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Au Pair in America Complaint - "Never Work With Them" Says Doctor Park

We received the following review and comment from a host parent who was with Au Pair in America - the parent requested that we post this comment under the Family Forums:

Review on Au Pair in America – never work with them

I only wish that I knew the au pair clearinghouse before I chose Au Pair in America as our agency. I was introduced to this agency by our previous nanny. She was an au pair before she came to our house, but this was not the agency she worked with. She just mentioned that it is a big agency that it should provide a quality service.  However, it turned out that they have the worst attitude towards host families among the 11 au pair agencies in United States.

First of all, they are very poor communicators – they are very reluctant to return phone calls or to respond to emails. And when they DO reply, they ignore or drop out previous issues in their email, and just send you an email with “list of our great au pairs” with “I am so eager to assist you” message.  And they never ever want to talk with you on uncomfortable issues – such as complaints on their counselors or au pairs over email, and they always insist that those matters have to be discussed via phone conversations.  But then, this was really difficult to do with them because they never (really never!) call you back!!   You will have to call them for many days hoping they answer the phone.

Second of all, the particular counselor we interacted through the Au Pair in America agency did nothing but trying to match us with their failed and unhappy au pairs so that they could recycle their failed au pairs, while I clearly told her and also told the agency that we do not want to have an au pair in rematch process. Even though I mentioned this on the phone conversation, the regional director simply ignored my request, and I could not do the new search of new au pairs for a week because they told me that it has to be done through the counselor.  Only after I sent emails, left messages on the phone and finally made a conversation with them, I was able to do the search on the internet again.

The worst thing that happened to us was that after we made some complaints about the counselor and their dishonest au pair, she simply thought that we would cancel the program, and closed the account and the access to the web without consulting and notifying us. I found that I could not use their web site anymore 4 days after we made our phone conversation. As soon as I found out about it, I emailed, and called the director many times, but she was never in her office or replied to my email. It took us two weeks until we were able to grab one of the people and asked them about the reason, and it took us almost a month in hearing from the manager that it was their fault that they misunderstood and therefore closed our account.  And how did we make them to use emails in making communications while they strongly insisted that every conversation has to be made on the phone?

They started responding to our email only after we told them that we have consulted this matter with a law firm, and we’d report them to BBB and also to NJ office of attorney. 

My final advice to you: never ever work with them. They have a weak pool of au pair candidates who wish to come to US because they are looking for something interesting to happen in their life, rather than childcare.  They are really terrible in communication, and no one wants to take responsibility. We think that this kind of business should disappear from our society, and we will take every possible action to make sure this agency goes down! 

Host parent, Dr. H. Park
 


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