The family of five and the discount voucher

We are a family of five. That makes us a ‘big’ family. But, really?! Does anyone REALLY consider a family with two parents and three kids to be BIG? There are plenty of families out there with four or five kids.

But society, and especially businesses, have decided we are BIG. And they’ve decided to punish us for it. I’m sure any family with three or more kids can relate.

Everything is expensive when you multiply it by five. A cheap holiday? Multiply it by five. And pay adult prices for flights for two of your kids. Not so cheap now, is it? Family tickets? They’re for four. Packets of food? For four. And don’t get me started on family hotel rooms – if there’s five of you, you’re having two rooms. And the price doubles just because you’ve got one extra person in your family.

Is it any wonder we go on self-catering holidays in the UK every year? (And by UK, I mean Padstow.)

Which brings me conveniently to Padstow and our recent holiday. We stayed at a different property with a different rental firm this year. The property came with a discount card for lots of local businesses. Including our very favourite restaurant in Padstow. The one we’ve been to at least once per holiday EVERY SINGLE TIME we’ve been to Padstow. And we’ve been there 18 times. I kid you not.

The voucher gave 10% discount for four people. Four people? Slightly annoying, but a discount for four people rather than five is better than no discount at all.

The voucher had to be mentioned when you booked the table. So I did. (After seven minutes on hold.)

‘Oh you can’t use the voucher, it’s for four people.’

‘Well that’s OK, we’ll just have the discount for four people and one will pay price.’

‘We can’t do that?’

‘Well why?’

They couldn’t answer it.

I pointed out that it was a bit ridiculous. Why should we get no discount at all just because there were five of us. Would parties of two or three be able to have the discount?!

There was no explanation, but they weren’t budging.

I asked to speak to the manager. Apparently I already was. To get out of the conversation, she decided to blame the holiday company. It was their decision, apparently.

Well I spoke to them and they denied it was anything to do with them. And OBVIOUSLY they couldn’t sort a discount for us because it was down to the restaurant.

I’m aware that in the scheme of things it’s not a big deal. It’s a drop in the ocean. A few quid. Who’s really going to miss it?

But it’s the principle of the matter! Why should we be denied the discount just because we have one more child than is considered ‘normal’.

And why the flip did the holiday company, who happily rented us a house which sleeps six (and needless to say we paid a lot of money for it), even bother to give us the damn voucher in the first place if it’s not worth the paper it’s written on?

Any other families with three, four or more kids feel penalised in everyday life for having more kids than ‘normal’?

Holidays, Cornwall, Discount, Big family

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Yes! This is really annoying! I don’t blame you fighting the voucher, I would have too. It’s totally unfair and of course by having my forth child I’m making it even worse. And the older children being priced as adults? That one really annoys me, it makes some holidays extremely expensive. X

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    • It certainly does! I think bigger families will be completely unable to actually go on holiday unless they’re mega rich! x

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  2. I would have been fuming! They should have done exactly what you said and discount 4 if they were going to be petty. Not discounting at all is awful. I am sick to death of everything being for families of 4 too! Xx

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    • It’s flipping annoying! It must add up a lot over the course of a year. I would have settled for the discount for four.

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  3. That’s terrible. We have four children. Even with the discount they were making more money from you so should have offered the discount. Personally, I think they should have put discount on the whole bill as a courtesy but if not, definitely let you have the discount on the four and pay one full price as you sensibly suggested. What a jobsworth x

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    • Quite! That’s a very good point that we would still be paying more than a family of four. Thanks very much.

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  4. That’s so annoying about the refusal to give you discount for the 4 people. Just pure meanness there. I used to think a family of 5 was the standard nuclear type of family but it seems it’s all moving to a family of 3 now and even then it’s only for youngish kids when you see all the “kids eat free!” signs. What annoys me right now is where some places charging us the same for z as they would a 12 year old, like at Alton Towers. Even though he’d sit on about 5 rides and that’s it!

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    • That’s a good point! I hadn’t even thought about that.
      So many families have three children (or only one parent), yet a family is still considered to be two adults and two kids.

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  5. You’re talking to the lady who found it was just as cheap to take two families of four to Disneyland Paris than it was a family of two adults, two children, and two under 2s. We couldn’t fit two babies in one room apparently. We had to have a family suite, which was dearer than two standard rooms (sleeping four each), but weren’t allowed to book two standard rooms as you had to have two adults in each room for ‘health and safety purposes’. Took my mum and dad in the end and it was just about the same price. Bonkers. Little wonder we choose to camp. Holidays are not friends to bigger families.

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    • They certainly aren’t! It’s crazy that taking two extra adults cost almost the same. Can’t believe that you’re supposed to have two adults in a room! The kids don’t have two adults in a room when they’re at home.

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  6. Seems like a total dick move of them not to honor the discount for 4 people, ridiculous business sense! I feel the same when it’s just me and the boys, a family discount is for 4; 2 adults and 2 children, yet I’m often the lone parent with 2 kids and having to forgo any discount. Annoying when companies wont accommodate anything other than the stereotypical family.

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    • It really is! I hadn’t really considered single parents or parents out on their own. But these things really are just for two adults and two children. How many families are like that?

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  7. Oh that would have really got me annoyed too Sarah. How stupid not to honour the discount for 4 of you. Companies really need to look at their pricing structures and tailor it to include families who dare to have more than 3 children. Yes its not about saving a few quid its definitely the principle of the matter. grrrrrrr x

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    • It most certainly is! And we’re punished numerous times a year for having one more child than ‘normal’. I don’t know why they couldn’t just let us have the discount for five. x

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  8. Oh don’t get me started on this topic! As you know, I find the price and lack of availability for families of five in hotels so frustrating. I also receive offers from a travel discount place and the majority of the discounts are for families of four and I get so mad! Surely there must be a huge number of families with more than two kids, why is it so difficult and why should we be penalised?? The discount voucher would have made me so mad, I can totally see why you were angry, why could they not have let you use it for four of you at least. Ridiculous!

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    • Thanks! I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds it annoying. I did wonder if I was being petty, but I concluded I wasn’t! There are so many families with three or more kids and we seem to get penalised all the time for everything!

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  9. I only really thought about it this year. Our eldest turned 18 in July and so didn’t want to come to ‘boring’ Cornwall with us, so stayed home and looked after the animals. Well I couldn’t get over how much cheaper it was including giving him £100 for food while we were away.

    Also as you say family tickets much cheaper. We also found it easier to find tables in restaurants and cafes.

    The oldest has booked his own holiday next year with his friends and we’ve booked the ski trip and a family holiday in Cyprus, the saving on not taking my eldest is more than the equivalent of the 2 weeks in Cornwall!

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    • That’s incredible what a difference it has made for you! We’re not in a position to see what it’s like when we revert to a family of four yet. I hadn’t realised the savings would be so big.

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  10. As part of a fellow family of five, I share your annoyance. I can’t believe the restaurant’s behaviour either – that’s an appalling way to treat customers over what was only a 10% discount. Terrible service – even if it wasn’t their responsibility, you would think that they would honour a voucher that was probably only going to cost them £10 or less in actual discount, just for the sake of providing a good customer experience.

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    • That’s a very good point – I didn’t even think about that, but you’re right, they should have done! I would have probably accepted it less at home, but kind of half accepted that’s the way things are in Cornwall (while still being very annoyed by it!).

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