A 5-year-old in the UK was sent an invoice after missing a schoolmate's birthday party, and his parents were told they will be sued if they refuse to pay. Now, in a leaked Facebook chat, the angry mom who sent the bill opens up on her own side of the story. She thinks the little boy's parents were rude not to have informed her he was double booked and couldn't make it, and the invoice is to teach them a lesson.
Derek Nash and Tanya Walsh were the first to open up to the media saying they were shocked when their son, Alex, arrived home from preschool with a brown envelope stuffed in his backpack. Inside there was a formal invoice from another mother, Julie Lawrence, for £15.95.
Derek Nash told BBC News;
"It was an invoice for a 'child no-show' fee for the party... and it was a proper invoice with full official details, even her bank details, and e-mail address, and name. Because I was so angry, I said she wasn't going to get a penny out of me."
After expressing annoyance to his son's teacher and school officials for allowing the envelope to be put in his son's schoolbag, Nash said he had confronted Lawrence at her home, stating that he "wasn't happy about" finding the invoice in his son's bag. In the ensuing altercation, Lawrence threatened to take Alex's family to small claims court.
Now, a Facebook chat has emerged where the two mothers attempt to sort things out amicably without the need to go to court. Below are some extracts...
"I was very shocked to see the invoice in Alex's school bag. I did not realise that you had to pay for each child, as you never mentioned anything about money when we spoke....
"I apologise for not letting you know, but I did not have a phone number or an e-mail for you to let you know the situation (I also didn't know your first name, or I would have looked you up).
"If I had known that I would have to pay if Alex did not go, then I would have paid you the money, no problem. I do not like fighting with people, and would prefer to settle this amicably."
"I didn't mention the money when we spoke because it was a child's party, it doesn't matter if you have to pay per person or for a group if people agree to going.
"I confirmed that with all parents on the Thursday before the party that they were going as I had to pay that day, and Derek told me Alex was looking forward to it and would see us there, to me that is confirmation.
"My phone number was on the invitation that was sent out to Alex...
"This is not the first time Alex has not turned up to a party that he has been invited to, either. The amicable way round this I believe would be to pay me the money and let a lesson be learnt, I hope this is agreeable ?"
"You are paying for 1 x child's party at the ski slope including snow tubing and tobogganing and lunch, to with you said Alex was attending on the Thursday."
Tanya was not pleased with the response, explaining that she wasn't aware of another party Alex hadn't turned up to. Tanya then explains that taking the matter to a small claims court would cost £60 just to start a claim, adding that she wasn't prepared to pay 'for something we didn't use'.
"Alex was very excited to go to the party. I didn't know until the day about his nan and grandad, and he decided he would rather spend the day with them. Like I said before I didn't have your number to let you know.
"And exactly what lesson would I be learning. I am not a child, so please do not speak to me like I am one. So, to answer your question, unfortunately no. This is not agreeable."
"I don't know why you are out for our blood and slandering us....
"Maybe if you actually spoke to me rather than making your own mind up about what happened then none of this would be happening right now."
Who do you think is in the right here?