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She didn't turn up - not sure what to do

(19 Posts)
Orenishii Fri 21-Sep-12 07:43:36

I posted this in Chat but don't want to go on about how I feel I'll feel less self-absorbed posting it here or something smile Sorry for the repeat thread!

I paid a woman to come round to my house last night for three hours of a private hypnobirthing consultation. I'm stressed out/anxious about the birth a bit, and put my faith in her. I paid her up front and she didn't turn up. I called her several times - first time left a message, second time the phone rang but then got an automated "this is the voicemail for the Virgin Mobile...", last time I called it didn't ring - just went to an automated message that the VM is full and to call back later.

I woke up this morning feeling depressed about the whole thing. I can't imagine someone would rip someone off when they're about to give birth and vulnerable. I think she must have been in some kind of accident, in which case I feel like such a bitch for thinking badly of her. But then maybe I am just incredibly naive. I do freelance - I always ask to be paid before services are started/completed. so does DH.

DH is philosophical about the whole thing - he just says we'll try to get the money back but not to worry, it's just money, I'm anxious enough, and we'll try somewhere else - that being calm is more important.

It keeps churning in my head though - something must have happened to her if her VM box is full. If you're not picking your messages up, something's happened right? If something has happened, I feel terrible just being concerned about my money. It's not a huge amount but enough to make a difference when just about to go on ML.

LostInWales Fri 21-Sep-12 07:50:00

If she does hypnobirthing possibly she got a call from a woman in labour and had to dash off? She'd surely have to have her phone off for that.

Give her some time to get in touch. How did you get hold of her? Possibly your midwife will know about her. Mainly though you do mound very stressed and worried, I know how hard it can feel at this time, I think it might be a good idea to mention it to your midwife or Gp and they can give you some other ideas of how to relax. See if you can find some hypnobirthing cd's in the shops or online and make time to listen to them yourself. Good luck.

BikeRunSki Fri 21-Sep-12 07:56:58

Hmm, there was a post recently-ish about a doula who was messing her client (the OP) about - was that you?

My reasonable mind says that if she didn't turn up, didn't contact you and you were unable to contact her, then she must have been involved in an accident or taken ill, or called away on v important family matters.

Of course you are concerned about your money! But don't stress about it when you are so pg. Chase her up, you never know there might be a genuine reason for her no show and you might be able to rearrange. But if she is not playing ball, then it might just add too much stress to you to chase very far (maybe you could report to Trading Standards). Are there other people you could contact or things you can do to help your anxiety? Does your mw realise how stressed you are? (Childbirth is not that bad wink).

ilovecolinfirth Fri 21-Sep-12 07:59:38

Oh dear, it does sound a bit of a concern. However, your husband is right to say not to worry about it. At the moment the most important thing is yours and baby's health.

Regarding you being stressed about the birth - have you researched what support the NHS can give you? There's a good hospital near me where there is a free hypnobirthing course. Im sure other hospitals must do similar.
There are other ways to relax - some amazing and reputable yoga classes, which are a good way of relaxing in the run-up to the birth. Any good Yoga teacher will give you tips on relaxation during labour.

Now, this hypnobirthing consultant. How did you get her name and number? I'd love to think that no one would scam a pregnant woman, but to be honest there are people who will scam anyone! Maybe you should leave it for a few days, and then try contacting her but using another phone number? The first time you spoke to her, did you have to leave a message first and then she called you back? or did she answer first time?

I'm sure that she hasn't been in an accident but I guess something else could have happened. Sometimes people in that kind of job are also private doulas so maybe she has been called away and has had to have her mobile switched off. You might find she contacts you today.

Good luck, and remember to keep your stress levels down.

x x x x x x

Orenishii Fri 21-Sep-12 08:07:00

She's not a midwife or doula - she's just a ante natal/post natal teacher / hypnobirthing practitioner.

I called her three times as it she got to be 20 minutes late (called to see if she was lost), then when she was 35 minutes late, then when it got to be an hour and it was clear she wasn't coming.

At two hours past the appointment last night, I emailed her to say I didn't know what had happened, I hoped she was alright but that I would like a refund. I didn't know what else to do.

Last night she either saw my calls and ignored me/ripped me off, or has been in an accident. But to be honest, I had a feeling - she took several days and ignored a couple of ignored phone calls to confirm my payment, then acted like it was a misunderstanding on my part. I dunno - my instincts were jumpy then but after speaking to her and confirming the appointment for last night I put it out of my mind.

What happens when a phone goes to a personalised VM message normally, but then instead of the personalised message says: this is the voicemail for the virgin number blah blah, please leave a message? Has the person redirected their phone? Because if they have - there's not been an accident if she's altered her phone, she's just ignored me.

LostInWales Fri 21-Sep-12 08:13:51

She just sounds a bit scatty to me. A lot of people don't have their phones on all the time. You really need to give her some time although you sound a lot like me in which case that will be hard wink. Relax, let yourself calm down and step away from this for a moment. As someone said up thread it really isn't that bad giving birth, I've done it three times and would do it again tomorrow if I had the patience to do the toddler years again.

Orenishii Fri 21-Sep-12 08:23:11

Thanks ladies - about the birthing bit. I get a bit anxious from over-thinking things before they happen, but I feel instinctively it'll be alright once it's happening. It's just the lead up!

I think I just really wanted to try for the experience of the testimonials on here/on her website and I feel a bit robbed to be honest. I paid her well over £100 to help me with that - her being a bit scatty isn't acceptable. You don't just not turn up or contact the person if they have paid you in advance.

I also feel a little bit like a mug, like someone who's never used the internet before smile I found her online, filled in a contact form, arranged the appointment, paid her - and then she didn't turn up.

Rockchick1984 Fri 21-Sep-12 08:40:04

How did you pay her? There may be a way to get your money back that way smile

SavoyCabbage Fri 21-Sep-12 08:47:03

Does she have a website?

milkyjo Fri 21-Sep-12 08:50:48

Could you google her name/company name to see if anyone else has posted about this lady, negative or positive testimonials (not on her website)? Also is there a regulatory body/ association of hypnobirthing who you could contact to see if she's registered or if they know anything about her? Sorry I am a pessimist but if your search reveals nothing untoward then you may be reassured she hasn't scammed you - although still no explanation of her whereabouts.

Orenishii Fri 21-Sep-12 08:52:52

Yeah, with tons of information on it, loads of courses and testimonials - very well put together, loads of information about her and her team. I work in online/digital marketing - you'd have thought I'd have recognised a scam?

I paid her via online bank transfer. If she hasn't been in an accident, and just never gets back to me - I think my only option is small claims court.

I also need to find someone else because I really wanted the hypnobirthing experience. I have the book and CD but was finding that I just wanted a one-to-one with someone.

Orenishii Fri 21-Sep-12 08:59:50

She's just emailed - sincere apologies, she says she mixed up the dates, put next Thursday in instead.

I feel like - how come she ignored my calls? How come she hasn't called now to man up and speak to me? I actually said in one message - I hope you are OK, I am worried!

Instinctively I feel like it's an excuse - something doesn't add up. I'm not sure what but it's the whole ignoring my calls, the redirect of the phone, then the phone being switched off, and now just an email - not a phone call.

DH is a personal trainer - he once mixed up his calendar. The second he realised he went very pale, immediately called the person even though he was with another client, and offered them their money back and the session.

She's offering me an extra hour. Frankly - how am I supposed to trust this woman with something like hypnobirthing?

SweetPea3 Fri 21-Sep-12 09:00:56

Yes, if she has ripped you off, you would need to file through the small claims court. Also, check her website and see if there is a registered company number or company name. Then use this link and you can find more information about who is involved in the company (directors) and where she/they lives etc:

SweetPea3 Fri 21-Sep-12 09:01:41

Just saw your latest post

whatsoever Fri 21-Sep-12 09:08:52

I think you should ask for your money back. You will find it hard to relax with a woman who is scatty to the point of untrustworthy, making the hynobirthing session worthless.

PollyIndia Fri 21-Sep-12 09:22:07

I agree with whatsoever. If you have lost confidence in her then the chances are you won't get as much from the session as you would have before this. So better to get your money back and go to someone else while you have time.

Orenishii Fri 21-Sep-12 09:27:43

Yah I just replied saying pretty much that - glad it was just a mix up and nothing more serious but that I'd employed her services because I was a little anxious about my labour. This mix up and her handling of it didn't exactly engender my trust in her and I would prefer not to take up her offer - and I expect a prompt refund in the same way I promptly paid her initially.

Boo, this whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth sad

But thanks, dear ladies - onwards and upwards, I guess smile

caramelgirl Fri 21-Sep-12 18:53:43

Did her first name begin with B? Am in London and had similar experience with DC1 a couple if years ago. Took ALOT of nagging reminders to get money back but succeeded in the end. GOOD LUCK!

Peevish Fri 21-Sep-12 22:12:03

Are you in north London, OP? My hypnobirthing teacher (first name starts with a H) was simply very scatty, and this sounds like the kind of thing she would have done in perfectly good faith.

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