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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 24th Sep 19, 2:39 PM
    • 217Posts
    • 99Thanks
    MSE Sarah
    0 WOW
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I tell our hotel it made a mistake with the bill?
    • #1
    • 24th Sep 19, 2:39 PM
    0 WOW
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I tell our hotel it made a mistake with the bill? 24th Sep 19 at 2:39 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    I've just noticed our hotel bill only charged us for one £28.50 evening meal instead of two. Should I ring the hotel and offer to pay the rest?

    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
    • francophilissima
    • By francophilissima 24th Sep 19, 9:03 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    francophilissima
    • #2
    • 24th Sep 19, 9:03 PM
    What??
    • #2
    • 24th Sep 19, 9:03 PM
    Obviously. Put yourself in their place
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 24th Sep 19, 9:05 PM
    • 31,846 Posts
    • 81,513 Thanks
    Mojisola
    • #3
    • 24th Sep 19, 9:05 PM
    • #3
    • 24th Sep 19, 9:05 PM
    If they'd charged you for two meals when you'd only had one, would you tell them?
    • VikEw
    • By VikEw 24th Sep 19, 9:05 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    VikEw
    • #4
    • 24th Sep 19, 9:05 PM
    Really?
    • #4
    • 24th Sep 19, 9:05 PM
    Did you eat the meal? Would you go and steal the equivalent from a shelf in the shop? This is not a dilemma..be honest.
    • denem
    • By denem 24th Sep 19, 9:46 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    denem
    • #5
    • 24th Sep 19, 9:46 PM
    • #5
    • 24th Sep 19, 9:46 PM
    Of course, don't just offer pay for your meal.
    If they had charged you for an extra meal, you would want a refund.
    It's not a dilemma, its common decency and honesty.
    • REJP
    • By REJP 24th Sep 19, 10:04 PM
    • 139 Posts
    • 180 Thanks
    REJP
    • #6
    • 24th Sep 19, 10:04 PM
    • #6
    • 24th Sep 19, 10:04 PM
    Of course you point out the error and pay. The meal was eaten wasn't it?
    Not paying is theft. Whatever happened to honesty?
    • mrpunk50
    • By mrpunk50 24th Sep 19, 10:09 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    mrpunk50
    • #7
    • 24th Sep 19, 10:09 PM
    • #7
    • 24th Sep 19, 10:09 PM
    I'm so glad that these dilemmas give everyone the chance to take their high-horse out for a trot.

    If a company can't manage to charge you the correct amount, why should you waste your time chasing them up? It's laughable to say this is theft. The customer hasn't been duplicitous; the seller's own disorganisation is to blame.

    If the hotel was a small, family business and I'd had a great stay, I might make an exception and phone them up. But it would be an act of charity on my part.
    • Grandad2b
    • By Grandad2b 24th Sep 19, 10:47 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Grandad2b
    • #8
    • 24th Sep 19, 10:47 PM
    • #8
    • 24th Sep 19, 10:47 PM
    Last month we noticed we didn't get charged for our drinks at one place we ate.
    We went back the next evening and told them about their mistake and had another meal there. They were very careful to charge us for what we ordered. They never asked us to pay for the previous evening's drinks.

    I hope no-one got into trouble for their mistake but at least they would have been able to account for the discrepancy and not think the staff were stealing.
    • keithyno.1
    • By keithyno.1 25th Sep 19, 2:19 AM
    • 15 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    keithyno.1
    • #9
    • 25th Sep 19, 2:19 AM
    • #9
    • 25th Sep 19, 2:19 AM
    No, don’t phone the hotel and offer to pay.

    They have billed you for what, according to their systems, you have used/consumed in their hotel. You have then paid in full the amount asked for. Contract completed.

    If their systems are so shoddy and inefficient that they under-charge you for the goods & services supplied, then that’s their problem and their problem alone. It’s a tough, dog-eat-dog commercial world out there, and let’s face it, who really has any sympathy for inefficient and badly run organisations that go bust (RBS, and much more recently, Thomas Cook spring to mind)?

    If, on the other hand, they realise their mistake and contact you asking you to pay for the other evening meal and offer an apology for any inconvenience caused, then go ahead and pay them for it.
    • Aleann
    • By Aleann 25th Sep 19, 2:20 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Aleann
    There are no degrees of honesty. Tell them or live with the knowledge that your a cheat
    • anotheruser
    • By anotheruser 25th Sep 19, 6:46 AM
    • 2,824 Posts
    • 1,604 Thanks
    anotheruser
    There are no degrees of honesty. Tell them or live with the knowledge that your a cheat
    Originally posted by Aleann
    Thanks moral high sceptre.

    You'll find many people will say "yes pay".
    In reality, most of these people wouldn't pay.

    It depends on the situation.
    If you're still there, raise it with the reception if you wish but remember, the cost price for the food would have been fairly low so the hotel aren't missing out on much.

    If you've left already, you'll find it'll probably be too much effort to try and pay them. They probably won't have a system in place for this sort of thing, meaning someone will have to make special arrangements - all adding up to more than the extra meal was worth.

    Think of it like a freebie and don't let it get you depressed.
    There are far greater things to worry about in life at the moment.
    • Qievo
    • By Qievo 25th Sep 19, 6:48 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Qievo
    At the point of sale they offered the meals for £28.50, which was paid - not sure how this would be theft and stealing...

    Theres definitely a moral issue here, but not a legal one.
    • eao
    • By eao 25th Sep 19, 7:12 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    eao
    'Dog eat dog",yes I know we are all part of the animal world but don't we have that little extra, a conscience.
    • iclayt
    • By iclayt 25th Sep 19, 7:41 AM
    • 425 Posts
    • 832 Thanks
    iclayt
    If it was me, not a chance. They gave me a bill, I paid it. If I had noticed when they presented the bill, I probably would have pointed it out, but I wouldn't call if I noticed after I left the hotel.

    "Would you steal the same from a shop", for goodness sake it's not the same. They ordered two meals, they were given a bill for one and didn't notice the hotel's error.

    On my way home from work a few weeks ago I nipped to a supermarket and bought a pile of groceries and at the last second at the till grabbed a packet of mints as well. She didn't scan them, but put them in my bag. I only learnt this by looking at the receipt on the bus while crunching a mint. Would everyone going on about theft get off the bus and go back and pay? Really? When it's an inconvenience, as the customer, to fix her mistake? Or would you get on with your life?
    Last edited by iclayt; 25-09-2019 at 7:46 AM.
    • JGB1955
    • By JGB1955 25th Sep 19, 7:49 AM
    • 432 Posts
    • 512 Thanks
    JGB1955
    I wouldn't dream of phoning and offering to pay (but, apparently, I have no morals). Their mistake, their problem.
    • GrumpySays
    • By GrumpySays 25th Sep 19, 8:06 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    GrumpySays
    How did you not notice at the time?
    I'm sorry, but how do you not notice at the time that your bill is half what you were expecting? Not very money saving to not pay attention to your bill, would you have noticed if they had over-charged you? No moral dilemma here, you just want people to tell you it's ok to do the wrong thing.
    • Leftyness
    • By Leftyness 25th Sep 19, 10:50 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Leftyness
    Thanks moral high sceptre.

    You'll find many people will say "yes pay".
    In reality, most of these people wouldn't pay.

    It depends on the situation.
    If you're still there, raise it with the reception if you wish but remember, the cost price for the food would have been fairly low so the hotel aren't missing out on much.

    If you've left already, you'll find it'll probably be too much effort to try and pay them. They probably won't have a system in place for this sort of thing, meaning someone will have to make special arrangements - all adding up to more than the extra meal was worth.

    Think of it like a freebie and don't let it get you depressed.
    There are far greater things to worry about in life at the moment.
    Originally posted by anotheruser
    It is great to see that they can take their moral high horse out for a ride because sometimes when I read these MMDs, I think some of the posters talk a good game like "It is theft, I would pay. blablabla". But in reality, they will just be happy with a freebie like 99% of people in the world.
    • thedevilsrighthand
    • By thedevilsrighthand 25th Sep 19, 10:53 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    thedevilsrighthand
    As someone mentioned earlier, if this was a small business then yes, I'd definitely point it out and pay.

    If, however, this is a chain hotel - particularly a multinational - then there's no way I'd offer to pay it. The system with corporates is legally set up at every level to put the power in the hands of corporations. Think about it - how easy is it to get out of a broadband or mobile phone contract? How much extra do you pay for the right to cancel a booking at a hotel? How many additional fees are added on many services in order to give you flexibility? I have no sympathy when it comes to money-grabbing corporations.

    If, on this occasion, a multinational has made an error at the cost of £30, it's not going to affect their business in the slightest. Use it to treat yourself again or donate it to charity.
    • omi-x-stitch
    • By omi-x-stitch 25th Sep 19, 10:57 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    omi-x-stitch
    We recently had a meal out, 6 of us. The restaurant had omitted to bill us for all 6 main meals which came to just under £100. We decided to play honest and point it out. What did we get in return? a half-hearted "thank you". That will make me think twice in future whether to be honest!
    • Beyond Reason
    • By Beyond Reason 25th Sep 19, 11:24 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Beyond Reason
    £28.50 for ONE meal?? This is why I don't eat out!

    It'd be interesting to know what the person decided to do in the end - we never get to find out with these moral dilemmas, do we?
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