Monday

The "Trial Day" Scam

Received Monday, July 23, 2007-Rant
I'm really mad now because I think I've just been conned by a family. This family interviewed me 2 weekends ago. They wanted to hire me but as I was interviewing a few families at the same time and they couldn't give me enough hours, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to join them. Anyhow, as I had nothing to do the next week, they asked if I could babysit him one day. I took care of him for close to 10 hours ,did plenty of activities with him, took him for ice cream etc. Came home and the mum left her wallet in the office. I didn't get paid but we decided that I could come over during the weekend to collect my pay as well as let them know my decision (which incidentally was to join them) .THEN, on Saturday, I SMSed her to ask when I could come over. No reply.I called her this morning, she HUNG UP ON ME! Sorry but I cant believe how a family can do this and to think I was actually going to agree working for them! I'm angry, very angry. I was really nice to the child and was so tired at the end of the day (sword-fights, footballs, general running around!) and I'm not a charity organisation!

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since calling them seemed to do nothing, I would send a very professional registered letter with the fees for the hours you babysat--much like a receipt from an independent contractor. 10 hours is a long amount of time to receive no compensation.

Get what's yours. That is disgusting but at least you learned a valuable lesson: Set a rate and collect when the job is done.

Anonymous said...

Can you give us a lil more info so this doesnt happen to anyone else..If they did it once Im sure they will do it again..

Anonymous said...

I have heard of this before. A scam usually perepetrated by a pissed of sahm with no nanny who is anti nanny and anti mom with nanny. More details are needed.

Don't protect the btch!

Give us her first name and town.

Anonymous said...

I have a visual imagination of just *what kind* of person would be so cheap to pull this kind of scam.

Anonymous said...

Do you think she's hanging up as if to imply that the nanny did a horrendous job and shouldn't even think of being compensated or just totally trying to avoid talk of the monetary compensation due?

Anonymous said...

to the OP:
note the advice of 10:08: I was going to say the exact same thing. Write a professional letter.
Try your best to get your money and do not back down.
These people are disgusting. If they refuse to pay you, I would give a detailed description of them and their location on this site and see how they like it! Let other sitters know what they are like!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm the OP. As the last incident happened just today, I'm going to hope she's just busy and will get back to me later. If that doesn't happen, I'll post the details.

I'm pretty sure I did my job well. He didn't even want to leave. Besides I don't see how he couldn't have liked it as I did what he wanted (play the whole time haha).Also, she called him (on my mobile) and he was happy. If she's not satisfied , she should let me know and at least conpensate me for his food, drinks and ice cream.

Anonymous said...

OP: oh, no sweetie, at the very least they should compensate you for ALL of your time. You sound like a great sitter, these people are horrible.

Anonymous said...

Three words:
small claims court
You win, they lose plus the embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

They should compensate you for the time that you baysat and + the food. How comes they didn't provide any food or give you money for food. You shoul have asked first. Anyways, if it were me, I wouldn't have agreeded to leave without my money unless I babysat before. And I certainly would have showed up at her door step after she hung up on me.

Elizabeth said...

Don't settle for less than full pay.

signed,

A mom who cares.

Anonymous said...

1:18 They didn't provide any food or give the nanny money for food because they are cheesy, stingy, sneaky asswipes. They probably eat their Thanksgiving dinner at the Salvation Army Center and take money from the church offering plate, which would be the only reason they would attend a service. When they eat out, they loudly complain about the food whereby slithering out of their tab. They steal the towels and linens when they stay in a hotel. I think I have their kind down. They are despicable pieces of human garbage.

Anonymous said...

I don't get why anyone would do this to a babysitter. Is this for real? I mean, how do your so brazenly rip off someone who knows where you live? I don't get it. OP, you should pay a visit. Be firm and let the mother know you mean business. Without scaring the kid, of course.

Anonymous said...

Even if they did pay you at the end of the day as they should, there are several red flags here. It seems strange that anyone would leave thier child with a total stranger for a ten hour stretch as a first trial. We do a paid trial before we hire a caregiver (after reference and background checks), but we spend the first hour showing her around, introducing her to the kids, leaving to another room and checking in a few times to check they are getting on OK together before leaving the house for a SHORT period of time (60 to 90 minutes). Even after my nanny started I took a couple days off to make sure she knows where everything is and there were no problems. We ALWAYS leave spending money for activities, food, incidentals, etc. Expecting a caregiver to take that out of her pocket is ridiculous. You were scammed by a dishonest bad parent. Not only did she cheat you, she was careless with her child.

Anonymous said...

Because for some people a domestic servant reminds them of slavery and indentured servitude. Just the fact that they can have someone come in their house and order them about gives them a big ole power trippin headache.

Because the nanny expects the parent to be as professional as she, it never occurs to her that she would need to agree to get paid!

These people are the lowest of the low.

When a person is doing a trial day at your house, it is customary to pay them their hourly rate PLUS transportation costs.

I still say OP has not done enough to prevent this from happening to the next good nanny. What happens when bitter sahm needs to go shopping at Loehmans next week? She recyles her scam and the new nanny is never the wiser.

The end point of this scam is that no matter how great you are, she is also already bashing you to everyone she knows. All the great things you did- never happened. I wouldn't be surprised if she had not accused you of hitting her son or leaving him unsupervised. She has to lay the foundation for what is going to happen when you come calling.

And she will simply say, "I can't pay you for the job you did".

Yadda yadda yadda

You need to show up on her door with a camera and get an up close mug shot of her face.

Anonymous said...

Ita- the full day is a dead giveaway. In case the person is awful, any reasonable parent does not want to be locked in to having said new person around for a full day. We do 4 hours at most. And even then, I go work in our home office. I don't leave.

Anonymous said...

I once took a job tutoring an autistic teenager. He was actually a good kid, but he was really hard to take care of. I was supposed to teach him reading, but he used to get really violent and grab me alot. I had some experience with autistic kids, but not teens. Most of my experience was with elementary kids. Anyway, I liked the kid he was a good kid and I thought it was going well until I saw an ad up on the site I found the job on, the same people looking for another teacher. I sent them an email from an alternate address and sure enough it was them.
I then called and left a message (they stopped answering their phone) that I saw on CL they were looking for another tutor and while I was disapointed, I wanted my pay for the last month. (When they gave me the job, they insisted on paying me by the month: a red flag I should have seen.)
Anyway, after several emails and several phone calls none of which were returned, I actually had to tell them that it was my final notice before seeking legal advice.
The check came in the mail two days later.
You have to stay on these people. It sucks that people are like that, but it's a fact.
Good luck.

Anonymous said...

OP again. This wasn't really a trial day (as I hadn't agreed to join them but they both had to work on that day and needed someone to take care of the child). She'd called my references ,interviewed me once with her husband and the boy as well as asked me to come over the day before I actually babysat him. On that day though, she didn't actually show me around but simply chatted with me over tea and cookies but that's another matter altogether.

Simply put, as a nanny or a babysitter, you can't demand for pay in advance (especially when you don't know exactly how many hours you're going to stay. one day could mean anything from 8-14 hours).

When she came back from work, she sat me down to let me know they really want me to be their nanny (and all that stuff). She then said 'Okay, now let me pay you..'(something to that effect.something like i'll pay you now so that you can get going ) ,shuffled through her bag and went 'oh shit blah blah, left my wallet at work' .

I just called her again (in total: 2 times in the morning and twice a few minutes ago). The call ended AGAIN.

I guess I was right then! I just sent an email -let's see if she replies that. If she doesn't , I'll post their details (not that anyone in this country actually reads this blog *sigh* ).

Thanks for your suggestions.

EL said...

oh are you not in the United States?

Anonymous said...

make sure you give us name and address
so nobody else will fall into same trap..put info on craiglist too.put up poster in neighborhood..they have to learn a lesson..

Anonymous said...

That is terrible what this woman did to you. What a cheat. What country are you in?

Anonymous said...

Can you go over there with a police officer and ask for the money? I am not sure if the police would do this, but maybe. It happened to my cousin she gave notice she was leavig a job (shes a hairdresser). He was pissed and tried holding back her money. She had a policeman go with over there and ask for the money.

jmt said...

OP, please make sure you get the full day's pay. In any profession where an intangible service is rendered like psychotherapy, hairdresser, restaurateur, massage therapy, babysitting, it is too easy for the consumer to take advantage of the provider and not pay once the service is rendered. Doctors have to chase their self-pay patients, people run out on restaurant bills, someone can decide they don't like their haircut and stop payment on their credit card or check. It's disgusting. All the more reason to never back down and get what's yours.
I'm not sure where you live, but if there is a local chatroom or message board perhaps you can out this cheap family, find out if anyone else has been their victim and tell your story as a warning so no one else will work for them. If there have been others, it will greatly help your case if you ever take it to small claims court.
Don't let this go! Good luck.

A Nanny in Baltimore said...

Definitely fight to get your money. Send a notarized letter via certified mail requesting your money and put a deadline in the letter (and document each attempt you have already made to get ahold of the woman). Then if she hasn't paid by the due date take her to small claims court - even better, take her on Judge Judy, she won't get away with it then! If she gets away with it with you, she will attempt to get away with it on someone else.

Please warn others also by CL, local boards, posters, etc.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

just a thought for everyone:
if she goes to small claims (which I totally think she should) and starts to document every attempt made to collect her fee, should she stay away from posting about this family on websites? could they countersue if she uses personal info, descriptions etc? just a thought because I really want OP to win!!!

Anonymous said...

Hasn't the employer already won?
How much times has OP already spent trying to collect a debt owed her?

Besides, a nanny saying "Ill take you to court" wouldn't matter anyway. Would it? These sort of people would tend to think the nanny would never be believed.

ble said...

I am assuming by your spelling of "organisation" you may be in England or there-abouts? Doesn't really matter. This is just horrible what these people have done. I might be tempted (if it were me) to put an ad in the paper or online saying who they are and what they did! At any rate, I hope you do fight them hard and get what you deserve. I hope they get what they deserve too!

Yaya said...

I'm really sorry that happened to you. I hope you pursue what is due to you. I had a situation like this when I left a family. I continued to contact them and finally got the money due to me after 5 months. Rich people can be so cheap.

Anonymous said...

This is awful. How can they sleep at night after doing this to a nanny? You should do whatever you can to warn other nannies and get your pay from them. This type of family reflects poorly on parents. They obviously have no shame so they likely will try it again.
--a mom and employer

Anonymous said...

In all truth, this probably isn't a rich person. A truly rich person would have to go so low as to deny a working person her hard earned money. The person is probably some loon with no control in her life. Someone who's dh cracks a whip and she jumps and this is her only chance to mistreat or humiliate someone else. I have a frenemy like this. She is treated like s--t so she actively hunts for other people to take out her agression on.

What a complete and utter lack of class.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see everyone giving this nanny oodles of support, which she deserves, which shows that this site isn't prejudiced towards nannies, but rather, just interested in outing the ones who behave badly. Thanks, Jane Doe.

Anonymous said...

I would send a registered letter stating the amount she owes you, and where she can send the payment. If you don't hear within a reasonable time, start phoning. Call several times a day. Maybe she will finally decide it is worth paying you to stop the calls.
I hope in the mean time you find a job with a nice family. Good Luck

Anonymous said...

"SMSed," "footballs," "organiSation," "tea and cookies" ...

Geez, no one could pick up that she's from the UK?!

Anonymous said...

Even more reason to support a loyal Brit friend from across the pond.

ble said...

11:56...I believe I said that about 6 comments before you, so yes, someone did figure that out; however, I have a friend from New Zealand who would write, spell and make similar references as would an Australian and even in some areas of Cananda, so we could not be positive.

Anonymous said...

OP again.

There is some kind of debt collection agency here (not dodgy) where they send someone to collect what is owed to you. The person who owes you money will also be liable for the cost of the agency.

The thing is, I have no proof that I wasn't paid. What if she says I hit the child, neglected him, I'm a paedophile or whatever? I am a foreigner in this country ( English is not the first language here).

I am considering putting an advertisement(with their personal details) on the website where they found me as well as alert the owner of a site they are registered on BUT would this be slander/ libel? I know something is classified as slander/libel only if it's false but then this means I would have to prove what I said happened. How can I do this?

It looks like they have a lot of friends here.

Elizabeth said...

Definitely alert the website! No, it's not libel - libel is only when it's a lie!

Anonymous said...

This happened to my nanny before she came to work for us. After she was on the job with us about 3 weeks, she was walking down the street and passed the mother who backed out of paying her. She was an UES mother. She looked straight at my nanny and through her. My nanny didn't start anything because she had my child with her.
It just makes me mad how people in the world today feel the need to treat other people so badly. We get you. We know that when you treat other people like garbage, you are really telling us how you feel about yourself. We don't think treating people badly is representative of being rich or classy or cool. It's plain old pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Such immature behavior.
I would give a teenage boy a bag of cowdung and have them lite it on fire of her doorstep.

Anonymous said...

However, they found you, whether it was a service, a friend referral, craigslist, agency, etc.. you need to go back to that source (which they are probably still using) and put them on blast! Actually, regardless, you should blast them on ISYN and on Craigslist... don't let other nannies get taken advantage of and don't let this snotty woman have any power!!! Get your money girl!

-A paid nanny

ble said...

I agree with all of the above, except maybe 3:39...seems a bit extreme...LOL. You should put the site on notice.

Anonymous said...

You still refuse to say what country you are in? You seem to be a Brit ("dodgy" used in your last post) but say English is not the first language where you are. Ok, so how can we help you? You can't be asking mostly Americans about libel and slander laws which vary greatly from country to country. Can you make a police report to document your situation? Again, the cultural differences here are not going to let us help you if you don't tell us where you are??? Why aren't you if no one reads this where you are anyway?

Yaya said...

I'll state again: the richer they are, the cheaper they are.

Anonymous said...

and the drunker/fatter/higher up they are the harder they fall.

Anonymous said...

That's disgusting! I know it's "only" a day's pay, but how about this---why don't you call the cops and report these ingrates! Put a little fear of the law into 'em and I bet it will make YOU feel better (and I bet you'll get PAID).

Anonymous said...

2:32PM THANK YOU for what you said!! Now THAT'S class.

jmt said...

Hi OP,
If you were to take them to court complaining that they haven't paid you, their defense would have to include proof that they did pay you, as in a canceled check or receipt for cash paid to you. Common sense would say that you don't conduct a business transaction in cash without a receipt (although it happens all the time with teens babysitting casually). Do you have any proof that you worked all day? Any witnesses or, better yet, the record of all the phone calls made between you? It at least shows that you had a relationship. And the fact that she probably never called you after the date in question points to the fact that you were chasing her for money.
Good luck.

NNP said...

This is why the NNP always suggest you get in a house and the first second you are alone, you rifel through drawers and take photos of personal documents and posessions. That way, the employer no longer has "the power".

Nanny in NJ who rec'd 3 weeks sevrence after working 6 days because I had the forsite to photograph there drug paraphnelia and extensive collection of beastial porn.

If you are a nanny, you should join the NNP.

Anonymous said...

How awful any nanny organization would advocate violating an employer's privacy. That kind of unprofessionalism from so-called nannies earns nannies a bad rep. I assume none of you are live-ins. How would you feel if your employers went through your things? You obviously are in childcare for the money, not because you care about children, or you wouldn't be bragging about how you extorted money from an employer while leaving children in a dangerous situation.

Anonymous said...

Ignore the troll. I am sure it is all a bunch of hulla baloeey.

Anonymous said...

Yes , payment was supposed to be in cash because we both hadn't registered with an official agency yet (you get childcare benefits here but it would have to be via an approved agency).

I think I have some proof. I arrived at about 8.15am and we were out from 9am to about 5pm. He met some friends (although I don't know their names!) from school, the guy at the videogame store seems to remember him from previos visits (he's an adorable child) etc. I also took 2 photos when we were playing 'football' because I thought it was cute. I guess that's of some use now;)

I went to their place last night with my partner. The lights were on but no one came to the door. I also called numerous times.

I would dearly love to post warnings but it seems so terrible to publish their real names and details. My partner says it doesn't make sense for people to scam their babysitter when the babysitter knows where they live (I agree!) but that he thinks this is quite strange. He said that something may have happened (a death or something) but I don't see why someone can't pick up the phone (it only takes 30 seconds after all plus it's a lot less iritating than someone calling you constantly).

Oh well. I'm just going to give it one week and in the meantime ,try to find out if posting the warning online is a smart decision (the partner says it isn't). It's not really about the money (it's only a hundred euros or less) but the fact that these people actually dared to take advantage of me!

Anonymous said...

Send a certified letter through the mail stating the hours you worked X your hourly rate, and the date, how much they owe you and that you are giving them 1 week to pay it or you will take them to small claims court.

bring cell phone records, pictures, their address.. any proof you have with you to court.. the references you have that they spoke with.. witnesses that might have saw you that day with the child.. etc

people should not be able to get away with doing something childish like this.. teach them a lesson

-a nanny

ble said...

nnp....All I can say is WOW! I am stunned silent and most of you know it would take a lot for me to not have something to say! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Re; NNP
That kind of attitude reflects very poorly on professional nannies.
Interview carefully, be selective about the families you work for. If you start a job and realize you have misjudged the family, just QUIT!
A Nanny

Anonymous said...

If you hire someone and you soon know you made a mistake or if you take a job and quickly realize it was a mistake, end the situation. It will only spell trouble.

Anonymous said...

11:29 it doesnt take TEN hours to know you dont like someone. get real! you must be the one shes talking about! **rolling eyes**

cali mom said...

This is SICKENING. Yes, send them an invoice for your services provided via a delivery method that they have to sign for, so you get the receipt showing that they got it. If they get it and don't respond, take your case to the equivalent of Small Claims Court. IF they refuse the letter, which is a possibility, you can still take them to court. you will have to send the court summons the same way though to guarantee and prove they received it. if they refuse THAT letter also, post their full names and that of the child, their photos and their neighborhood and hangout spots, but not home address. Don't warn them that you will do any of this part if they still refuse to pay you, just do it. And if they make claims that you abused the boy or any other such bullsh*t, it will be up to them to file appropriate charges with authorities and PROVE it and they still are required to pay you. They are counting on you to back down and let them get away with it.

I know a couple here near San Francisco that pulled something similar with a friend of mine who was INVITED as a "FRIEND" to go on vacation to Paris with them on the agreement she'd "help out" a bit.