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CM Club: Deposits/contracts - Did I do wrong?

(8 Posts)
snapD Sun 22-Jul-07 19:46:46

Parent been talking to me since Dec about a place in September

TT only - lots of verbal discussions about retainers etc

Didn't put retainer in contract but did put it on the invoice - which was paid in March

They asked me to change it to 5 days a week was 3

New invoice is too much and they asked for an expalination - which I sent

Now they are not bringing the children and want the deposit back

I said no as it was a non-refundable deposit
They say as my contrat was wrong they are entitled to it
I say as they paid the invoice they had accepted the retainer

What do you think?

nannynick Sun 22-Jul-07 20:20:09

They haven't paid a deposit have they? They have paid a retainer fee, which is to secure their child's place.

So March payment was as far as I can see the Retainer fee for March. Did they then have subsequent invoices?

Change to 5 days should ideally have been a new contract, or at least revisions to existing contract.

They have now decided that they no longer require the place... is that right?
Place has been held for them from March to now, so my view is that retainer fee for that period is due. It isn't a deposit, it isn't refundable.

Stick to your guns and avoid using the word deposit - use retainer fee instead.

If parents decide not to pay any money owed, then you need to decide if it is worth the hassle of pursuing.

If parents want to get money back, then let them get that via taking you to small claims court. That way at least you get a ruling as to how a court views retainer fees.

Just my view of course, I'm not a lawyer. If you need legal advise, contact your insurer - they often have a free legal helpline as part of your insurance policy.

snapD Sun 22-Jul-07 20:25:30

Thanks for replying

Yep - they do will be contacting NCMA

I am worried that I didn't put the retainer in the contract only on the invoice

The money they paid is called a deposit on the contract - it was in effect to be their first months money (as I am nice) - so I haven't charged a retainer from Mar to now.

The retainer is for the "future services" of Term time only iyswim

I thought if you paid an invoice you accepted everything (that's why you don't pay if the builders don't finish?)

nannynick Sun 22-Jul-07 20:46:03

If someone pays a deposit for a Sofa, then change their mind, then they do not have a right to that deposit back - see ConsumerLine: Deposit Goods
ComsumerLine: Deposit Goods/Services

Speak with NCMA legal, especially if you used an NCMA contract.

snapD Sun 22-Jul-07 20:48:11

Will do

The dad tried to bully me into giving the deposit back

I kept saying if he paid the invoice he must have been happy with it

snapD Sun 22-Jul-07 21:39:57

Just had a lawyer look at it & apparently by paying the invoice the new "terms" were 'incorporated' into the existing contract - so accepting them

Don't you just love lawyers - I will still check with NCMA - but by paying the invoice they accepted the terms

snapD Mon 23-Jul-07 10:03:05

& NCMA say they shouldn't have paid the invoice if they weren't happy with the amount

So if she had come & said "I've miscalculated" I might have given some of the deposit back but cos she came & said "you lied to me" NCMA say I have to fight it as it's my professional reputation

Otherwise I'd pay the money just to make the problem go away - I hate conflict

snapD Mon 30-Jul-07 14:20:26

Well I wrote saying - "If you say I'm right I'll refund it"

She wrote last week before I worte and is sueing me

So that's that then

NCMA will have to deal with it

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