5 Year Old Invoiced for Missing Party – How you can avoid no shows?
You’ve organized your child’s birthday at a party venue and wait for the guests to arrive. Unfortunately someone hasn’t shown up and they haven’t told you. This leaves you with a bill for an extra guest or deprives another friend of a place at the celebration.
It’s a common problem highlighted by the story of a five year old from Cornwall who was sent as invoice for £15.95 by a mother who had organized a party at a local ski center.
The boys father said they had to go to visit grandparents and that he didn’t have the details to contact the parent concerned. He refused to pay the parent and was told he may be taken to small claims court. (Mail Online 19/01/2015)
The story highlighted a number of issues including whether a school should be passing out invoices to children, whether to ask parents for money if a party is missed with no notice and how to avoid the situation occurring in the first place.
Firstly there are a number of reasons people miss parties. We all lead busier lives these days and with work commitments as well as the social lives of siblings, there are times when parents honestly do just forget. There are also unforeseen illnesses, being double booked with another engagement or maybe the children have fallen out. The child who misses the party may be equally as upset as the parent who has to pay for them.
Parents who miss parties, especially those booked at organized venues should be aware of the cost for each child and should do everything they can to remember the date. This could include popping the date in your phone diary so it will send you a reminder, put it on your calendar and putting the invite on the fridge or notice board.
For the parents holding the party it is always worth asking for the parents mobile phone number when they reply. This enables them to send out a text reminder before the event so that any issues can be ironed out in advance.
If you have missed a party that would have incurred a cost to the organizer, they may be a little more forgiving if you still send a present after the event or ask them if you can have the friend around for tea by way of an apology. That way the children still get to have some fun time together without any fall outs.
In the case highlighted above, the teachers apologized for inadvertently giving the 5 year old a bill but the aggrieved parents would still have a bill of £25 if they did go ahead with the court proceeding.
It is a shame that a birthday celebration of a young child was spoiled by spreading playground politics over the national newspapers. After all the kids don’t really understand and all they really want to do is have a fun birthday party.
Hopefully the advise above will help avoid no shows but if you have any other advise to share with our readers about party etiquette we’d love you to comment below.
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