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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:
Camerondiazepam · 22/11/2011 12:06

Just to add, it's hardly an earth-shattering difference for them, is it? £3 each?

MissIngaFewmarbles · 22/11/2011 12:06

they are bonkers. Why would you pay £67 for something that cost everyone else £22 just because it was a voucher rather than cash?

NormaSnorks · 22/11/2011 12:07

alemci - they were 'acquaintances' - not sure if that makes it better or worse!

I think I'd be more likely to 'chuck it in the kitty' for a group of friends, on the basis that when we were next out they'd remember and get the drinks bill or something?

And yes, BTW, I spent £1 on raffle tickets in the draw to win the voucher....

OP posts:
BalloonSlayer · 22/11/2011 12:07

I think that what you did was fine.

And yet . . . and yet . . . I don't think I would have done it myself.

A fifty pound voucher, unless you eat like Mr Creosote himself, is going to mean a meal for two or more, so it is a given that you would be "treating" someone when you used it. So it would give me a faint twinge of discomfort to just use it for myself and get the rest of the cash back.

JinglePosyPerkin · 22/11/2011 12:09

Are you very good friends with any of these women? I don't think what you did was actually wrong in any way,but, if it was me & I was out with good friends then I would have put the whole £50 voucher in "the kitty" as it were. I wouldn't have expected to pay any more on top though! Confused

However, if they are more casual acquaintances really then I probably would have wanted my change. Sharing your win with close friends is very different from subsidising others.

Did they know in advance that you had this voucher? Do you think they were put out because they had expected to be able to knock £50 off the bill when they ordered? (i.e. " only want to spend £15 but because X has that voucher I can have a starter"). Obviously a wrong & incredibly cheeky assumption but I do know some people who would have thought the same! Blush

Ponders · 22/11/2011 12:09

well they are barking about the finances, but...

the £50 was from the restaurant, & supposed to be used at the restaurant - if you had gone there alone & only spent £22, would you have got change from your voucher?

Cartoonjane · 22/11/2011 12:10

I actullay feel a bit differently to most people on this. I certainly don' think you should put the voucher in and then pay your share of the remainder as well, that would be silly. But if it had been me I would have put the voucher in then divided the remainder by the other nine and not taken any change.

I dont see a voucher that was won as the same as money like most people seem to. I'd see it as something I'm lucky to have and to have benefited from and then would be hapy to share any left over. I just think that is a more generous thing to do. If I didn't want to do that I wouldn't have used the voucher on that night.

On the other hand if someone did as you did I wouldn't moan about them afterwards either.

JinglePosyPerkin · 22/11/2011 12:11

Ah, Norma - just seen that they were acquaintances. You did no wrong Grin.

RealityIsADistantMemory · 22/11/2011 12:12

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NormaSnorks · 22/11/2011 12:12

Apparently the restaurant would have given me the 'balance' on another credit note/voucher... so I could have said 'take £22 of this voucher, and please give me a credit voucher for the remaining £28' but I just thought that would be too much of a faff for them when there seemed an easier solution?

Can those of you who are saying it feels 'wrong' to take the case please try to explain why - I'm really interested?

OP posts:
Camerondiazepam · 22/11/2011 12:13

LOL Reality - "I'd have put the voucher in but I'd have drunk my own body weight in brandy and had seven main courses"


spartafc · 22/11/2011 12:13

I'd view the voucher as being cash and have just put in enough to cover my share and taken change - just as I would with cash. I don't see why you should pay more that anyone else? I don't see how they've lost out really, it hasn't cost them any extra because you put a voucher in. Yes, they may have paid less if you deducted the £50, but they're certainly not entitled to expect you to do that. I don't think you're mean, I wouldn't even think about this if someone I went for a meal with did it.

Ponders · 22/11/2011 12:14

oh well, if the restaurant would have given you change (albeit not in cash) then it'sperfectly fair

do these silly bints know that?

Camerondiazepam · 22/11/2011 12:16

Well that's different Norma as it's a cash-equivalent, like a gift card, not a "voucher to the value of £50". It would have been a faff but your acquaintances would have understood the situation and not felt short-changed. It looks like they're subsidising you otherwise (whereas you feel that to chuck the whole voucher in would have been subsidising them). I take it all back! Grin

NormaSnorks · 22/11/2011 12:18

sorry - meant 'wrong' to take the cash

No - they didn't know I had the voucher, so there was no suggestion that we had £50 extra to spend. I only realised I had it with me when I got my purse out to pay.

I guess people's perspectives on this will depend on how 'valuable' £28 seems to them?

OP posts:
beanandspud · 22/11/2011 12:20

"I'd have put the voucher in but I'd have drunk my own body weight in brandy and had seven main courses"

That was going to be my approach Grin

(And then waited for the "AIBU to pay £22 £19 for a glass of water and a garlic bread when my friend ordered everything on the menu?")

DamselInDisarray · 22/11/2011 12:20

I don't see why the other women cared, tbh. Their share of the bill was £22 and they paid it. You didn't make them pay more. It would make no difference to me if you paid with a £50 voucher or a £50 note.

Obviously they thought you should subsidise this meal, which makes them arses.

Cartoonjane · 22/11/2011 12:21

I don't think it's wrong to take the change but it's not generous either. And generous is a good thing isn't it?

NormaSnorks · 22/11/2011 12:21

Grin @bean

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JinglePosyPerkin · 22/11/2011 12:23

At this moment, £28 would be very valuable to me! As would 28p Blush.

No, certainly, as the restaurant would have given you change anyway you did no wrong. I imagine that if one of the whingers had won a £50 voucher they wouldn't expect to subsidise your meal either.

NormaSnorks · 22/11/2011 12:23

Yes, generous is good, but I think I'd prefer to be generous by spending £28 on my kids at Xmas, rather than a bunch of moaning women I barely know?

I don't feel I can afford to be generous at the moment!

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sheeplikessleep · 22/11/2011 12:24

Agree with Balloonslayer.
I wouldn't say anything myself if I had been a friend along, but I would have assumed the restaurant would have given either no change back or a voucher (and to be fair, a voucher back is worth 'less' than cash, unless you were intending to go there again).
On paper, nothing wrong. But it isn't something I would have done myself, particularly with others I am not very good friends with. If I had been with close friends, I probably would have checked it was OK (i.e. 'I've got this voucher, do you mind if I use it and take the remainder back in cash, rather than get a voucher back?').

SugarAndSpiceMistletoeAndWine · 22/11/2011 12:25

Trying to see both sides -
I guess they felt aggrieved because they had just helped you to change a voucher for money - whereas the voucher can only be used in one place, where you might not go anyway, the money is then yours to spend anywhere and could be seen as more useful??? Confused
However, they would be in the wrong in my opinion to suggest you used it on the meal.

Not sure what I would do, weighing it up.

SugarAndSpiceMistletoeAndWine · 22/11/2011 12:26

*To use it on their meals. Really need to be able to edit!

Eggrules · 22/11/2011 12:27

I agree with BalloonSlayer.

I would have used the voucher with OH/friends. Even though I agree the voucher was as good as cash in this instance it was bound to cause problems.

Recently I went for dinner with 2 couples. Myself and another friend put cash in with tip. Another paid by card but only the difference and so they paid less (and ate/drank more) and a tip was not left. We had got on well up to this; it has had an impact on how we socialise. Uncouth and selfish people aren't nice to be around. Your situation is clearly different but it shows that we all have very different expectations of parity.

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