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Not paid by agency

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by Iulbahar, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. Iulbahar

    Iulbahar New commenter

    I have been teaching a student through an agency since last October. We have not done many lessons as she often cancels at the last minute, but according to the agency owner I am entitled to be paid if cancellation is less than 24 hours prior. I am supposed to be paid through the agency, but have not received a penny so far;they now owe me over £200 pounds. The owner said he was processing my payment a month ago. I received nothing. Then he said he had not got my bank details. I re-sent them. Then he said he was speaking to the accountant to get an immediate payment. Two days ago he said the payment had been processed. Still nothing in my account.
    I have told him I cannot teach the student again until I am paid. He then sent me an e-mail saying the student really likes me as a teacher and has paid him for another course of lessons.
    I really like teaching this student and feel awful as obviously none of this is her fault. I have had to make excuses when she wants to book another lesson as I am adamant about not doing any more lessons until I get paid to date. I'm upset that this reflects badly on me.
    Should I explain the real reason that I am not continuing with the lessons and is there any legal action I can take to get the money I am owed?
  2. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    Piranha likes this.
  3. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    Yes I think you should tell them that you have not been paid by the agency. Maybe they would be willing to pay you directly for future lessons if they are keen to continue.
    phlogiston likes this.
  4. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    If you tell them they may put pressure on the agency to pay you, if they know you aren't going to continue lessons until you're paid. It will also be a warning to them not to deal with this agency in future.
  5. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    It sounds as if the agency has read Michael Heseltine's advice on controlling overheads.
    My advice is small claims court and accept no further business from this agency until payments are regularised.
    The accountant excuse shows he's lying. Accountants scrutinise accounts and ensure tax is paid. I'm not aware of accountants who pay bills for their clients.
    Explain the situation to the girl's family - however be aware that in the T&C you signed, you probably explicitly signed away the right to poach students where they introduced you. Working directly and undercutting the agency may make recovery of the £200 difficult.
  6. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    @lulbahar: i had a similar experience with an agency, which provided tuition for 'looked after' children in Harrow, which, on the face of it, offered a decent, hourly rate; which, in retrospect, should have acted as a warning sign! This agency ran up quite a tab with me for a couple of students, and it came across with the similar b0ll0cks when i enquired about payment: the email address i had for the person who engaged me belonged to someone who no longer worked for the agency; awaiting confirmation from the foster parent, could I confirm my bank details?; there is a cheque in the post, etc. To entice me to be patient, the agency dangled the prospect of further students. Eventually, I was sent a cheque for not quite the right amount in an otherwise empty envelope. I never heard from these people again.
  7. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I won't use an agency
    I do the work
    I set my own rates and times
    I'm paid for every lesson
    Those who pay in a block pay in advance
  8. jean_daligault

    jean_daligault New commenter

    Is there a blacklist of untrustworthy agencies somewhere? I'd be happy to add one.
  9. Iulbahar

    Iulbahar New commenter

    Thanks, everyone, for your advice. Jolly Roger, your experience is almost identical to mine. This guy has at least 2 different e-mail addresses and then claims he hasn't seen my messages for various reasons. Also dangles the prospect of further students to entice me to stay. I guess I am naive; the initial meeting was in a cafe (he claims he has an office in the city centre, which I am welcome to use for tuition) This is in the midlands though, so probably not the same outfit.
    I will take it to the small claims court.
    The girl I was teaching has obviously been conned into paying for another series of lessons and I feel very sorry for her and embarrassed that I was used as the 'bait'. I think I will write to her and explain why I can't continue. Her English isn't very good, so it would be difficult to explain by phone. Phlogiston, I agree with what you say about 'poaching' and quite frankly I won't be touching this 'agency' again with a barge pole, so it's back to daily supply for me. At least I get paid on time even though the umbrella company takes their pound of flesh.

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