A five-year-old boy has been handed an invoice for missing his friend’s birthday party, and his parents now claim they are being threatened with court action if they fail to pay.
The Plymouth Herald reports that Derek Nash, from Torpoint, Cornwall, found the invoice for £15.95 in his son’s school bag after he failed to turn up to a ski centre party. He said he thought the demand was a joke at first, but the friend’s mother is now threatening to take the matter to the small claims court.
The family had accepted an invitation for five-year-old Alex to attend a party at the Ski Slope and Snowboard Centre just before Christmas, but forgot they had a prior family engagement. Mr Nash said he had already arranged for his Alex and his sister to see their grandparents.
He said: “[The mother] saw me and asked if Alex was coming to the party. At this time I agreed and said that Alex was looking forward to it.
“By this time we did not have a contact number, email or an address to let [the mother] know.
“So on the day of the party we asked Alex what he wanted to do – he chose to be with his grandparents.”
Alex went back to school on 6 January. Mr Nash continued: “My partner looked out for [the friend’s mother] 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 asked Alex’s class teacher if [the child’s mother] had given anything to her. She said, ‘Yes, a brown envelope’.
“I then visited Alex’s school headteacher, who couldn’t apologise enough that one of the teachers had passed this on. She said she would remind all staff that this was a breach of protocol.
“I left the school and went to see [the friend’s mother] as her address was on the invoice. When she answered the door I told her I had found the invoice in my son’s school bag and that I wasn’t happy about it. I told her I would not be paying her the money. I told her she should have spoken to me first and not put the invoice in my son’s school bag.”
Mr Nash now claims that the friend’s mother has threatened to take them to small claims court, while Alex has told his parents his classmates will no longer play with him because he failed to show up to the party.
He added: “I drive all around the South West for my job and I have talked to quite a few people about this. They’re all quite incredulous that this has happened. I thought it was a joke to begin with. I am lost for words.”
The mother of the friend has not commented on the row.