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Piano Teacher not paying back money he owes

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Hello all. 

 

I am almost embarrassed to post this question but figured if I can't ask this community then can't think of where else I can.

 

Last year I found a Piano teacher for my children for 'at home' lessons through Piano Mobil recommended to me by someone.  (And I can recommend them too; this story is not about them, they are quite fine if pricey.) They sent me a Piano teacher in due course who spoke broken English which is all my kids could manage at that time as we had just arrived in Munich.  This teacher went on to quit Piano Mobil to go work for himself and offered me a lower rate if I kept him and an even lower rate if I paid him cash in advance for 10 lessons for each child.  I tend(ed) to trust Germans to keep their word - admittedly a very unwise move, not to mention a sweeping generalization on my part - and paid him.  Said teacher came twice.  After that a pattern developed - he was not well or the U-Bahn had a problem or the Tram was running too late for the agreed time slot etc.. After a couple of months of this I told him it was enough and I wanted my money back.  He agreed but did not come on the agreed date. I sent him my IBAN via text, he claimed he sent the money but the transfer bounced. As a last try I threatened legal action and he agreed to come by in person yesterday  to return the money.  Of course he didn't.

I have his name, his mobile number and all the back up of all the text message exhanges but I don't know where he lives.

 

Any advice on options? Has anyone run into anything similar? Do I go to the police or would a lawyer be worth the money? ? Do I contact creditors (I don't have his address).        

 

I would appreciate any insights.

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Will Piano Mobil give you his address if you tell them he cheated you and you need to send him a letter?

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@Metall

Definitely worth a try but I am not sure privacy laws would allow them to.  I will still call them on Monday though and see if they can help. Thank you for the sugegstion.  

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You can go to the police, file charges, wait a few months and they will find him and either scare him to pay up or you will have his info so you can take him to court.

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3 hours ago, swatiplicis said:

Hello all. 

 

I am almost embarrassed to post this question but figured if I can't ask this community then can't think of where else I can.

 

Last year I found a Piano teacher for my children for 'at home' lessons through Piano Mobil recommended to me by someone.  (And I can recommend them too; this story is not about them, they are quite fine if pricey.) They sent me a Piano teacher in due course who spoke broken English which is all my kids could manage at that time as we had just arrived in Munich.  This teacher went on to quit Piano Mobil to go work for himself and offered me a lower rate if I kept him and an even lower rate if I paid him cash in advance for 10 lessons for each child.  I tend(ed) to trust Germans to keep their word - admittedly a very unwise move, not to mention a sweeping generalization on my part - and paid him.  Said teacher came twice.  After that a pattern developed - he was not well or the U-Bahn had a problem or the Tram was running too late for the agreed time slot etc.. After a couple of months of this I told him it was enough and I wanted my money back.  He agreed but did not come on the agreed date. I sent him my IBAN via text, he claimed he sent the money but the transfer bounced. As a last try I threatened legal action and he agreed to come by in person yesterday  to return the money.  Of course he didn't.

I have his name, his mobile number and all the back up of all the text message exhanges but I don't know where he lives.

 

Any advice on options? Has anyone run into anything similar? Do I go to the police or would a lawyer be worth the money? ? Do I contact creditors (I don't have his address).        

 

I would appreciate any insights.

Do you have legal insurance?

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I think it may be worth you sending one more message, saying that if he does not give the money back you will be notifying the poilce with the intent of taking it to court if its still not resolved That "may" be enough to get the money back if its worded that it will happen rather than it may happen.

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Do you have a receipt or any form of proof  for the cash you handed over? If not then it is possible you do not have any chance to prove  he owes  lessons for your kids. .

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41 minutes ago, LeonG said:

You can go to the police, file charges, wait a few months and they will find him and either scare him to pay up or you will have his info so you can take him to court.

Sounds like normal times, Leon, but I don‘t know if the police will have time for that right  now.

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A friend of mine has her piano lessons now online. Since this will set an end to his excuses of train running late and other maybe he agrees to online lessons?

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When I worked as an English teacher (through an agency/ English school) here, it was explicitly stated in my contract that I couldn't start giving private lessons to the agency's current clients for a minimum of two years. It was made crystal clear (in a polite but decidedly steely manner!) that the company would protect its client base at all costs.

 

It wouldn't surprise me if Piano Mobil has something similar in their contracts.

 

Write to the teacher explaining that unless you receive your money owed, you will be contacting his former agency and explaining the situation - that he was undercutting and stealing their former clients. Hopefully you get your money owed this route.

Good luck!

 

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@pmd Somewhere before 2008, that type of non-compete clause was struck down in court. Even Berlitz removed it from their contracts. 

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17 minutes ago, AlexTr said:

@pmd Somewhere before 2008, that type of non-compete clause was struck down in court. Even Berlitz removed it from their contracts. 

 Lol! Really? I honestly didn't know that. Sorry OP.

 

So does this one illegal clause invalidate all my contract?

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19 minutes ago, pmd said:

 Lol! Really? I honestly didn't know that. Sorry OP.

 

So does this one illegal clause invalidate all my contract?

 

Nope, not under normal circumstances.  It just invalidates the one clause. Most schools got around it by inserting the clause in their T&C to the customer. 

 

 

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I was reaclly excited by the pmd's response... till I read the follow-up :) by AlexTr.

 

@ballygobackwards - Well, I do have a signed handwritten note from him acknowledging the receipt of cash.  I have texted it back to him too.  So we both have it. 

 

I would share this as a lesson for everyone to never pre-pay for anything.  Except, I do know there are so many decent people out there.

 

I am tempted to to post his name and his phone number so that others don't make the same mistake.  I found a ton of trail on him online on social media, coverage of his concerts etc.. ...

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Be careful about going down the slander/libel route, swati! Pitfalls which may come back to bite you...

I asked you the other day if you have legal insurance. That would help. Do you?

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4 hours ago, swatiplicis said:

I was reaclly excited by the pmd's response... till I read the follow-up :) by AlexTr.

 

@ballygobackwards - Well, I do have a signed handwritten note from him acknowledging the receipt of cash.  I have texted it back to him too.  So we both have it. 

 

I would share this as a lesson for everyone to never pre-pay for anything.  Except, I do know there are so many decent people out there.

 

I am tempted to to post his name and his phone number so that others don't make the same mistake.  I found a ton of trail on him online on social media, coverage of his concerts etc.. ...

 

OP, I see that you plan on ringing the school on Monday. I'm not sure this will achieve anything positive for you. In fact, it could open up a can of worms. 

 

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Not sure what you expect to accomplish by calling the school. You found the teacher through them and then eliminated the middle man to save money. Now that things have gone wrong you want to contact the school again.  I know what i would say if a former customer contacted me with that kind of info.  Or did I misunderstand something?  

 

Aside from that,  you are completely in the right.  Since you even have a receipt that should make it easier for you to get you money back.  Keeping fingers crossed for you! 

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@john g.

Hi John, we have the standard general liability insurance that we were advised to get when we arrived but we did not add anything additional to it.  Need to dig it up and look at what it covers..  

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Nothing to do with liability insurance, swati. That covers damage to a Third Party‘s property or health through your negligence.

So it won‘t help but good you have it anyway- essential.

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