non-payment for doula services - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 04-19-2008, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What would you guys do?

A little background -- my old contract stated that fees will be collected in a timely manner after the birth. (This has since been corrected with a non-refundable deposit being collected at the signing of the contract and the rest is due at the final pre-natal visit or at 38 weeks).
I attended a clients birth on March 15th. Since then, I've called to set up a post-partum visit so that payment and a book I lent them can be collected, and we can go over details of the birth. They have yet to set up a visit, and are not answering my phone calls or emails. I've only called maybe 4 times in the past 5 weeks, and sent 1 email as to not pester them. I've left messages every time in hopes of a return phone call. What would you do? What should the next step be? Should I just wait it out?
I of course am understanding that the post-partum period is a time of adjustment, but I've never had anyone not schedule a visit or not answer my phone calls. (The birth went seemingly well by the way and when I left everyone seemed happy with how things went) I'm confused!

Wife, Mother and Doula.
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#2 of 6 Old 04-19-2008, 09:10 PM
 
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I would call again and state that you would really like to see them sometime this next week or whatever. I would wait a bit longer... maybe a few weeks and then send them an invoice for the book and what is left of your fee. I would also tuck in a friendly note stating that you would love to see them again for a postpartum visit. Just keep sending them invoices if they don't get back to you.

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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#3 of 6 Old 04-19-2008, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Someone gave me a had a fabulous idea! They said to send an email with the following:


Hi March Client!

I would like to set up a time for our postpartum visit; I would love to see you, Mr.Client, and BabyCute again. I have some pictures from your birth as well that I'd like to bring. I am sure things have been hectic as you adjust to life with a little one, and I certainly understand that scheduling our visit is way down on your list! If you could let me know some dates and times in the next two weeks that work for you, we can set something up.

If life is still too crazy and you'd like to wait a little longer before scheduling our postpartum visit, that is certainly ok; just let me know when you are ready.

Just to let you know - you have a balance due on your account of $$$ and you also have a book that you bottowed - The Thinking Women's Guide to a Better Birth. If you are not ready for a postpartum visit, can you drop the check and the book in the mail to me sometime this week? Please let me know when you mail it out and I will let you know when I receive it.

Have a great week, and I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful spring weather!
Sincerely Beth, the Compassionate Doula



-----Any other ideas? Has anyone ever experienced this? Of course I've learned my lesson and have since changed my contract so I don't have to collect after the birth.

Wife, Mother and Doula.
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#4 of 6 Old 04-19-2008, 11:26 PM
 
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I wouldn't say "just to let you know" - I'd just put it out there. "You have a balance due on your account". The rest is friendly enough to soften the blow. It's obvious you're not mentioning it "just" to let them know, but to be reminded that you need to be paid and it could come across a little condescending. The rest is perfect.
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#5 of 6 Old 04-20-2008, 01:52 PM
 
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I like the above email. I have also in the past sent an invoice with a 'convenience' pre-addressed stamped envelope.

SugarMama to Chatterbox Zoe (almost 4) and Locomotive Miles (2)
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#6 of 6 Old 04-20-2008, 03:44 PM
 
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Hi March Client!

I would like to set up a time for our postpartum visit so that we can visit and I can see again. I have some pictures from your birth as well that I'd like to bring. I am sure things have been hectic as you adjust to life with a little one, and I certainly understand that scheduling our visit is way down on your list! If you could let me know some dates and times in the next two weeks that work for you, we can set something up. [Perhaps suggest some possibilities]

If life is still too crazy and you'd like to wait a little longer before scheduling our postpartum visit, that is certainly ok; let me know when you are ready.

Thank you for the honor of attending your birth, it was wonderful. You have a balance due on your account of $$$ and you also have a book that you borrowed - The Thinking Women's Guide to a Better Birth. You can either pay this balance and return the book at our postpartum visit if you choose to schedule it now, or if you'd rather wait on the visit, can you please drop the check and the book in the mail to me sometime this week? Please let me know when you mail it out and I will let you know when I receive it.

Have a great week, and I hope you are all enjoying this spring weather and your beuatiful baby!
Sincerely Beth, the Compassionate Doula



I'd send it more like this. Then I would wait two weeks and send an invoice [no letter, perhaps a post-it attached, but just an invoice on your letterhead].

Sorry you are dealing with this.

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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