Miss a Birthday Party, Get an Invoice Demanding Payment

by TTMK on January 21, 2015 · 9 comments

birthday invoiceBirthday parties for kids are supposed to be fun, right?

Well, fun for the kids at least.  These days, the cost of parties seems to have reached levels that were way different than back in the day.  Instead of inviting people over for cake and games, little kids in many areas are getting pricey parties and events outside the home that can set the host parents back a relatively substantial amount of money.

It’s almost as if birthday party cost increases are keeping pace with – or perhaps surpassing – those of college tuition, on an annual percentage basis.  Talk about pressure on parents!

Speaking of which, a recent story about a birthday party no-show has illustrated this notion of financial pressure on parents who host birthday parties.  In this case, highlighted in a story on The Guardian, parents of a kid who missed a birthday party were sent a bill requesting payment.  Yes, they were actually billed because they did not take their kid to the party.

When converted to dollars, the amount is approximately $25 as of this writing.  This seems to be the cost that the party host had to incur due to the no-show.  One might assume that these costs would have been covered by the parents of the attending child, had they actually sent the child to the party.  Since they didn’t take him, the host was stuck with the money.

What to think of this?

So, if you’re the host, it wouldn’t be cool to just eat the cost that you apparently had to incur due to the no-show.  If you’re the parent of the invited kid, you wouldn’t want to be billed for something that your kid didn’t participate in.

I can see how each side could have a problem with what happened here.

That being said, while not having your kid attend a party that you had confirmed he would might seem a bit “unusual”, it’s more outside the norm of society to actually send someone a bill for such a perceived transgression.

At least that’s how I see this one.

How about you?

What are your thoughts on this situation?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle January 21, 2015 at 10:44 am

I do not think the people should be charged or given a bill. I can understand how the host was upset but it’s just a cost you have to eat. I know how this is because we had around 40 to 50 people RSVP yes to our wedding yet didn’t show up. At a cost of $100 per person, it made me mad but I definitely would not have billed those people!

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TTMK January 29, 2015 at 10:03 am

Good points, I can see how billing people for not showing up at a wedding would be awkward. Same principle applies!

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Little House January 23, 2015 at 8:26 am

I’d have to read the story to get all the details, but I think this just illustrates how some people are just tacky. In this case, it was the host for billing the family that didn’t attend. Things come up, kids get sick, the car breaks down, etc. I’m sure the family had every intention of attending when they RSVP’d, but things can change before the actual event.

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TTMK January 29, 2015 at 10:04 am

There are some risks to hosting an event, no question. One of those is that people just might not show up, even if previously committed. It is what it is.

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Jon @ Money Smart Guides January 28, 2015 at 7:31 am

To me this is just crazy. When you throw a party, you have to make your best estimates of how many people will show up and how much food/drink you need. In the end, you most likely are left with extra food/drinks and some people don’t show. It’s a part of throwing a party.

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TTMK January 29, 2015 at 10:05 am

Yes, for many parties you just might not get 100% attendance – even if people say they will come. Every situation is different, but as you alluded to, no-shows come with the territory sometimes. They might even cost you money.

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Christina @ Embracing Simple January 29, 2015 at 11:05 am

Yikes! I understand that it can be frustrating to pay for guests who end up not even showing up, but that’s the risk you take with hosting a party. It seems very tacky to invoice someone who ended up not showing up, and not a good way to nurture your friendships either!

I’d say if you aren’t willing to eat the cost of no-shows, perhaps skip the party alltogether!

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TTMK January 29, 2015 at 11:11 am

That’s a good point, that one might want to be prepared to eat the cost of no-shows when deciding on whether or not to throw a party.

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Karen February 3, 2015 at 7:58 pm

I remember reading a newspaper editorial about this. Honestly, the things people will do nowadays. Just plain tacky. While this is not the same thing, but just along the lines of tacky, I recall that there was this one couple whose guest gave them a gift basket for a wedding present . The couple lashed out and gave the guest a nasty note saying that cash was preferred. That got a lot of publicity.

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