AIBU to not want to pay in full?(185 Posts)
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 unreasonable....is it?
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!
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.
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.
If I were them I’d take you to small claims court. And win.
I agree paying over 6 months seems a reasonable compromise. dh says go to board of trustees if they refuse.
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
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.
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!
I’d say as it’s an error on their part, not yours, that they should allow you to pay it off in chunks.
You accounted for this money being gone...so 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 bank...you 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.
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?!
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
No a payment plan is not reasonable. You are basically asking for an interest free loan.
The OP is perfectly prepared to pay but she needs a payment plan
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.
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.
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.
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
Why did you notice the cheques werent being banked?
try and persuade them you can pay in instalments would be my suggestion.
An 11 month old cheque is no longer valid? Since when?
Has they just paid them in yesterday , you'd be up a creek without a paddle today then. You need to pay them.
I think yanbu to want a payment plan. It’s their error and you want to pay but not just all at once. You have to pay them anyway but ask them if you can pay them £200 monthly instead as £100 seem low
@SweetPetrichor "The simple answer is learn from your mistake and actually manage your finances like an adult"
That's harsh on the OP and actually quite rude. It's not her mistake. It's theirs, your response is rather patronising.
OP - I agree it's incredibly unfair and while I think we're all in agreement that you certainly owe the money, I do think you're offer of paying it back in chunks is more than reasonable.
See if you can get some other mums there on side, be firm but polite with the nursery and explain your circumstances, pointing out the length of your custom and clean payment history. If it falls on deaf ears, escalate it to the trustees or governors as per a PP's advice. Good luck.
Of course a payment plan is reasonable. How do you suggest people should magic up the money to pay debts? If it went to court they would get a County Court Judgment which looks at OP’s finances and sets an affordable monthly repayment. And tbh the judge would probably tell them off for wasting the court’s time because OP has already offered a reasonable payment plan.
so if you dont pay they never get your money?
can you go somewhere else for childcare?
Yes that is true in terms of what the court would say about a payment plan. But the OP has the issue about further care from the nursery. And I suspect they will be able to withdraw the place.
I love how your so broke.
But didn't realise they hadn't cashed the cheques. .
You knew, and you spent the money, their money.
I would not trust you to pay up.
Hence why they are saying upfront now, or move your child.
Cheques can be cashed up to six years old but banks prefer that they are under six months old. They will usually accept them older than that and write to the account holder warning them that the money will come out in 7 days or so; but sometimes they do refer the cheque back to the person who cashed it.
A payment plan isn't unreasonable and small claims would grant you one if your finances warranted it, although you'd have to fill in forms to prove it was required. Have they counter offered your payment plan at all? Do you have somewhere else to send your DD after Easter?
On further thought.... you can definitely cash checks older than 11m so I’m thinking you thought you’d got away with not paying, they’ve tried to cash the cheques, cheques bounced!!! That’s different! If that’s the case you’ve knowingly tried to get away without paying, it’s backfired but you still want to use their service and if that is right then yeah I’d also be telling you pay up or you can no longer bring your kids!
I don’t think the op is bu at all.
I have had banks refuse to take cheques older than 6 months.
the nursery has already said no to a payment plan and that they will not take your DC if you do not pay up
That seems stupid though. Regardless of whether they exclude the DC or not, they will still only receive the outstanding money at £100 per month. In fact if I was OP I’d say I’m only willing to pay the £100 if my DC is still at nursery. If they exclude him then I won’t pay a penny and they’ll have to take me to court to get their money.
5hey are probably worried that if they don't ask for it in one go and threaten to cancel your child's place otherwise, you'll take him out after a couple of months and then their only avenue is to take you to court which they won't want to do due to costs and trouble.
I agree that it is hard to believe you didn't notice two months of unpaid fees if you have a tight budget. They won't believe it either and will consider that going I you overdraft is an acceptable solution.
I think they are being unreasonable to not accept your offer of payment. Why on earth didn't they bank your cheques? I think £100 per month on top of new bills is fairly reasonable. I'd write a strongly worded letter to the manager explaining your position and the fact they haven't given you much warning and that you are doing what you can to resolve it. In future, I wouldn't pay by cheque because they sound incompetent.
I wouldn't notice £500 right away. I'm
skint in no way rich but have several DDs coming out every other month and 2 monthly ones. I also work for commission which is paid in arrears and don't always look at my pay slip as soon as it goes in. I have a rough idea of what I have to play with but not exact.
YABU OP. Yes it was a very annoying oversight on their part but as other people say you would not stand for being unpaid that amount for work you had done. If you send your dc to a child minder or nursery you need to pay.
Although you need to pay, they are BU in wanting to agree to instalments. In that case, i’d say “fine, we’ll stop using the nursery after Easter and you take me to court for the money because I cannot pay in one go at this moment”. And that will take way longer for them to see the money.
Why do people still use cheques? Baffling...can anyone tell me why they're a preference for some people?
Why not use a card?
Cheques technically don't go out of date, but most banks will not cash a cheque older than 6 months to help prevent people keeping old cheques, claiming they've lost them and getting new ones. Then cashing the spare months later on, since people don't always cancel cheques. It's a security thing.
be aware that should you choose to let them take your child's place away they will chase you for it and send bailiffs if it gets to that point. Then you will be paying twice as much.
None of the nurseries round here take cheques. It’s DD or nothing.
Those saying how would you feel if your employer didn't pay you, then only gave you £100 a month... That's not what's happened though?
The scenario should be, your employer has given you a cheque with your wages on. You've forgotten to cash it. Now almost a year later, you're going to them to ask for payment in full.
They are being unreasonable. I also would not have noticed that money not being taken at the time. Just as I wouldn't notice more money being taken. My outgoings can vary each month, as does my income, so I wouldn't necessarily notice £250 extra over two months. I get paid on the 15th and by the 21st, all direct debits have gone out so I know that what's left is mine.
They should accept £100 a month.
I think ultimately you have to pay but I think your offer to pay over a period of 6 months is perfectly reasonable and they should accept this. Many years ago I was chair of our local pre-school committee and we had similar where the treasurer mislaid a cheque so it wasn't banked before it went out of date. One of the other mums on the committee was a solicitor and she said that the legal position the court would uphold was that money still had to be paid as the service had been provided but that we must accept any reasonable offer for repayment e.g. over a number of months, as the error in not banking the cheque was ours. As an aside my current job has some financial responsibility and we recently had a cheque cash through our bank that was dated two years previously, so it isn't always a given that cheques can only be banked within 6 months.
I think YABU, surely when you issue a cheque you keep track of when it actually comes out of your account, and have some sort of tally somewhere (like in the cheque book) to keep track of which cheques have been cashed or not, so you know how much money in your account has already been spent?
As the nursery is not happy to accept a payment plan and keep providing ongoing care, I would say your only option is to find alternative childcare, if you genuinely cannot pay in one lump sum.
I would advise continuing to make payments to pay back the sum owed though, as if they take it to court you will end up paying more back.
Honestly? I don't believe you didn't notice the extra money in your account.
We regularly have several thousand in our current account and I'd notice this.
The fact that you'd have to go into your over draft to get the money suggests you don't have lots of spare cash which suggests even more that you thought you would get away without paying for 2 months of childcare.
You need to pay up.
You can ask but I think it's quite appalling you didn't notice such a large amount of money not going out of your account, that's poor money management and I find it hard to believe particularly as presumably you aren't flush for cash if you're unable to back pay in one go (nor could I, that's not a critique on that). Can you pay them by childcare vouchers instead? That'll save you 20%
You really need to pay them ASAP.
You have benefitted from the service they provided now you need to pay them for it.
Yes they’ve made an admin error but that’s really neither here nor there.
I'd offer them £100 per month provided DS has a place after Easter. Should you be forced to find alternative, more expensive childcare you will still pay them but it will be a smaller amount over a longer period of time.
The mistake was on both sides so they should be prepared to compromise.
I'd offer them £100 per month provided DS has a place after Easter.
This is terrible advice. Blackmailing them will not endear you to them
I do love it that some commenters apparently know me better than I know myself!
No, I didn't realise the additional money was there. It's a joint bank account and money is coming in and out all the time. They normally bank cheques within a week so just assumed they had gone out. £580 over eleven months is only an additional £50 per month.
I don't deny I owe the money at all and I am more than happy yo pay it. I just think that a demand for the whole amount in one go is unreasonable given that it's their mistake they don't already have the money, as it was given to them many months ago.
I agree with PP s the only way you wouldn't notice that £580 hadn't been taken would be if you were fairly well off and didn't keep a close eye on your account. However you now say you don't have £580 to pay without going into a chargeable overdraft which suggests that money is very tight. Those things don't add up. You did notice they hadn't taken the fees out and you spent it. You should've gone in at the time and said the cheques hadn't been cashed or at the very least put the money aside so you'd have it to pay now. It's their fault they didn't cash it sooner, but it's yours that the funds are not available now. You thought you got a freebie, you didn't. I wouldn't age a payment plan right, you could post one month then take your child out. My DM tab s nursery for twenty years they are not huge money spinners, budgets are incredibly tight. YABU.
So let me get this right. 9 and 11 months ago, their finance person failed to put a cheque in? And now they want two sums of £290 in one go plus your regular fee to keep your DD going to their nursery.
Yeah right. As if. No-one still has £290 in their account sitting there. You didn't notice it not coming out in May. My DH never looks at his account and this would happen to him (one reason why he is not in charge of our money unless it's a Direct Debit). What would have happened, for those that cannot fathom it, is that the OP would have assumed it was paid and whenever something a little extra needed paying over the last 11 months, she'd realise there was a little bit extra, because as far as she was concerned those cheques were cashed each of their respective months. Just little things that went over. Not a deliberate attempt to get away with not paying. Just an oversight, caused by their incompetence. Not sure why she should be charged unreasonable bank charges because they didn't do their job correctly.
OP try paying it in less than 6 months (i.e. 3), using your good financial history with them. Ensure that you pay a direct Bank Transfer rather than cheques (2019, get with the programme).
A payment plan is more than reasonable in these circumstances.
People keep saying "you need to pay" but the OP literally doesn't have the money so actually cannot do so. She has offered a reasonable payment plan.
Honestly, OP, I'd ask for advice on the moneysavingexpert website. MN is a bit weird about debt.
It wasn't £50 a month though was it. It was £580 over two months.
I think for some of us it's hard to understand how the money is no longer available.
When I used to write cheques I would always then work on my balance being what was left after they were cashed.
Where did the extra £580 go? If your budget is tight your money is accounted for so if you just spent in your normal way the would be excess left in the account.
The mistake wasn’t on both sides! The OP paid. It’s not up to the OP to check that the cheques are getting cashed. And it’s none of anyone’s business how she manages her money - she paid.
The OP has offered a perfectly reasonable payment plan.
I am a small business owner by the way - I would be being apologetic to the OP and accepting her payment plan, not threatening to withdraw services.
Who is threatening to withdraw your place if you don’t pay it all in one go? Is it the admin person who messed up desperately trying to cover their arse?
I think you are being perfectly reasonable. Try speaking to someone higher in the organisation; they may not even be aware of this.
If you don't have that money to pay it all off right now, you must be on a tighter budget,and if so, you would have noticed that they never cashed those cheques.
They are in the right to want their money.It's an awful lot you haven't paid and I'm guessing anyone in that amount of arrears isn't allowed to use the service.
* 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.*
This is a rubbish analogy. Firstly the OP did not forget to pay them. She gave them the payment, for whatever reason they didn't bank the cheque. It is THEIR fault that they haven't had the payment yet.
Secondly a payment plan is a very reasonable compromise. OP isn't refusing to pay and six months is reasonable (where did you get 9 months from?)
Regardless of whether OP has the money or not, it was the business that made the error and they should be reasonable about having it paid back. If the nursery are that strapped for cash then I'm not sure £600 is going to make much difference to its future success, and I'd be considering looking elsewhere for better security anyway.
They could present cheques to bank and see will they take them you can lodge cheques that are over 6 months old, it's up to banks if they honour them or not, if they do you could find yourself in overdraught anyway. I agree you should have some flexibility regarding payback but honestly 6 months is way too long, you should pay one month extra this month and another next month or month after, from their perspective it will take them 16-18 months to be paid if they agree to your plan and your son could be gone in six months, making it very hard to chase for their money, it probably also gives them all sorts of accounting headaches.
that's hilarious, if your company underpaid you then they'd pay what was owed on THEIR terms! As other posters have said if this goes to court you will simply be asked to pay in instalment as already offered. The nursery is behaving like some sort of finance company what twats. Stand your ground op, carry on offering the money for the term as usual plus £100 a month extra.
I'd be doing what Tinkly has suggested.
Think you are getting a bit of a tough ride on this thread OP.
People keep saying "you need to pay" but the OP literally doesn't have the money so actually cannot do so. She has offered a reasonable payment plan.
And I'm guessing they will take the plan for the money, but won't allow their services to be used.
She's already had those services and hasn't paid for them. It's well within their rights to deny further services.
You need to pay. They can bank cheques over 6 months old. I had a cheque come out of my account that was a year old for school photos.
Can I just clarify, for a second time, that neither I nor my partner realised the cheques hadn't been cashed. If we had, we would have raised it with the childcare people. I think this thread has become a bit bogged-down with this point and I wanted to clarify.
Yes, we are a bit shit at managing our finances but nothing more.
Have you checked they definitely haven't cashed the chq? My nursery tried to make me pay again... transpired they'd credited another child's account with my payment...
”£580 over eleven months is only an additional £50 per month.”
”our cheques from May and July 2018 have never been banked (total of £580)”
Which is it? £50 a month for 11 months or nearly £300 at a time twice?
I think your payment plan is entirely reasonable.
I don't earn much, money is tight, I can totally imagine not realising that cheques haven't gone out.
If they really won't accept the plan can you take out a 0% credit card? At least you won't be paying interest on it then.
One thing you should perhaps consider OP is cancelling those 2 cheques, as given that you have not just coughed up on demand - I certainly think they would try to present to the bank anyway.
Seems perfectly reasonable to me not to notice. Especially if you don’t have a regular salary but get paid in lump sums or have variable income instead. We definitely wouldnt notice that. Maybe suggest doing it in two payments? They might be more ameanable to that and pay in transfers from now on.
Don't know about your Calendar, but mine has an extra month between May and July (hint: June).
@bethy15 If you don't have that money to pay it all off right now, you must be on a tighter budget,and if so, you would have noticed that they never cashed those cheques.
Maybe her budget wasn't as tight last year (it was 9 to 11 months ago), maybe it was and my suggested possibility of where £580 went in an 11 month period is what happened.
Can't believe the lack of imagination and harshness on this thread. She didn't make the mistake they did. They're a business, but they need to be more reasonable rather than threatening.
OP good luck with how it is dealt with. Maybe try to find an alternative provider and take all your money there.
You seriously have to ask!? This is cheeky fuckery from you!
There is no way you didn’t notice over £500 extra in your account
It’s likely there wasn’t, but even if there was, why is this so difficult to believe? Not everybody lives hand to mouth, counting every penny.
The amount of money we have at the end of a month fluctuates, depending on what we’ve done. And if it’s an up month, we either stick extra in savings or buy something from the list of things we’d like to get.
We once went an entire year not paying for electricity as our meter was broken. Readings are done by the company, and the only thing that ever happened was a change in the direct debit. No paper bills, all automatic, why would I check? We were paying about the same for gas and electric as in the old house overall, nothing to red flag it. When we discovered the problem we were owe them over £700. We didn’t have that money and the person on the phone was very rude and couldn’t believe we didn’t notice. I pointed out to them that they hadn’t noticed, and they have computerised systems more than capable of flagging things like this up so why was it so hard to believe I hadn’t noticed either? They agreed to paying it off over 6 months.
Similarly, I wrote a cheque for a donation to our school one Christmas. It was quite a lot of money. The PSA only advised me in March that they hadn’t banked the cheque, I’d had no idea. What with Christmas spending, it just disappeared. I’d said it would be fine for them to bank it by the end of March. They didn’t and instead took it in April, which caused me some issues.
I don’t keep track of every penny because for the vast majority of months I don’t have to. I get that’s not the reality for some, but it is for others. You asking “how could you not notice” is like me asking you “how can you have so little money you’d notice it” It can’t be that difficult to understand people live differently from you?
I think YANBU. As a comparison, we switched energy suppliers, gave them all the bank details etc. DH and I were talking about it 6 months or so later and he thought it had been coming out of my account, but we set it up on his, and when he looked he saw that the direct debit had been set up by no payment had been taken (our account showed we were to pay by monthly direct debit). We owed around £500.
I contacted the supplier and they agreed to a payment plan where we pay an extra £30 per month and they knocked some money off the total.
In our situation and yours, it wasn't ultimately our error. You gave your cheque and we set up our direct debit in good faith, when we were supposed to. Yes perhaps we should of kept a better eye on our accounts to pick up their error, but we didn't so a bit of flexibility from the side that actually made the mistake isn't much to ask for.
”As it's a dual error I don't think £100 per month for six months is unreasonable....is it?”
Bottom line is it doesn’t matter whether you or anyone here thinks it’s a reasonable payment plan. Either you want to keep DC there in which case you pay up quicker, or you are happy to move DC elsewhere and start a £100 payment plan regardless, hoping they don’t start legal action against you before you’ve paid it all off.
@Yabbers I don't live hand to mouth, but it's just adult financial management to keep an eye on your outgoings, she obviously isn't that flush with cash to have the luxury of ignoring it if she's not able to pay in this situation.
Have you checked that the cheques weren't cashed? Their record keeping obviously doesn't sound up to scratch, I'm wondering if the cheques could have been cashed but not allocated to your account hence asking for replacements (as they can't find the originals?)
Who pays anything by cheque? <misses point of thread>
It's not that op hasn't paid for them, she bloody did they just didn't cop on and cash the cheques! She wasn't trying to sneakily evade paying for her childcare with the cunning plan of giving them cheques on time.
FFS people, I imagine the OP, checks the balance on her statements regularly and checks debits and credits. If I had a query on balance I would go back and check the last 4 or 5 months of statements now in OP's case these would all tally. My DD's college asks for cheques for trips etc, they are often not banked for 2/3 months this makes it very hard to keep track of outgoings. The OP is more than happy to pay what she owes, but the childcare provider should take some responsibility for their oversight and accommodate her on her reasonable terms.
Yes it's an error on their behalf and perhaps they need to offer a bit of flexibility for that reason, but she is a grown adult who can also keep an eye on her finances, it's a bit pathetic to take the victim stance. It's like when people don't "realise" they were getting hundreds of pounds more in tax credits than they should, look at your accounts, query it when it looks odd, grow up!!
Online banking is your friend OP, it's not hard to keep track of what has gone out and come into your bank. I struggle to believe you didn't notice that money hadn't been paid to the nursery.
I don't think you are being unreasonable. Its their mistake.
To all the posters berating the OP for not noticing it hadn't been taken, and her cash flow issues now - surely this applies to the nursery too? They didn't notice the money going in so obviously don't need it that badly.
@Eliza9917 I completely agree with you. The nursery are supposed to be run as a business. They need to take responsibility and cut the OP some slack here. She is not refusing to pay - just pay over a few months. I keep an eye on my accounts online but if one bill didn't come out for a month or two I am not sure I would notice. Some months are better than others and if there is space cash over I either spend it or save it.
Do you know for sure those cheques haven't been cashed?
Op, i agree you shouldn't have to pay one lump sum now. I hope you can come to a reasonable solution with the carers.
We keep the funds for uncashed cheques in a seperate account for up to six years as that is the limit set by our governing body on clients money.
Banks are funny about cashing them after six months but we've had cheques in our reserve account cashed way over that.
So the OP should be more responsible keeping track of her finances. Well the child care provider should also do this. I know it is not quite the same but if the OP had paid in cash which the child care shoved in a drawer, 9 months later they tell the OP they have lost the envelope would you all still expect the OP to pay again?...I am just trying to point out that the care provider needs to take some responsibility.
Probably a good job the bank is refusing to cash the cheques otherwise you'd be in your overdraft anyways.
I agree it's not unreasonable that you've offered a payment plan, but I assume they've noticed the unpaid cheques as they also need the money otherwise they wouldn't be pressuring you.
Ultimately, as PPs said, they have you over a barrel, if you need the childcare you are going to have to find the money. Pretty sure most places wouldn't keep performing a service if you are in arrears, even if it is more their fault than yours.
Your relationship with them is based on a contract. Look at that. Base your discussions with their management committee / trustees on that.
It seems to me that you have met your obligations by providing payment promptly. They have failed to process that payment. This has inconvenienced you by messing with your cash flow and giving you the false impression you were better off than you were. You are not a business with accounting and reporting responsibilities. They are.
Morally, they are in error and owe you an apology and decent treatment. Legally, as pp have said, all you could be forced to do is follow a payment plan, based on affordability. Practically and contractually though, they do have the power to withdraw your DS's place. You need to think through the best and worst case scenarios and identify what is possible for you.
I would talk to the manager / chair face to face, or by phone, be very reasonable but clear and firm - about what a reliable and long-standing customer you are, this error being theirs and you doing everything within your power to address the issue and help them out of their hole - and appeal to their better nature. Don't get stroppy, try to 'out-reasonable' them.
FWIW as an example, I had a very similar issue once, where a direct debit hadn't been taken for a few months and this was discovered months later. The particular nature of the account it came from meant I hadn't noticed. I was offered a three-month payment plan up-front and agreed to that.
No-one wants the expense and time-wasting of going to court. Most businesses want to retain customers - though this may not be the case for you, if the club has a waiting list. Usually, they would rather keep existing, reliable customers, than take on unknown new ones.
It will be because they're auditing their year end accounts. And not before time! They want you to pay before April 5th so they can square it. But I agree with you, they waited 11 months, they can wait a little longer. Question is whether they'll play hardball and not let your son back. Which only you know.
It’s likely there wasn’t, but even if there was, why is this so difficult to believe? Not everybody lives hand to mouth, counting every penny.
This is true, however the OP doesn't have £500 to spare now, so she would notice if she had an extra £500 now, as she surely would have done last year.
I do't think anyone is suggesting it but the OP. She doesn't have £500 spare and last year she did and it's gone now.
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