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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Director Broke Contract And Refuses To Refund Deposits
Unregistered 07:42 PM 04-04-2011
Our 2 sons were attending part-time at a local private preschool. We paid a $2,500 deposit for the 2010/2011 school year (contract signed, deposits non refundable). We then paid a $3,000 deposit for the forthcoming Sep 2011/2012 school year (contract signed December 2010). So this is where it gets interesting. Director is sorting out her roster for 2011/2012 and has a wait list. She calls me a month later (January) and tells me we can't have the 3 days which we initially asked for, we can have 2 days and the boys must attend alternate days (I reluctantly agreed) but didn't sign a new contract (it was all verbal). She then calls me another month later (February) and tells me that our youngest can't stay in the class with his friends, she wants to put him in a different class come September 2011 (I didn't agree).

First she tells me she'd refund full deposits of $3,000 because she can't accommodate our family, she then changes her mind and tells me she'll only refund $1,500 and now to date, she has not reimbursed us a dime. We had a meeting with the director and there was no open communication, it was all one sided and she said that deposits were non refundable but she'd refund $1,500 (which we never received). Another parent told us something this director had said about someone else's child and it was one of the most shocking things i've ever heard. So after a disastrous meeting with this director and after hearing what this other parent said, we pulled our children out of the school. The trust was broken and we are generally very pleased to be out of there. We also feel conned and my view of preschools/daycares has been tarnished forever. I understand why daycares have to take the deposit up-front but I never thought it would be abused in this fashion.....after all, it was her who broke the contract, not us. She's also kept $5,500 in deposits. Is this situation common? Unless we get at least $3,000 back, we will fight this battle in the small claims court because I'd hate for another family to get cheated in this way.
cheerfuldom 04:33 AM 04-05-2011
The situation of deposits required is very common. However, I am sorry to hear that you had such a hard time with this daycare center. I would also speak to a lawyer but things may get tricky as they can say that they offered your family such-an-such as compensation and that you were the one that actually broke the contract by removing your children. The fact that so much was done over the phone may or may not come into play. I believe a judge may stick to the original signed contract and you may not receive anything back.
wdmmom 05:15 AM 04-05-2011
I firmly believe that if there is no signed contract and a deposit was received, the center will be solely responsible to return it.

I think small claims court is the best action here. Unfortunately it will be against the center and not the director personally.

I would go one step further and find out if there is an owner, who it is and demand payment from him/her first. If no such luck, take it to court.

Regardless of whether deposits are non-refundable, you provided one but nothing was signed stating such.

Good luck!
cheerfuldom 05:17 AM 04-05-2011
she said there WAS a contract signed.....
wdmmom 11:37 AM 04-05-2011
Was there a signed contract for 2011/2012 care or just the 2010/2011? If they accepted a deposit and arranged care for 2011/2012 school year, they are liable for providing care of the specific dates outlined in the contract. If no contract for the upcoming school year exists but you secured a deposit, I firmly believe they need to refund you the money if they can not provide the care you requested.
MyAngels 11:43 AM 04-05-2011
Before I attempted small claims I would have an attorney look the situation and contract over. I don't know all of the circumstances, obviously, but you may have a claim for breach of contract.
Unregistered 06:11 PM 04-05-2011
Sounds like fraud.

I would contact the police.
Tags:deposit, deposit - won't refund, refund, refund - won't
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