I have a young child in a nursery (kindergarten) in England which is run by a national childcare provider, and they are supposed to be taking monthly payments via Direct Debit.
However, as far as I can tell no Direct Debit payments have ever been taken for the time my child has been there.
I’ve spoken with the individual nursery manager a number of times and they’ve repeatedly told me our account is up to date, but I don’t think that’s correct and I believe we owe a significant amount of back payments in the order of a few thousand pounds.
We haven’t received any invoices, but I’ve been setting aside an estimated amount of money each month in a separate bank account in case they realise there’s been an error and come knocking for the full amount, but it’s kind of burning a hole in my pocket just sitting there.
Ideally they’d send me an invoice for the back-payments to date so I don’t have to maintain the separate account (and I’m going to pursue that avenue for a while longer), but ultimately if they don’t think I owe them anything I’d like to be able to use that money myself rather than leave it accumulating each month.
My questions are:
What is the extent of my obligation to inform them if I think they’ve undercharged for services? Should I write to them to confirm our previous phone conversations?
As a preferred option, I’d like to pay any outstanding fees for the childcare services we’ve received, but if they continue to insist our account is up to date is there any sort of limitation on how long they have to identify any mistakes and request back-payments?
If there is no default limitation, is there any letter / notice I can send to give them X days to request any back-payments or forfeit the right to claim them so that I can eventually stop ring-fencing the estimated funds in my personal banks accounts?