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Tuition centre hasn't paid me

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by lynden7, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. lynden7

    lynden7 New commenter

    I replied to an ad for teachers at a local tuition centre. It was run by qualified teachers, and I was offered a fair wage - more than I got as an FE tutor. I was to be classed as self-employed. We discussed classes I could take over from the tutor who left, and began teaching. First month I handed in my invoice late, told it was too late now, it would be paid next month. Second month I handed in 2 months' worth, told it was not laid out properly, apparently there were different rates for different types of class (I never had anything in writing about how to lay out an invoice) but she would sort it out. A week later I reminded her, she said she'd do it, and didn't. End of month, business closed without notice. I asked how to lay out my invoice - nothing. So I followed my husband's advice, decided on a fair figure and submitted again. Nothing.

    Now, the reason the business closed is serious family illness. So I get that things are really tough. But I am owed about £600 and as I have just three hours a week apart from this one, and pay 25 per cent of my pay to an agency, I would like it in my bank. CAB just rings and rings. Anyone got any advice or experience? Apart from, don't do it again?!
  2. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I am sorry this has happened to you, @lynden7. I had exactly the same experience with such a tuition centre in Harrow, about six years ago. When I say 'exactly, I mean 'exactly', down to the surprisingly good rate of pay promised, rejection of completed time sheets, previously unmentioned submission deadlines, manyana paydays, and then the centre mysteriously closing after a couple of months.

    Whereabouts was this?
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
    lynden7 likes this.
  3. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    Sorry to hear this. It sounds like it could well have been a scam and the "serious family illness" an excuse. You could try the small claims court, but if the business has closed and they claim to have no money you may not get paid even if you win.

    This seems like sound advice but I have no personal experience of how it works.
    lynden7 likes this.
  4. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    @lynden7: I forgot to mention that the tuition centre that had down my trousers also advertised itself as 'being run by teachers, for teachers'. This makes me wonder whether this is part of the bogus tuition centre M.O. (or even the same people behind it as yours).

    As @gainly suggested, you could think about using the SCC but it might well be sending good money after bad. You will not be the only creditor; there will be the other teachers, the landlord who rented the centre its premises, and so on. The scam seems to be to keep going until creditors start pressing for payment, and then to disappear into thin air.
    lynden7 likes this.
  5. lynden7

    lynden7 New commenter

    Rayleigh, Essex.

    There were signs it was sinking before it closed - an email saying they'd only stay up to exam period, then another to say they were keeping going for a while, children not turning up for lessons, another changing to a different provider...I'm pretty sure the family sickness is real - I saw the relative, and she looked very unwell.

    Thank you for the link, @gainly, that's very useful. My husband showed me how to check they hadn't gone bankrupt, so there's a chance of getting some money back. The link suggests I'd do well to write as well as email, and to give a deadline.

    Thank you for the support, both!
  6. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    @lynden7 I am hopeful to hear that you think this tuition agency was merely unfortunate, rather then a scam.
    lynden7 likes this.
  7. lynden7

    lynden7 New commenter

    Me too! I managed to get an appointment at Citizens Advice yesterday and they gave me some ideas to pursue.
  8. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    Good luck. For future I would try to avoid tuition centres or agencies where you have to pay a lot of commission. There are a number of websites where you can advertise your tutoring services which charge the student a finder's fee but don't charge the tutor. TES don't like us naming them but you'll be able to find them easily with a quick search.
    lynden7 likes this.
  9. lynden7

    lynden7 New commenter

    Thank you, yes, I think I will. Agencies...another thorny subject! We live and learn.

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