Wht to do about fees paid to a nanny agency if the placement ended early?

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Wht to do about fees paid to a nanny agency if the placement ended early?

We got a referral for a nanny from an agency. We had one from them last year and her contract ended. This time around, we asked the agency for help to find a new nanny (we did not signed a contract with them). They referred someone that we hired but she reassigned after 4 days. Now we are in a difficult position and we need to find a nanny quite fast. We asked them for a refund (the fees are about $4000) but they are saying no; they will keep sending us nanny profiles (no luck so far). What can we do? Can they keep our money? We have not signed a contract this time but we paid in full.

Asked on June 24, 2012 under Business Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you  had a contract, its terms would govern. If you previously had a contract but did not renew or resign it, while it would not govern (not have been executed for this period of time), its terms would help inform or illuminate the party's expectations in the event of litigation. Without guidance from any contract, the most likely answer is that so long as the agency takes all reasonable steps to replace the nanny who left precipitously, they would be entitled to keep your fee; they are doing what they can to cure or mitigate the problem.


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