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    • shapala
    • By shapala 16th Apr 18, 4:50 PM
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    shapala
    Money moral family issue - what to do?
    • #1
    • 16th Apr 18, 4:50 PM
    Money moral family issue - what to do? 16th Apr 18 at 4:50 PM
    Hi All

    I had 4 of my wife's family stay with us.

    They are from Brazil and don't speak any English. They wanted to go to London so we said, 'that'd be fine' and meet them there from our hometown of Edinburgh. Reason we have to go there is because they don't speak English and have no confidence going to and around new places.

    Since they don't speak a word of English, we had to organise everything for them, such as trains for the 6 of us from London to Edinburgh (where we live), the hotel rooms for the stay in London, the airbnb for them in Edi (as not enough space for 6 of us in our flat) the citysightseeing bus to see London, prepaid phone cards so they can actually contact us, the huge amount of Ubers and taxi's, restaurants, the amount of food to make meals for them when we didn't go out etc. The list can go on such as smartwatches which they requested, memory cards not to mention the 3 working days my wife and I took out of our holiday days etc. I'd also like to mention that it was my dad's 70th the day they arrived so I missed that - fortunately his party was delayed until the day after we returned to Edi but that didn't seem to matter.

    Said family members are retired and doing well for time and money isn't an issue.

    The cost to ourselves was considerable since we put the time, effort and 's in oursleves on our own debit cards. On the final day they were here, we were given pound sterling in cash which was WAY short of what we had paid for everything, nevermind all the time and effort spent sorting and organizing their trip.

    You can imagine I wasn't (and still not) happy! So, should I be really mean and demand my wife tells them how much they actually owe us to the penny, or just leave it? I can't get through everything but I think we're short of about 800.

    Since we're trying to save to put a deposit on a house (we're early 30's) and they are all fine for money, I'm not best happy.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my wife's family (not just saying that as they're not going to read this lol) so I would be interested to read comment and apologies for the long message.
Page 1
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 16th Apr 18, 5:14 PM
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    rach_k
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 18, 5:14 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 18, 5:14 PM
    As you were booking things, did you discuss options with them and tell them the prices as you went through? If not, perhaps they felt railroaded into the options you chose - they might have chosen cheaper options themselves/skipped things, or maybe they simply haven't realised how much was spent. If you didn't give them the totals, you can't expect them to know how much was owed. The time to raise it would have been when they gave you the cash. I think it's too late now.

    If you did give them choices, or at least let them know prices as you booked things, I think it's perfectly okay if you get in touch and say, "Hey, sorry to bring this up but I've just realised that the total for your trip was X and you gave us Y. Could you let us know when it's convenient to pay the rest? We wouldn't ask normally but it's a lot of money to us and we're trying hard to save." (I don't think you need to justify it, but a bit of explanation might smooth it over.)

    What you absolutely should not be doing is demanding that your wife sorts it out. You were involved, you handed over money. If you want something said, you can say it! You could ask her to, but sometimes things like this come better from the in-law.

    Your time and effort isn't something you should be bringing up - you did it because they are family.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 16th Apr 18, 5:36 PM
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    TBagpuss
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 18, 5:36 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 18, 5:36 PM
    I think you need to discuss this with your wife first. It's her family, so she probably has a better idea that you what expectations there will have been and how best to address it. It may be, for instance, that they would view some of the expenditure as 'hosting' and would expect to reimburse you - for instance, the AirBnB might fall into this category, as being your providing them with accommodation as your own home isn't big enough, and I could see the sightseeing buses being like that if it was perceived as your showing them around / hosting them for the day.

    Your wife should be able to help you work out whether the problem is that they miscalculated and under paid, or whether there was a mis-match of expectations in which case asking them to pay more is much harder, and it may be a case of bearing it in mind, so that you communicate more clearly, in advance, next time.

    If you and your wife both agree that the expectation you both had was that they would reimburse you fully, and that they understood that, then you would need to approach them to explain, give them the figures and the amount they have provided, and ask for the balance.

    Again, talk to your wife about whether it will be better fro her to speak to them (presumably no language barrier) or for you to do so.

    And either way, next time they visit, plan ahead. Make sure that you are communicating clearly with them about what you are paying for, and what you are arranging on their behalf and at their expense, and make sure that you are clear about costs early enough in the process that they can have an input.

    The time and effort is what you chose to do for your visitors. If you didn't want to do it, you would have been free to tell them what you could and couldn't do - I am sure that that Portuguese language guidebooks are available, many attractions have guides and information in multiple languages etc. It was nice of your to put in the time, but that is part of being a good host.

    Whether you contact them or get your wife to do so is down to the two of you, but discuss it with her first. Does she feel that they were unreasonable, or is there a cultural difference in play here which she is, presumably, more attuned to than you. (in which case, keep it in mind for next time)
    • borkid
    • By borkid 16th Apr 18, 5:42 PM
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    borkid
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 18, 5:42 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 18, 5:42 PM
    Did they actually realise how expensive things were? I went to Ecuador 4 years ago and it was very cheap compared to here. Did you say upfront they would need to pay for food etc.

    My usual way when dealing with family ( adult children not parents) is if they ask us out they pay and if we ask them we pay. Did they say we want to visit and do x,y,z will you book it for us? What is the tradition in you wife's family.
    • shapala
    • By shapala 16th Apr 18, 5:44 PM
    • 343 Posts
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    shapala
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 18, 5:44 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 18, 5:44 PM
    As you were booking things, did you discuss options with them and tell them the prices as you went through? If not, perhaps they felt railroaded into the options you chose - they might have chosen cheaper options themselves/skipped things, or maybe they simply haven't realised how much was spent. If you didn't give them the totals, you can't expect them to know how much was owed. The time to raise it would have been when they gave you the cash. I think it's too late now.

    If you did give them choices, or at least let them know prices as you booked things, I think it's perfectly okay if you get in touch and say, "Hey, sorry to bring this up but I've just realised that the total for your trip was X and you gave us Y. Could you let us know when it's convenient to pay the rest? We wouldn't ask normally but it's a lot of money to us and we're trying hard to save." (I don't think you need to justify it, but a bit of explanation might smooth it over.)

    What you absolutely should not be doing is demanding that your wife sorts it out. You were involved, you handed over money. If you want something said, you can say it! You could ask her to, but sometimes things like this come better from the in-law.

    Your time and effort isn't something you should be bringing up - you did it because they are family.
    Originally posted by rach_k
    Thank you, and a lovely reply, I must say!

    To quickly go through it, yes, they were aware of costs of hotel (ibis so about 80 a night per couple), trains (booked in advance so about 30 pp from London to Edi), airbnb but not things such as taxis, restaurants (lunch and dinner for 6 people for 3 days in London gets expensive, even in cheaper places). We emailed everything to them for the prepaid things by email of what we paid. The rest was done at the time.

    Even cost of my in-laws hotel in London and train to Edi doesn't meet what they've given us, never mind all the rest.

    I was at work when family gave the cash to us so couldn't check until they left.

    They're not deceiving in any way - I just don't think they realise how much everything cost.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 16th Apr 18, 6:08 PM
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    silvercar
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 18, 6:08 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 18, 6:08 PM
    If /when you do a return trip to Brazil will they show you the same level of hospitality?
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 16th Apr 18, 6:22 PM
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    Fireflyaway
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 18, 6:22 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 18, 6:22 PM
    Could it be a partially cultural thing? Many other cultures tend to be a lot more hospitable than us Brits! They may well have thought they were being really generous by giving you any money at all, seeing as they are 'guests' coming to visit.
    I know if my husband's family came over to the UK I wouldn't expect them to pay anything. If they treated us to a nice meal out as a thank you or bought some flowers that would be enough. Providing they hadn't checked into the Ritz or something!
    I wouldn't say anything. It's going to be really awkward for everyone involved and could cause long lasting issues. It's not as though it every month this happens.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 16th Apr 18, 6:42 PM
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    cjdavies
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 18, 6:42 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 18, 6:42 PM
    Did you/your wife inform of them anytime how much they were costing before you booked?

    Did you give them a price of your services for bookings?
    • maman
    • By maman 16th Apr 18, 6:59 PM
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    maman
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 18, 6:59 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 18, 6:59 PM
    I'd be interested in your wife's opinion on this.

    Personally I'd let it go. Take the moral high ground. They're unlikely to visit that often. If they do plan to come again then set down ground rules in advance
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 16th Apr 18, 7:09 PM
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    KxMx
    Is it possible they gave you all the cash that they had with them?
    • Doodles
    • By Doodles 16th Apr 18, 9:23 PM
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    Doodles
    How does your wife feel about it? It sounds like a simple misunderstanding to be honest.

    Might be worth her raising it, but I don't think a major issue should be made of it. Kind of feels like the moment has passed.

    And learn for next time, get them to give you money in advance of you booking for them.
    • DairyQueen
    • By DairyQueen 16th Apr 18, 10:16 PM
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    DairyQueen
    I think maintaining a good relationship with your in-laws should take priority. In a few years from now the money will seem unimportant in the overall scheme.

    I believe this one needs to be put down to experience as the time for resolving it diplomatically (before/during their trip) has passed. It sounds like they believe they have given you sufficient to meet the costs and will be mortified to discover the truth. Such misunderstandings can cause awkwardness, embarrassment and resentment.

    When they next visit you will be able to deal with money issues much more diplomatically. i.e. check the costs you are incurring of their behalf with them before you commit (something like: "X will cost 80 each. Does that fit with your budget?").

    I would also suggest that all incidentals on joint trips are financed by a 'kitty'. My family has always followed this principle and it works really well. Each person contributes 'X' amount in cash into a 'kitty wallet' and all joint expenses (meals, drinks, shopping) are funded from that. Once the funds run-down every one divvys an extra X. At the end of the trip any balance is split between the parties.
    • frannyj543
    • By frannyj543 16th Apr 18, 11:19 PM
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    frannyj543
    You paid for smartwatches that they requested???

    Had they asked for a Ferrari too would you have purchased that?

    Why on earth would you need to buy someone visiting for 3 days a smart watch? And why didnt you say no?Or memory cards. Or even a mobile phone. Surely they have a device that can pick up Wi-Fi for watsapp calls or fb calls.

    It sounds more like they took you for a mug and said we will get the most we can pay for nothing. And you duly accepted. Food,transport essentials I get. Smartwatches I don't.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 17th Apr 18, 8:41 AM
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    silvercar
    This is family.

    By accident of birth, you live in a place where the average annual salary is 4 times that of the family's home. So the 800 overspend would be worth 4 times as much in purchasing power to them.
    How would you feel if you spent a lot of money on a holiday and then your hosts tell you that you cost them an extra 3200 and could you pay up?
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 17th Apr 18, 8:43 AM
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    silvercar
    You paid for smartwatches that they requested???
    Possibly they thought the money they paid over was for the goods they bought to take home and the trips/ hotels etc were paid for by their hosts.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 17th Apr 18, 8:50 AM
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    PeacefulWaters
    How much out of pocket were they rebooking flights back to Brazil after the Ryanair mixup?
    • Cheeky_Monkey
    • By Cheeky_Monkey 17th Apr 18, 10:40 AM
    • 1,633 Posts
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    Cheeky_Monkey
    That was the OP's family (his cousins) not his wife's
    I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure
    • shapala
    • By shapala 17th Apr 18, 11:41 AM
    • 343 Posts
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    shapala
    Did you/your wife inform of them anytime how much they were costing before you booked?

    Did you give them a price of your services for bookings?
    Originally posted by cjdavies
    Yes, we sent all invoices by email for all the things we booked in advance to them. However, the many other costs such as restaurants when their cards didn't work, memory cards, taxis etc which were not gifts were not even considered.

    This is now the third time we've been out of pocket when they visit. When we visit them we pay our way. My wife is never bothered by it but this will be the last time. Especially since they are all retired and no issues money-wise. The thing that bothers my wife is they don't learn any English, hence have no confidence going anywhere outside of Brazil, thus wherever we go in Europe, we have to take their hand and take them around (wife and I both speak Spanish and Italian but pretty much everywhere in Europe people speak English - even if they don't, you point and shoot at a menu for example ).

    They want to meet in Italy next year. I'll be telling them they can book everything (there is expedia, airbnb, google in Brazil etc so they can see everything in Portuguese) and pay for that and we'll pay our way for transport, hotels/airbnb's etc. For restaurants and taxi's, I'll be making sure we are repaid what's due. When in the UK with them, if they want any gadgets I'll take them to Currys or Argos and they can pay there and then - if it's too expensive then it's not my issue. As an example, for the things I bought for them on Amazon they could see the cost and obviously not repaid.

    I'm just going to put this under the carpet and try and not get bitter about it. If that's possible
    • shapala
    • By shapala 17th Apr 18, 11:47 AM
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    shapala
    How much out of pocket were they rebooking flights back to Brazil after the Ryanair mixup?
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    Their new EJ flights were 420 (hold luggage included). We used points to get them their hotel in Lisbon. I've told them to get in touch with their travel insurance company in the hope they may get something back. They were due to be in Portugal a few days thankfully so they didn't need to rebook a flight back to Rio.

    This actually happened to me recently when I couldn't get to the airport due to the snow and ice we had where we live. I then had to rebook the following day. I phoned my travel insurance company (without much hope) and they repaid for the cost of the new flight which amazed me. Hopefully their travel insurance will cover them for the new EJ flight but it will depend on what their policy is.
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