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    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 9th Jul 19, 3:21 PM
    • 194Posts
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    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should we go back and pay for our meal?
    • #1
    • 9th Jul 19, 3:21 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should we go back and pay for our meal? 9th Jul 19 at 3:21 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    We recently went for a meal in our local family-run pub. While waiting for dessert, the owner announced they were closing due to an emergency (their dog had had a seizure). At the time they insisted what we'd eaten was on the house - but should we go back and offer 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 enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

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Page 1
    • mundibananas
    • By mundibananas 9th Jul 19, 3:40 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 19, 3:40 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 19, 3:40 PM
    I assume you eat there frequently given it's your local ... to avoid awkwardness, next time you go in, perhaps enquire about the health of the pooch and suggest donating to a local animal charity of their choice ...
    • onwards&upwards
    • By onwards&upwards 9th Jul 19, 3:41 PM
    • 695 Posts
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    • #3
    • 9th Jul 19, 3:41 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Jul 19, 3:41 PM
    I would go back, they probably just wanted everybody out ASAP so they could lock up and dash to the vet.
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 9th Jul 19, 5:01 PM
    • 20,535 Posts
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    • #4
    • 9th Jul 19, 5:01 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Jul 19, 5:01 PM
    No. They told you it was on the house so it was. Next time you dine there leave them a generous tip. It's not like you did a runner is it.
    • Marvel1
    • By Marvel1 9th Jul 19, 5:14 PM
    • 4,261 Posts
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    • #5
    • 9th Jul 19, 5:14 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Jul 19, 5:14 PM
    Yes, I would, they probably didn't have time to work out what people owe and take payment.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 9th Jul 19, 5:29 PM
    • 22,839 Posts
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    • #6
    • 9th Jul 19, 5:29 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Jul 19, 5:29 PM
    I assume you eat there frequently given it's your local ... to avoid awkwardness, next time you go in, perhaps enquire about the health of the pooch and suggest donating to a local animal charity of their choice ...
    Originally posted by mundibananas
    Nice suggestion.
    I don't think I would feel comfortable benefiting from a crisis in a place I eat or drink regularly.
    I guess other people may feel differently.
    @ the people who do think differently - who do you think has funded your meal?
    Don't you think they have had enough expense with the vet fees?

    It's a local, family run place.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 9th Jul 19, 5:50 PM
    • 13,682 Posts
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    • #7
    • 9th Jul 19, 5:50 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Jul 19, 5:50 PM
    What I'd do would depend on how they are generally.

    If they're generally horrible people but just really love their dog, I'd probably not bother doing anything.
    If they're generally okay people but still really love their dog, I'd probably make a donation to them for the dogs treatment rather than pay my actual bill amount.
    If they're generally good people then I'd pay my bill.
    If they're generally excellent people who help others out and often put people ahead of profits, I'd consider having a whip round for them to pay for dogs treatment/treat themselves as they see fit. Seizures would (to my mind at least but I'm no vet) indicate theres likely to be expensive tests/treatment or ongoing medication costs.
    Money doesn't solve creates it.
    • MoneySeeker1
    • By MoneySeeker1 9th Jul 19, 6:15 PM
    • 64 Posts
    • 123 Thanks
    • #8
    • 9th Jul 19, 6:15 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Jul 19, 6:15 PM

    They would have been just anxious to deal with their diners in the quickest/easiest way possible at the time. But it wouldn't have been a genuinely generous voluntary offer and was obviously a "Quick get them out of the way pronto" offer instead.

    There is a difference between a genuine gift and an enforced gift and I would say that was an enforced gift and it would be "the decent thing" to go back and enquire after dog's welfare and hand over the money owed.
    • svain
    • By svain 9th Jul 19, 6:28 PM
    • 441 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    • #9
    • 9th Jul 19, 6:28 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Jul 19, 6:28 PM
    no ... Its a ridiculous scenario that isnt even a dilemma
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 9th Jul 19, 7:10 PM
    • 3,147 Posts
    • 7,574 Thanks
    ska lover
    Genuinely, I would go back and pay - or I would feel I bad benefited from dogs illness.

    I am sure they felt they had no choice but to offer there to be no charge, when they had to get the diners out
    Last edited by ska lover; 09-07-2019 at 7:13 PM.
    The opposite of what you also true
    • Mrsn
    • By Mrsn 9th Jul 19, 7:39 PM
    • 134 Posts
    • 102 Thanks
    Mundibananas i like that idea! A little thought and kindness goes a long way
    • Middlestitch
    • By Middlestitch 9th Jul 19, 9:13 PM
    • 1,333 Posts
    • 2,435 Thanks
    Why do people make such a meal of these things....offer if you want to, don't if you don't want to. No need to chew it over in public like this.
    • rawhammered
    • By rawhammered 9th Jul 19, 9:42 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    No, duck those guys.
    • keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • By keepcalmandstayoutofdebt 9th Jul 19, 10:35 PM
    • 3,648 Posts
    • 1,923 Thanks
    I'd just repeat custom in future. I think they would just have wanted to get to the vets with time really of the essence.

    Our general manager comp'd an entire stay at the weekend when a couple were allocated a twin instead of double room.

    As an Early Receptionist today I thought someone nearly walked without paying (and I'd be footing like £174, the panic for a good couple of hours I had) but we've always a fall back it turns out when it comes to pre-auth so we could charge them and after all the bother the guest returned my message. (So in your case if they wanted to charge they would).
    RIP my Rags. 16/06/19 at 4am
    Know I had to moneysave but you didn't have to go
    • Justin.vsaunders
    • By Justin.vsaunders 9th Jul 19, 10:59 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    You appear to have missed the entire point of this page! Itís supposed to be a fun debate. Iím not sure this is advice they genuinely need!
    • wondermouse
    • By wondermouse 9th Jul 19, 11:22 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    Itís supposed to be a fun debate
    Fundebates are GO!

    Sorry Iíll get me coat before Sajid Javed erm I mean The Hood locks me up.
    • --Tony--
    • By --Tony-- 9th Jul 19, 11:43 PM
    • 1,649 Posts
    • 1,153 Thanks
    I'd send them a bill for the cost of having to go elsewhere to get a replacement meal.
    • angeliam
    • By angeliam 10th Jul 19, 1:42 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    This is a very clever puzzle as it makes you focus on the poor dog. In fact if the restaurant had been described as having to close quickly because of something inanimate, e.g., could have been a fire in the kitchen, bust boiler etc., then it would be easier and without emotion to decide whether or not you would pay them back for the free meal. I think that whatever the emergency was, the owner should be repaid . He did a very generous thing.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 10th Jul 19, 6:31 AM
    • 8,744 Posts
    • 30,719 Thanks
    If you eat there regularly and enjoy the facility I think you should pop in, enquire after the dog and offer them a cheque for the estimated cost of the meal.

    There will be a lot of people who will have enjoyed the free meal but if you are decent people of conscience, they will remember your gesture and appreciate it.
    • Honesypays
    • By Honesypays 10th Jul 19, 6:58 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    I have a dog. Putting myself in their position at that time, they worried more about their dog than the money and wanted to save their much loved family pet. Nothing else mattered at that time. Hence the offer free meals so they could speedily get the dog to the vet for treatment.

    After is a different story. Reality sets in.... vet Bill's to pay, staff to pay, food and drinks expenses and cleaning. Nothing is free for them and as far as you know they could have already been struggling like many local businesses are.

    I would love if people were conscientious enough to not just take it as a free ride, specially if the meal and drinks and more or less finished. I would pay proportionately what I thought I owed all things considered and I would enquire about the wellbeing of the dog.

    What would you do if it was the other way round?
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