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AIBU to be upset at friend charging us to visit?

356 replies

snoozy2straws · 21/06/2019 00:35

Old friend and Godmother to my DD, we arranged in Jan to visit her and her hubby who live in Southern Italy with our 2 DCs. We are staying for 5 nights. We spoke today to make final arrangements and she has asked us to pay her £800 plus food for the stay. I’m shocked and deeply upset as it seems so callous and commercial, not the visit to friends we had expected, besides which we really cant afford it. I would have been happy to pay £100 p/head plus food but this seems a lot. I feel like not going but what would I tell DD she is so excited. We are staying in their house so not even an annex or separate apartment! I should have got this clear at the outset but I did not expect this 5 days before we go!
What would you do? AIBU? Is this a fair deal for a summer holiday in the sun with the use of a pool but in their house with them?

OP posts:
FFSeverynameisused · 21/06/2019 06:04

have you already bought the flights?

If so I'm sure you can find a hotel cheaper than what your friend is charging and have a much better time as it would be too uncomfortable to stay with your friend now.

feathermucker · 21/06/2019 06:04

I would fully expect to make a contribution for food, or to take them out for meals etc.

However, that just seems bonkers. Is it definitely £800 PLUS food; is there a massive backstory here?

iano · 21/06/2019 06:16

She's taking the piss! Have you looked on airb&b? Post the location and I'm sure people will help you find somewhere. Then cancel on her but make sure you tell her you were shocked and are sorry she felt unable to tell you she didn't really want to see you.

loveautum · 21/06/2019 06:20

I'd missed the plus food part, I thought she was just asking for £800 which was bad enough. OP I couldn't stay now, to tell you this late as well she wants money.

Also how much would she try charge for food as well Shock

I would try and book a cheap holiday and try to salvage this situation and to be honest, just say thanks changed our mind about staying and feel more comfortable booking into a hotel and let her read between the lines. I wouldn't make the effort meeting up with her, just enjoy your holiday.

SinkGirl · 21/06/2019 06:27

I think there are very few circumstances where this is a reasonable / understandable thing to do (if you pounced on a vague mention and then made lots of demands, if she runs the property as an Air B&B, if you go often and take the piss, etc)

However, none of those seem to be the case, in which case she’s massively out of order. Especially since she seems to be charging you way over the odds, not even the going rate for an apartment (and personally I would always prefer to stay somewhere private now we have kids)

fecketyfeck21 · 21/06/2019 06:29

did she ask you to stay with her or did you sort of 'invite yourselves' on the case of 'you must visit some time' ? several pp have asked this but you've not answered the question.
she def trying to deter you and i can't help thinking there is more to this than you are letting on, someone is being a bit of a cf here in any case.

orangesandlemon · 21/06/2019 06:32

This is so strange. Since when did it become okay to charge for friends to visit. It's 5 nights. I went to see friends in Italy and didn't pay a penny (offered though, and bought flowers and wine and paid for things when we were out) this seems an insane amount of money. If she was asking for a £200 contribution that would be fine. I cannot believe people think £800 is okay to ask a friend.

NearlySchoolTimeAgain · 21/06/2019 06:35

We have a house somewhere visit-able. I’d never dream of asking for money for guests visiting us.

Share the food bills - yes maybe. But for a longer holiday I think most people would do this.

Utilities are really really expensive here - 10x the UK, so visitors with extra AC and water could add up a little.

I did consider offering for friends to use our house when we were away, and then would probably have asked for a contribution to the utilities above the amount it costs when the house is empty. And maybe to pay for a cleaner to do a blitz afterwards. But we decided it was too awkward and so it’s easier just not to bother.

pictish · 21/06/2019 06:36

I’m intrigued by this one. Seems a lot of money to ask from a guest!!

Are you brave enough to reply, “Was the £800 a typo? Of course I expect and and am willing to contribute to my stay but wasn’t prepared for that amount. I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t budgeted for it and I’m not sure I can afford it.”

daisyboocantoo · 21/06/2019 06:40

Have you considered campsite and caravans?

Cobblersandhogwash · 21/06/2019 06:42

Do not say you're embarrassed at all about not having £800!!

ArialAnna · 21/06/2019 06:44

Gosh this is awful! I'd book something else OP. If you let us know the town or region I'm sure we can find you something much cheaper. Then you can just visit CF once or twice and enjoy the rest of your holiday.

Satsuma1234 · 21/06/2019 06:44

I agree, don’t say you are embarrassed. That amount is expensive. I hope you get things resolved. I’d never charge,people I’ve invited.

BlueSkiesLies · 21/06/2019 06:46

In my group it’s totally common for friends with properties to ask for some cash towards utilities and pool maitanance, and for cleaning and bedding changes.

Often like £20 per room used per night. Or a flat fee of £100 per person for a week stay.

But that is when it’s arranged up front as a holiday.

I’d feel pretty awkward if we arranged a visit to a family friends home to see them and they wanted £800!

To be honest Op there is something funny going on here. Several options - maybe the friend is a cF, maybe you are, maybe the friend is having some kind of issues. We don’t know.

I’d call her up and say:
‘We were quite surprised to get your message about £800 plus food. Obviously we had intended to pay our way and ensure you weren’t out of pocket but £800 feels like a commercial rental, and I’m sensing its to put us off visiting?
If you feel we have invited ourselves and are taking advantage, I’m sorry. I think we have had crossed wires about this trip.
It’s probably easier if I arrange alternative accommodation and keep that separate, - and hopefully we can meet up to spend a little bit of time together as friends.”

Bridget1983 · 21/06/2019 06:47

We have always stayed with family and friends from around the world and in the UK and likewise host a lot.
Wouldn’t dream of turning that situation into a financial transaction! Family friends stayed last week, perfect guests, turned up with many gifts of food and booze. Friends arriving tomorrow for a longer visit, we bear in mind they have spent an awful lot on flights etc to come to a not very interesting part of the UK cause they want to see us! We will provide food, cooking etc, booze will get split and eating out will be shared costs! Surely this is normal ?!
We did know a family when I was a kid though where the DM used to charge teenage friends for sleepovers at the weekend apparently 😂

LoubyLou1234 · 21/06/2019 06:48

Just playing devils advocate a little. Did she invite you to stay or visit? Did she give you any time frames if she invited you to stay or did you assume?
If she was the one to invite you all to stay and is now wanting quite a lot of money then she is BU. But if you've assumed you can stay then maybe she's peeved you don't really speak much these days and you are taking over her house for 5 days?
(Not saying you have just wondering btw)

maddening · 21/06/2019 06:50

'Sorry can't afford it, why don't you come over here and you can stay with us for free' really would love to spend time with you and dd hasn't had any quality time with her godmother so it would be great for her. Let me know if you can come and what dates suit and we will get our diaries sorted. Xxx

Lochroy · 21/06/2019 06:50

Wow - YANBU. Perhaps if you offered to contribute this is just how she sees it? I think OP's suggestion if 'we can't afford that in one go' is a good way to do it.

Of course you get piss takers. But five days in another country is not taking the piss. I'd be taking a couple of gifts and offer to pay for a meal out. I would have thought that sufficient.

floribunda18 · 21/06/2019 06:52

several pp have asked this but you've not answered the question.

Yes she has RTFT.

Unless you are not being truthful about her inviting you and have been imposing on this friend's hospitality, SIBVU to ask for that amount of money. And just before you are due to leave! Do you think she is in debt and sees you as a cash cow?

pictish · 21/06/2019 06:52

Oh yes you’re right. I wouldn’t even be slightly embarrassed not to have a spare £800 floating around. I used the term to politely introduce the notion that there’s no way in Hell I’d be paying it. I’m being British, not literal. I’m giving the friend a chance to backpedal or forge on with the bill.

“I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t budgeted for that amount” translates as, “You saw me coming you grasping cow. I’m not paying you £800!”

recrudescence · 21/06/2019 06:52

I think you should go and then leave a very bad review on TripAdvisor.

ComeAndDance · 21/06/2019 06:53

I wouldnt go and I wouod tell your dd why.
I suspect youmwill also loose a good friend in the process. But who on Earth is asking a friend to pay that much??

The cynic in me is wondering if this is the reason why she kept proposing for you to come :(

dustarr73 · 21/06/2019 06:55

However an 'old' friend kinda sounds like she may have said you'll have to come and visit and the next thing she knows you've gone and booked 5 nights for 3 people and messaged, "we're coming". Err no that wasn't an actual invite it was a peasantry. A genuine invite is worked out in advance.

Thats not tehe ops fault though.She was invited ,so she accepted.Dont invite people if you dont mean it.

And £800 is laughable.I wouldnt go,but at least you know where you stand

Apolloanddaphne · 21/06/2019 06:56

That's a bit cheeky asking for so much a few days before you go. I've just had relatives stay for 10 days and didn't expect any money from them. They contributed by paying for lunches and some days out. £800 plus food is taking the piss.

Beautiful3 · 21/06/2019 06:58

I think that you invited yourselves. She doesn't really want you to come stay for the full five days. That's alot plus food. You're never going to.know how much you owe her until the end of your stay. My brother now lives alone in a holiday destination. He often has friends ask to stay at his. He charges them alot to put them off. He said it's expensive to feed extra people constantly for a week. Not to mention the extra electricity and oil they burn through. If you still want to go then book a hotel room nearby.

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