From: Ann Wycoff, Ph.D. [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 6:01 PM
Subject: nanny conflict
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 6:01 PM
Subject: nanny conflict
In response to your phone message of January 4, 2005 where you requested a pro-rated refund I would like to review the following events:
You signed a fee agreement with Safe and Sound Nannies on April 19, 2004. We began a search for a qualified nanny for your family at that time. We sent you Person A, an experienced nanny, on or about April 25, 2004 but because of your family's travel plans, you were unable to make a decision regarding her because your wife was out of town and was unable to meet her in a timely manner. In the meantime, Person A was hired by another family. We then sent you Person B information on May 7, 2004. Person B has been a nanny since l994. We placed her in her last nanny position and she worked for that family successfully for 3 years. You interviewed Person B and hired her. She started working for you in June, 2004. In late June I called you to check on her performance and collect our placement fee. At that time you said you were unsure about whether you wanted to keep her. I told you to take your time to be sure she is the right fit for your position before you pay our fee. I did not charge our fee at that time. I called you again approximately 2 weeks later and you still were unsure about whether you wanted to keep her. I told you at that time that it was probably best if you did not hire her and did not pay our fee, and we could stop there. We had other families who were interested in Person B. You said you would call me in a few days and make a decision. You called on July 12, 2004 and said you wanted to keep Person B as your nanny and pay our fee. We billed our placement fee to your credit card on July 12, 2004. You called me approximately 2 weeks later, on or about July 26, 2004, and said you were unhappy with Person B and needed a replacement nanny as soon as possible. Although Person B expressed complaints about working conditions to me, I supported your decision completely and promised you I would make you our top priority and find you a qualified replacement. You made it clear that you needed a replacement as soon as possible. You reiterated that this was a busy time for you and you needed a nanny very soon. It is rare for one of our nanny placements to not work out, and we take our replacement policy very seriously. We (Safe and Sound Nannies) immediately spent substantial funds advertising extensively and spent substantial time interviewing nannies for your position. Because our screening process is thorough, and because we only send qualified nannies to our clients, we usually interview at least 15 nannies by phone before we find 1 whom we are interested in pursuing further. Of those whom we pursue, usually 1 out of 5 pass the standardized, statistically validated personality screen, have excellent references (which we speak with personally), and give us an excellent in-person interview. In addition to meeting those qualifications, the right nanny for your position needed to be open to working 50 hours per week, have flexibility in her schedule, have the energy, willingness and ability to handle triplets and another child, (or be willing to work with another nanny) be willing to commute to Cardiff, and desire a long term commitment. Knowing that you were in a hurry, we put other families' needs aside so that you would not be inconvenienced, and we concentrated on finding qualified candidates for you as quickly as possible.
On August 4, 2004, we e-mailed information to you on Person C, including her application, references, and phone number. Person C had worked with children since l996, had a college degree, an excellent personality screen, excellent references, an excellent in-person interview, and was interested in your position. She also lived in Encinitas, which is close to your home. We find very few qualified nannies who live in Encinitas and we were excited to have found her. In addition to sending you the e-mail, I also called you to let you know about Person C. You agreed to call her but you did not.
On August 7, 2004, we e-mailed information to you on Person D. Person D had 10 years of experience, 22 child development college units, 4 excellent references, an excellent personality screen and an excellent interview. She was interested in your position. We had placed her in her last position of 2 years and the family gave her a beautiful reference. You did not call Person D either.
On August 10, 2004 I called you again and asked you if you were going to call our candidates. You expressed dismay that Person D was asking for $14/hr but that is the same hourly rate that you had offered and agreed to pay Person B. You said you were going to hire a family friend temporarily and would need a nanny sometime in November. You wanted to put the search "on hold". I mentioned that we had gone to extensive cost and effort to find you qualified replacements and you hadn't called either candidate, although you had told me you needed a replacement as soon as possible. You made no justification for failing to call the candidates. You sent me an e-mail the next day expressing your dismay that I had brought up the effort we had expended on your behalf. Although we had met our commitment to you as set forth in our agreement by sending you 2 qualified replacement candidates, I was willing to accomodate you over and above the parameters of our contract, and I told you we would search for a nanny to start in November. You did not call me in November. In December you sent me an e-mail asking me to call you after the New Year. I called you on Monday, January 3, 2005 as you had requested and you said you "may have decided" that you need a live-in nanny; you weren't sure what you wanted and would talk with your wife and call me on January 4, 2005. We don't place live-ins, and you and I discussed that in-depth during our first conversation in April, 2004. At that time you hired us to find you a live-out nanny. On January 4, 2005 you left a phone message saying "my wife and I can't work with you because you're not located in San Diego" and you wanted a pro-rated refund.
Safe and Sound Nannies operates a fully staffed office in San Diego. Although I spend a portion of my time in Colorado, my home is in Carlsbad and I participate fully in screening, checking references, and interviewing every nanny candidate who passes our initial criteria. I personally review every psychological screen on every candidate. I employ an experienced, trained, full-time assistant who is physically working in our San Diego office Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. and often on Saturdays. My assistant was trained personally by me and has participated in over 500 in-person intervierws with me in our San Diego office. She and I continue to interview candidates together in-person in our San Diego office. In the event that I cannot interview a nanny in-person, my assistant interviews her in-person in our office and I participate fully through a webcam and speaker phone. Every nanny is interviewed by both my assistant and me so that we have the perspective of 2 interviewers for each candidate. Every family who uses our service works directly with me.
Please refer to our fee agreement which states: "Safe and Sound Nannies agrees that should the service relationship between client and selected candidate be terminated before the 180th calendar day following the candidate's start date, Safe and Sound Nannies will present at least 2 additional qualified candidates, OR, at Safe and Sound Nannies' sole discretion, provide a pro-rated refund. This paragraph is not applicable if the service relationship is terminated because the position is eliminated..."
Safe and Sound Nannies provided "at least 2 additional qualified candidates" to you. Also, your position was eliminated when you hired a family friend. We accomodated you within the paramaters of our contract. We have hereby fulfilled our obligations to you and you are therefore not entitled to a pro-rated refund or any further actions on our part. Please direct any questions to my controller, Stephen Parker at (619) 987-4894, who will be happy to discuss the matter further. He will also be happy to provide you with his e-mail address upon request. I will not be involved in or respond to any further comunication on this matter either by phone or e-mail.