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Advice Needed - Nanny and the Telephone

(9 Posts)
fairiesonly Thu 21-May-15 10:40:44

Hi Ladies, I'm after some advice.

Our Nanny has been with us for just over a year. We have a good working relationship and the children get on well with her - particularly DD who is 3 and adores her.

Yesterday I noticed that our telephone bill for the month was significantly higher than usual. After looking through the bills for the last 2 months it seems that Nanny has been making multiple calls per day - sometimes to local numbers, sometimes to mobiles and sometimes to more expensive numbers. Month 1 = 2.5 hours £26, Month 2 = 6h £48.

In the past she has always asked in advance if she needed to make a personal call and has offered to pay the cost (although we have never accepted). During this 2 month period she did ask if she could make a call which I did agree to and she did say she would pay the cost but as far as I was aware it was only 1 call.

I will be sitting down with her with DH to discuss this and obviously will be asking her to pay for the call charges, however I am more concerned about the 8.5 hours that she has been working for me but sitting on the telephone - when she should have been looking after DD (or if DD was at nursery, doing her other jobs). I am also concerned that if she has been using the telephone so much - how much time has she been using to text / facebook etc?

I guess what I am asking is would this be a deal breaker for you? or given that otherwise we are pretty happy with her performance (with the exception of one or two tidiness issues) would you give her the benefit of the doubt?

Thank you for reading smile

Tanith Thu 21-May-15 10:49:02

I think the first thing to establish is that the Nanny has actually made the calls. You seem to be taking this for granted.

Check with her first. Even if there is no-one else who could have made the calls, you'd be surprised how often phone invoices are wrong. I used to work in the IT dept of a telecoms company, specialising in rates and finance. We got a lot of queried calls and a lot were down to the company, not the customer.

Once you're sure the calls are down to her, then you can proceed along the lines of why they were made and how they are to be paid for.

fairiesonly Thu 21-May-15 10:58:10

Hi Tanith,

You have a valid point and I have checked the numbers on the Bill. Due to the geographic location of the calls and the companies called I am sure that she made the calls. But of course - I will give her the chance to explain.

Like I said in my original post - the cost of the calls is only part of my concern - she was meant to be looking after my children - If there was an issue, and she needed time to deal with a family issue etc. I would like to think we could have talked about that.

electionfatigue Thu 21-May-15 11:16:19

Depends how much you want to keep her!

I'd probably give her the bill in the first instance - then she knows you know - and see if it drops over the next month or so, then would take it up with her re the time if it continues.

Who is she calling? Bank etc or chatlines!

minderjinx Thu 21-May-15 12:24:27

If it is bank, credit card or similar, there is a good chance that most of the call time was actually spent in a call queue, so nanny getting on with the cooking, ironing or whatever while the phone played that lovely soothing music on speaker.

tumbletumble Thu 21-May-15 12:30:00

Can you see the times of the calls and work out whether DD was at nursery or not? Personally it would bother me more if she was on the phone when she was supposed to be looking after my DC than if she was making a few calls when DD was at nursery.

Also, remember 8.5 hours of calls over 2 months is only one hour per week. Not a deal breaker for me if you are otherwise happy with her.

fairiesonly Thu 21-May-15 14:08:11

Thanks Ladies - I think that's all I needed really - some different perspectives.

I think as it came totally out of the blue I am just a bit shocked and surprised.

There are a mix of calls - some of them to the bank, others to a courier company and quite a number of local calls and mobile numbers and it looks like some of them are made when DD is at nursery, others when she is at home.

It seems like it has maybe just become a habit and if we can nip it in the bud then I'm otherwise happy. I'll have a chat with her and take it from there.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 21-May-15 16:10:49

Does she not have a mobile? Most packages have free minutes - unless you live in the middle of nowhere and no signal (like one of my jobs)

I use the phone to call landlines but use mobile to call mobiles as cost a lot from landline

Agree depending on the nature is re calls - ie to bank /Courier you get that annoying Music while you wait forever

8.5hrs over a month isn't a huge amount - 2hrs a week - 30min a day if a 4day nanny

Karoleann Thu 21-May-15 21:45:29

Your nanny shouldn't be using your landline at all, unless it's to call 999 or a cab to hospital. I would make this really clear. Surely she has a mobile phone?

Any calls or texts (on her mobile phone), should be kept to an absolute minimum.

I think 30 minutes a day on the phone is absolutely ridiculous. This equates around 100 hours a year on the phone. You should definitely be asking her to repay some of the cost.

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