When the father of a 5-year-old boy found an invoice in his son’s bag after school one day, charging the youngster a ‘no show fee’ of £15.95 ($25.00) for not being present at a classmate’s birthday party, he initially thought it was a joke.
What he later realized was it wasn’t a joke in the least. In fact, it was a very serious demand from the mother of the boy whose birthday had just passed. She had handed the invoice to the boy’s teacher, asking her to pass it on the him to send home to the parents.
Julie Lawrence had invited little Alex Nash to her son’s ‘slide and ride’ party at the Plymouth Ski Slope and Snowboard Centre in England and claims Alex’s dad confirmed he’d be there. So she wasn’t pleased when Alex decided to go to his grandfather’s home instead of the party, and requested to be reimbursed for the money she’d put down for Alex’s inclusion in the festivities. The price covered half an hour on a snow tubing run, three toboggan rides, a hot meal, ice cream, jelly and balloons, according to The Mirror.
Alex’s dad, Derek Nash, said he did indeed feel bad about his son not showing up, and claims it was a result of double-scheduling, but says he couldn’t find a contact number or e-mail address to reach the mother and cancel. When they returned to town, Nash even tried to find Lawrence at school to apologize but couldn’t find her.
But Lawrence said the party invite had “every detail needed to contact” her and therefore feels the no-show fee is justified.
Alex’s dad, however, feels it’s the way Lawrence went about the whole thing that really upset him.
“She could have tried to contact us before issuing the bill. If she had spoken to us we would have considered paying it” he said. “I could totally understand her point. It is not about the money for us and we did not mean to let them down. It is the way she has gone about it.”
He also revealed the son has been affected negatively by the whole incident.
“Little Alex was really upset and today he was scared to go to school. He was worried that no-one would want to play with him” he explained, adding “He was upset when I left him at school this morning. But he is a tough cookie and will get over it.”
The parents have also tried to contact Lawrence through Facebook. Alex’s mom, Tanya Walsh said “I messaged Julie on Facebook to say sorry and let’s resolve this amicably. And she said ‘the amicable way I believe is for you to pay me the money. And let that be a lesson learnt.’”
So far Alex’s parents refuse to pay the $25 ‘fee’ and Lawrence is now threatening to take them to small court claims, as her next course of action.