Five year-old Alex Nash has been issued an invoice, days after missing a friend’s birthday party. Now it seems his parents are being threatened with legal action is they don’t cough up the cash!
Alex Nash, from Cornwall in the UK, was invited to friend Charlie’s birthday party just before Christmas. The birthday boy’s mother, Julie Lawrence, sent the Nash’s a bill for £15.95, claiming Alex’s failure to turn up at the party has left them out of pocket, despite having their contact details to RSVP that he would not be going.
To make matters worse, Alex’s father Derek has revealed that he’s been threatened with legal action through the small claims court over his refusal to cough up the cash!
Alex’s parents had accepted the invitation to the birthday bash at a dry ski slope in Plymouth, shortly before Christmas. However, they later realised that Alex had been due to spend time with his grandparents, which he did instead of attending the party. They both deny having received any contact information for Ms Lawrence , and only found the invoice in a brown envelope in Alex’s school bag last week.
Mr Nash told the BBC: “It was a proper invoice with full official details and even her bank details on it. “I can understand that she’s upset about losing money. The money isn’t the issue, it’s the way she went about trying to get the money from me. She didn’t treat me like a human being, she treated me like a child and that I should do what she says.”
In a brief statement, Ms Lawrence added: “All details were on the party invite. They had every detail needed to contact me.”
Mr Nash said he had been told he was being taken to the small claims court because he was refusing to pay the money, listed as a ‘Party No Show Fee’ on the invoice.
Alex’s mother Tania 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.’
“I have spoken to Julie after we got the bill and the next thing I heard was she was taking us to the small claims court. I am now waiting to see what she does next. My partner went to see her and it ended in an argument. She shouted down the street ‘don’t mess with me. She always seemed nice. Every time I spoke to her previously she was always very polite. All of this is very shocking.”
Asked why they didn’t advise Ms Lawrence of Alex’s non attendance, Tania said “When Alex couldn’t attend we tried contacting them. But I didn’t have a number or a full name at the time. It was over the holidays so it was not like I could just bump into her at school. She said we had an invite but we don’t remember ever getting one. I definitely have not seen one. I have searched the whole house and found nothing. She could have tried to contact us before issuing the bill. If she had spoken to us we would have considered paying it.”
“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.” Tania said.
“Doing all of us through the school is incredibly distasteful. Alex’s teacher has got into trouble for breaching protocol but it is not her fault. She thought it was another party invitation, which the teachers are allowed to pass around. Our children are not even in the same class so Julie must have gone into my son’s classroom and given the invoice to the teacher who then put it in my son’s bag.”
“Alex and Charlie were good friends at school. Now Charlie has been told by his mum not to play with Alex any more. She also instructed Charlie to tell Alex that they are not allowed to go to each other’s birthday parties in the future. 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 was upset when I left him at school this morning. But he is a tough cookie and will get over it.”
Read the full Facebook conversation between Alex’s mum and Ms Lawrence below
Hi Julie. This is Alex’s mum. I don’t know what has happened between you and my partner, Derek. 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. The only reason Alex did not attend the party was because his nan and grandad were going away for christmas and the only day the kids could go see them was on the same day as the party. I did not know this. On the day Alex decided that he wanted to spend time with his nan and grandad. 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.
Hi Tanya, 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. I don’t like fighting with people either, and was not best impressed when Derek turned up on my doorstep, and said you won’t get any money out of me, rather rudely, I do admit it rattled me. 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 ? Julie
Hi Julie, whose party is Alex supposed to have gone to? I did speak to another mum about a party but she never got back to me with details, other than that I don’t recall any other confirmed invites. The only reason Derek was angry was because of the fact that the envelope was put into Alex’s school bag, when it has nothing to do with the school. He spoke to the headteacher about and she said that it’s against school policy to do that kind of thing. Birthday invites are fine, but not personal items. Like I said before, no money was mentioned when we spoke, and I feel it would be inappropriate to pay you the money, when I don’t know what it’s actually paying for. 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.
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
Just so you know, small claims court cost £60 just to start a claim. Also I’m not paying for something we didn’t use.
It doesn’t cost that much
It does. Also I don’t think the school are very happy with you involving them in this either. I don’t know why you are out for our blood and slandering us. I’ve told you the reasons why alex didn’t go. I also told you why I couldn’t call. You also don’t seem to understand that I never ran away from you. I didnt hear you calling after me. I have to get to my daughter at carbeile. So if they let alex out last then I have to rush a bit because evie, my 2 year old, walks slow. So maybe that’s why you thought I was rushing off. I had no reason to run to run away from you. So please do not state things as truth when you do not have all the facts. 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. If you had come up to us the first day back and explained about the money, then I could have explained about alex, then maybe we could have sorted something out. Instead you send an invoice.
So tell us. What would you do? Would you ever charge a child for a no-show at a Birthday party?