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-   -   Holding Fee for Spot No Longer Available? (https://www.daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=87738)

jessa8907 11-03-2017 09:43 AM

Holding Fee for Spot No Longer Available?
 
I have a sort of odd question that I haven't been able to find an answer to so far.

We started with a new childcare provider in August. She has been watching my 3.5 year old and has been holding a spot for my infant daughter who was supposed to be starting with her in January. We have been paying for her to hold my infant's spot since August.

Yesterday she sent me a message saying she was cutting down on the number of children she will be taking as of January. This is fine per our contract that either of us could cancel with 30 days notice. It sucks, but it happens.

The issue I have is she is telling me she will not refund any of the money she took for holding my daughter's spot until January. This is not in the contract and was only discussed via IM. I was not worried about it being non-refundable at the time as I was planning to use the spot and assumed (stupid) that it was to protect her in case I changed my mind and went elsewhere.

I'm just not sure this is really legal. I KNOW it's not ethical for her to keep my money for a spot that is now no longer available but... Legally would I have a leg to stand on?

Blackcat31 11-03-2017 09:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jessa8907 (Post 653787)
I have a sort of odd question that I haven't been able to find an answer to so far.

We started with a new childcare provider in August. She has been watching my 3.5 year old and has been holding a spot for my infant daughter who was supposed to be starting with her in January. We have been paying for her to hold my infant's spot since August.

Yesterday she sent me a message saying she was cutting down on the number of children she will be taking as of January. This is fine per our contract that either of us could cancel with 30 days notice. It sucks, but it happens.

The issue I have is she is telling me she will not refund any of the money she took for holding my daughter's spot until January. This is not in the contract and was only discussed via IM. I was not worried about it being non-refundable at the time as I was planning to use the spot and assumed (stupid) that it was to protect her in case I changed my mind and went elsewhere.

I'm just not sure this is really legal. I KNOW it's not ethical for her to keep my money for a spot that is now no longer available but... Legally would I have a leg to stand on?

Legally I would think she would have to refund you money from the day she notified you the spot is no longer available until January.

If you paid her $50 per week, she would only owe you $50 x the # of weeks from now until Jan.

She DID hold the spot until it was no longer available so any money paid for that period would not be refundable.

That is how I see it. ^^

Did you pay an amount per week or just one lump sum? If it was a lump sum, I'd divide it equally across the time frame to determine the amount per week.

jessa8907 11-03-2017 10:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackcat31 (Post 653792)
Legally I would think she would have to refund you money from the day she notified you the spot is no longer available until January.

If you paid her $50 per week, she would only owe you $50 x the # of weeks from now until Jan.

She DID hold the spot until it was no longer available so any money paid for that period would not be refundable.

That is how I see it. ^^

Did you pay an amount per week or just one lump sum? If it was a lump sum, I'd divide it equally across the time frame to determine the amount per week.

We paid the regular daily rate. So you think she should refund us for November and then we pay just for my toddler in December?

That's better than nothing I guess!

Blackcat31 11-03-2017 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jessa8907 (Post 653797)
We paid the regular daily rate. So you think she should refund us for November and then we pay just for my toddler in December?

That's better than nothing I guess!

Yes, I think she should have to refund anything paid for November through end of December because technically she is no longer holding the space.

If you are continuing to use her services for your toddler, I would pay for those services as normal.

I know you said there was no contract for this agreement, do you know if there is anything in her handbook or written policies that dictate how she manages this type of situation?

Curious what state you are in too? It doesn't really make a difference but I was just wondering since some things seem to be more common in some areas than others.

jessa8907 11-03-2017 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackcat31 (Post 653799)
Yes, I think she should have to refund anything paid for November through end of December because technically she is no longer holding the space.

If you are continuing to use her services for your toddler, I would pay for those services as normal.

I know you said there was no contract for this agreement, do you know if there is anything in her handbook or written policies that dictate how she manages this type of situation?

Curious what state you are in too? It doesn't really make a difference but I was just wondering since some things seem to be more common in some areas than others.

There was a contract, it just didn't address the holding fee, that was all via IM.

And I am in Missouri!

lblanke 11-13-2017 06:35 PM

We had a similar situation, paying for 3 days per week and using only 2 Aug to Dec with plans to use all 3 days in January. Two weeks before Jan we were told 3 days no longer available. We expressed frustration & she agreed to 3 days. I consider what your provider is doing to be unethical. If she does not refund the holding fees, I would pull my toddler ASAP on principle. My guess is you will pull soon to have both kids together anyway.

lblanke 11-13-2017 06:40 PM

Lesson learned for me was that if you pay someone to do nothing, then that is what they expect you to continue to do. I feel you are owed a full refund from August, because you paid to hold a spot fir January, and she did not. Small claims court not worth it, but I bet you would win. Refunding your money is the right thing to do. If you paid by credit card, dispute it with the credit card company and pull your toddler.

MarinaVanessa 11-15-2017 02:39 PM

I guess the way I see it you paid money to the provider to guarantee she hold a spot open for you until January. You paid, and she did not hold the spot until then. You didn't ask her to hold a spot until November and had you known that your spot would not be guaranteed come January you would have gone elsewhere instead of paying her the money.

If I were the provider and I were being paid to hold a spot and the spot became unavailable for any reason then I would feel obligated to refund the entire holding fee because I was the one changing the terms.

I would fight it if I were in your shoes.


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