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AIBU to not pay to repair the au pair's phone?

(107 Posts)
Scorpiostar Fri 13-Jan-17 14:54:55

Our au pair has a super swanky iPhone 6 Plus. Last night while she was babysitting, she sent me a text saying that the screen was broken. Her story last night was that DS pushed her and caused her to drop it so we are responsible for paying to repair / replace it. This morning, she said DS was blocking her way and she dropped it trying to get past. This morning I asked the DCs individually (before they had time to speak to each other) to tell me what happened to the phone. Their stories were identical: her phone was in her pocket and it fell out as she was going downstairs. This sounds entirely plausible. He phone is huge, her pocket is small. Two thirds of the phone sticks out of the top of the pocket of her jeans. I asked DD where DS was when it happened and she said he was upstairs. Given that she would normally take any opportunity to get DS into trouble, her story seems believable. DS is an anxious child and I would have expected him to look worried and guilty this morning if he had done something wrong. He didn't. Now I'm left with a dilemma. Who do I believe? I don't want to be the kind of parent who is blind to their DC's faults but I can't see much evidence that they are not telling the truth. The story about DS pushing her sounds implausible because it would be totally out of character. On the other hand, if I take the DC's word over the au pair's and she's telling the truth, the trust is broken.

Skang Fri 13-Jan-17 14:55:58

I wouldn't pay and would replace her.

Pommes Fri 13-Jan-17 14:56:42

Forget the phone, replace the au pair instead....

Ilovecaindingle Fri 13-Jan-17 14:57:50

Surely she has super swanky phone insurance?

FaeFolk Fri 13-Jan-17 14:57:58

She tries to get your anxious son in trouble and you still leave your children with her? confused

Nocabbageinmyeye Fri 13-Jan-17 14:58:27

I'd believe the kids, her story has changed twice already so she definitely lied to your face at least once

MiniEggAddiction Fri 13-Jan-17 14:58:42

Out of interest how old are the DC's? From my reading of your post it sounds like she's admitted that the DS pushing her story wasn't true, according to her he was blocking her way and she pushed past in the process of which the phone was broken? Why does she claim DS was blocking her and why did she try to force her way through? (Obviously if she was trying to get into his room and he didn't want her to it's different from if she was blocked in a small space and he wouldn't let her out).

sonjadog Fri 13-Jan-17 14:59:01

Can you replace the au pair fairly easily? Or if she leaves, will it leave you with a huge childcare problem? Because if her leaving would not be a bit problem, then I would definitely tell her what your children are saying and refuse to pay. It will mean that the relationship is soured and she will probably have to go (but won´t the relationship be broken either way now?). If you are dependent on her being there, then I think you have to weigh up if replacing a phone is worth more or less than you being in the right.

00100001 Fri 13-Jan-17 14:59:05

Ask her if DS was blocking her way and it fell out - how is it your fault?confused

MiniEggAddiction Fri 13-Jan-17 14:59:26

All in all I think I'd be more concerned about whether she was trustworthy with the DC's than the phone - how long is she due to stay?

Gallavich Fri 13-Jan-17 15:00:26

Phones get dropped. Unless your dc grabbed her phone and threw it then they aren't responsible for it breaking. She needs to keep it in a bag instead of a pocket!

Aki23 Fri 13-Jan-17 15:00:37

Why is she faffing with her phone when she should be looking after your kids

Strongmummy Fri 13-Jan-17 15:02:07

Tell her to use her phone insurance and pack her bags. Her story is inconsistent so I'd more likely to believe your kids.

LittleBoat Fri 13-Jan-17 15:03:57

The trust is already broken.

If your au pair needs the phone while looking after the children - you should supply them with a cheap one with screen protector/case etc. Then they will have no need to have their big swanky phones out while looking after your children.

Chocolatecake12 Fri 13-Jan-17 15:04:16

Ask her if she has insurance firstly.
tell her you won't be paying to repair it but offer to buy her a cheap handset for use during work.
Should she be carrying her phone around with her while she's looking after your children?

Bluntness100 Fri 13-Jan-17 15:07:05

Personally I would be asking why he was blocking her way and why she pushed past him. That's unpleasant rIght there. Even more so considering she is supposed to be responsible for them when you're not there. And it's changed from he pushed her, which is also unpleasant.

I'd tell her I wanted to talk about it, as I'm deeply concerned about the pushing, blocking etc she's describing. The phone would be the least of my worries.

mummyof2pr Fri 13-Jan-17 15:07:39

I should only be about 50 to replace a screen on an iPhone. If you like her and want to keep her I would offer to pay half.

Notonthestairs Fri 13-Jan-17 15:10:29

What Bluntness said - the phone is a non problem in comparison with the relationship between the au pair and your son.

harderandharder2breathe Fri 13-Jan-17 15:13:02

I'd believe the dc in this case, she's changed her story and dc are (possibly uncharacteristically!) backing each other up.

Au pair is an adult and should be responsible for her own things. If she keeps blaming the dc I'd look at replacing her

angeloaf79 Fri 13-Jan-17 15:14:50

Why would you want to keep employing a liar? Tell her to claim from her insurance and get rid of her asap.

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 13-Jan-17 15:15:49

"if I take the DC's word over the au pair's and she's telling the truth, the trust is broken."
You don't have to take the DC's word over hers. She has told you two different stories already - first that she was pushed, second that she was blocked and trying to get past. Those actions (pushing/in the way) are not interchangeable.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 13-Jan-17 15:17:53

There are a few scenarios:

She is lying and should be sacked
They are lying but she was faffing with her phone when she should have been looking after them
She changed her story because she is confused (very worrying)

In none of these scenarios does the phone's replacement become your problem.

statetrooperstacey Fri 13-Jan-17 15:18:20

Hmm she îs definitely trying it on. And she knows it!

I think I would say - sarah*. I'm afraid this isn't our responsibility, we are in no way liable for the fact you dropped your phone in our house , regardless of the circumstances such as who was standing where and who was doing what. However if you don't have insurance , to help you out as we are very great full for all your help, we would like to offer to go halves with you on the cost of repairing the screen.
If you like her that is, you kind of have to admire her, cheeky!

Allthewaves Fri 13-Jan-17 15:19:48

Unless your paying for the phone as part of her contract then I'd say NO

AyeAmarok Fri 13-Jan-17 15:19:48

She's blatantly not telling the truth, at least entirely. So tell her to swivel.

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