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What would you have done?

(77 Posts)
burrowdigger Thu 07-Apr-16 13:55:09

One evening a few weeks ago, I went for a meal with 2 friends to a small hotel in our local town. The hotel car park was full so we parked in a nearby public one. We then enjoyed our meal with a bottle of wine.
When we came to pay, Friend no. 1 wanted to pay on her card, so Friend no. 2 and myself agreed to settle with her afterwards. The young man who had served us dealt with the bill. We were chatting among ourselves and not paying much attention and when the transaction was completed, we left the hotel and walked back down the street to the car park.
A few minutes later, the young man came running down the street after us saying he had forgotten to charge us for the wine. Friend no 1, who is very law abiding, went straight back to the hotel and paid for it before we had a chance to discuss it. Friend no 2 and I were of the opinion that although it was probably a genuine mistake, it was the young man's and that as we had left the hotel premises, he had no right to come after us.Friend no. 1 argued that because we like to have coffee or a meal there regularly, she didn't want to upset them.
What would anyone else have done?

Greyduster Thu 07-Apr-16 18:09:20

We took some friends who we don't see very often out to lunch recently and when DH paid the bill he noticed the wine had not been charged for, so he went back to the desk and paid for it. Quite frankly, considering the standard of the food, which we had been led to believe would be better, I don't think they deserved anyone to be so honest with them, but the wine had been the only thing we enjoyed! I wrote to the management and never even received a response.

Grannyben Thu 07-Apr-16 20:36:22

If you drank it, pay for it. The young waiter could have got into trouble because of a genuine mistake he might have made whilst he was busy

annodomini Thu 07-Apr-16 21:36:00

I'm surprised that this event is even up for discussion, and that the OP and her companions thought they should talk it over before they paid up!

Newquay Fri 08-Apr-16 07:56:14

I am amazed like annodomini says that this is even discussed. You drank the wine, you pay for it. That poor, as you say, probably poorly paid man, would probably have to make up the shortfall himself. But that's irrelevant, you were effectively stealing! Why be thought/accused of theft for the sake of a bottle of wine? It's irrelevant whether it's a big chain or not btw IMHO.

shysal Fri 08-Apr-16 08:36:02

I think the point here is that there is often a policy of 'mistakes cannot be rectified after the customer has left the premises'. It seems that for some businesses over-payment would not be refunded, but under-payment would be accepted.
The other day I was given too much change in a local shop, but didn't notice until I had left. Naturally I went back in and they were apologetic, accepting back the excess. I wonder what would have happened if I had noticed an error in their favour!

Maggiemaybe Fri 08-Apr-16 08:43:45

The only time I've knowingly not paid for something was in our local Asda. A bossy boots flourishing a big foam hand on a stick with finger pointing to the self serve checkout insisted I use it. I resisted because I don't agree with the way they've dispensed with all but a couple of manned tills, and consequently with some checkout operators, but was practically frogmarched to it. So I stood by with arms folded and a face like thunder while she demonstrated how easy it was even for a little old lady like me, then dispatched me with a big smile and a "you see, anyone can do it". When I found that the cost of my box of chocolates wasn't on the bill, I decided that Asda could whistle for it.

Pamaga Fri 08-Apr-16 09:32:10

Pay up, of course. His job could be on the line!

Shazmo24 Fri 08-Apr-16 09:34:35

I can't believe that you think it's okay not to pay for something that you drank...good on your be honest if I was that friend who was honest wouldn't want to be friends with you!

Mumsyface Fri 08-Apr-16 09:36:29

I'm more concerned about whether the driver had also enjoyed the wine.......

harrysgran Fri 08-Apr-16 10:09:26

The poor lad might of been new to the job and could of lost his job had he not rectified his mistake it was a few quid for a bottle of wine that had been enjoyed I wouldn't of given it another thought.

Wendysue Fri 08-Apr-16 10:18:11

It's his mistake but he was trying to fix it. So why not pay it and help him stay out of trouble?

grandMattie Fri 08-Apr-16 10:25:23

Having been in finance, DH always checks the bill and asks for the "obligatory" tip to be removed. He leaves a generous tip in cash.
If something has been left off, he points it out. If the cashier/waiter "never makes a mistake" he doesn't argue. The ball is in their court!
BTW I do go out without DH occasionally, usually lunch with ladies who lunch [grin

Synonymous Fri 08-Apr-16 10:29:31

It is a wind up by someone/the op with too much time on their hands assuredly!
Just in case OP was not in receipt of good parenting I will say that 'Honesty is the best policy' in ALL cases. Size of business is irrelevant. hmm

Venus Fri 08-Apr-16 10:32:03

Pompa, if you shop online with Ocado, they will take any bags back and give you 5p for each bag, so if you have to purchase a bag, you know you will get it back eventually.

Venus Fri 08-Apr-16 10:37:30

Looking from the other side, we paid too much for food we didn't have. I checked the bill after we left the pub and then went straight back in and found the waitress who took the money. I explained the mistake and she looked a bit shamefaced, and gave me the money back without a word. I'm pretty sure she knew that we had been overcharged, but said nothing. I always check the bill now before I leave.

Nonnie Fri 08-Apr-16 10:52:32

Appalling. Regardless of whether the waiter would have been affected, how can you look yourself in the mirror if you know you have been less than honest and fair?

ninuksmith Fri 08-Apr-16 10:54:09

I remember an incidence where I went to Mothercare with my 2 year old son in a push chair (he is now in his 30s), paid my purchases...not until I was 4 or 5 shops away that I noticed my son was clutching a teddy bear still with price tag on it from Mothercare! He must have had grabbed it from one of the shelves. Embarassed, I went back and returned the teddy bear. The shop assistant just looked at me without saying anything. I could not made up my mind whether she was accussing me for stealing then changed my mind and returned it or whether she thought I was mad for returning it! That was the last time I shop at any Mothercare. I have 4 children.

sweetcakes Fri 08-Apr-16 11:28:55

Tight or what, I would feel guilty

Anya Fri 08-Apr-16 11:38:10

I notice the OP hasn't returned hmm

lizzypopbottle Fri 08-Apr-16 11:43:40

I paid for my shopping in Sainsburys a while back then decided to take a quick look round the housewares section. I had no particular intention to buy anything but spotted a basic stick blender (around a tenner) and decided to get it for my younger son. I looked a bit more then went out to the car to head home. When I realised the blender was sitting there unpaid for I was mortified. No one had challenged me (thank goodness - how embarrassing blush) and I ran back inside to pay for the thing. The girl at the customer services desk commented on my honesty (shock) and didn't think many people would've come rushing back. I felt like a criminal (and I suppose I was one) until the money was paid.

Another time, I was shopping in B&Q and standing in the checkout queue behind someone who apparently 'forgot' they had a large tin of paint partially concealed under a jacket in their trolley. There was also a small child standing in the trolley helping to conceal the theft. I should've said something but moral cowardice and fear of my life in a rough part of town prevented me. They got away with it.

whitewave Fri 08-Apr-16 11:48:18

We had lunch at a very swish hotel and paid up. ItIt wasn't until we got home and checked that it was obvious that we had paid for the next tables drinks bill as well. I phoned credit given no problem.

lizzypopbottle Fri 08-Apr-16 11:50:52

Maybe the OP is a sneaky student conducting a covert survey...

grannyactivist Fri 08-Apr-16 11:51:17

Hi burrowdigger smile

I see this is only the second time you've posted and perhaps the comments are not quite what you hoped for, but it's clear that most of us, me included, think that your friend was quite right to pay up.

Tizliz Fri 08-Apr-16 12:11:08

We only have one nice place to eat here and we know the owner quite well. We were there with family and FIL paid (it was quite expensive) and on the walk home I mentally added up the bill and then asked FIL to show me the receipt. We had also been charged for someone else's wine. The owner came straight round with the excess but as the other table had left by then I supposed he never got the money from them.

I have also gone through self service at the supermarket under protest and found when I got home that I hadn't been charged for something. But the supermarket is 45 miles away and I wasn't going back. In the past I have rung up Tesco and told them they had undercharged me and they are not interested, probably too much trouble to sort it out.

But I would never deliberately leave somewhere without paying, my conscience would nag at me for ages if I that.

Running a small business I sometimes make mistakes on invoices. I have had customers complain that I have overcharged them, but no-one has come back if I have undercharged them - I just have to accept it.

annifrance Fri 08-Apr-16 12:18:00

Pay up - obviously. I once had a late supper with a friend in a pub garden, we were chatting so hard, left late and went straight to the car park, still talking and it wasn't until I got home that I realised that we hadn't paid. I was mortified and immediately telephoned the pub, apologised profusely and promised to come over next morning to pay. The publican was lovely and in no way made me feel a criminal, and I don't think he had noted our departure!