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Used voucher in restaurant for 'group meal' and took the cash/change - was this wrong??

122 replies

NormaSnorks · 22/11/2011 10:07

I am a bit stunned by this, so would appreciate some perspectives...

I was lucky enough recently to win a £50 restaurant voucher in a local town event raffle Smile.

By coincidence our class 'mums night out' was at this restaurant on Sat night.
When the bill came we divided the total (including tip) by the ten of us, and it came out as £22 each.

I put in my £50 voucher plus a £2 coin, and took back £30 in cash (several people had paid cash).
This seemed fine and fair to me, and I was grateful to have the cash back as change, as it will be much more useful in the run up to Christmas.

However I heard this morning at school that after I left the restaurant (I had to get a taxi) that some of the mums were saying that I'd been rather 'mean', and since I'd had a voucher that I should have 'thrown it in the kitty' first and then we should have divided the remainder between us.

Really? Is having a £50 voucher different from having a £50 note for example?

I'm rather upset and shocked by this. I don't consider myself a 'mean' person, but I can't really afford to contribute £65 to a group meal Shock (which is what it would be if we'd done it 'their way')


OP posts:
GwendolineMaryLacey · 22/11/2011 10:09

No, they're wrong. Why should you pay more than your share? If you'd won a £50 note on a scratch card would they have expected the same? The meal was paid for equally by everyone, doesn't matter whether it was in vouchers or what.

supadupapupascupa · 22/11/2011 10:14

it's only mean if you can afford it. YANBU. And I bet not everyone who was there thinks you were unreasonable....

NormaSnorks · 22/11/2011 10:15

Gwen - yes - that's what I thought...

If it had been a printed 2for1 voucher or something then that would be different - I'd have just offered it for the whole meal, as it wouldn't really have any cash value...

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chrisrobin · 22/11/2011 10:18

No, that would have been fine by me, if fact I consider it to be quite a sensible idea. The mums are totally wrong to expect you to pay more than your fair share just because you happen to have a voucher for the place.

AMumInScotland · 22/11/2011 10:40

They're being daft - your voucher was not that different to a £50 note. It had that value, and if you hadn't used it on this occasion you could have gone back on another night with your DP to have a £50 meal with it.

People are very good at being generous with things that belong to other people!

annanymous · 22/11/2011 10:43

God, those kind of women give the rest of us such a bad name. Can you imagine men behaving like this? I do hope you don't have to socialise with them often!

DSM · 22/11/2011 10:51

I think you were in the right - however, I would probably have saved the voucher for another time rather than use for a group thing, but regardless, you shouldn't have paid £50 towards it.

I don't understand two things though - firstly why would it have meant you contributed £65? Also, didn't you contribute to the tip?

AurraSing · 22/11/2011 10:55

They are being silly. Next time you see them, tut.

AMumInScotland · 22/11/2011 11:00

They wanted her to throw it in the kitty, and then pay an equal share of what was left of the bill!

NormaSnorks · 22/11/2011 11:04

DSM - Yes - I contributed to the tip - the total was £220, which included tip, and then divided by 10.

If we'd done it their way, it would've been £220 - my £50 = £170
Then it soudns like they were proposing dividing the £170 by the 10 of us Shock so I would have paid £50 + £17 = £67 (I rounded down)

Looking at it again in black and white it's clearly ridiculous!

DSM - why wouldn't you have used the voucher in the group situation?

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DSM · 22/11/2011 11:08

Oh god - that's even worse! They planned to use your voucher AND have you contribute to the remainder?! Bloody hell. Insanely cheeky. They all felt that way? How very odd.

I would have probably saved it and enjoyed a nice meal with DP or treated a friend for a birthday or similar. Since it was a prize, rather than actually ever being my own money. Not suggesting you shouldn't have used it though.

NormaSnorks · 22/11/2011 11:18

It wasn't all of them, I don't think - about 4 or 5 at one end of the table. I just really don't understand it - it's as if my voucher was 'free money' since I hadn't had to 'earn it'??? Very strange. Apparently my friend (who told me) had said they were being ridiculous, and they said, no, it wasn't fair, because I'd taken 'their cash for free' ?? WTF?

And no, thankfully I don't (won't!) see them often!

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Hullygully · 22/11/2011 11:22

Of course it was fine. They are arses.

NormaSnorks · 22/11/2011 11:22

Hully - The Voice of Reason Speaks! Grin

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perceptionreality · 22/11/2011 11:24

yanbu - this was your prize that you won, same as if it was your £50 note. Why should you subsidise everyone else?

alemci · 22/11/2011 11:44

i think it is outrageous that you should not only have to put your voucher in the kitty then pay your share on top. What a cheek.

OOH may have been best to keep the voucher for yourself and family if they felt that way.

PaulaMummyKnowsBest · 22/11/2011 11:45

but presumably you paid for the raffle tickets in the first place. So they wanted to benefit from something that you had paid for?

You were in the right clearly

NoMoreWasabi · 22/11/2011 11:48

Weeelll, I'm half way in between. In your shoes I would probably have contributed the voucher but no more. Given you got the voucher for free there would for me be something about taking the cash back that wouldn't feel right. But to think you should use the voucher and THEN pay more, no I don't think this was right either.

NormaSnorks · 22/11/2011 11:50

alemci - yes, well, given this experience I probably wouldn't do it again!

The thing is, it's not really a restaurant I'd take the kids to, and if I'd used it for DH & I we'd have to pay about £20 for a babysitter, whereas by 'exchanging' it for the cash it means we have more choice over how to spend the money IYSWIM?

The reaction from these mums just seems so strange! It makes me wonder if we've become such a 'voucher-obessessed' society that people are beginning to get confused about the concept of 'value' vs. 'free'?

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NormaSnorks · 22/11/2011 11:54

tsk -obsessed

NoMore- but why should I have paid twice as much as everyone else, just because I was paying by voucher?
(If it had been two £25 vouchers, rather than just the one £50 one, should I have had to put the other £25 one in too because I had it ?) Confused

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NoMoreWasabi · 22/11/2011 11:58

I'm not suggesting it is wholly logical but just that I wouldn't be comfortable. I think if you had two £25 vouchers that would be different but there is something about taking the cash back from other people that wouldn't sit right with me. But you're not me and I'm not suggesting you are wrong, its just my take.

Thinking about it, last year I had vouchers from a local restaurant I'd been given free as part of a referral offer. My team at work were going there for lunch so I used my vouchers (about the same value as yours as it happens) even though my share was about half that. But I did volunteer to do it.

GwendolineMaryLacey · 22/11/2011 11:59

She didn't get the voucher for free, she won it by presumably putting some stake money down.

So NoMoreWasabi, supposing you went out for a meal and your share cost £10 but you only had a £20 note on you. Would you shrug your shoulders and put the £20 in or would you take back a tenner from the kitty?

99.999999999999% of people take back the tenner, of course they do, so why is this any different. It's worse because we're talking about £30 and not a tenner.

alemci · 22/11/2011 12:01

Yes I get you Norma especially when you have to pay for a babysitter and coming up to christmas.

Were the people who complained soulmates or just acquaintances.

NormaSnorks · 22/11/2011 12:04

NoMore - I would probably have done the same as you in the work situation, on the basis that
a) the money had come through a business-related referral
b) I'd assume my team were more junior (and perhaps less well-paid) than I was, and
c) there is kind of an expectation for a boss to 'treat' the team?

But this was a non-work event, supposedly of 'equals'. And it's not even as if we are a close group of friends - more just acquaintances in some cases.

It's interesting to see that you sort of share the same view though... that's it's money 'for free' rather than a 'cash voucher'.

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Camerondiazepam · 22/11/2011 12:05

I agree with NoMoreWasabi - if it were me, I would put in the prize and expect them to divide the remainder of the bill between them. So they would pay £19 each (£170 / 9) instead of the £22 (£220 / 10) they'd have had to otherwise. If you'd gone on your own the restaurant wouldn't have given you change, would they? But I like to think I wouldn't snipe about it afterwards if someone had done something different, it's not like you shirked your share is it?

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