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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10399
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My daughter has an exchange student who has stayed with us

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my daughter has an exchange student who has stayed with us for 3 years now Spanish school in Bilbao, for which we get paid. In June my daughter went to stay there for 9 days which I thought was a private arrangement and a gesture of friendship. We have since been paid minus Alice's trip to Spain, even though I arranged it independently. I have lost out on £333 and if I had know I had to pay I would not have sent Alice. Where do I stand

If you get paid for having the Spanish student, why would you not think you would have to pay for your daughter to go to Spain?

Who arranges these exchanges? Where are they based?

If you arrange an independent visit for your daughter, why would they be deducting money from what you were do you? Was it all done by the same organisation?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
St Georges in Spain arranges for the Spainsh Students to come over here. It is purely one way traffic. They come all together with all travel arranged. The deducted 9 days from 3.5 weeks for my daughters visit. I arranged flights a believed it to be an invitation out of friendship. At no time was the word exchange used.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I believed it to be a private arrangement with the spanish family and nothing to do with the school in Spain and was never informed of this fact until after the visit

Was the family that your daughter stayed with, the same family that the child came to you?

Did you contact that family directly or through St George’s? I’m trying to ascertain how St George’s knew about the arrangements. Do you think that the family in Spain contacting St George’s for some reason?

Do St George’s have any representation in the UK?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customerfirst came to us through st georges. the trip to spain was arranged viaCustomerand my daughter. Both sides knew of the visit. The company is actually calle Spanish children in England and it is from that account I got paid. There was not mention of any deduction before Alice left for Spain.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The Spanish school knew because I believe this was an arrangement they decided on whilst Alice was there. They went to a meeting at st George's to discuss the trip to England. I have never had any direct contact with st georges over Alice's trip. They did not arrange transport or know the dates.

Thank you.

Unless there was an agreement with St George’s that they would be paid for the trip for your daughter, they are not entitled to be paid for it.

If they have done some work on it, they may be entitled to be paid.

The difficulty you have is that taking a Spanish company to court, whether you do that in England or Spain, is not going to be particularly practical because, even if you get a judgement, you are going to have to enforce it in Spain which is probably going to cost more than the £333.

So, whilst based upon what you have said, they are not entitled to deduct this, taking it to court is not going to be practical.

I don’t know whether you’re going to take any more children in the future but if you were, and it’s a reasonable source of income for you, it’s likely they would no longer send children to you.

I’m sorry that the answer is largely unfavourable.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It doesn’t cost you anything but helps me greatly.

We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The lady I deal with lives in England. The bank account is from a English account in london
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One half of the family lives in spain the other lives here and is English. I have spoken to her on the phone and via email regarding this matter and she was very rude even though I have socialised with her. I got involved in this exchange via her daughter who I know fairly well.

It doesn’t matter where the lady lives, it is where the organisation is based that is relevant. They may just use the bank account for administration ease.

There is nothing to stop you issuing proceedings against the English address to see whether they say that this should be in Spain.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I do that
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry you are being really helpful and I will give a high rating

No problem. You can issue Small Claims Court proceedings online here

You have to give warning in writing that if this money is not received by a particular date (give 14 days) you will be issuing Small Claims Court proceedings without further notice.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you and one final question do I personally have to give warning in writing.

Yes, because if you don’t give the warning in writing, they will deny ever having had it and the court may decide that issuing proceedings has been unreasonably premature, hasn’t given them time to negotiate on the court could award a cost penalty against you.

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