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To report nursery to the financial ombudsmen ?

(32 Posts)
cs98127634 Mon 18-May-20 21:16:17

I don't think I am being unreasonable but I could really do with some advice I don't know how to deal with my son's nursery and what is the norm?

Before christmas I told my son's nursery that I am pregnant and plan to take him out of childcare, while I'm on mat leave (from June onwards). We usually pay for several months in advance. Back in January we paid for Feb, March, April, May and June.

When the government advised in March that pregnant women should isolate for 12 weeks, we decided to take my son out of nursery. I contacted them straight away to say that we were giving one month's notice (as per their T&Cs). That would mean that he would no longer have a place in nursery from mid April. I requested that they refund the payments for the rest of April, May and June. They responded back accepting the notice and confirmed that they would refund us.

Since they confirmed that they would refund us we have heard nothing from them despite chasing them several times. The nursery has been open as most of their clients are hospital staff and they have also been active on social media, but we cannot get any kind of response.

Is this something I should take to the financial ombudsmen or is there a better way to resolve this?

OP’s posts: |
CrazyTimesAreOccurring Mon 18-May-20 21:18:05

Are you emailing or ringing and speaking directly to the manager?

Perch Mon 18-May-20 21:19:52

Small claims court? Trading standards?

JustHereWithPopcorn Mon 18-May-20 21:20:17

What do they say when you call them?

Doyoumind Mon 18-May-20 21:21:29

The financial ombudsman deals with financial services so is irrelevant. Send them an email saying you will be seeking legal advice if they do not respond immediately.

ny20005 Mon 18-May-20 21:21:53

The financial ombudsman is only for settling disputes between customers & financial providers.

titchy Mon 18-May-20 21:21:57

Why on earth would you think the Financial Ombudsman would be involves - they're not a bank confused

Write formally stating they have 28 days to refund the money otherwise you'll be taking the matter to the small claims court. Google 'letter before action template' if you need help with the wording.

mynamesmrdiggety Mon 18-May-20 21:24:40

It's not something the ombudsman can deal with unfortunately.

Mnthrowaway20202 Mon 18-May-20 21:27:52

FOS wouldn’t be interested unfortunately

rottiemum88 Mon 18-May-20 21:32:52

You'll need to file a small claim, this isn't the FOS' jurisdiction

Mnthrowaway20202 Mon 18-May-20 21:37:05

If you paid via card you may be able to open a dispute with your bank for a missing refund - you’ll need to supply the correspondence with the nursery

cs98127634 Mon 18-May-20 21:43:46

Sorry I thought financial ombudsmen because I thought they deal with basically all business/customer disputes, as my workplace gets threatened with them all the time even though they are not a bank or anything like that.

Everything has been done via email, even though I have tried calling.

Thank you for all the advice. Hopefully if I send them a letter stating I'll be taking it to small claims court that will move things along.

OP’s posts: |
C152H Mon 18-May-20 21:49:32

The Citizens Advice Bureau site is helpful:

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/legal-system/taking-legal-action/small-claims/making-a-small-claim/

There's a template letter to use and, if they don't respond to your letter, it may be cheaper for you to use the Money Claim Online process - www.gov.uk/make-money-claim.

I'd try one last formal letter, bullet-pointing all the other dates you have called / emailed and received no response. The Court will want to see that you have tried everything you can to avoid court.

This doesn't make their lack of communication acceptable, but it may be that they have fewer staff working and those that are working are covering different / multiple roles.

TerrapinStation Mon 18-May-20 21:51:32

Have you actually spoken to anyone there?

Maybe the person who deals with the refunds is also sheilding and they are running behind

Lots of businesses are struggling with processing refunds at the moment, you can't really jump to taking them to court if you haven't even spoken to anyone

Cold you go there and ask them?

I'm intrigued as to what kind of customers you have who all don't know what the financial ombudsmen does.

CayrolBaaaskin Mon 18-May-20 21:56:19

A nursery is nothing to do with the financial ombudsman. You would need to take them to the small claims court unless you paid by credit card (you could request a charge back)

Crimsonnightlotus Mon 18-May-20 22:02:17

They said they would refund you, right? Can't you wait a little longer? I would imagine the nursery staff maybe really busy with less staff and may not have time to deal with that atm?

biglouis Mon 18-May-20 22:02:30

The way to handle this is to first send them a letter headed "Letter before action" setting out your case in a firm but civil manner. Keep any emotion out of it and stick to the facts of what was agreed. Set a definite time limit for receipt of payment, otherwise you will have to "consider further action".

You will probably be able to google the outline of a suitable letter if you have any difficulty putting it together.

If that does not have the desired effect go to

www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money

and fill out the papers. Take a copy (not yet signed) and send a second more forceful letter enclosing the papers.

That should concentrate their minds wonderfully.

In making a claim via the court you are also entitled to include reasonable expenses such as court fees, phone calls, fares, etc. If you have to do some research into how to make the claim and fill out the documents you are also entitled to claim for your time. £15 per hour would be reasonable.

shookbelves Mon 18-May-20 22:09:49

my workplace gets threatened with them all the time What sort of business is it?

looselegs Mon 18-May-20 22:11:46

You have to pay for 6 months upfront? Wow! Never heard of that before,it's usually just a month!

Fruitsaladjelly Mon 18-May-20 22:15:47

I think you are jumping the gun, they may be open but are likely to be short staffed and there is a good chance the person who does office stuff has been furloughed. Lots of businesses are running with skeleton staff and only dealing with urgent matters, in the grand scheme of things your refund is not urgent.

CaryStoppins Mon 18-May-20 22:21:00

It's only been two months and they've probably been pretty busy!

Maybe write to them giving them a month to repay?

hiptobeasquare Mon 18-May-20 22:26:34

It may be worth asking if they are a member of an alternative dispute resolution scheme (ADR). They act as mediation between consumers and businesses. If they are a member of one they should tell you. If it does go to court it shows that you have tried to resolve the dispute and that court was a last resort. Send them a signed for letter as evidence for the court as well rather than just emails. They should refund you within 14 days of stating you will receive a refund.

Soontobe60 Mon 18-May-20 22:29:41

Are you sure the nursery is still open?
Have you checked your junk email? They may be replying from a different address if admin are WFH.
Once this is all sorted out, I can imagine that you'll bpneednto find another nursery when you eventually return to work.

mumofmany81 Mon 18-May-20 22:34:51

@Fruitsaladjelly you say in the grand scheme of things OP's refund isn't important. That's very easy for you to say but to OP it might be very important - that doesn't mean she doesn't understand how serious the situation is but she still needs money to buy food etc so it's pretty important.

LouHotel Mon 18-May-20 22:38:17

Is this a nursery you want to use for your children after mat leave due to convenience for work etc?.. if so I wouldn't threaten legal but would send a letter up the chain first and ask for a response from the manager/owner. If their still being shit then yeah go forth.

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