Hi there, I’m really hoping to get some advice re: nanny agency fee dispute. If anyone has experience on fee refunds I would be so grateful as I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place. Agency refusing refund and we really aren’t comfortable with using the replacement garuntee because of our lack of confidence in the agency, they’ve been extremely pushy and feel they lack integrity.
We recently used a well advertised London nanny agency to find a live in nanny for our 2 boys (aged 1 &3). The fee paid is approx £4K. In short the nanny we employed (based on strong advice and endorsement of the agency) fell way below our basic expectations for basic care of our children. We feel very let down and question the failure of consideration and poor service provision to support a refund/part refund of fees.
We recruited the nanny based on the advice of the agency (exact words - this is the best nanny you’ll get for the salary you’re offering, if you don’t employ her you’ll never find anyone else, they have amazing references (sourced verbally by the agency contact ) etc etc. In hindsight I believe we were too trusting and they took advantage of our inexperience but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
After 3 weeks we have given the nanny her payment in lieu of notice. In short:
1) The nanny didn’t communicate with the children, didn’t talk/encourage/participate or imitate play, only left the house once, didn’t go to any paid playgroups/activities. Even after feedback, support and guidance. Said no more than 20-30 words a day (at first we thought shy and we’re supportive but definitely just her style and naturally not keen to talk and isn’t a ‘child’ type person)
2) Nanny didn’t feel comfortable dropping/picking up son from pre-school, even though it was clear that this was part of the role
3) wouldnt help or communicate with eldest son (aged 3) and only intrested in helping my one year old. Honestly hasn’t put a shoe on, won’t play with him, tells him off, dismissive or one word answers and he is becoming visably upset and anxious
4) Lacked any interest or ability to work/communicate or encourage children. Won’t get down on there level and play/talk - we genuinely questioned wether she liked children!
5) No basic nursery duties. She was happy putting the washing on (amazing bonus!) but wouldnt help brush teeth, step over oldest sons clothes/toys/pull up pants, etc etc
We phoned the agency on day one and said we were very (Very) concerned. They suggested we continue so we did but things only got worse. We spoke to the agency and said that we have terminated the contract and they have said they contractually don’t have to refund us the fee but there is a complaints process. We don’t feel comfortable with pursuing a replacement with this agency - we’ve lost 100% confidence and they’ve already told us that this nanny was the best we’d get. Secondly I question their integrity - this is very much a hard sell recruitment agency who are there to make a quick sell and earn some commission.
4K is a lot of money to us and to lose it is pretty hard to swallow - we paid it honestly thinking we would be recieving expert guidance and help to find the right candidate for our children. I’m going back to work (sadly) because bills etc and this is quite a big sum to us. If anyone has any advice on how we could agree a full or part refund I’d be really grateful. I obviously feel a bit stupid and naive about the whole process and questioning my judgement - mat leave is amazing but also amazing how quickly your confidence can fall off a cliff!! Thanks in advance Xx