By Bob Brooks
January 20, 2014
From the “you can’t make this stuff up department”……
A 5 year old, Alex, decided that he had better things to do and was a no show at his schoolmate’s birthday party. The birthday boy’s parents didn’t take too kindly to that no RSVP no show. They took action.
The no show parents were going through 5 year old Alex’s backpack only to find an invoice in the amount of $24.00 for a “no show” fee. The parents of the rejected birthday boy even went further threatening to take the “no show” parents to small claims court if they didn’t pay the invoice.
Are these parents insane or in their right mind? Did they just do something that every parent has thought about after inviting and paying an up-front fee for 20 of your child’s closest friends only to find 12 of them bother to attend?
After all, these birthday parties are expensive and have been prepaid for each child that committed in advance to attend. When a no show occurs, that fee gets wasted. A 24 hour heads up that they couldn’t make it might allow for the host to reduce their birthday party cost.
OK, the small claims court threat is definitely over the top. However, is the invoice really over the top?
Fortunately both my boys are out of birthday party mode. Although the thought might run through my mind, I would probably never do something like that. After all you have to see these people at school functions. Besides, “no shows” are just part of the whole birthday party racquet. It is just a cost that goes along with raising kids.
There is one other way to look at it. Typically, the parent spends the money on the birthday party and in return the invitee child gives the birthday child a present probably worth about what the birthday parent spent per child. It is like an even exchange.
It makes me wonder. Would the birthday parents have forgiven and forgotten had the 5 year no show sent the birthday boy a present after the fact? After all, if the parents were that insistent on getting the invoice paid they could have always returned the gift for cash. Then again, what parent would do that? Well, maybe the same parent who would invoice a 5 year old.
Read the full news story here.