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A student who doesn't pay...

(5 Posts)
wonderwoman21 Fri 05-Dec-14 07:50:42

I am a private tutor and I was here before about a student with a pressurising mother who expected me to drop everything to help...which I did (to my regret).
I received fantastic advice here.
I undercharged but of course, despite me sending an email saying about assisting in the future with essay drafts and making appointments, etc, etc, I have received no response and no payment of my measly £20 that I was hoping to receive for Christmas :-(
I repeated my details to be paid and urged that I was, for I had treated the situation as an emergency and helped in a crisis.
Nothing. Diddly squat!
They demanded I was there for them of course, at their beck and call. They promised to pay...
I think the girl got an extension and decided my help perhaps wasn't good enough. No matter, they should pay and I think it is despicable to use a tutor that way and take such advantage.
I am here to ask if there is anything I can do? The tutoring agency don't want to know (they got their money when she received my details, so they don't interfere with what happens after).
I was such an idiot not to ask for the money upfront. Too soft and too trusting.
I get a feeling that's it now, nothing more I can do but wanted to ask in case any pearls of wisdom may come through...
Thank you :-)

Needmoresleep Fri 05-Dec-14 08:29:40

I think you will have to accept that you have just had a £20 learning experience.

Next time:
1. Charge more. People think more highly of advice they pay for.
2. Set out clear terms and conditions before and. Payment in advance of a lesson, payment for work done at home, cancellation fees. If you post under education I am sure there is a tutor who can help.

Clear paperwork would help if you then wanted to pursue a claim through the small claims court. However it costs £25 to file. Depending on how good you are at bluffing, you might however say you are planning to do this. The pain for the mother will not be the £20, but a CCJ on her credit record.

(Actually a tip for students. Do what you can to avoid CCJs. They are easy to check and future employers, especially legal or financial ones, won't be impressed. I have never had to pursue it, but one piece of advice given to me by another landlord is that the small claims court is by far the easiest way of pursuing missing rent, and that if you have professional/aspiring to be professional tenants they would be mad to let things go that far.)

gonegrey56 Fri 05-Dec-14 11:50:30

I think you have been treated really shabbily . I think you should inform the mother that her non response means that you are now pursuing this through the small claims court, "as you always do". And actually , why not ? I am indignant on your behalf that you have had to put up with this .

catslife Wed 10-Dec-14 14:11:59

I know many tutors don't like agencies that charge commission i.e. taking a percentage of your lesson fee. But one advantage of these agencies is that they will back you up and help chase the money as they haven't been paid either.
The only thing that does concern me is that as you offered your support and advice over the phone, they could very well argue that they haven't actually had a lesson.
In my experience though this sort of scenario, where emergency last minute support is needed isn't good news and seldom works out well.

sashh Wed 10-Dec-14 15:50:30

send a letter threatening small claims, pointing out this could affect credit ratings, ability to get a mortgage etc.

And be prepared to do it. It moght feel like good money after bad but it is really simple to do as 'litigant in person', so you claim your £20, interest, court fees and your time to attend court - tell them how much it will be if they have not settled in full by X date.

Most people don't want a CCJ on their record, and one for £20 looks worse than one for £1000 because who can't pay £20?

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