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I feel sick. Just realised I've been over charging for about a year.........

(11 Posts)
Ohell Tue 27-Sep-11 13:40:54

Doing my invoices and it's just dawned on me. They are a lovely lovely family, much valued clients. not well off. I've been over charging about £35 per month through forgetting to alter a change of hours. Mum hasn't noticed. I just have. I owe back over £400 shock. I will tell her the 'good news' later.

Out of interest.....does anyone know the legal position ? I will pay her back asap, I'm honest and couldn't live with myself otherwise, but....legally, do I have to ? i know she checks her invoice as the childminding days are complicated and always different. I'm surprised she hasn't noticed TBH.

Thanks. I really do feel ill.

harrietthespook Tue 27-Sep-11 13:47:36

If this happened to me and we had a good relationship...I would be fine about you taking a bit off my bill each month so it wasn't such a massive hit. As long as you had procedures in place to ensure it didn't happen again.

I would be worried about you and feel bad for you too.

Are you absolutely sure though?

Ohell Tue 27-Sep-11 18:21:21

Yes I'm sure. What procedures though ? It's human error, me and my calculator.

luckily I manage my money well so it's not the end of the world but it's still a massive unwanted shock. It's also her responsibility too isn't it, to check her monthly invoices I mean.

looneytune Tue 27-Sep-11 19:20:00

Oh dear, what an awful thing to realise sad I can't answer about where you stand legally, I can only tell you that I noticed I messed up on an invoice and undercharged a customer by a day once but I didn't say anything. I know there is no way they would have not told me had they noticed and if I mentioned it, they would be upset and insist on paying me but I felt as a month or 2 had passed before I realised, it was my tough problem (and that's coming from one very very skint cm!). I know what you mean about them being responsible for checking too but tbh, even though I ask mine to check, I'm sure they don't as they always say they trust me to have got it right. Maybe I'm a softy but I'd have to pay it back. Having said that, there is no way I could afford it in one hit right now and luckily my families know my personal situation so would probably be happy with an arrangement a little like the other poster said.

Have you mentioned anything to them yet?

Hope you're not feeling too sick about it still, I'm sure you can both come to some sort of arrangement. Good luck smile

Ohell Tue 27-Sep-11 19:26:42

Thanks Looney. Haven't mentioned it yet. Still in shock. Wanted to see what people said on here first. I have every intention of paying her back though like you if I undercharged her by mistake then I would think that was my problem to suck up.

luckywinner Tue 27-Sep-11 19:30:23

I think you are being a bit hard on yourself, especially if it was an honest mistake. If you were my childminder I would appreciate you being so honest with me telling me you owed me £400. I can't think of anything more exciting than being told that grin. Please don't beat yourself up about it. You sound great. I don't know anything about the legal side though sorry, I just felt sad for you feeling so bad.

MrsBlarney Tue 27-Sep-11 19:36:05

Why are you interested in the legal position? Is it to try to make yourself feel better? FWIW it sounds like you made a totally innocent mistake.

Perhaps the family didn't notice because they don't fully understand your charging system - I know I'd be unlikely to if it was complicated (tax and VAT and so on) and thus would trust you entirely to charge the right amount.

Yes if you are invoicing folk for work you undertook I believe you would probably have a legal responsibility to get it right.

I hope it works out Ok.

HSMM Tue 27-Sep-11 19:44:25

They'll be upset that they've been overcharged, but probably relieved to have a bit more money coming in before Christmas. They will also appreciate your honesty.

No idea how you stand legally.

I undercharged a family by a week once! No idea how I didn't notice it. They were a lovely family and very honest, so I know they didn't notice either. I never charged them.

ChippingIn Tue 27-Sep-11 19:46:37

Oh - poor you. It's commendable that you are prepared to own up and pay it back.

How did you manage to over charge by exactly £35 each month if the days/hours vary so much?

If I was the parent I would not want you to worry about it at all and I would be happy with you paying it back at whatever rate you could afford (or babysitting it 'off the slate' if you were up for it). I would end up feeling bad for not noticing, even though I probably wouldn't check the invoices as I would just assume they were right & trust you to get it right... but accidents happen, no big deal!

Ohell Wed 28-Sep-11 01:53:32

Ahhh, thanks all. Some of my hours were cut ages ago (can't even remember when) and I obviously forgot to adjust the invoices. I know she'll be lovely (and thrilled). I suppose I'm interested where I stand legally just out of curiosity. I might ask in 'legal'. Thanks all for being so nice smile

Rollergirl1 Wed 28-Sep-11 12:11:23

As a parent I would be really impressed with your honesty and would be happy to knock an amount off the bill each month rather than the full lump sum.

Funnily enough I have just posted about my own CM who incorrectly invoices me every month!

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