Newlyweds call cops after hotel accuses them of ‘robbing' their business by not paying wedding bills
DURHAM, ENGLAND: A newly-wed couple has found themselves engulfed in controversy after a wedding venue owner accused them of getting free service. The Town House Durham has alleged that Joanne and Claire Nattrass “robbed" their business by not paying hotel bills, forcing the pair to call police.
The business reportedly took the matter to social media and slammed the duo publicly. In a Facebook post, the Town House hotel in Durham said, “Never in a million years did we think we would have to do this, but this is Joanne and Claire. Joanne and Claire think it’s ok not to pay, in times as tough as they are for businesses, they’ve took the decision to Rob our business. They requested to our staff time and time again if they could pay on checkout for there wedding as they don’t get paid until this date. So we gave them the benefit of the doubt because we know times are hard.”
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“So they’ve held a wedding at our hotel let us rack up Huge food costs and then leave without paying.. I’m so disappointed that someone would do this, they haven’t requested to pay in instalments when we’ve called them and asked them to pay they’ve just out right REFUSED. So we’re trying to find there address to send them some legal correspondence as we won’t let this slide. Times and expenses are too tough not to pursue this money! If these people work for you or if you know them please get in touch so we can try and recover our money,” it added.
In the post’s response, Joanne asserted, “This post by the hotel has completely ruined our wedding day, we are devastated to be accused of refusing to pay the bill as if we are some kind of fraudsters. The only parts of the bill we're refusing to pay is £200 for the buffet at night and the corkage for the wine we brought in. We were promised ribs and mini burgers and they didn't have either and the food was cleared away after half an hour with many of our guests not being fed.”
Joanne added that there weren't supposed to be any corkage charges, claiming that Durham Trading Standards is currently investigating the establishment per their complaint. “On Monday people from the hotel turned up at our flat. We were terrified and called the police to say we were under threat. The rest of the bill will be paid later this week once we've been paid. This was always the arrangement from day one. To be treated like this is absolutely appalling,” Joanne stated.
But the hotel did not back out as hotel manager Luke Hay fired back, “They refused to pay anything and left behind a bill of £1,150. They claimed they had paid a deposit of £800 but our paperwork shows they only paid £400 - so they actually owe us £1,550. All their complaints are nonsense. They were aware of the corkage charge and that we wouldn't be able to provide their mini burgers and ribs. It was agreed beforehand that there would be replacements for those items and they were happy with that."
Hay added that the incident had left them frustrated. "Weddings at our venue would normally cost around £5,000 but we helped this couple because we felt sorry for them. They have seen it cancelled already and have been regular customers here so they have ended up have a wedding at a greatly reduced rate. It worked out at £16 a head for a three-course meal, you could barely get that at McDonald's - and still they left without paying. It's just very sad when you've tried so hard to help people that this is the outcome,” he said.
“Staff from the hotel attended their flat to establish their address and formally request the money we are owed, there were no threats made and it was not in any way a threatening situation. They called the police making all kinds of inaccurate allegations, which was just a waste of police time. We just want the bill to be paid,” Hay added.