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  #1  
Old 08-08-2010, 01:48 PM
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kelliemarie55 kelliemarie55 is offline
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Default Help! - Dad Only Willing to Pay Half

Okay, so I have parents who decided on Friday that they didn't need to use my service for the next 3 weeks. (I have a contract with the parents and it states that they parents need to give me 4 weeks notice or continue to pay the full amount that is owed for each week.) I told the parents that they still needed to pay me for the entire time that I was holding the spots open for the kids. Dad said that he was willing to pay me half of what they owe me. They are already getting a huge deal because they were in a bad situation and they needed help. I am watching the kids for half of what I would normally charge. Mom signed the contract with me and I tried to talk to her about it. She told me that she didn't want to talk to me and I had to talk to Dad because she didn't want to get "ugly" with me. I told them that I would knock one week off the contract that they have with me but I was unable to do anymore. So it is 5:00pm on Sunday night and I have no idea what they have decided to do. I left a message for Dad earlier and he hasn't called me back yet.

I have taken one of my other parents to court for non payment but I am just not really interested in doing it again. Does anyone have any solutions for me.
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:51 PM
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So Dad called me back and stated that he would pay me for one week and would no longer need my services. He told me that I wasn't trying to work with him therefore he doesn't think that he should pay me. I tried to work with him but he only wanted to pay me for one week and wouldn't agree to any other terms. I guess I am off to the court house tomorrow morning.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:40 PM
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Abigail Abigail is offline
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I would definitely drop them if they no longer need your services. I would take them to court to get the two-weeks pay for ending services with you or whatever your contract states about not longer needing your service.

Start advertising again, your slots are not worth half price--especially for disrespectful people.

***Make sure they follow your contract by giving you a written notice that you're no longer needed so you have something to hold up in court too! Good luck
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:46 PM
judytrickett
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Let him go. You can NOT allow the parents to make the rules. It is YOUR business - NOT his. He doesn't get to go to Walmart and TELL them he is paying half price for his bread. He doesn't get to call the cable company and tell them he is only paying HALF fees while he goes on vacation.

Do you want to know what I would do it if were me??

I would call him and tell him NOT to come back at all. I wouldn't allow him to step another foot in my door. I would show HIM that HE is NOT in charge.

Stand up for yourself. If you don't then you have only yourself to blame.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:57 PM
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nannyde nannyde is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelliemarie55 View Post
They are already getting a huge deal because they were in a bad situation and they needed help. I am watching the kids for half of what I would normally charge. Mom signed the contract with me and I tried to talk to her about it. She told me that she didn't want to talk to me and I had to talk to Dad because she didn't want to get "ugly" with me. I told them that I would knock one week off the contract that they have with me but I was unable to do anymore. So it is 5:00pm on Sunday night and I have no idea what they have decided to do. I left a message for Dad earlier and he hasn't called me back yet.

I have taken one of my other parents to court for non payment but I am just not really interested in doing it again. Does anyone have any solutions for me.
You started out the relationship where you believed that the rate you gave them was a great deal. When parents agree on a rate to pay you it is THE rate. They don't even consider what you would like for the slot. They only consider what you are charging THEM. The only thing they take away from a discussion that you are giving them a deal is that you will comprimise. This is why they felt comfortable going against your contract.

They don't believe you. They don't believe that you expect them to follow the contract they signed. The reason the Mom said she didn't want to discuss it with you is she knows she has a better chance not having to pay you if you deal with the one who will get ugly with you. She sensed that you would back down and she was right. You went from expecting four weeks to three right away.

That move made them believe you can be talked either completely out of your four weeks or at most a fraction of the four weeks. The offer for one week showed you that they know you will back down.

Stop talking to them. Send them a bill for the payments they owe you and include the late fees. It's enough money that it's worth your time to get ALL of it in court.

In the future don't give deals. You can charge what you can afford to offer the service for but stop thinking of it as a deal for them. You can't have a good relationship with someone if every week you think they are getting the best of you.

If you decide to take someone for a lot less than what you want then you have to look at what you are charging them as what you really charge. That's how they look at it. Chances are they feel the rate you are charging them that is a discount in your mind is a HIGH rate in their minds. Paying you that high rate when they aren't even using day care is out of the question. That's why you are where you are today. You both are looking at it from completely different points of view.

The thing you have going for you is the signed contract. It doesn't have an opinion or emotions. It's black and white and they signed it. It will be an excellent life experience for them to have to live up to the real deal on this and not be able to use negotiations or bullying to get out of it.

Take them to court and don't make this mistake again. Live and learn.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:57 PM
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ITA with previous posters. It's definitely worth taking them to court over especialy since they are trying to play hardball. Send them a letter stating that all communications from this point forward need to be in writing. Include with the letter a bill that indicates the total due and date that payment is due. If they don't pay the amount in full by the date you specify then hightail it down to the courthouse!

You gave them a break in their time of need and this is how they repay you. Go figure.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:13 PM
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Let them go, and head down to small claims court.

Wish them the best of luck finding someone to do it as cheap as you were.

You stated you were providing the service for half price to begin with, and now they want you to reduce it in half again. If you went on vacation, would your cable bill be reduced by 75%? Phone bill? Garbage, sewer, water?
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  #8  
Old 08-09-2010, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by judytrickett View Post
Let him go. You can NOT allow the parents to make the rules. It is YOUR business - NOT his. He doesn't get to go to Walmart and TELL them he is paying half price for his bread. He doesn't get to call the cable company and tell them he is only paying HALF fees while he goes on vacation.

Do you want to know what I would do it if were me??

I would call him and tell him NOT to come back at all. I wouldn't allow him to step another foot in my door. I would show HIM that HE is NOT in charge.

Stand up for yourself. If you don't then you have only yourself to blame.
Judy, this is one of those very RARE times where I actually have to disagree with you. I learned, from the first case I took to court, never to term with a client UNLESS it falls under the "immediate termination for cause, resulting in final payment still due" clause. I termed a client (gave 2 weeks notice), but the client refused the 2 weeks and made it immediate. I lost that 2 weeks notice pay in court - that time (I win each time now because I have learned), even though I did get some of the other money they owed.

Basically, I think she should tell them that if they don't want to come back, that's fine, but they owe for the 2 weeks (or whatever her contract says) and that it is due immediately and that late payment fees will attach starting tomorrow. If they raise a stink (and you know they will), then she only needs to say, "Thank you for being honest with me about your intention to continue to breach the contract. I am sorry that you do not wish to bring your children back. I will greatly miss them. I guess we'll have to let a judge decide what is fair in this situation. Until then, you take care. Goodbye." This lets them know that 1) they are breaching a contract, 2) they are the ones terminating, not you, 3) you intend to sue, 4) and that this is a situation of his own making. Plus, you are being as polite as possible.

I have found that the nicer I am during the whole termination process and court proceedings, the worst they look in court. I even had one mom say, "how can you sit there and look all innocent?" Well, it's not hard when I know I'm in the right and you're cussing at me while I sit here, all nice, sweet, and professional. No, I did not say this. But I was laughing on the inside, because she was proving my case for me.

Providers should have a part of their termination clause that states that final payment (usually 2 weeks pay) is required if the provider has to terminate "for cause" and give examples (but say, "including, but not limited to:") such as non payment, blatant disrespect of the provider, no-call no-shows for 5 days, etc. This allows you to cut your losses but still be able to collect for the final payment (plus services rendered but not paid), rather than allow yourself to be further harmed by a loss of income while you try to fill the spots. If you do not have this in your contract, but need to term AND need the 2 weeks pay, then make THEM want to quit. No more breaks on fees (nickle and dime them, but according to the contract), bring up every issue you have and make it clear, "This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated again. This is your final warning." They hate being given the "no". As long as they are the ones terminating, you are in the clear on going after those fees. This is just based on my personal experience in recovery of the final payments.
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  #9  
Old 08-09-2010, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
Stop talking to them. Send them a bill for the payments they owe you and include the late fees. It's enough money that it's worth your time to get ALL of it in court.
Definitely stop talking to them. If they continue to try to contact you, write them a letter stating that they owe X (attach the bills / invoices) and that they are not to call, text, or email you anymore. State that they are not welcome on your property and to do so would result in further legal action. However, mention that payments CAN be mailed to you. Basically, you are advising them (nicely) that they are harassing you and you will not tolerate it. The bullying WILL end or else.
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:00 AM
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Providers should have a part of their termination clause that states that final payment (usually 2 weeks pay) is required if the provider has to terminate "for cause" and give examples (but say, "including, but not limited to:") such as non payment, blatant disrespect of the provider, no-call no-shows for 5 days, etc. This allows you to cut your losses but still be able to collect for the final payment (plus services rendered but not paid), rather than allow yourself to be further harmed by a loss of income while you try to fill the spots. If you do not have this in your contract, but need to term AND need the 2 weeks pay, then make THEM want to quit. No more breaks on fees (nickle and dime them, but according to the contract), bring up every issue you have and make it clear, "This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated again. This is your final warning." They hate being given the "no". As long as they are the ones terminating, you are in the clear on going after those fees. This is just based on my personal experience in recovery of the final payments.

Hey, are you a lawyer or something???

I actually DO have that clause above in my contract (but I suspect you already knew that ).

Yeah, my contract states that if a client is immediately terminated (for a whole list of various reasons) then all fees are still due and payable as THEY forced the termination due to non-compliance. And yes, I would take them to court - in a heartbeat!
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:23 AM
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Hey, are you a lawyer or something???

I actually DO have that clause above in my contract (but I suspect you already knew that ).

Yeah, my contract states that if a client is immediately terminated (for a whole list of various reasons) then all fees are still due and payable as THEY forced the termination due to non-compliance. And yes, I would take them to court - in a heartbeat!
No, not a lawyer. Just a little law school and a WHOLE lot of life experience (personal and family members - I have a HUGE family). I admit that I have made mistakes, but boy do I learn from those mistakes! I turn them into lessons. Screw me once, shame on me; screw me twice - irrelevant because it's NOT going to happen!

I knew YOU would have that in your contract because you are great about making sure there are no wrinkles. But, I thought I'd mention it because there are many new providers on this site and I don't want them to have to learn this stuff the hard way. I may be out of the biz (once my last 2 court cases are done), but I want to be of any help I can in mentoring the newbies. It's a tough business, but so rewarding if you have a solid contract and don't let people walk all over you. Again, something I know YOU are very well aware of.
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:53 PM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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If this were me I would stop verbally communicating with this family. If they have e-mail I would communicate with them this way, otherwise I would use certified mail and keep copies of everything.

I agree that requesting a written notice from the family is important. I would write a brief letter describing what has happened so far so that they are clear (and have it in writing) that you have in fact tried working with them even if you are not required to do so. Make sure to make it clear that they were getting a deal on the rate already, that they are required to give you four week's notice if they are going on vacation etc and that they did not give you the required notice that they agreed to, notified you that they will only pay half of the rate while they would be gone, that you were not satisfied with this but did offer to charge them for two weeks and not for the third and that the dad was not satisfied and that mom refused to discuss the issue with you, and that because the dad was not satisfied with your offer that you were not required to make (make sure you make it clear that you were not required to work with them) that the dad stated that he would terminate services with you immediately and then finish it off by saying that if they do in fact decide to terminate services that they are required as per the contract to give a two weeks written notice (if that's what your contract says) and that if they do not do this that they are in breach of contract. End the letter by stating that any correspondence should be done by mail or e-mail and that if you do not hear from them by (date) or receive payment when due that you will take them to small claims court. Then add an attachment and quote the contract that says all of this. I actually quote everything and give references as to the page & section after each quote.

For example "... should you decide to fo forward and terminate your contract with me, as per our contract, you are required to give me written notice of termination two weeks in advance and are still required to pay for these two weeks regardless of whether or not your child attends care."

In your case whether they decide to stay or not you'll still receive at least two-weeks' of care. You were already going to give them 1 week free off of the 3 weeks they were leaving so you would have only gotten paid for 2 weeks. Another thing I thought about is that you can also retract your offer to give them the third week free in your letter. This way if they decide to stay afterall you don't have to do them any favors and give them a break on that week. I know I wouldn't, not after this. I know it's a lot to say but keep in mind that the letter isn't really for them but for you to be able to show the judge should you take them to court. You are actually writing this to show the judge that they breached the contract.
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  #13  
Old 08-09-2010, 05:11 PM
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Another thing I thought about is that you can also retract your offer to give them the third week free in your letter.
VERY good point. Even from a legal standpoint, offers can USUALLY be retracted all the way up until the offer is accepted. So if you made an offer and they haven't accepted, you have every right to retract. They will be ticked that they missed the opportunity, but too bad. Many people expect an offer to stand indefinitely. Not so. But you have to retract it before they say, ok, fine, we'll take the deal.
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