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nursery charging one month's fee even though i won't be sending him?

(23 Posts)
kedy Mon 02-Nov-15 16:19:31

Hi I am new to the whole nursery scene...i had signed a contract last month for my little one. i had to pay deposit (£250) and registration fee (£50) to secure a place. but then my circumstances changed and I won't be sending him anymore to that nursery. i'd verbally informed one of the people in the nursery on the phone. now they are asking one month's fee (>£1000) for failing to notify them one month in advance...i thought that's what a deposit was for? do you think this is normal? need some advice sad

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 02-Nov-15 16:21:10

What does your contract say?

ChessieFL Mon 02-Nov-15 16:21:10

Check your contract - it should say in there if they require a month's notice.

SellFridges Mon 02-Nov-15 16:21:40

I think you were probably contractually obliged to give notice in accordance with the terms you signed up to. Sounds like you didn't do that.

Smartiepants79 Mon 02-Nov-15 16:22:40

It depends, what does the contract say?
If the contract States that you must give (and pay for) 1 months notice the that's what will happen.
You signed it.
What was the deposit for? Presumably that will come back to you or be taken out of the months fees?

Loraline Mon 02-Nov-15 16:23:16

The nursery DS goes to has that in terms and conditions. I signed him up months in advance but there was a date after which I was liable for fees. It's probably all in the contract.

kedy Mon 02-Nov-15 16:23:52

it does say: "...Nursery requires a FULL months notice in writing to amend sessions. " would this definitely mean they would take the deposit + one month's fee?

kedy Mon 02-Nov-15 16:24:40

I feel a bit cheated, as I told them on the phone, they said ok, and now they are saying I didn't notify them in writing...foolish me...

GreenSand Mon 02-Nov-15 16:26:05

You'll get the deposit back.
Any way you only need to pay 3 weeks (or less) of the months fees? When was he due to start? If, say 15 Nov, and you gave notice on the first, you'd only need to pay 15 Nov to 1 Dec? Maybe, but depends on the exact wording.

Floggingmolly Mon 02-Nov-15 16:30:44

You may be new to the "nursery scene", but it's a contract like any other and you appear to have failed to read the small print. You are absolutely liable, I'm afraid.

GreenSand Mon 02-Nov-15 16:31:12

Ah, its the writing bit that's an issue?
Can you write, saying "as confirmed on the phone on X date, my child won't be able to use his place at Y nursery"

Duckdeamon Mon 02-Nov-15 16:33:41

Check what the contract you signed says. Does it explicity say thay you are liable for a month's fees unless you give a full month's notice in writing? Or is this just implied?

kedy Mon 02-Nov-15 17:27:11

GreenSand, that's a good idea, i will try to write this on an email to them and also try and argue on the amount.
Duckdeamon - the exact wording is "Nursery requires a FULL months notice in writing to amend sessions." so i am not sure what this covers in legal terms.
thank you everyone - will keep this thread updated...

kedy Mon 02-Nov-15 17:38:42

Floggingmolly: just a note regarding contracts - surely the point of a deposit is to reserve a place at the nursery and compensate the nursery for not offering it to another family. If i took up the place, then it would be deducted from the payment, if not, it compensated them for their potential loss in not being able to fill the place instantly. given that i paid reg fee + deposit, i don't understand why am i also liable to a month's fee for a service i didn't use as my son didn't set foot there...

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 02-Nov-15 17:41:50

I think it means you are liable in legal terms. Amending will probably cover changing days, times, start dates and cancelling.

If you are lucky they may be generous and let you off some of it, but if it's written like that then the nursery haven't really done much wrong. It was your responsibility to have read the contract properly.

TheWildRumpyPumpus Mon 02-Nov-15 18:51:18

The deposit is to stop you putting your child's name down for multiple settings and only deciding at the last minute (say a month before) which one you will be using, or if you will use a nanny/CM for example.

Our deposit was held by the nursery all the way through and used for the last month payment DC attended.

Duckdeamon Mon 02-Nov-15 20:13:50

That contract seema insufficiently clear and explicit to me, if that was everything it said and nothing else was said in writing about being liable for fees if less than a month's notice in writing was given. It doesn't seem watertight IMO (am not a lawyer!)

Might be worth refusing to pay in the first instance and seeking legal advice if you have access to this under your insurance or through work, or any legal friends! Or post in legal?

insancerre Tue 03-Nov-15 06:11:36

I'm a nursery manager and we have this in our terms and conditions but we wouldn't chase for fees in these circumstances. We would write it off, so its worth writing to them saying you won't be paying any more fees.

Fuckitfay Tue 03-Nov-15 06:17:18

When was he due to start?

merrymouse Tue 03-Nov-15 06:21:13

You will get the deposit back or it will be set against the one month's notice - otherwise it wasn't a deposit, it was something else.

meditrina Tue 03-Nov-15 06:28:59

I think a lot will depend on whether the nursery is part of a chain (much more likely to take you to court) or an independent.

Have you actually given notice in writing now? Because that is what starts their clock ticking (IYSWIM). So you'll need to pay the amount owed during that month (which may be less than the full monthly rate, if he was due to attend only part of it) minus the deposit.

happystory Tue 03-Nov-15 06:44:17

I'm sorry but I think you will have to pay. You don't specify if it is a chain or not and that doesn't really matter contractually but you did sign it and those are the conditions. Maybe when you rang they should have specified you followed it up in writing. But they could have turned away another child as they were holding a place for yours, and now they are out of pocket.

kedy Fri 06-Nov-15 15:30:57

Hi everyone, so the nursery has agreed to my notice on the phone, and is charging me only for the days from the notice (which is only about a week), whilst still keeping my deposit. i think that is fairer...

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