Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
They want us to pay. I don't think we should.(197 Posts)
Background: We have teenage children of our own and we are also guardians for a 17 year old "Ben" (not real name obviously)
Ben has been going out with a girl for the last 12 ish months or so (t's been a bit on and off) but they have known each other for a bit longer than this as were good friends beforehand.
His girlfriend lives with her mum and step dad and they are getting married in January. After the wedding they are planning to go to Mauritius for 2 weeks and Ben's girlfriend will be joining her parents. The issue is that Ben had been invited too.
To begin with, we said no because as much as would have liked him to go, it was a hell of a lot of money. It's not that we couldn't have found the money because that would have been possible but it was not the sort of money we have lying around.
Plus - relationships can be tricky at the best of times (particularly when you're younger) and there was obviously a risk that the relationship would break down prior to the holiday and it would be doubtful we'd get our money back.
However the girlfriends parents came back and told us not to worry because they had intended to pay for everything themselves (his flight, all inclusive package etc) but suggested he should bring some spending money (no problem)
They made it sound as if they really wanted their daughter to have him there as company
so that they could enjoy their honeymoon shag-fest
So we agreed and obviously thanked them profusely etc etc as it was an incredibly generous offer.
Well now you can probably guess what has happened - they've split up and things are hideous between them. Nothing amicable what so ever and they are no longer even friends. He's devastated
His ex-girlfriend now wants to invite someone else on holiday with her (not sure if just friend or new boyfriend) and that is obviously fine and non of our business.
But her parents now want to be refunded for the money that they spent for Ben and want us to pay them £2100.00
There is no fucking way we are prepared to do this as the agreement all along was that they would cover all the costs (on their insistence) but they are saying that we have no proof that they had insisted on paying and so we should cough up.
DH's point is that neither have they any evidence that we had agreed to pay so they can get stuffed.
They have now passed 'messages' to Ben at college (via his ex girlfriend) to say that we had agreed to pay and have now changed our minds and that he needs to speak to us and ensure we pay them.
He is now incredibly stressed about it and seems to be believing their version of events and also thinks we should pay.
I've tried so hard to explain to him what has happened but he is just too upset and embarrassed about the whole thing and wants it to go away
He has approx £1500 in an ISA and has said that if we don't pay, he will use that cash and I just want to fucking cry.
This is a boy who has been to hell and back over the last 10 years, I can't even go into the details of what he has been through but 2 years ago I got onto a bus and found him sitting at the back soaked to the skin as he had been wondering about in the rain and sleeping rough for a few nights with the clothes on his back. He had been completely disowned by his parents (complete and utter fucking cutting bastards) and long story short - he ended up living with us.
We managed to support him through his GCSE's and he scraped enough grades to get into college. He has been doing so well but is pretty fragile and now this has happened.
I can't and won't pay this bloody money (DH is now facing a possible redundancy which complicates things and is a massive worry) so I have no problem what so ever 'sticking to my guns' as far as they are concerned.
But what about Ben? I feel as if by refusing to pay I will be destroying everything we have worked so hard to achieve on his behalf (our relationship for one thing as his relationships with most people are quite fragile)
I'm not a push over. I'm a very upfront, confident and outspoken person. I would never allow myself to be blackmailed or intimidated by anyone. I am too old for this shit but I feel utterly stumped.
I literally don't know what to say or think and I'm so angry. I need someone to talk me through this as I'm terrified of ruining everything that this amazing young person has achieved.
We should never have agreed to the holiday but then we couldn't really refuse. He's not our child, we have no legal guardianship for him, he could have just gone anyway if he had wanted to.
I am pissed. As in actually quite drunk. And also pissed.
I'm not even going to spell-check this and can't be arsed with smiley's either. I just want to howl
If she wants to invite another guest, they can just change the name on the existing booking, can't they?
My heart goes out to you and Ben.
The parents are just chancing their arm.
I would be telling them to back right off, especially passing messages via their DD. It's a sad situation, but there is no way you or Ben are liable.
They sound like selfish nasty bastards and you sound wonderful.
I don't know what to suggest really apart from to tell them to fuck off and they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
If they persist in hounding you/him for the money then a solicitor's letter maybe?
And yes, surely all they need to do is pay a one off admin fee to change the name on the booking.
Agree with above poster. Can the tickets etc not be transferred to new traveller.
This is possible for most types of travel. Often a fee is involved but will be substantially less than the 2k
Or is ticket cancellable ?
If the ex- GFs paid then they committed to this money and transaction. If they were expecting you to pay them back, have they an email proving it? Surely they would have got that sorted before committing money to it .
All sounds very very nasty . Good luck
They can just change the name on the ticket - might cost a little but not that much.
I would go and have a chat with an aggressive lawyer and get them to back the fuck off.
Can you speak to the EX-GF parents OP. Tell them to stop sending messages and if they have something to say, to go through you and your DH?
You sound like wonderful people. They do not. And that really pisses me off. Ben is lucky to have you
fucking cunting ex-gf's family
Legalistic letter telling them to desist harassing a minor.
They stumped up for the holiday so would need to prove your promise in writing to have a leg to stand on in small claims court.
Get Ben to watch Judge Rinder!
No advice to give but offering a huge hug and best wishes to you all. You sound wonderful to be taking in a downtrodden teen and good on you. I really hope this gets sorted for the best and in your favour !!!!
Tell them if they contact Ben at all, you will report them to the police for harassment.
He is a vulnerable young adult, and even if they are alleging you offered to pay for his holiday with them, that has nothing to do with him and texting him demanding he gets money out of you is harassment of him and against the law.
If they want you to pay, they will have to take you to small claims and have proof you promised to do so, which they don't have so you don't need to worry about it.
You do need to worry about Ben however, and I would make it clear you are willing to go to the police to prevent him being bullied by grown adults who should know better.
They are trying it on. They will vert likely be able to get a refund of most of the money paid out or transfer to someone else.
Stick to your guns and try to persuade Ben to keep hold of his money.
Hope it is Spon resolved. They sound awful
Well you know you shouldn't pay and neither should Ben. And these people know they don't have a leg to stand on but are trying it on anyway.
I think you need to get a bit more snotty with them. Tell them you are not paying for something you never agreed to, and also that they and their daughter must stop harrassing your son or you will complain to the college.
Obviously i don't know the back story but can you not explain to Ben that these people are bein completely out of order, they will have to pay i themselves, and that you (and him) cannot be bullied into paying.
Just thinking about this - are you CERTAIN her parents are in on this? Could it be the exGF pushing his buttons? "My mum says you have to pay?"
Gah!! Total total cunts! Gah! I just don't even have the words!
Sorry not helpful! I would go to a lawyer - with Ben if poss so he sees the truth if he's secure enough for that - and get them sent to fuck!
If Ben is devastated, is there a chance that he still wants to go and is telling you that he needs the extra because he wants to pay his own way there? I just think there may be some bits that are missing to this story. Very horrible for you OP.
Ben is not an adult he is a child. Tell these or people if they contact him at all you will report to the police for harassment and advise them you are NOT going to give them any money.
If they continue with this nonsense tell them you will happily go to court over it as you are confident a court would decide in your favour and the matter would be forever settled,
Tell Ben you are parenting him, you know best, you will sort this out and he is to put the matter completely out of his mind. You will deal with it. Don't mention it infringe of hm again.
I know you say you don't have any legal control of Ben but could you hide his ISA paperwork so that he can't take the savings out without you knowing cos slightly worried he will take his savings out to make it all go away iyswim
I think you need to communicate directly with the ex girlfriend's parents. Things might have got lost in translation along the way. It's a bit "he says she says they say". Maybe they don't actually think you are going to pay them £2100? (Because why would you!)
Would you be able to arrange a meeting with the parents to thrash this out? All this messaging is not really resolving anything. You've put your point across very clearly in your OP (even a bit pissed) and your argument is completely valid.
You are still Ben's guardian so you can step in and try to sort this. I'm completely on your side and it would be such a waste if he felt pressured into throwing away his savings over this.
His girlfriend's parents will only have their daughter's side of the story and perhaps she has led them to believe he would pay or has painted him in a bad light?
Tell them you will take them to court for harassment if the continue.
No way would changing the ticket etc cost £2,100 I think they just want to punish Ben/you regarding the break-up between him and his ex
I would be going around there in person and telling them how dare they put this onto a vulnerable 17 year old and what planet are they on trying to charge you £2,100 that they know you never agreed to pay and that someone else will be using.
Nasty nasty people
Thanks everyone for your responses and for reading such a bloody long thread. I remembered to put it into paragraphs!
I have no idea whether they can rebook and just pay an admin fee or which company they used etc. They had said previously (to Ben) that they stood to lose 'everything' but I've not entered into any conversation with them about this and would prefer not too.
Part of me is concerned that if I did try to engage them in conversation (along the lines of - can you change the booking and add someone else), that it would imply we were in some way liable for the cost. That's how they would see it. I don't know.
I'm not too concerned about them, they are not getting a fucking penny. It's Ben I'm concerned about. He's walked out to stay with a friend this evening and is not talking to me. My husband is away with work and I'm drunk. We have ruined everything for him apparently and are no better than thieves.
The money left to him was from my great aunt, she left Ben and our other 4 children an equal amount of money and we invested them in ISA's for first car/uni etc.
I shouted at Ben as he was walking out and called him an ungrateful little shit
Maybe I should step away from the wine.
And walk the dogs, get some fresh air and try talk to him tomorrow.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.