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    20 Jan 2015

    5-Year-Old Gets Slapped With An Invoice Just For Missing A Birthday Party

    Two mothers became embroiled in a bitter Facebook battle over an invoice handed to one of their sons for missing the other's birthday party.

    Tanya Walsh and her partner Derek Nash were appalled when their son Alex, five, arrived home from school with a £15.95 bill for missing his classmate Charlie Lawrence’s big day at a local ski centre.

    After refusing to pay, Alex's parents were threatened that they would be taken to court.

    Since then Miss Walsh and Charlie's mother Julie Lawrence have become entangled in a war of words.
    '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,'  Miss Walsh, 30, said.

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    'The next thing I heard she was taking us to small claims court. My partner went to see her and it ended in an argument. She shouted down the street: "Don't mess with me".

    'Every time I spoke to her previously she was always very polite,' Miss Walsh added.


    'All of this is very shocking.'

    ‘Julie 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.’

    But Mrs Lawrence said in a statement: 'All details were on the party invite. They had every detail needed to contact me.'

    Alex's father however said he had no means of contacting the woman, resorting to trying to find her at the children's school gates to apologise.

    'My partner looked out for [Mrs Lawrence] to apologise for Alex not showing up to the party, but didn’t see her.

    ‘But on January 15 she looked in Alex’s school bag and found a brown envelope. It was an invoice for £15.95 for a child’s party no-show fee.’

    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
    Alex's mother Tanya Walsh

    Mr Nash said he visited Mrs Lawrence’s home and told her he was ‘not happy’. He added: ‘I thought it was a joke to begin with. I am lost for words.’

    He had confirmed Alex would attend the 'slide and ride' party before Christmas at the Plymouth Ski Slope and Snowboard Centre.

    Costing £15.95 a head, it would have included half an hour on a snow tubing run, three toboggan rides, a hot meal, ice cream, jelly and balloons.

    But he then realised he had already arranged for their daughter to go on a day trip with her grandparents.

    The host's mother could have little luck getting back the £15.95 in court - where the administration fee to make a claim is £25.

    The ski centre's manager Louisa Duggan said: 'It seems to be a dispute between two parents and the parent who wrote the invoice has put us on it, which is crazy because we have nothing to do with it.

    'We ask for a small deposit on booking and 48 hours before the party we ask hosts to confirm numbers and pay us the full amount. It's £15.95 a head for a slide and ride party.

    'But there's no such thing as a no-show fee. We don't invoice private individuals, we just ask for payment 48 hours before.

    'If the child doesn't show, to be honest we're pretty flexible. We might give the hosts some extra toboggan rides or some credit at the bar.

    'I understand people being upset because people outlay a lot of money for these parties, so I understand their frustration.

    'Whether invoicing another parent is a good idea or not is not for me to say, but it's certainly not something I'd do.'






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