No-show invoices, gift vouchers and posh gift bags: the true cost of the children’s …

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5-Year-Old Hit With ‘No-Show Fee’ for Skipping Birthday Party.

LONDON — It was not what Derek Nash expected to find in his 5-year-old’s school bag: A bill demanding a “no-show fee” for another child’s birthday party. I’m fancying myself the judge in a possible small claims court case: one set of parents has charged another £15.95 for a birthday party “no show”. “It was a proper invoice with full official details and even her bank details on it,” said Derek Nash, the parent of the no-show. Nash said the bill from another parent sought 15.95 pounds ($24.00) because his son Alex had not attended the party at a ski centre in Plymouth, southwest England.

Then the litigious parents could have sued the whole class, in a class action suit. (No, I know that’s not what it means.) However, this act is not as bizarre as it seems; rather, it is the jet of lunacy that signals a deep underlying pressure. A ready-reckoner: anywhere specifically geared towards a party will charge between £15 and £20 a head, so even a modestly sized gathering will amount to £200. This can ratchet the price up so insanely that the only option is to have it in your house, where a man with a loud voice and a colourful jacket will happily relieve you of £250 for two hours spent shouting at the children so you don’t have to. At the weekend, I went to pick up the same child from a party in a bar function room, then someone offered me a drink, so I said yes, but didn’t have my wallet, so left the host with the bill; that might have happened 30 times – on top of hiring the room in the first place.

Party bags are fraught with risk, too: last year I sourced them ready-made and as cheap as I could find (£2.95 each: which is still another £50), then was let down by the company (apply to me for the name of these shysters) and had to do bags in a hurry in John Lewis.

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