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Old 18.12.2020, 12:45
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Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

Hi,


I could use a little help here. I have an original contract with a company to provide a 100% of service of childcare, but some time ago I've written them an email asking to provide only 80% of service (and I can prove that I have only been using 80% of the service).



They have ignored it, claiming I didn't give them a proper written notice (this isn't part of the contract), and are billing me for 100% of the service.


Legal advice I got on the matter was simply to pay 80% and present proof if the matter goes to ... whatever it's called.


This is really frustrating for me, because I would like to be more proactive about this. Is there anything I can do?


Thanks!
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Old 18.12.2020, 12:48
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

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Hi,


I could use a little help here. I have an original contract with a company to provide a 100% of service of childcare, but some time ago I've written them an email asking to provide only 80% of service (and I can prove that I have only been using 80% of the service).



They have ignored it, claiming I didn't give them a proper written notice (this isn't part of the contract), and are billing me for 100% of the service.


Legal advice I got on the matter was simply to pay 80% and present proof if the matter goes to ... whatever it's called.


This is really frustrating for me, because I would like to be more proactive about this. Is there anything I can do?


Thanks!
What does the original contract say about a notice of reduction for childcare?
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Old 18.12.2020, 12:51
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

The contracts where I worked and had my kids all had significant notice periods for reduction of care hours. Eg. 3 or 6 months before specific ends of the month. You can't just change it month-by-month.


And yes, written notice may require a signed piece of printed paper...
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Old 18.12.2020, 13:50
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

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What does the original contract say about a notice of reduction for childcare?

A month+written notice+a fee... All observed... (nothing about format)
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Old 18.12.2020, 13:51
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

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The contracts where I worked and had my kids all had significant notice periods for reduction of care hours. Eg. 3 or 6 months before specific ends of the month. You can't just change it month-by-month.


And yes, written notice may require a signed piece of printed paper...

I think this is if you are ending your engagement with daycare (I've been with 3 and it's always 3 month notice if you want to cancel the contract).
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Old 18.12.2020, 13:53
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

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A month+written notice+a fee... All observed... (nothing about format)
Email does not count as written notice, registered letter before end of the month.
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Old 18.12.2020, 14:18
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

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A month+written notice+a fee... All observed... (nothing about format)
E-mail is NOT written notice!

Tom
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Old 18.12.2020, 15:14
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

From what I've read, in Swiss law "written" means on paper.

"Text" would mean any form of text, including email, but would exclude verbal instruction.
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Old 18.12.2020, 15:19
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

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I think this is if you are ending your engagement with daycare (I've been with 3 and it's always 3 month notice if you want to cancel the contract).
Cancel/modify are the same thing.

Tom
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Old 18.12.2020, 15:22
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

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Cancel/modify are the same thing.

Tom
Not completely - they do not have to accept a modification of a contract, but they can't refuse a cancellation.
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Old 18.12.2020, 18:59
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

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Email does not count as written notice, registered letter before end of the month.

Is this post not "written"? Whether the email goes to the right person or not is another matter. If it's been answered then I would say it's been delivered.
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Old 18.12.2020, 19:03
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

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Is this post not "written"? Whether the email goes to the right person or not is another matter. If it's been answered then I would say it's been delivered.
Doesn't matter, legally it has to be sent registered.

Tom
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Old 18.12.2020, 20:02
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

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Legal advice I got on the matter was simply to pay 80% and present proof if the matter goes to ... whatever it's called

Did you get that advice from a lawyer?
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Old 18.12.2020, 20:46
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

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Hi,


I could use a little help here. I have an original contract with a company to provide a 100% of service of childcare, but some time ago I've written them an email asking to provide only 80% of service (and I can prove that I have only been using 80% of the service).



They have ignored it, claiming I didn't give them a proper written notice (this isn't part of the contract), and are billing me for 100% of the service.


Legal advice I got on the matter was simply to pay 80% and present proof if the matter goes to ... whatever it's called.


This is really frustrating for me, because I would like to be more proactive about this. Is there anything I can do?


Thanks!
Hi OP,

I feel for you but this is not how things are done. Please read your contract/enrollment forms and see when exactly you're supposed to give notice. I am afraid you can make amendments at the end of the semester, so you'll have to pay the full amount either way.

Please read carefully your agreement and deregister/modify contract because they'll continue to send you bills if you don't do that. There are specific terms when you can give notice, it's not when everyone needs/wants/feels like it.
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Old 18.12.2020, 21:19
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

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Absent specific wording in the contract that cancellation is solely by post, I would doubt that's the case.

Maybe it does specify it however.
Alas, we are in Switzerland, and written=hard copy (unless otherwise specified).

Something foreigners fail to glean!

Tom
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Old 19.12.2020, 01:05
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

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claiming I didn't give them a proper written notice (this isn't part of the contract),
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+written notice
so which one is it?

Email is not written notice because it has no legal value and it's an unsafe means of communication, and there is no legally recognized signature.
Snail mail or fax with signed letter has legal value, but you cannot be sure it has arrived..
This leaves registered mail when it comes to expensive stuff with untrusted partners, where you get proof of receipt (although I don't fully understand how that enables you to prove that you sent a specific letter and not a denner leaflet if it goes in court, I should ask a lawyer next time I see one).
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Old 19.12.2020, 09:18
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

How many months has it been going on ?



Normally you need to give written notice before the end of the month, and then the notice period is the full following month...



And yes, you need to clarify with the childcare what their requirements are - have you fulfilled this now ? Did you write to them properly (as I said, a proper printed piece of paper) and have them confirm the change of enrolment ?
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Old 19.12.2020, 09:36
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

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Doesn't matter, legally it has to be sent registered.

Tom
Is it so? I mean I know registered proves that you sent and they received in time but I am not sure that "legally" you need to send registered. For a lot of stuff a simple letter is fine too, or?
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Old 19.12.2020, 10:13
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Re: Being billed for services I asked to be removed from

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Is it so? I mean I know registered proves that you sent and they received in time but I am not sure that "legally" you need to send registered. For a lot of stuff a simple letter is fine too, or?



In my previous job (childcare 10+ years!) we would issue a confirmation letter, signed, to the parents for changes of contract. These were countersigned by the parent and a copy retained for our files.



You don't need to send a registered letter, but you do need to allow enough time for the other side to process the letter and give you a confirmation. Normally this is no problem...



And it was quite clear from my Swiss employers that emails needed to be followed by written/signed confirmation of the parent's requests, or we would prepare something for them to sign. Whenever parents made at-the-door or phone requests, we might ask them to email, but then our admin would always then follow up with the correct printed documents.
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