Wedding couple call police after hotel shames them for unpaid buffet bill

A hotel has accused a couple of newlyweds of ‘robbing them’ in a heated dispute over an unpaid £1,150 buffet bill.

The Town House in Durham named and shamed the couple on Facebook, branding them criminals for refusing to pay for the food at the reception.

But Clare Nattrass and Joanne Robinson have hit back at the venue for ‘ruining their big day’, adding they always intended to foot the bill.

The couple said they refused to pay £200 for the ‘miserable’ wedding breakfast buffet because it didn’t include requested foods and was wheeled off by staff after just 30 minutes.

A spokesman for the hotel dismissed this claim as ‘nonsense’.

Speaking to the Mail, the couple say the row escalated to such an extent they had to call police to mediate after feeling threatened by hotel staff.

In the now-viral Facebook post, the venue shared a picture of Clare, 57, and Joanne, 49, along with the message: ‘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 taken the decision to rob our business.

‘They requested to our staff time and time again if they could pay on checkout for their 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.

‘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 installments when we’ve called them and asked them to pay they’ve just outright REFUSED.’

But Joanne said they always had a payment plan in place and would begin repayments by the end of the week.

‘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,’ she said.

‘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.

‘And there wasn’t supposed to be any corkage charge; that landed on us out of the blue.’

Joanna also said the venue had sent people round to their flat to collect the money, which terrified them.

‘To be treated like this is absolutely appalling,’ she added. ‘I’ve had to delete my social media and we daren’t leave our home, the venue has behaved appallingly.’

Hotel owner Luke Hay, 30, said the whole experience had left staff ‘angry and frustrated’.

‘All their complaints are nonsense,’ he said. ‘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. It’s completely untrue as well that the buffet was taken away after 30 minutes.

‘This whole thing has left us feeling very angry and frustrated. Weddings at our venue would normally cost around £5,000 but we helped this couple because we felt sorry for them.’

Mr Hay confirmed the venue had sent people round to their flat to ‘formally request’ the money they were owed, but denied making any threats.

‘We just want the bill to be paid,’ he added. ‘We’ll even waive the corkage if that’s their problem because we just want to put this behind us and move on as quickly as possible.’

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