Money Moral Dilemma: Should I insist my friend pay for the ornaments she broke?

edited 8 December 2020 at 3:20PM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

 A friend who was reading my birthday cards on the mantelpiece accidentally knocked off and smashed two ornaments on there. I'd recently bought one of them abroad and it was quite expensive  my friend knows this as she was with me at the time, yet she hasn't offered to reimburse me for either ornament. I don't want to ruin our friendship, but should I ask her to pay?

Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be a point of debate and discussed at face value.

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  • 74jax74jax Forumite
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    There's a difference between 'asking' and 'insisting' as per the title..
    I don't want to ruin our friendship - we don't know your relationship, would asking her ruin it?  Would insisting ruin it? This is an MMD so we'll never know...........
    Should I ask her to pay?  Yes if you want to, and no if you don't.
    Forty and fabulous, well that's what my cards say....
  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    You can ask her to replace the ornaments but you can't force her. 
    Did she apologise at the time? Did you say anything at the time? 

    I wouldn't assume that she would remember  how expensive an item was just because she happened to be with you when you bought it, lots of people wouldn't remember the specifics of their own spending, let alone something that someone else bought. She may, quite legitimately, think they were relatively low (money) value and that an apology was the most appropriate way forward. 
    You won't know unless you ask. Why not say to her that you were very fond of the ornament, you've found somewhere they can be replaced, and ask she broke them could she replace them. That said, it's also worth considering it in the context of your friendship as a whole. Does she always expect you to go halves or to pay for what you get when you are together, or does she often treat you>?Does she do you non-financial favours? Is it something which is going to bother you long term if you do't say anything or of she doesn't contribute? 

    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • AranyaniAranyani Forumite
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    Could she afford to pay for it? 
  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    74jax said:
    There's a difference between 'asking' and 'insisting' as per the title..
    I don't want to ruin our friendship - we don't know your relationship, would asking her ruin it?  Would insisting ruin it? This is an MMD so we'll never know...........
    Should I ask her to pay?  Yes if you want to, and no if you don't.

    +1 to this ^^^^.
  • JGB1955JGB1955 Forumite
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    If it's that important to you, claim on your contents insurance, suggesting to your friend that she might want to stump up the excess on the policy.
    #2 Saving for Christmas 2022 - £1 a day challenge £730/£730
    #2 Saving for Christmas 2021 - £1 a day challenge £828/£638.
    #36 Saving for Christmas 2020 - £1 a day challenge.... £634/£366..
  • HB01HB01 Forumite
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    Any decent person would feel really bad, apologise and offer to pay. Even if someone said it didnt matter I’d be insisting I pay them. If she isnt is she really a good friend with values? It doesnt matter if she can afford it it not it is the offer. Even offering instalments it is the gesture that shows sincerity. I’d mention they had value both sentinental and monetary and ask she replaces them. If she won’t and depending on the friendship (is she a fab friend who is supportive and you can rely on and perhaps as the other reader said treated you to things) I’d consider whether it is worth continuing the friendship. Alternatively knock something off her mantlepiece one day 
  • REJPREJP Forumite
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    Tell her how much they cost and see what she does.  If she laughs it off and does not offer something towards the cost, show her the door.  You don't need friends like that.
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