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  #1  
Old 05-04-2016, 05:15 PM
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Angry Is She Entitled to a Refund??

So here's my situation...
I had a parent whos schedule was Thursday-Friday. NO Mondays, she didnt work on Mondays. Mondays are great days for me because I only have 2 kiddos, both that leave by 4:30pm. I typically plan my families plans around Monday afternoons... Dr Apts, family dinner plans Etc.

Sunday night at 10PM, this parent decides to text me and say that her daughter will be dropped off late on Monday because she has to work from 3-7pm. Not asking me if it was okay, TELLING me she was dropping off. Well, this is an issue because I have a dentist appointment scheduled for my son at 4:30. I politely let her know that unfortunately, I already have an appointment scheduled, and would not be able to watch her daughter tomorrow.

This sets her off.... She gets upset and demands that I only charge her a daily rate for this week because now she has Tuesday off work and wont be dropping her off on Tuesday, and I had surgery scheduled for my husband on Wednesday and was closed (Which was pre-arranged almost 2 weeks in advance). Therefore, I was only watching her daughter on Thursday and Friday.

Again, I politely explain to her that I do not offer part time or daily rates. I offer a flat rate of $115 per week for full time care. She also already pre-paid for the week on the Friday prior, and did not mention anything about wanting a daily rate for the following week. She also did not give me any type of notice that her schedule had changed and that she was off on Tuesday.

Once I sent her the text message saying I will not refund her money, she was livid. She then began to tell me that paying a full time rate for 2 days of care is unacceptable, and she will not pay it. She now wants a full refund, and will not be bringing her daughter back to my daycare.

Here's where I made a big mistake.... I had given her a contract when she started, and never got a signed contract back from her. So, when I informed her that I require a 2 weeks paid notice, she pretty much laughed in my face and said there was no contract, and that she doesnt owe me anything. Understandable.... my bad for not getting the contract signed. However, she is demanding that I give her a refund for the week she pre-paid for, even though I still offered to watch her daughter on the Tuesday I was supposed to watch her, as well as Thursday and Friday. She refused my offer and said she was pulling her daughter out immediately.

So... What are your thoughts? Is she entitled to a refund because I didnt watch her daughter? (Again, HER choice to pull her out). She paid with a credit card (Square)... and I'm worried that she can try and file a claim with her bank.

Im fairly new to the daycare scene and this is the first issue I've had with a parent.
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2016, 05:22 PM
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Gosh I don't know. IF you had the contract, you would be in a much better place. I don't do refunds, especially when people try to change things up on me. My contract even states I don't do refunds. Did you collect any deposit when she started? Many of us charge a one or two week deposit. And do you require pre-payment for the week? I would keep the texts, they may help you if you need to take her to court. But you need to make sure you NEVER provide care without all paperwork. Many parents will try to come without signing the contract to get out of sticking to it. If you accept into care without it, you are basically telling parents that they call the shots. Many of them get the attitude then that they can run your business. I am not trying to be harsh, just telling you what I have learned.
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  #3  
Old 05-04-2016, 05:35 PM
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I definately learned my lesson on not having her sign the contract. Actually, I've decided that I'm going to go over contracts with parents on the first day of care, and have them sign the contract in front of me. I think this will help avoid the excuses of "forgetting to bring it back". My weakness with offering daycare is that I'm a softie. And I definately let the parents call the shots. After this situation, I now know that I need to stick to my guns! Unfortunately I did not get any type of deposit from her, however she did pre-pay for the week. That's why she wants a refund, because she paid me last Friday and now I'm not watching her daughter this week. But again, her choice. I offered to watch her on the days we agreed upon and she refused. I saved all her texts, so if it does get to that point, I hope I have a leg to stand on. Thanks for your advice!
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Old 05-04-2016, 05:36 PM
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I would tell her no refund, and you will meet her half way by not charging her your two weeks notice pay. Tell her when she can come pick up her stuff or mail it to her certified. Then stop answering.
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  #5  
Old 05-04-2016, 05:38 PM
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I don't think you do. I read on here that the fact you gave her a contract, she agreed and paid you and brought her kid would be a verbal contract, even if you didn't get the signed copy. I wouldn't give a refund (she said she wasn't gonna pay you another dime and laughed about the contract, yet thinks you will give her money), but I would prob not go after the two week notice money just to save a headache
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Old 05-04-2016, 05:44 PM
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Thanks guys, I feel better about this. I'm taking my losses on the two weeks notice. Thankfully, I already have another child lined up to start next week. My main concern was that she could try and fight the charge with her bank. I know that banks like to give customer's the benefit of the doubt. I've seen this happen many times when I worked a customer service job.
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  #7  
Old 05-04-2016, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Rudy's Rascals View Post
I definately learned my lesson on not having her sign the contract. Actually, I've decided that I'm going to go over contracts with parents on the first day of care, and have them sign the contract in front of me. I think this will help avoid the excuses of "forgetting to bring it back". My weakness with offering daycare is that I'm a softie. And I definately let the parents call the shots. After this situation, I now know that I need to stick to my guns! Unfortunately I did not get any type of deposit from her, however she did pre-pay for the week. That's why she wants a refund, because she paid me last Friday and now I'm not watching her daughter this week. But again, her choice. I offered to watch her on the days we agreed upon and she refused. I saved all her texts, so if it does get to that point, I hope I have a leg to stand on. Thanks for your advice!
I go over my contact and handbook at the interview. Then allow them to take the handbook home to look over. Once they pay the enrollment fee, I give the rest of the paperwork. All must be signed and returned before the first day of care if that helps. Do you have a handbook? If not I highly suggest one.
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2016, 05:51 PM
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I would not refund her anything. You were available, she chose not to come.
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  #9  
Old 05-04-2016, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Thriftylady View Post
I go over my contact and handbook at the interview. Then allow them to take the handbook home to look over. Once they pay the enrollment fee, I give the rest of the paperwork. All must be signed and returned before the first day of care if that helps. Do you have a handbook? If not I highly suggest one.
I only have a contract right now, but Im starting to see the importance of a handbook. My theory going into daycare was that I wanted to make everything as simple as possible, not be so strict on the rules like most daycares. I'm a mom of 2 boys, and can remember taking my boys to daycare and dealing with all the crazy policies these daycares had.... I NOW UNDERSTAND WHY THESE POLICIES ARE IN PLACE! It makes so much sense. Its unfortunate that we have to be strict on our rules, but I now see why...
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Old 05-04-2016, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Rudy's Rascals View Post
I only have a contract right now, but Im starting to see the importance of a handbook. My theory going into daycare was that I wanted to make everything as simple as possible, not be so strict on the rules like most daycares. I'm a mom of 2 boys, and can remember taking my boys to daycare and dealing with all the crazy policies these daycares had.... I NOW UNDERSTAND WHY THESE POLICIES ARE IN PLACE! It makes so much sense. Its unfortunate that we have to be strict on our rules, but I now see why...
Yes it would be nice if we didn't have to spell everything out. I mean we are supposed to be dealing with adults right? But as you can see, if we don't spell it all out, people walk all over us. Without policies they seem to think we work for them, and we don't! We are self employed and work for ourselves!
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Old 05-04-2016, 06:07 PM
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Yes it would be nice if we didn't have to spell everything out. I mean we are supposed to be dealing with adults right? But as you can see, if we don't spell it all out, people walk all over us. Without policies they seem to think we work for them, and we don't! We are self employed and work for ourselves!
Well said! Thanks so much for the advice!
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  #12  
Old 05-04-2016, 06:10 PM
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So she is saying No contract so no two weeks notice? Then wouldn't that also mean no contract no refund. I would absolutely not, under any circumstances be giving this psycho a refund.
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Old 05-04-2016, 06:22 PM
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Oh my goodness. No refund! Anything over 25 hours a week is full time for me.
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  #14  
Old 05-04-2016, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy's Rascals View Post
I only have a contract right now, but Im starting to see the importance of a handbook. My theory going into daycare was that I wanted to make everything as simple as possible, not be so strict on the rules like most daycares. I'm a mom of 2 boys, and can remember taking my boys to daycare and dealing with all the crazy policies these daycares had.... I NOW UNDERSTAND WHY THESE POLICIES ARE IN PLACE! It makes so much sense. Its unfortunate that we have to be strict on our rules, but I now see why...
I learned the hard way too...it's tough. I'd rather do a more relaxed type of care and just have parents be respectful but that never seems to happen. Anyways, nope, I wouldn't refund anything. I would let the two weeks notice thing go, and just use it as a learning experience though.
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  #15  
Old 05-04-2016, 09:00 PM
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I agree ^^

Keep this weeks payment.
Skip the two weeks notice.
Wish her the best
Walk away

There's a lesson in every bad experience.
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  #16  
Old 05-04-2016, 09:22 PM
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There's a lesson in every bad experience.
Yep! That's why my parent handbook is soooooo looooooong!
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  #17  
Old 05-05-2016, 03:49 AM
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Not sure how the credit card payment works but have you received it, deposited it, used it....she can't get it back now can she? If she thinks it's worth it to take you to court, let her. It's doubtful that she will. And everything else, let it go and good luck with your new dcfs!!
This business is a perfect example of live and learn. Seems like there's a lesson every day.
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  #18  
Old 05-05-2016, 05:43 AM
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Not sure how the credit card payment works but have you received it, deposited it, used it....she can't get it back now can she? If she thinks it's worth it to take you to court, let her. It's doubtful that she will. And everything else, let it go and good luck with your new dcfs!!
This business is a perfect example of live and learn. Seems like there's a lesson every day.
You can cancel credit card payments and get the money reversed. I am not sure what the rules are or what you have to prove or whatever. I have heard of it happening and then the person paid having to fight to get the money back from the CC company. So there is a process, I am just not sure what it is. Now if it is a bank I understand it a little more. You have to ask the person paid with the debit card for a refund, if they won't give it you can ask the bank, then they will investigate it and decide. The money doesn't get returned from a debit card transaction until the bank decides it should be.
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  #19  
Old 05-05-2016, 05:54 AM
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Thanks guys, I feel better about this. I'm taking my losses on the two weeks notice. Thankfully, I already have another child lined up to start next week. My main concern was that she could try and fight the charge with her bank. I know that banks like to give customer's the benefit of the doubt. I've seen this happen many times when I worked a customer service job.
Not 100% sure how cc work, however if it was PayPal, she would have to prove she was not offered any service and you would have to prove you offered. As long as you maintain that she can still bring her dd tues thru fri like normal, you should be safe.
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Old 05-05-2016, 05:57 AM
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Also in the future, don't tell them they are paying for a full time spot. Tell them they are paying for these days.
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  #21  
Old 05-05-2016, 06:04 AM
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Speaking as an old accountant, I specialized in resolving credit card disputes (whenever someone would claim a charge our company issued as being fraud).

Typically, the bank will send a notice to the address of the account holder explaining why they are reversing the charge and granting an opportunity for you to provide documentation as to why it's a valid charge. In all truthfulness, it is extremely difficult to prove why a charge is valid enough to uphold it.

HOWEVER -- in this instance, she would have had to manually accept transferring that type of payment to you, correct? If this is the case, it may be more difficult for her to protest the charge with her bank. Also, you could try sending her a letter demanding payment for that week (and any fees associated with it) if she does protest it, or else you'll pursue legal options. Sometimes the threat is enough to scare them into just making the payment. Or you can just take your 2 (or 3) week loss and completely cut ties to avoid the headache. Yeah, it stinks -- but it's up for you to decide if $345 is worth it or not. And for what it's worth, I do feel that you had a verbal contract if nothing else, so you do have a leg to stand on.
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Old 05-05-2016, 06:10 AM
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Speaking as an old accountant, I specialized in resolving credit card disputes (whenever someone would claim a charge our company issued as being fraud).

Typically, the bank will send a notice to the address of the account holder explaining why they are reversing the charge and granting an opportunity for you to provide documentation as to why it's a valid charge. In all truthfulness, it is extremely difficult to prove why a charge is valid enough to uphold it.

HOWEVER -- in this instance, she would have had to manually accept transferring that type of payment to you, correct? If this is the case, it may be more difficult for her to protest the charge with her bank. Also, you could try sending her a letter demanding payment for that week (and any fees associated with it) if she does protest it, or else you'll pursue legal options. Sometimes the threat is enough to scare them into just making the payment. Or you can just take your 2 (or 3) week loss and completely cut ties to avoid the headache. Yeah, it stinks -- but it's up for you to decide if $345 is worth it or not. And for what it's worth, I do feel that you had a verbal contract if nothing else, so you do have a leg to stand on.
I agree that a verbal contract is valid, but they are much harder to prove. I have seen that go either way. That is why in this case though the texts are important. She is somewhat agreeing in the texts she is supposed to pay at least for the current week, so that helps there. The two weeks notice is a whole different thing. Mom may say she never agreed to it or whatever.
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  #23  
Old 05-05-2016, 06:20 AM
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I think the only thing that she is entitled to is a term notice.

You have received great advice. I would not offer a refund either. I would make the offer to care Thurs/Fri and then give her two weeks notice, just to make it formal.

I would then cease communication unless she plans to use those days.
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:33 AM
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So here's my situation...
I had a parent whos schedule was Thursday-Friday. NO Mondays, she didnt work on Mondays. Mondays are great days for me because I only have 2 kiddos, both that leave by 4:30pm. I typically plan my families plans around Monday afternoons... Dr Apts, family dinner plans Etc.

Sunday night at 10PM, this parent decides to text me and say that her daughter will be dropped off late on Monday because she has to work from 3-7pm. Not asking me if it was okay, TELLING me she was dropping off. Well, this is an issue because I have a dentist appointment scheduled for my son at 4:30. I politely let her know that unfortunately, I already have an appointment scheduled, and would not be able to watch her daughter tomorrow.

This sets her off.... She gets upset and demands that I only charge her a daily rate for this week because now she has Tuesday off work and wont be dropping her off on Tuesday, and I had surgery scheduled for my husband on Wednesday and was closed (Which was pre-arranged almost 2 weeks in advance). Therefore, I was only watching her daughter on Thursday and Friday.

Again, I politely explain to her that I do not offer part time or daily rates. I offer a flat rate of $115 per week for full time care. She also already pre-paid for the week on the Friday prior, and did not mention anything about wanting a daily rate for the following week. She also did not give me any type of notice that her schedule had changed and that she was off on Tuesday.

Once I sent her the text message saying I will not refund her money, she was livid. She then began to tell me that paying a full time rate for 2 days of care is unacceptable, and she will not pay it. She now wants a full refund, and will not be bringing her daughter back to my daycare.

Here's where I made a big mistake.... I had given her a contract when she started, and never got a signed contract back from her. So, when I informed her that I require a 2 weeks paid notice, she pretty much laughed in my face and said there was no contract, and that she doesnt owe me anything. Understandable.... my bad for not getting the contract signed. However, she is demanding that I give her a refund for the week she pre-paid for, even though I still offered to watch her daughter on the Tuesday I was supposed to watch her, as well as Thursday and Friday. She refused my offer and said she was pulling her daughter out immediately.

So... What are your thoughts? Is she entitled to a refund because I didnt watch her daughter? (Again, HER choice to pull her out). She paid with a credit card (Square)... and I'm worried that she can try and file a claim with her bank.

Im fairly new to the daycare scene and this is the first issue I've had with a parent.

~ No way, no how would I give her a refund if it were me. ~...Stay strong!

~As far as the unsigned contract, the fact that she didn't sign it doesn't necessarily mean there is no contract between you two. Which is good because it doesn't make sense for people to use the argument "I don't owe this or have to follow this because I didn't sign the contract" when in saying so they acknowledge that they did indeed know about the contracts terms, or that there was a contract, but just want to get out of fulfilling their obligations on a technicality or either that they knew of them and decided to ignore them...either way they knew; and I've never understood this argument. ~Anyway, IMO only because I'm not an attorney, she showed mutual assent, which is what is required in contract law I think, by receiving/accepting the contract and using your services. Here are some quotes on contract law; they are not specifically about daycare contracts but are just general information. Now whether you want to actually push the issue and let it go to court is up to you, taking into consideration how much money it is, time spent, and the headache of it all, etc., but I definitely would NOT give her a refund for this week!

"The written document is not the contract, It is merely a record of the parties' agreement" https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/a...s-1416951.html

"Not all contracts need to be signed before they are legally binding."

"A party must agree to the terms of a contract in order for it to become legally binding. Although this is usually done by the signature of those with authority to enter into the agreement, it is commonly recognised that parties can enter into a contract by a course of dealing, signifying their acceptance of the terms of the contract.

In January 2009, the High Court in Grant v Bragg considered whether a contract was formed by two parties agreeing to the terms of the draft contract via e-mail. The Court considered it was enough for Mr Grant to have e-mailed Mr Bragg, accepting the contract's terms previously e-mailed to him by Mr Bragg's lawyer, and that it did not matter that neither party had actually signed the contract".

- See more at: http://www.pannone.com/media-centre/....HWxLwcCg.dpuf
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Old 05-05-2016, 09:26 AM
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First I would not refund the tuition. I would however term her if that is doable for you.I would inform her that your daily rate is 40.00 dollars a day and if she wants that then she owes you 5 dollars for next week. I found charging more for part time can be lucrative. Sometimes two part timers will fill one spot for a little more money. I would not hold her to the two weeks notice if she continues the argument.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:00 AM
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You used Square, so you needed her signature as an authorization for the transaction, right? I think that signature is all you need as proof that she authorized the transaction. The bank won't get involved in the whys and hows of it, just whether it was authorized by her.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:09 AM
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First I would not refund the tuition. I would however term her if that is doable for you.I would inform her that your daily rate is 40.00 dollars a day and if she wants that then she owes you 5 dollars for next week. I found charging more for part time can be lucrative. Sometimes two part timers will fill one spot for a little more money. I would not hold her to the two weeks notice if she continues the argument.
(^^bolding^^ by me)
~Oooh...That is a great idea!
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Rudy's Rascals View Post
I only have a contract right now, but Im starting to see the importance of a handbook. My theory going into daycare was that I wanted to make everything as simple as possible, not be so strict on the rules like most daycares. I'm a mom of 2 boys, and can remember taking my boys to daycare and dealing with all the crazy policies these daycares had.... I NOW UNDERSTAND WHY THESE POLICIES ARE IN PLACE! It makes so much sense. Its unfortunate that we have to be strict on our rules, but I now see why...
For every policy in my handbook, there was a ridiculous parent and a story behind it.


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Originally Posted by NightOwl View Post
You used Square, so you needed her signature as an authorization for the transaction, right? I think that signature is all you need as proof that she authorized the transaction. The bank won't get involved in the whys and hows of it, just whether it was authorized by her.



I had a DCP recently try to get a refund for her final two week payment when she found other care and wasn't going to be using the last (1) week.

Square contacted me that I had a disputed transaction. I gave them details. She swiped her card and signed. Her card was not stolen. She had admitted to the cc company of using it since that transaction. It was dismissed.

Square told me that IF she had claimed it was stolen- she could have it refunded, but it would look unusual to have a charge show up at a small family child care, and especially one that she had previously used so IF she had claimed stolen card, she would have most likely been investigated for fraud.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:00 PM
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Thank you everyone for the good advice! I think I might be in the safe zone. She hasnt contacted me since Sunday, and I have not heard anything from my bank about a reversal on the charge. Definitely a learning experience though.
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Old 05-06-2016, 06:43 AM
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For every policy in my handbook, there was a ridiculous parent and a story behind it.

This is true! Some of the stuff I would have never thought of on my own!
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:53 AM
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You used Square, so you needed her signature as an authorization for the transaction, right? I think that signature is all you need as proof that she authorized the transaction. The bank won't get involved in the whys and hows of it, just whether it was authorized by her.
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Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
Not sure how the credit card payment works but have you received it, deposited it, used it....she can't get it back now can she? If she thinks it's worth it to take you to court, let her. It's doubtful that she will. And everything else, let it go and good luck with your new dcfs!!
This business is a perfect example of live and learn. Seems like there's a lesson every day.

I don't know if it's the same in the US as it is in Canada, but I have used a few different credit card processors, including Square. Here in Canada, how chargebacks work is, someone pays you by credit card, they are unhappy for any reason, call the card issuer and complain, the charge gets reversed, your cc processor is notified, you then get the payment taken back from wherever it normally goes and get notified of the reversal. From there, you have to prove they got what they paid for to get it "unreversed". One problem is, I heard that with Square, if you get a chargeback, they start holding some of your money for backup.

In business, chargebacks = headaches.

In my opinion, keep what you were paid, forget the rest, and move on. Make sure you have enough in the bank account for a refund though in case she does do it. If you don't, you lose that money + NSF fees from both ends.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:35 PM
Monkey Business Monkey Business is offline
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I agree with others that you guys had a contract even if she never signed a paper copy. I have this in my contract, "The first payment to provider and/or day child is in attendance is as good as signature to this contract and implies the client has read and understands this contract,..." That way there is no "I didn't sign it" bs.

I'm glad to hear you haven't heard anything else and that she hopefully will leave it be. Just another great example of a learning experience!
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