The children’s birthday party industry is completely out of hand

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘No-show’ party bill for boy (5).

The parents of a five-year-old schoolboy have been invoiced for failing to attend a school friend’s birthday party and have been threatened with legal action if they do not pay. LONDON (AP) — 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. Derek Nash and Tanya Walsh found a brown envelope with a £15.95 “no show fee” left in their son Alex’s schoolbag last week, sent by his classmate’s mother Julie Lawrence.

But after his son did not go to the event, the birthday boy’s mother sent him an invoice for €18, saying Mr Nash had left her out of pocket and had not informed her that Alex would not be attending. 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 center in Plymouth, southwest England. The mother of the birthday boy, Julie Lawrence, had one of Alex’s school teachers put the invoice in his bag— the school has since apologised for getting in the middle of things.

If the stress of herding two-dozen sugar-fuelled children wasn’t enough to put you off throwing a children’s party altogether, one Cornish mother has a neat solution. The Plymouth Herald reported that his dad, Derek, originally confirmed Alex would be attending, but he’d forgotten about a prearranged day trip with Alex’s grandparents the same day. Alex Nash missed the £15.95-a-head slope party, and now the host’s furious mother wants payback. “I’m not paying it,” says Alex’s dad, Derek. It’s a terrible way of handling it – it’s very condescending.” “It was a proper invoice with full official details and even her bank details on it.” He added: “I can understand that she’s upset about losing money. They had every detail needed to contact me.” The small claims court would charge £60 just to start the case, which is £40-plus more than what the party actually cost.

Should you invite everyone who invited your little darling last year, stick to the same sex – or blow the expense, play it safe and invite the whole class? You might think a makeover party for nine-year-olds is fine – but if other parents don’t, you will find half of those you have invited are “busy” on the day. But Generation Alpha kids of today expect that, at very least, you have hired out the village hall, thrown in an entertainer and have party bags containing at least a fiver’s worth of tat.

But even then, pity the parent who goes to all that trouble, only to schedule the party the day another classmate has arranged to take half the class to the local ski slope.

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