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What would you do ... with a £156 breakage


Came across this interesting story. True? Who knows!


You are visiting your parents-in-law^ and you accidentally break a wine glass.

  • Would you expect to receive a bill?

  • What if the wine glass was (apparently) worth £156(!) (… probably some awful crystal monstrosity)?

  • Would you pay?

  • On the other hand, if you had expensive glassware and a family member managed to break one, would you feel they should offer to replace it … even if, or especially if, it was expensive?

Lots to think about!


^ in this case, the additional detail is that you are currently pregnant with their grandchild!


Glasses break. If you are not prepared to take a risk don’t offer them to your guests. There is always TK Maxx or Ikea with acceptable glasses.


Exactly. I’d rather a posh glass got used and eventually broken than have it sit as an unused ornament on a shelf for years on end.


If you’re prepared to offer the use of expensive glassware be cautious who you give them to . My MIL is forever knocking over glasses , therefore she doesn’t get the decent ones . If someone broke an expensive glass, I wouldn’t expect them to pay for it … unless of course it was a window :wink:


I do hope there’s a corresponding post out there somewhere on Gransnet: My Effing Daughter-In-Law Just Broke One Of Our Best Glasses It Cost A Bomb And Now She Won’t Cough Up.


As a couple who always break glasses - including our very own and expensive wedding gift (crystal champagne glasses etched with a Rennie Mackintosh motif) - we would never dream of asking anyone to pay for a broken glass.


Ha ha! Excellent! :+1:
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction (Newton, I believe?) :wink:


From the Mumsnet link - I’ve no idea what a CF is, but I’m pretty sure her father-in-law is one.


I believe the first word is Cheeky … I’m at a loss for the second


Oh, fair enough! I’m pretty sure my own language would be less measured.


If I were to offer my nice glasses to guests then that’s my risk to take. I’d probably expect an offer of replacement and firmly refuse the offer. Things happen, and if I’m too afraid of them happening then I guess I need a display cabinet not a glass shelf :grin:


Fully agree, if you offer it for use then you take the risk

Unless someone was particularly careless (showing off their juggling skills) then as long as it was an accident I wouldn’t dream of asking someone to cough up

Much like others here, my wife has some very clumsy family. My BIL visibly recoils if you offer him a crystal glass. That’s what IKEA is for :slight_smile:


We have a set of nice thin Champagne flutes in the cupboard for some members of the family, and a set of heavy duty ‘butterfingers’ Champagne glasses for others - although this didn’t stop a ‘butterfingers’ family member knocking over a nice glass - glass was fine luckily, champagne all over the presents.


You know we’ve reached some sort of peak - or perhaps nadir - when Mumsnet has wriggled its way into this community.

Many of you - as well as responders on Mumsnet - have expressed revulsion at the reaction of the parents in law, or made a point about their choice to take a risk. For clarity, I agree with all of you:

  • It was their risk to take
  • What kind of idiot has a £156 glass (obviously some unspeakably vulgar “special edition”, or possibly Bohemian crystal - we know it’s not a rare antique because they sent a link)
  • Don’t they know the best glasses (Riedel, Zalto etc.) cost a lot less, and are almost certainly way better than a pretentious £156 one?
  • Don’t they know that you can get great ones in IKEA or Habitat?
  • How dare they make the parents of their new grandchild feel so embarrassed?
  • Have they no sensitivity for the clearly visible wealth gap between them that they would exploit it further?

They’re obviously the sort of people who think that rich people fully deserve their wealth, that by extension, poor people are the architects of their misfortune, and that the value of something is its cost, and nothing else. Charming people, in other words.

So we’re in agreement.

But no one has quite offered a solution. What would a solution look like? There are broadly three options:

  1. Pay up
  2. Refuse to pay
  3. Offer some kind of creative compromise (feel free to come over to ours and smash one of our glasses - ah, do you feel better now?)

I can think of endlessly labyrinthine ramifications to each of these. Would any of you care to explore them? I suspect that they all possess comic potential.


He he, indeed

I liked a reply which said:

“Personally I would transfer the money from the joint account and inform then that you, and the future grandchildren, will not be visiting their home again to avoid accidents, but they are welcome to visit you and the [grandkids]. But not the next couple of months please, as having that much gone from the budget means you can’t feed visitors, soz. Much love etc.”


From the original post…

They’re well off… as in, VERY well off… DP and I on the other hand live in a rented 3 bed semi-dettached property so definitely not as well off.

Okay… not AS well off, but clearly not struggling to make ends meet… saying that I find the idea of receiving an invoice on such occasion beggars belief.


It could have been worse …


Agree with everyone… I think it’s always appropriate to offer to replace something that you’ve broken, but that offer should never really be accepted (unless in cases of juggling etc. as mentioned above). It’s obviously not okay to send an invoice though. On the boy’s birthday thing, again, totally unacceptable to send an invoice. But also, totally unacceptable not to contact someone to cancel. Even if they’d lost he invitation, surely they could contact other parents or the party location! Similar thing regarding restaurants losing lots of money due to no-shows has been coming up a lot on social media recently. Just so inconsiderate!


Totally agree - and in THAT case I would be supportive of them being charged. A booking is a commercial contract (of sorts) that a dinner or birthday party is not.

Maybe we can have a different thread about that!


For restaurants: it depends on the conditions. I had lunch yesterday at one which had asked for CC details, and said they would charge £25 a head for cancellations at under 48 hours. As it was one where the view and surroundings are part of the attraction, it would have been annoying if it had rained. We were lucky (very) with the weather, and had kept an eye on the forecasts, but as weather, health, transport problems…can all change within 48 hours, this seems unreasonable. As the restaurant was half empty, they certainly didn’t need to know in order to deal with a waiting list. Yes, ask people to cancel, but requiring a long notice is unreasonable.