Saturday, 21 May 2016

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Must I pay?

My daughter used to stay with her Dad in Gaborone and I stay with her baby sister. Apparently towards end of last term the Dad had no baby sitter and we decided to transfer her because it wasn't safe for a 7 year old girl to be staying home alone after school.

We have found her space at an English medium primary but her former school can’t give her transfer out because they are saying we did not serve a 1 term notice and they demand that we pay a term equivalent school fees in lieu of notice. Currently the kid is at home, we can not pay P6100 in lieu of notice and at the same time pay for her new school. Please help.

This all depends on what the agreement you signed with the school says. Did they mention this fee in lieu of notice?

Update: The reader replied saying “the contract states that "failure to serve notice, parents will be liable to pay term fees and failure to pay, legal action will be taken against the parent.”

I'm sorry to say that it seems you’re committed to the payment. Well, whoever signed the contract would be, that might not be you, that might be her Dad.

The clause is actually a reasonable one. The school could have allocated your child’s place to another family who would have paid the fees in full. If you move your daughter without notice the school will lose out because you didn’t give hem enough time to find another paying customer.

Is there no way your child could stay at the current school until the end of the term and you get a part-time child-minder to care for her after school? That might be a lot cheaper than paying a term’s school fees at the new school.

How can I get my money back?

On the 5th February last year I lent a colleague P2,000 with an agreement that around the 20th of the same month he will return the money. I pointed out that the money was for the project and that I was lending it to him out of a good heart and with the understanding of his problem and again trusting he would return the money. This was put down in writing and he signed the letter.

The month ended and instead of giving me money he told me he had a family crisis and had to assist financially therefore will be able to repay me end of March instead.

End of March he quit his job and requested that I wait for him to get his package which took about 4 months. After he got his money he did not pay me but instead kept quiet about it. I had to call and ask why he is quiet as he had promised to pay me as soon as he got the money. He did not have any explanation rather told me that when his company starts doing well he will repay and that I should go borrow money elsewhere so that I can close the gap for the money I lent him.

The annoying thing is that he never contacts me, I am the one who is always contacting him. I sent a Whatsapp message last week and he did not respond even though he is always on line.

Please help me get my money back, I have a letter he signed when I gave him the money, Whatsapp texts as proof.

I’m so sorry for your trouble. It’s always frustrating when someone refuses to repay a debt but it’s so much worse when it’s someone you considered a friend.

I suggest you write him a letter giving him 14 days to repay you in full. The letter should say that you’ll immediately take legal action against him if he fails to comply. If he does fail, on Day 15 go straight to the Small Claims Court and ask for an order against him. You were VERY wise to get his agreement in writing when you first lent him the money. You should also print out all the WhatsApp messages he sent you and take them to the Court along with the original agreement and the letter threatening action.

Hopefully he’ll cooperate to avoid an order! Let me know what happens.

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