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Moocher Week Continues…..Business Mooching

Moocher Week?! I’m ready.

My husband did some accounting work for a small limousine company (friend-of-a-friend). Instead of paying, the guy offered us a free limo ride. A couple of weeks later, our car was in the shop, so we took him up on his offer and he agreed to pick us up at 7:30 a.m. to drive us to church. Sunday arrived, 7:30 arrived, he didn’t. Eight o’clock, no show. Eight-thirty passed. DH called him to find out what the problem was and, when he answered, it was clear we had awoken him. He insisted he could pick us up and get us there in time for the second church service, and he did. To make up for being late, though, he offered to take us out for dinner to the new (and very popular) steakhouse the next weekend and we accepted.

He called us the afternoon of the dinner date and asked us to meet him at the restaurant because his limo’s in the shop and his girlfriend (he’s married) agreed to pick him up but doesn’t want to drive all the way out to where we live to pick US up. DH agrees.

We meet them at the restaurant. New restaurant + the weekend = 2 hour wait for a table. Our host offers to get us drinks from the bar, we decline, and he gets drinks for himself and his girlfriend. We chat while waiting for a table. We get a table, our host orders a couple of appetizers for him and his companion, entrees from the high end of the menu, a couple bottles of wine, and tells us to order anything we want. We order an appetizer to share and, of course, entrees “from the middle”. We sit, eat, and chat for a while, then DH thanks him for the dinner and says we have to go home and relieve the babysitter. The server brings the check, our host gives him a credit card, the server returns…and says the card’s been declined. Our host asks us if WE can pay for it!

At this point, DH (who’s usually extremely patient and forbearing) decides he’s taken enough of this guy’s excuses and says, “No, we can’t. We left the credit cards at home and I’ve only got enough cash to pay the babysitter. Thank you again for the lovely dinner, and [Girlfriend], it was a pleasure meeting you, but we have to leave now.”  As we were leaving, the guy was asking his girlfriend to pay the bill.   0111017


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  • AppleEye January 17, 2017, 6:48 am

    I’m confused but the whole ‘girlfriend but he’s married’ thing. Is he seperated from his wife? Is it an open marriage? or did he make you an accesory to his affair? I hope one of the former, because frankly, the minute he brought up extra-marital activities I would have begged off. What an awkward situation. This guy sounds like an all around irreaponsible creep and you should start avoiding him at all costs.

    • AppleEye January 17, 2017, 12:08 pm

      *irresponsible. Oh, and I should add, huzzah for your DH and yourself, for having a polite spine and refusing to be mooched off of!

    • Anon January 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

      Yeah, I’m not going to have that on my conscious. You want to cheat on your spouse? Leave me out of it unless you want me to tell them.

    • Just4Kicks January 17, 2017, 2:20 pm

      Nice catch!!!
      I totally missed the wife/girlfriend thing.

      • Amanda H. January 17, 2017, 6:27 pm

        My brain’s *still* hung up on it. The way the whole “he’s married” thing goes, and how OP and her husband think nothing of it, all I can assume is that OP goofed on a word, rather than the guy is cheating. At least, I *hope* that’s how it is.

        • NostalgicGal January 22, 2017, 4:55 pm

          We can hope that it was he was in ‘divorce lurching to final’ versus ‘fully married with GF blatantly on the side.’

    • Marozia January 18, 2017, 1:46 am

      Maybe she was the girlfriend before the dinner and they married sometime up til when the OP sent in the letter.

  • Just4Kicks January 17, 2017, 7:17 am

    Oh, wow. Just…wow.
    I’m kind of leaning toward that was “the plan” from the get-go, “friend” had no intention of footing the bill.
    Good for you for not paying!!!
    I would love an update if possible, what happened next? Did you ever hear from him again?

    My husband once ran into an old friend one Saturday afternoon at the local tavern where he was watching some pay per view sporting event with pals.
    Like your friend, this man had also opened a small limousine business.
    My husband stood up to go and this friend said “stay awhile, I haven’t seen you in so long”.
    My husband said he had to leave, he was taking our oldest son to a dance which started soon.
    This man said “How would your son like to arrive in a stretch hummer?”
    My husband laughed, and this man said “I’m serious! What’s your address?”
    Well, he showed up in plenty of time and took our whole family for a quick ride, then told my son to hop in, so he wasn’t late for his dance!”
    My husband followed behind in our car and parked out of sight just so he could see everyone’s face when my 14 year old hopped out of this huge car.
    He came back two hours later, and told my son to pick five friends and he would take them all home.
    Of course my son picked five lovely young ladies, and they were all delivered safely home.
    This man refused to take any payment or tip, but my husband finally got him to accept money for gas to shuttle all these kids around.
    My son had quite the adventure and he was the talk of the school for weeks to come.

    • stacey January 17, 2017, 12:29 pm

      LOVE this anecdote!

    • Lerah99 January 17, 2017, 1:14 pm

      This is so fun! What a great time for the kids and what a nice guy to do that for them all.

      • Just4Kicks January 17, 2017, 5:49 pm

        We haven’t seen him in a few years, but yes he is a great guy!

        What I left out of my story, the son who went to the dance was kind of on the outs with his baseball team at the time.
        He had won, (well, earned, dare I say) a starting position on the team over the head coach’s son.
        This guy thought his kid was Babe Ruth incarnate, good kid, good grades, not a great player if I’m honest. ….not that MY kid is the end all/be all either…
        Anyway….the coaches (my hubby included) we NOT allowed to vote, of course you’d vote for your own.
        My son beat out this kid, and while the boy wasn’t upset, his dad went crazy!
        Some of the kids were pissed at my son, so guess who the five ladies my son picked to give a ride home?!?
        The girlfriend’s of the 5 who were giving him the most grief.
        Three of the kids actually thought it was funny, and one of them high my kid on Monday and said “Well played kid….WELL played!!!”
        The other two….ehhhhh….not so much. 🙂

        • Charliesmum January 18, 2017, 7:12 am

          Your son is kind of a genius. 🙂

          • Just4Kicks January 18, 2017, 6:21 pm

            Evil genius. 🙂

          • NostalgicGal January 22, 2017, 4:57 pm

            Just totally love it. Your son, is a legend.

    • Amanda H. January 17, 2017, 6:33 pm

      I agree that the “friend” probably never intended to pay for the meal. The part that makes me think that is how the “friend” was picking all high-end stuff, extra drinks, etc. Either that or he is very irresponsible with his money (which I guess is also plausible, seeing as he’s irresponsible about picking up friends at an agreed-upon time as well; I wonder how long his limo business lasted if this is an example of how he treats business commitments).

      I love your anecdote. There’s a friend worth keeping.

    • Marozia January 18, 2017, 1:48 am

      Excellent! Glad everyone had a great time.

  • SleepIsabella January 17, 2017, 7:40 am

    You were expecting something different from someone cheating on their spouse?

    • Cerys January 17, 2017, 1:29 pm

      He isn’t necessarily cheating. They might be polyamorous. You never know.

      Yeah, I’m not even convincing myself.

  • Susan. Haverland January 17, 2017, 7:41 am

    Time to quit doing side work for him . So glad to hear you said no to paying for the meal . I like the way you said it . It seems he does not really want to do extra for you but expect what he needs for free . Not much of a friend. Wonder if girlfriend paid the bill
    . Honestly left his wallet at home . With all
    That extra food . You sure surprised him with not paying. Good for you .

  • Coralreef January 17, 2017, 8:07 am

    Perfect case of Bed. Made. Lie.

    Kudos to OP’s husband for not being a doormat.

  • Cleosia January 17, 2017, 8:13 am

    I guess no bartering for your husband’s services next time. This may be how he stays in business, never delivering on the deal.

  • Saucygirl January 17, 2017, 8:48 am

    Good for your husband for standing up for himself, but Seriously? How can you not be surprised that a guy who is blatantly cheating on his wife would try to cheat you too?

  • Klein Bottle January 17, 2017, 8:56 am

    From now on, just bill people for your work. Keep it professional, simple, and straightforward, and you won’t run into situations like this one.

    The husband had a great response to the moocher, though.

  • Michelle January 17, 2017, 9:09 am

    Kudos for your husband for saying no.

    I have to say that if it were me, after failing to arrive on time to pick me up for church, then inviting me & my husband out to eat with him and his girlfriend instead of his wife, I would have declined.

  • Pat January 17, 2017, 9:51 am

    Lawyers learn this early on – get an up front retainer before you put in any work.

    • NostalgicGal January 17, 2017, 1:29 pm

      When I did custom jewelry work, the estimate was always free (meet you, figure out what you truly wanted, run the estimate, and decide the delivery date) but I always took a non refundable 50% up front. I never missed a deadline, but I had a few try to bail out on paying and try to get the up front money back. Which was impossible as that is what paid for the materials. Sometimes that was the entire amount paid in advance.

      One spectacular time the fellow welched off on about $1500 retail, DEMANDED his money back OR the item for what he’d already paid, I said impossible but… I had enough stuff in stock that I went home, measured out precious metal wire, pearls, aquamarine beads, etc, and carefully baggied up enough material to make the item and delivered the stuff carefully packaged into a large baggie with his invoice. I had the finished item but refused to release it, and what was in that baggie was exactly what he’d paid for. He went home with it in his briefcase and his wife found it that night and demanded to know what was going on. Next day he called me to his office to exchange the baggie and cash for the finished item. I did so, and made up another one and put into stock (which sold quickly, btw).

      Another ordered a 14k gold and ruby bead chain mail choker, very elaborate and a 14.5″ neck. I quoted it, finished it, delivered it on a velvet pad. He was happy with it then suddenly pushed it my way. As I sat in his office his wife walked in behind me and I didn’t hear her come in. She’d been a trophy wife 25 years ago and no way did that fit her, and he didn’t have a daughter. That one he wanted his front money back and the contract was again, no return of deposit. I managed to sell it, and refunded him ONLY because I managed to sell it within 30 days (during his grace period to pay for the remainder)–he needed every penny for the divorce.

      I might barter finished item from stock for service rendered but do NOT do custom from scratch work–that is too easy to get burned. I mention those two cases because they WERE attorneys and if I needed their services I paid cash. If they wanted my services they paid accordingly (and in cash or at least I kept custody until I walked their check to the bank-I had one not cash out, so they spent three days finding cash to get their item)

      Where I live now, my attorney and I are friends, but if I need his advice I schedule ‘fifteen minutes’ (his minimal billing time) and bring in my questions and we sort out the legalities I need help with, and I’m billed for and pay accordingly. He wanted a gift for his wife for her birthday, he paid me cash. Keeps us on friends status.

      • Yasuragi January 17, 2017, 6:55 pm

        The People’s Court is my guilty pleasure and I am constantly shocked at how many people don’t understand how deposits work. They thought they could cancel something in the 11th hour and get the deposit back but they didn’t and now they want double the cash in pain and suffering. I’ll never get tired of seeing their Faces of Sudden Understanding when Judge Milian explains just how wrong they are.

        • NostalgicGal January 22, 2017, 5:06 pm

          Yep. I developed boilerplate early on that covered my rights. Another issue I had was I would do consignment to a store-you stock it, you keep track of it, it is invoiced and if you sell it or it’s missing, on service date you owe me the 50% price (I priced/pretagged everything). And the bit about the store didn’t own it until they sold it or it left inventory. A place wasn’t paying the city their sales tax and the city moved in, seized the place, padlocked it and arranged a sheriff sale of contents to pay their tax bill. I came for servicing and found a sheriff deputy there with the locked door and the notice. IF you had proof you owned the stuff you could get it out. My boilerplate allowed me to enter, inventory, remove my stuff, and submit a bill for what was missing (Lien). The place was full of collectables that the owner and friends were trying to get out of there (where money had gone) and couldn’t provide bills of sale, hence the guard. The contents to the walls were sold, and enough was raised to pay the tax bill ($1200) and all creditors (including me). Contracts are very important. I wasn’t about to lose $18k because the stupids didn’t pay their quarterly tax bill…

  • Lady phoenix January 17, 2017, 9:53 am

    Wow, what a piece of work.

  • Shalamar January 17, 2017, 9:58 am

    Good for your husband for having a spine, but I have to say – you were a lot more patient than I was. I think I would’ve put my foot down when he whined about “driving all the way out where you live to pick you up”. Plus, what the heck? He was married AND had a girlfriend?

  • SadieMae January 17, 2017, 10:30 am

    Even without doing this yahoo’s accounts, I can tell his business is going nowhere fast, with this kind of attitude toward punctuality, responsibility and money management… 🙂

    Hurray for husband and his spine of steel!

  • Library Diva January 17, 2017, 10:33 am

    This guy sounds like less of an intentional moocher and more like someone who doesn’t have his act together at all. Can’t pay for accounting services, can’t set an alarm, limo keeps breaking down, doesn’t think he might need a reservation at the most popular restaurant in town on a Saturday night, credit card gets declined…what a mess. I hope he pulls it together soon. I’m sure your husband is not the first person who’s had his patience exhausted by this walking disaster.

    • Dee January 17, 2017, 12:31 pm

      Don’t forget the part about being married AND having a girlfriend … With a character like this, why make a deal with the guy? After the first no-show, why not just tell him “it’s okay, we’re just going to pass on the limo ride and settle the account in the traditional way” and then send him the bill for accounting services rendered? I couldn’t imagine enjoying church after missing the service I wanted to attend, and I REALLY couldn’t imagine wanting to sit through a dinner with this guy and his piece-on-the-side that I’ve never met, so I’m having a very difficult time understanding what it is OP and hubby were getting out of all this. Maybe they like drama?

  • UKHelen January 17, 2017, 11:01 am

    Beautifully done, DH!

  • Lomita Momcat January 17, 2017, 11:34 am

    The moral of the story is, if you’re in business, be businesslike. If you don’t want to wheel and deal and barter your services, if you want to be paid in cash, refuse to accept payment by barter. There’s nothing wrong with politely telling someone “I’m sorry but the only payment methods I accept are cash, credit card, cashier’s check or money order.”

    • NostalgicGal January 17, 2017, 1:33 pm

      I speak barter, limited. And stick to finished goods for finished goods or set service (like trading garnet/14k gold necklace for Christmas present to the guy that came and fixed my furnace for his parts and labor. He needed a Christmas present his wife couldn’t trace, heh, so. He did the work, wrote up his bill, and I laid out some choices ranging roughly what his bill came to. A few went over his bill but he had his choice of what I offered. He chose, I boxed it, he wrote paid in full on his bill, we shook hands.)

      • Lomita Momcat January 17, 2017, 8:45 pm

        One of my guilty pleasures is occasionally watching shows like “Judge Judy” on TV.

        Over and over, these shows feature cases where people have engaged in barter on a verbal basis, and then somebody welches on their part of the deal, or something otherwise goes wrong, and because there’s nothing in writing, the parties end up in court. And the TV judge inevitable asks why they didn’t write out even a bare-bones contract (or, more recently, for verbal agreements, why they didn’t pull out their cell phone and record the verbal agreement).

        You sound like you do things on a sound business basis and expect the people you deal with to be businesslike. That’s good etiquette as well as good business, because it reduces the possibility of misunderstandings.

        • NostalgicGal January 22, 2017, 5:24 pm

          Myself and friends and acquaintances got stomped on over the years and learned. I actually learned from some others mistakes and they from mine. Especially where court might be involved (as in real court not TV court)

  • Barensmom January 17, 2017, 11:48 am

    That guy never had any intention of repaying his debt, did he? I think he was surprised that the OP and her husband expected him to follow through.

  • Cat January 17, 2017, 11:55 am

    I imagine he knew his credit card would be declined; and he intended that you would pay the entire bill from the very start.
    I am glad you did not give in to him and pay the bill. You would have been offered another limo ride in its place. He seems to be short on cash.

    • Lomita Momcat January 17, 2017, 9:24 pm

      I learned the hard way when I was in my 20’s that you need to know the status of your credit cards before you present them for payment.

      I wanted to buy something at a pet store. Clerk rang up purchase. I presented card. Clerk ran card, told me card was expired (I wasn’t good about discarding old cards when I received the new one). Oops.

      So I searched my wallet, found the new card, handed it to clerk. Clerk ran card. Card was rejected because I hadn’t activated the new card. Double oops.

      People in line behind me were getting restless, wondering what was happening. So I hunted through wallet, found Discover card that husband had signed up for, that we rarely/never used. I checked date, it wasn’t expired, so I handed it to clerk. Clerk ran the card, card was rejected because it had been cancelled! (Husband had cancelled the card because we never used it, had forgotten to tell me.)

      Triple oops. Strike three, you’re out!

      I had to tell the clerk sorry and slink away from the cash register with what felt like the glares of everyone in the store burning into my back.

      Lesson learned: gotta pay attention to the status of the plastic in your wallet!

      • NostalgicGal January 22, 2017, 5:27 pm

        Now days with cells if you have a not activated card you can activate it right there and in a few minutes it will work. Had to do this once.

  • Ashley January 17, 2017, 12:13 pm

    Reasons I don’t do business with/for friends, and any time I do business, there’s a contract to fall back on.

    Cheers to DH for sticking to his guns when he HAD to though.

  • bap January 17, 2017, 12:16 pm

    I’m just glad you had your own vehicle; I can’t imagine the ride home if you had been with them. Am I the only one that believes he knew in advance the card wouldn’t clear? Kudos to your husband for the shiny spine!

  • Yet Another Laura January 17, 2017, 12:17 pm

    I gave a silent cheer for your husband for refusing to get stuck with the bill. More people need to do likewise.

  • Harry January 17, 2017, 12:18 pm

    What a wonderful story. Seriously, by him asking you to drive yourself to the restaurant, that provided you with a clean getaway from Elmer Mooch!
    Well done. Bravo! Bravo!

    • clairedelune January 17, 2017, 1:07 pm

      Also, a getaway in a car that isn’t being driven by someone who was drinking as much as it sounds like this guy was…

  • Kat January 17, 2017, 12:20 pm

    Yikes… did OP know that his dinner date was a girlfriend and not his wife? Because I don’t think I could sit through a full, multi-hour dinner that AWKWARD. I would have just told them not to bother picking us up.

    • Miss Jagger January 17, 2017, 1:37 pm

      I agree with you Kat. While there may be some circumstances that would account for a girlfriend and wife situation (maybe going through a divorce, they can take a long time…) But for the most part, my policy on friends who are openly cheating would be, you can do whatever you want with your life, but I will not be involved in the affair in any way.

      OP, good for your husband for standing up to this guy, good riddance!

  • JD January 17, 2017, 12:44 pm

    Yay, a moocher story that ends well for the OP! Love the husband’s response!

  • Devin January 17, 2017, 1:09 pm

    Sounds like this guy’s professional life isn’t doing so well. Im glad you flexed your polite spine and didn’t pay for dinner. Hopefully after that dinner, your husband stopped doing any unpaid work for the guy.

    On a side note- I’m not sure why the OP decided to disclose the relationship status of the mooch? Unless you know the inner workings of this man’s relationship, it is no one’s place to judge. Legally seperated, staying together because of the business, or in an open marriage. If you are well acquanited with the wife, and dinner with the gf made you uncomfortable, you should have declined the invitation.

    • lakey January 18, 2017, 12:10 am

      I disagree. If someone choses to have an affair, I stay out of it. But when someone makes me a part of it by inviting the other woman/man to a dinner with me, then it becomes my business. I have a relative who tried to make me a part of the cheating, by including the man she was cheating with, when there was no need for him to be included. It put me in a very bad position. But you’re right, unless the OP and her husband were aware of some reason for the affair, such as a long dragged out separation and divorce, they could have said no to the invitation.

      There is a whole pattern of irresponsible behavior on the part of this guy, and his girlfriend is likely just one more example of his inability to behave like an adult. He can’t afford to pay his restaurant bills, then he can’t afford to wine and dine a girlfriend. His business is likely to fail.

      • Lomita Momcat January 18, 2017, 2:46 pm

        I think the thing about the inclusion of the girlfriend is that unless the whole world knows about the affair, it makes the OP and his wife complicit in a lie.

        I think that’s the point that needs to be made here: someone who attempts to make you complicit in a lie they’re involved in is a candidate for the relationship death penalty: permanent banishment from your life.

        All relationships are founded on trust. When someone brings falsehood into a relationship, there can be no trust. That’s pretty basic.

        A person who tries to involve you in their falsehood, whether it’s hiding an affair from a spouse or partner, or their involvement in something like concealing money they’ve earned from a business partner, or cheating on a homework assignment, is a person who is trying to steal your trustworthiness from you for their own benefit. In my opinion, that’s as vile a crime against etiquette and ethics as telling a lie about you to other people. It has the potential for destroying your character to other people.

        Also, at its most basic, a person who will lie to other people will certainly lie to you. A person who seeks to involve you in their lies told to other people will certainly involve other people in their lies told to you. This is very destructive to relationships of all kinds, just really toxic.

        That’s why, to me, finding that a person has tried to involve me in a lie is an absolute deal-killer for any relationship.

  • Dyan January 17, 2017, 1:19 pm

    I don’t know…the guy brings his ‘girl friend’ and not his wife…first I think I would have said thanks but NO thanks…

  • NostalgicGal January 17, 2017, 1:37 pm

    I think too, that going out with the girlfriend when the guy is known to be married, with clients, is a new level of crass. I wouldn’t have even gone to the restaurant. Kudos on walking out and letting them deal with it. Buying the high end stuff sort of is a red flag in the situation too. If you’re wary always order just what you are willing to pay for so at most you can have the bill split and let the indulgers pay for their own. Done that many times.

  • JJ January 17, 2017, 7:08 pm

    Ha love how you handled that though by the end. Just a simple concise no sorry can’t afford more then our meals have a nice day kind of deal.

    I’m with a few others here this might not have been such a coincidence either. I mean sure maybe it was but I don’t know I think some part of him went out knowing he might get his card rejected and just figured he’d suck his guests into paying his meals for him. Glad you didn’t and stuck to your guns and budget. I would have loved to have seen his face when you said no sorry we can’t pay yours. Is that wrong of me? Because I’d just love for once to see a moocher actually get politetly but firmly called out and told no. Most stories usually end with the person paying the moochers meal and the making it a point to not do it again or avoid the moocher. But someone actually refusing to pay it and just politely leaving after paying their own bill is great.

  • Julie January 18, 2017, 8:13 am

    The way it was written, they knew this was the girlfriend and the guy is presently married. No question in my mind, she wrote it wanting to convey the guy is married and, invited them out with his extramarital girlfriend. Which apparently they are fine with. Hope the wife doesn’t consider them to be in the friendship realm.

    Why would you even continue on with this farce when the guy blew off his first promise of a free ride, THEN when the time comes for the 2nd ride, blows you off with the same callousness he blows his wife off by openly cheating on her, by putting his girlfriend’s whims ahead of his promise TO YOU? I would never have gone to that dinner once I learned he is a liar of convenience, HIS convenience. He put you 2nd to sleeping in on the church ride, then he puts you second to his extramarital girlfriend, are you so desperate for this free meal that you have to associate with people I would think are blatantly living in violation of the morals of the church you had him take you to?

    • OP January 24, 2017, 12:11 pm

      No, I didn’t know he had a girlfriend AND a wife. I didn’t find that out until he asked us to meet them at the restaurant (he mentioned his girlfriend at that point, the subject of his wife didn’t come up until we were at the table).
      After the Sunday morning faux pas, I would have declined anything he offered, but DH believes in second chances (and third, etc.) much more than I do and he accepted for us.
      I submitted the story because the subject was moochers and I thought someone who reneges on commitment after commitment, then invites you out to dinner and expects you to pay would be an uber-moocher.

  • Jinx January 18, 2017, 8:33 am

    I don’t want to sound weird but… these people aren’t friends.

    They just met in a business setting.

    I don’t think I’d ever agree to a night out with essentially strangers just for the prospect of free food.

  • Tim Heller January 19, 2017, 8:58 am

    I don’t believe all relationships are founded on trust! I believe they are founded on mutual attraction then trust develops, and I would have told his wife about his girlfriend! Revenge is a dish best served cold (for the embarrassment of being asked to pay)