complaint and that I was unhappy and felt the relationship had detriorated in a typed letter as a formal complaint and explained I felt that strongly I was removing my children and had sourced alternative childcare.

I then handed the letter to the desk staff last night and asked for a response in writing. I also said in the letter that I will come to an arrangement to set up payment plan for my outstanding debt but one that was affordable and suitable for me and my family.

I have not received a response in writing yet BUT I was left a voicemail on my mobile this morning by the manager saying the letter was disgraceful; I'm disgusting; my family is appalling and under-handed and then she will go to the enth degree to retrieve the money and court.

Dont know what to do?! I have rang the CAB and have an appointment with them next week.

HecateWhoopass Thu 07-Mar-13 15:00:49

I'm really sorry for your loss. Re the nursery - remove your children from the nursery and then you are not using the service that you are struggling to pay for and they can't continue to have a go at you? It seems like all they can see is that you are sending your children, using the service and telling them that you aren't going to pay for it all, but you'll pay when you can. And they don't like that. I think there's no need for them to be rude to you. If they aren't willing to accept it, then they should say sorry, we can't continue to have your children here. We need the fees paid on time in order to run our business smoothly. They can't agree to allow you time to pay and then not do so. If they weren't happy to do that - they should have just said no to you in the first place.

Can you get alternate cheaper childcare in the short term?

HecateWhoopass Thu 07-Mar-13 15:02:20

oh. ignore me! It says right bloody there that you've already removed them.

tsk. sorry. grin I clearly skipped a whole paragraph!

Removing them is the right decision. It just leaves you paying what you owe at a rate that you can afford.

northcoastmum Thu 07-Mar-13 15:03:04

You've obviously had a really tough time recently, but I'm not sure you have much of a case. The manner the staff adopted seems quite rude, but essentially, you owe them money, and are continuing to use their service whilst in debt to them. You don't know what sort of financial pressure the business is under...

I suggest checking the terms of the contract re failure to pay fees so you are sure what the 'rules' you agreed to are, before taking it any further.

northcoastmum Thu 07-Mar-13 15:05:17

Sorry, I missed the bit about you removing them as well, good call.

HecateWhoopass Thu 07-Mar-13 15:50:50

OP must think we're a right pair, eh, northcoast mum grin

moogy1a Thu 07-Mar-13 16:17:18

So basically,within a couple of weeks of starting you told them you couldn't pay. I'm not surprised they were shirty with you. Are youi surprised they said they might kick them out? Why should you receive childcare for less than their fees when they have no way of knowing if you're going to pay up?
bet there was a 4 week notice period as well wasn't there? and I bet you're not coughing up for that either are you?
Not really up to you to come up with a paymeny plan. If they're feeling nice they might work one out for you, if they're annoyed they'll demand it all at once and take you to county court if you don't pay.
I agree that you have a terrible attitude to your financial responsibilities.

ToTeachOrNotToTeach Thu 07-Mar-13 16:23:16

I'm sorry for your loss.

I'm not sure why you feel you should get childcare on credit though. Especially at a new nursery so you haven't even built up a history of paying. I'm afraid I'd be with them wondering why you think you can use a service and not pay for it.

mrsdowd Thu 07-Mar-13 17:28:21

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

moogy1a Thu 07-Mar-13 17:32:57

it's irrelevant who has died and where, you owe them the money and were a brand new customer.Why would they trust you to pay?They obviously had a rethink and decided it wasn't worth the risk
what's the answer to my query about the month's paid notice.
( I'll ignore the rudeness as you're obviously not a happy person- not surprising, and sympathy, but still not relevant)

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 07-Mar-13 17:41:05

Moody, although harsh, is correct.

Mintyy Thu 07-Mar-13 17:41:34

Mrsdowd, I think your expectations of the nursery are possibly unreasonable and also, more pertinently, that you probably shouldn't have posted when you are so distressed.

northcoastmum Thu 07-Mar-13 17:45:03

The thing is, by not paying the full fees, you're the inequality 'in the wrong', not them. Their later rudeness is a separate issue, and doesn't take away their right to pursue you for the money you owe them; payment plans should be agreed by both parties, not simply based on what works for you.

northcoastmum Thu 07-Mar-13 17:45:55

one - not inequality!

plantsitter Thu 07-Mar-13 17:49:29

I think you should let your husband sort it out and step away. You are understandably already upset and your children's care is a very emotive issue.

The rudeness and horribleness is inexcusable but the fact is, you do owe them money.

moogy1a Thu 07-Mar-13 17:52:09

I tend to be a little harsher than usual when I've just been told to fuck off!
Good job I have broad shoulders.

insancerre Thu 07-Mar-13 17:54:07

Sorry for your loss but why do you expect the nursery to wait for their money?
Did you tell the car mechanic you would pay in instalments in a while?
Would you have told the undertaker that?
Why are nurseries seen as fair game?
They are trying to run a business and make a living the same as the mechanic and undertaker.

PatriciaHolm Thu 07-Mar-13 18:10:45

I'm not sure what CAB can do, honestly. You owe the money, that is not in dispute. You need to offer them a realistic repayment schedule in writing, and hope they don't take it further, which hopefully they won't as it will take a while by which time you will have repaid them - you can't owe them that much, what, 6 weeks?

It doesn't sound as if they have dealt with it well, but it also sounds as if you haven't been in a good frame of mind to have a calm sensible conversation about it either.

Karoleann Fri 08-Mar-13 14:16:42

I'm very sorry for you loss too.

I actually think that the nursery have been very understanding, I know our previous nursery had the policy that if you didn't pay in full for the month in advance they would not take your child. I was the parents rep for a year and had four complaints in that time from parents who had children turned away as fees were outstanding.

I would just pay the outstanding amount and try and forget about it all.

AnAirOfHope Fri 08-Mar-13 14:36:33

Do you not have any savings to pay the nursary?

Could you not get a loan to pay the nursary?

Good childcare is hard to find and is a household bill same as a mortage. Would you have treated your bank like that?

sparkle9 Sat 09-Mar-13 00:06:09

I am involved in running a nursery and fees must be paid within 10 days of invoice. Late payment results in additional charges. The nursery has staff to pay, bills and so on. Nurseries tend to operate on tight margins. Although you are distressed, please remember that the nursery is a business and simply cannot forgo fees. I would consider you to be unreasonable in your attitude to paying your nursery fees.

I'm sorry to hear about your loss but you should pay the nursery or remove your DC.

BackforGood Sat 09-Mar-13 00:19:18

I have to agree with everyone else. Whereas I'm sorry for your loss, and understand you might not be thinking clearly at the moment as you will obviously be very emotional, but I can't see why you think you should be allowed childcare on credit ? confused
The fact you are new there and haven't yet built up a history of good payments hasn't helped, but I don't see why you think it's OK to prioritise the garage, or the funeral directors over the Nursery ?
There's never any excuse for rudeness including on here but that doesn't take away from the fact you've gone new to a Nursery, barely been there anytime before you start defaulting on payments, then made a formal complaint about a member of staff who is just trying to keep the business on an even keel. It's hard to feel any sympathy for your behaviour tbh.

Misspollyx Mon 11-Mar-13 23:02:14

Firstly am sorry for your loss, and the other hard times your having. To be honest though am a little annoyed with parents like you, the nursery I worked in for 12 years went into liquidation because of parents no paying there fees. I was on mat leave last year and got a phone call, no job no wages 2 days before payday nothing & around 30 parents had no childcare with no notice! The staff at the nursery where totally devastated these children/parents had to find emergency childcare within a day not hard for 30 family's so look at the bigger picture please! Parents like yourself just kept jumping ship to new nurseries when challenged about there fees. The pressure my manager was under was unreal, staff had to wait 5 weeks sometimes get there wages, half & half, staff constantly moaning direct debits being returned because wages where late,I could go on.....

Mutley77 Mon 11-Mar-13 23:27:57

I'm sorry for your loss and your other difficulties but I can't believe you were expecting to use the nursery and not pay for it!!! I thought you were going to say you had to withdraw your children at short notice and the nursery weren't being understanding, but as I understand you were originally still sending them but not paying.

Sorry but that is not reasonable - and personally if someone is looking after my children that is my first bill to pay not my last. I would rather let the household bills go into arrears or arrange a payment holiday on my mortgage than assume that my childcare provider will look after my children for free.

I don't see why you think you need extra help - if I was the nursery I would be contacting my legal team to seek advice on how to get the money you owe them asap. If I were you I would focus on how you are going to pay them - including the notice period - a loan from a bank, a friend, or any other means.

moogy1a Tue 12-Mar-13 08:20:20

Don't think the OP will be back. She sent me the most awful private message so I reported her to MNHQ and apparently she has been "dealt with"

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