Nanny agency fee dispute /advice

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Nanny agency fee dispute /advice

Postby Mumof2boys85 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:17 pm

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
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Re: Nanny agency fee dispute /advice

Postby NannyLiveout » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:09 pm

This is a tricky one.Was the nanny the only candidate you have met?
If you dont want to loose your money I would just see a few more candidates from that agency and check myself the references etc.Having a trial day might help too ,to see how nanny interacts with the children.
Im sure they will have more suitable nannies on the register .
And if none of them happen to be suitable I think you have the right to get your money back
Could you pm me which agency are you talking about?
Hope everything will sorted out soon
All the best
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Re: Nanny agency fee dispute /advice

Postby ARMummy » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:38 pm

Hi, I went through something similar with a local nanny agency 5 years ago. It was a miserable experience. They refused to refund my fees or even to find me a replacement as I waited a few months. You are right to do something early on, I shouldn't have let the situation carry on for so long. I faced many similar challenges that you have with your nanny. But in the end I just gave up fighting the agency, it wasn't worth the fight. I now source all my nannies through personal recommendations and I haven't had a bad once since, only really lovely ones. I will never use a nanny agency ever again. It is certainly more work but I think it's worth it in the long run. Best of luck!
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Re: Nanny agency fee dispute /advice

Postby Movingtolondon2016 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:00 pm

Not sure if I can help that much, I only moved to London in 2016
But at the time I did post on this site and a nanny recommended Willow Nannies - a lady called Lizzie runs the agency and deals with everyone herself. She was amazing and found us a fantastic nanny who is still with us 18 months on.

Having dealt with larger agencies elsewhere in the past I was amazed at how different and easy it was to deal with one person who ran their own agency, and had a vested interest in getting it right each time

I suggest escalating your complaint with the agency - Requesting a meeting / emailing the owner a strongly worded letter
You raised concerns at day one, these should have been taken seriously. You may have to be very persistent, but it is worth a shot.
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Re: Nanny agency fee dispute /advice

Postby sw11_ » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:11 am

Just wanted to let you know that we also had a dispute with a local nanny agency a couple of years back, where we also weren’t prepared to take a replacement nanny in lieu of a fee refund. So firstly don’t think that it is just you!

Dont have time to write the full story but the short version is that we had to make it very clear that we were prepared to take this up in the small claims court if they didn’t pay us the money. I think they decided they didn’t want the bad publicity of legal proceedings and agreed to pay us something like 80% of the fee back.

It was not a fun experience, so I very much feel for you. Good luck
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Re: Nanny agency fee dispute /advice

Postby Janet14 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:32 am

Hi, I had a similar experience and refused to let it go and actually got my money back by telling my credit company that I hadn’t received the services paid for. Did you pay by credit card? Feel free to PM me if you want more details. That sounds like a really upsetting experience but I think these agencies expect you to back down first. Did you sign anything?
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Re: Nanny agency fee dispute /advice

Postby daddydaycarerocks » Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:20 am

We had a similar issue with an agency a few years ago, they argued that their job was done when they found someone, irrelevant of what happens after. We paid the fees and the nanny didn’t even start. I argued that they didn’t do their job properly as the woman’s Facebook profile said he was starting a course in American 2 months later and she was asking for help with where to live !

Speak to trading standards first to get then legal side, We then took her to the small claims court, it’s an easy process and not that expensive considering the upside of getting your money back.

Trading standards didn’t seem convinced about me taking court action, but we did and 3 days before the court date, the agency messaged us and paid the agency fee back and all court costs.

It’s because people don’t go down this route that agencies know they can get away with this.

To have to use the same agency for a 2nd person is time consuming when you need childcare, they probably will not have many people to fit your criteria as well.