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Money Moral Dilemma: Should I tell our hotel it made a mistake with the bill?

29 replies 28.6K views


  • No. Never once when I've been overcharged or given too little change by a retailer have they told me. It's always been up to me to tell them. By the same token if they undercharge or give me too much change then it's up to them to tell me.
  • my hotel undercharged me one year I went to reception told them and they said as I had brought it to their notice I wouldn't have to pay the extra. Honesty does pay at times
  • ScrapitScrapit Forumite
    2K posts
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    They've had their chance.
  • Chuck_Chuck_ Forumite
    1 posts
    First Anniversary
    MoneySaving Newbie
    I've been in a similar situation. I assumed the waiter forgot to put our drinks order through the till. We are all human and mistakes happen. I called and offered to pay. They thanked me but didn't take the payment.
  • Let’s stop and consider the facts very carefully before we rush to judgment.

    Several days after it happened someone has noticed that a bill for a meal only includes one meal. The explanation we are being asked to consider is whether they should contact the restaurant or hotel and offer to pay or not?

    But is that really what has happened? Could there be a more, how can I put it, out of the box thinking ‘obvious’ explanation?

    This meal, we know it was a meal for two, but was it a business lunch or was it what is rather euphemistically called 'date-night'? If it was the latter did our two diners consume any 'stupidity potion' with their meal? - You know what stupidity potion is right? it’s a form of mildly maline magic potion the imbiber of said potion thinks that all manner of skills have increased, the ability to sing Karaoke songs, the ability to dance, the ability to drive etc etc, but in reality (and to some of you this is going to come as a total shock) these skills have actually decreased! Who knew!

    So now let us consider the following and ask ourselves which is the most likely explanation.

    1. That a hotel or restaurant has accidentally charged for one meal instead of two. Despite the fact that waiters usually expect a portion of the bill as a tip and have therefore a vested interest in making sure the diners are happy, and also billed the full amount that they should be billed. The staff were not paying attention, their billing system was not working, a hard pressed independent hotel/restaurant is so lackadaisical in their billing that they made a mistake. Or, and please take the time to hear me out, you have come this far you may as well stay for the punchline:
    2. That the bill payer was so consumed with other things on his/her mind that they failed to notice that it was a mid week two for one night offer on all meals. Aided and abetted by the amazing memory enhancing powers of stupidity potion. Everyone knows that stupidity potion increases ones ability to recall facts the next day, its been well recorded in scientific journals, its surprises me that they don’t prescribe it to dementia sufferers.

    Now I ask you all: What’s the most likely explanation?

    By the way, it’s the highest form of wit, the only people who think otherwise cannot do it right.
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  • It's obviously bothering you, so you should pay. Personally, if it was me and I was staying in an independent hotel I would give them a call but if it was a chain, I'd assume it was a 2 for the price of 1 deal and think no more about it. I highly doubt they will contact you as it was their error. If anything, pay it forward and make a donation to charity as recompense.
  • There is something inherently wrong with today's society when a debate ensues about whether someone should point out an error to a company! Anyone can make a mistake and it's time we got some degree of morality and ethics back. It's little wonder the country is in the state it is in. This is not a 'moral dilemma' - it's merely a question of basic honesty. If they had overcharged you in the region of £30, would you have mentioned it then? Of course you would!
  • crmismcrmism Forumite
    219 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts
    Normally, I'd be among the first to point out in fairness that a bill I've received is on the light side through an administrative error but, having eaten in plenty of hotels over the years and been underwhelmed by the quality and quantity of the food served on the plate for the price charged I would, in your shoes, say nothing. Indeed, there have been one or two occasions when I have sent my offering back to the kitchen and asked the chef to do better.

    As a nation, we really need to be much more discerning when it comes to food in hotels and restaurants, which get away with blue murder. We aren't, which explains why both food and service standards in countries like the USA are so much better.
  • MurphybearMurphybear Forumite
    5.8K posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    We ate lunch in a local cafe a while ago. When we got the bill it didn’t seem right so we asked if they could check it. The manager came out and explained that all their bills are checked so there is very little chance of an error. So we paid what was on the bill. They had undercharged us by nearly £10.

    Their mistake, we gave them the chance to check the bill but they chose not to.
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