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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:
AyeBelieve · 22/11/2011 14:00

Mean? I don't get it.

The whingers are the mean ones, are they not? Seriously, how mean do you have to be to complain that someone is getting something that doesn't cost you anything in time, money or effort?

cjbartlett · 22/11/2011 14:04

because sometimes it's nice to share the joy of an unexpected win!
and if op didn't want to shae it she should have used it with her friends
now she's got cash from a voucher she wouldn't have got if she'd gone with her own family

like balloonslayer , to me it just feels wrong, comes across as a bit mean spirited, sorry!

ASuitableGirl · 22/11/2011 14:04

To the ones who say it was a bit mean - what if someone else had won £50 in a raffle and used it to pay for the meal. Should they have said that they had won it and that everyone should share it? I doubt anyone would have done that. So why is the voucher different? I can see that if you only used the voucher you would need to get a credit note in exchange and so in that way the OP has done better out of it, but not at the expense of anyone else. None of the other people eating, or the restaurant have lost out.

GwendolineMaryLacey · 22/11/2011 14:06

It's bonkers how some people feel entitled to everyone else's things. It'a the OP's money, in whatever form it took. And to have the hump because she didn't share it is absurd.

LadyWellian · 22/11/2011 14:08

How about if the voucher had been a present rather than a prize? Then the OP wouldn't have paid anything for it, but I bet people would not have looked on it the same way.

I got a £50 Jo Malone voucher (lucky me!) for my birthday. It also came with a voucher for a free hand and arm massage for two. I'm going to take a friend with me to the shop so we can both have the massage, but I don't think she would expect me to cover the cost of anything she might want to buy out of my voucher, just because it was 'free'.

cjbartlett · 22/11/2011 14:08

look guys Norma asked for opinions, I gave mine, which some people on the thread agree with, and some of the people she went out with agree with
you don't need to jump on me just because what she did doesn't sit right with me

Eggrules · 22/11/2011 14:09

I think the fact that others see this as a prize rather than earned does impact how they feel. IMHO people will expect to have a share of something they determined as free or undeserved.

In my case the guy's opinion was we had completed our transaction and would not be out of pocket (true). IMO still stealing from friends even if it is only a couple of quid. Different from your situation but the perception of bonus or free value is similar.

I don't think you did anything wrong but I wouldn't have exchanged the voucher at this event.

NormaSnorks · 22/11/2011 14:09

lborolass - of course I see that a £50 voucher isn't the 'same' as a £50 note, but in certain circumstances it is identical in 'value' (and in other circumstances it isn't!)

I differ from you, in that if someone offered me £75 in vouchers for a store/restaurant I was pretty sure I would use in the next few months, or £50 in cash, then I'd take the vouchers, because in that situation they are more accurately a cash substutite.

In this example, I wasn't sure that I'd use the voucher this side of Christmas in that particular restaurant, so decided to use it at the group meal.

It's still interesting to try to pinpoint the reason behind the complaints though.. there IS something in Aye's comment that they seemed to have an expectation for something 'in return' for their generosity in converting my voucher for cash, which I find very strange indeed.

Anyway, I'm clearly over-thinking this now!

OP posts:
ASuitableGirl · 22/11/2011 14:10

Well I'm overthinking it too and it wasn't even my voucher Grin

sheeplikessleep · 22/11/2011 14:10

To play devils advocate Wink (and I really don't feel as strongly as my number of posts on here suggest, but I feel it is an interesting one!), the OP wasn't entitled to take the cash. She was entitled to a voucher back. She took the cash without any lighthearted conversation about it all.

cjbartlett · 22/11/2011 14:12

'they seemed to have an expectation for something 'in return' for their generosity in converting my voucher for cash'

in what way? Are you sure they weren't just saying it seemed a it of an odd thing to do, or just something they wouldn't have done?

maybe you are putting something more sinister and mean into what they were saying about you?

eminencegrise · 22/11/2011 14:12

You did nothing wrong.

AyeBelieve · 22/11/2011 14:17

sheeplikessleep Grin I'm on a boring conference call and the conundrum is keeping my brain working.

I don't get why the Hmm is not at the whingers, though. They did a nice thing, at no cost to them of time, money, effort or anything. Then they go and spoil it with a S'not Fair attitude. Why would anyone do that?

katz · 22/11/2011 14:22

i don't think you've done anything wrong, however i'd have chatted to a friend and said i'll put this in for us 2 if you give me your £22 cash.

sheeplikessleep · 22/11/2011 14:22

Maybe their response was because the OP just took it without any recognition.

choceyes · 22/11/2011 14:23

I can't believe the others were so bothered by what you did. They were not left out of pocket...I just don't see why they are disgruntled about it?? If I was at your dinner, I'd have encouraged you to put your voucher in and take the change in cash, as the voucher can only be used in the restaurant, and the cash would be useful for you, so I'd even suggest it if you hadn't done it!

Although at this particular dinner, I'd have not used the voucher personally, if I didn't know the ladies very well, then I wouldn't want the confusion of having to explain it to them. it would have been a bit embaressing.
I'd have kept the voucher to be used by me and family or friends instead. What's the expiry date for it?

Hulababy · 22/11/2011 14:24

I think it might have been better to put the voucher in and have the restaurant give you the remainder back on a credit note. Would have been more obvious to the others I guess too.

But they are being unreasonable to expect you to pay more for the meal than everyone else.

Hulababy · 22/11/2011 14:24

Or yes, done waht Katz has suggested.

choceyes · 22/11/2011 14:24

Yes I think you should have asked them first and explained what you were doing before taking the money.

AyeBelieve · 22/11/2011 14:27

sheeplikessleep, I think that's what I had in mind with the wanting something in return thing. Gratitude for the opportunity to do the conversion from voucher to cash. I get that some might feel that way. I have a few special names for folk like that, though.

cjbartlett · 22/11/2011 14:29

also who told you some of the mums were talking about you? that's a bit mean of whoever it was

DamselInDisarray · 22/11/2011 14:29

I'm amazed that people pay this much attention to what everyone else is doing come paying the bill time after a group meal. Unless someone chose to pay in sexual favours (while still at the table), I doubt I'd've noticed anything beyond finding out how much I had to pay and the inevitable issues with change (at £22 each, loads of people are going to be looking for change from £30).

talkingnonsense · 22/11/2011 14:33

I'd hae done like Katz and checked with a friend- I think it's doing it without saying anything that seems a bit mean- like you were taking advantage of being able to swap the voucher for cash.

booboobeedoo · 22/11/2011 14:34

To me it is slightly wrong for the reason you have stated:

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?

So the £50 voucher is not worth as much to you as £50 cash.

Your fellow diners have facilitated you turning your voucher into cash which is worth more to you and they are a bit peeved that you have something for nothing (in addition to being jealous about you winning the voucher in the first place)!

Don't worry too much about it!!!

NormaSnorks · 22/11/2011 14:35

oh - lots more comments since I wrote that post!

OK - interesting to see that others also think it a bit 'mean' - I still don't really 'get' that though.

Perhaps I shouldn't have said that I'd won it in the raffle -but said it was a birthday present instead Grin

OP posts:
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