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AIBU to not want to pay in full?

(185 Posts)
Lincspeeps Tue 26-Mar-19 07:57:52

DD is in before and after-school childcare in a small place near Peterborough. We used them for DS for three years and DD has been there for five years. Never had any problems with them and have got to know staff very well.

Last week we had a call to say that due to an admin oversight our cheques from May and July 2018 have never been banked (total of £580) and as they are almost 9 and 11 months old they need replacements as the bank won't take them.

We hadn't realised they hadn't been banked and, being honest, that money is no longer available. Obviously an error on their part and on ours. We have offered to pay them £100 per month but they want it all or they won't accommodate DS after Easter.

AIBU to not want to pay it all out. We would have to go into overdrafts to find the lump sum and would be charged. As it's a dual error I don't think £100 per month for six months is it?

SileneOliveira Tue 26-Mar-19 08:13:04

You need to pay. But agree that paying it off over a period is reasonable. Not sure of the legal position.

But they need a new business manager or accountant!

Waveysnail Tue 26-Mar-19 08:17:18

This has happened to me and why I have separate account for childcare cheques. If they aren't cashed the money is still there. You don't want to pay but depends if you can find alternative childcare after Easter? I would pay.

mummmy2017 Tue 26-Mar-19 08:21:39

And how would you feel working for 2 months, realising you didn't get paid, and then find out your boss won't pay you.
This will go to court they will win.

Cautionsharpblade Tue 26-Mar-19 08:22:47

If I were them I’d take you to small claims court. And win.

Di11y Tue 26-Mar-19 08:23:30

I agree paying over 6 months seems a reasonable compromise. dh says go to board of trustees if they refuse.

insancerre Tue 26-Mar-19 08:26:32

There is no way you didn’t notice over £500 extra in your account
You need to pay up
If they take you to court I think they will win

havingtochangeusernameagain Tue 26-Mar-19 08:32:59

Not sure they would win a court case. You did pay them. It's their fault they didn't bank the cheques in time.

Did you pay a deposit - are they actually out of pocket?

However, the practical point is that they are insisting on payment or they won't take your ds after Easter. Can you find somewhere else? If not, I think they have you over a barrel, sadly.

Allyg1185 Tue 26-Mar-19 08:34:54

You need to pay and it all at once. Don't understand how you didn't notice. I had seperate account for nursery fees after there was a mix up one month and I paid twice.

How would you feel if your employer forgot to pay you but then told you you were only getting £100 a month for the next 9 months. Don't think you would stand for that!

ThatFalseEquivalenceTho Tue 26-Mar-19 08:35:08

I’d say as it’s an error on their part, not yours, that they should allow you to pay it off in chunks.

cantbearsed1 Tue 26-Mar-19 08:35:10

You need to pay up.

SweetPetrichor Tue 26-Mar-19 08:38:47

You accounted for this money being it shouldn't have been there to spend. You need to pay them. Surely you'd notice an extra £580 in your account. Let's say, for arguments sake, that the cheques were still just in date to wouldn't have the money now either yet it would still be banked and you'd be overdrawn so what difference is there. The simple answer is learn from your mistake and actually manage your finances like an adult.

TheGoalIsToStayOutOfTheHole Tue 26-Mar-19 08:39:18

I wish my account was so full I didn't notice 500 quid not going out!

I think its reasonable to pay over months, however, if the money simply wasn't took and you thought it was surely it would be there now to pay it?!

Chloemol Tue 26-Mar-19 08:39:27

Sorry you need to pay. I don’t believe for one minute you did not know those cheques hadn’t been cashed. I also don’t believe you should pay it monthly. If you have to go into overdraft then it’s a lesson learnt isn’t it?

1Wanda1 Tue 26-Mar-19 08:42:02

You owe them the money and it is several months overdue. The fact that the cheque wasn't banked does not change that position. As a PP has said, if money is so tight for you that you don't have the money to pay in one go now, it seems unlikely that a few months ago you would not have noticed your account flush with that extra money.

You should offer to pay as much as you can as quickly as you can. Whether they can refuse to take your DC unless you pay in full will depend on the terms of your contract. It would be normal for them to reserve the right to refuse to take the child in the event of non-payment. In this situation, where you are both a bit to blame for the non-payment, there should be a deal to be done with payments by instalments. However, bear in mind that you probably need them more than they need you. If they do simply refuse to take your DC, you would have to take them to court seeking an order for specific performance of your contract to force them to do so. There are plenty of legal reasons why such a claim would be likely to fail in this case, but on a purely practical level, court proceedings take months, and you don't have months to resolve this. You need to offer them a solution they will accept, and keep on top of your banking in future. Maybe pay by bank transfer instead of cheques.

Trufflethewuffle Tue 26-Mar-19 08:42:26

I wonder if yours are not the only cheques which didn't get banked as it's two separate non consecutive payments. Which makes me think it is some sort of system problem on their side.

If they didn't notice that your accounts appeared to be unpaid then it looks like their records weren't being properly updated.

So I wonder if perhaps they are now having to chase up a lot of customers and are strapped for cash.

Cannyhandleit Tue 26-Mar-19 08:43:55

She never said she didn’t want to pay, she said she wanted a payment plan which I don’t think is unreasonable and I would expect the same in those circumstances!

Ragwort Tue 26-Mar-19 08:44:32

Of course you need to pay, surely you check your bank account every month, if you genuinely can’t find the money now then I find it hard to believe that you wouldn’t have noticed it sitting in your account. If you had thousands of pounds swilling around it might be understandable to miss £500 not being cleared but not as you are obviously on a tight budget.

SosigDog Tue 26-Mar-19 08:45:40

You owe them some money that you can’t pay. Under those circumstances there would normally be some sort of payment plan to handle the debt, perhaps £100 per month as you suggested.

I don’t think they’d win a court case - you gave them a cheque that they failed to cash and you’ve offered a payment plan to pay off the debt. A judge can’t order you to pay in full when you don’t have the money - he’d order you to pay a certain amount per month. Most likely would simply tell them to accept the payment plan you’ve offered!

It’s unreasonable to exclude your child because of their mistake. If they did that I’d be contacting the authorities (trustees, governors, Ofsted, not sure who you’d need to complain to?) You do need to pay the debt but this situation is their fault and they need to accept a payment plan you can afford. Excluding your child won’t get them their money any faster!

cantbearsed1 Tue 26-Mar-19 08:45:52

No a payment plan is not reasonable. You are basically asking for an interest free loan.

karala Tue 26-Mar-19 08:45:58

The OP is perfectly prepared to pay but she needs a payment plan

cstaff Tue 26-Mar-19 08:46:50

I don't this you are being unreasonable at all tbh. This is totally on them - bad management or whatever caused it. They should be thankful that you are offering to pay monthly instalments.

cantbearsed1 Tue 26-Mar-19 08:47:57

Anyway, the nursery has already said no to a payment plan and that they will not take your DC if you do not pay up. So practically you need to pay up or find other childcare.

BlackSatinDancer Tue 26-Mar-19 08:49:20

Of course UABU. Yes, they had an oversight in not banking the cheques but that means you have not paid the money out of your account. You owe them the money.

They have turned down your request to pay the debt in installments so you need to find the money and pay in full now or find somewhere else for DS to go after Easter and possibly be persued via the small claims court.

Perhaps make sure you check your bank statements to make sure such things don't happen in the future.

Witchofzog Tue 26-Mar-19 08:49:37

I don't get how you don't notice the extra £580 but now don't have enough money to pay at least half. £580 is a lot of money to suddenly have spare so you must have had a fair bit in your account for it to go unnoticed

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