You should have reported it to the police.
This was the advice of most commenters on Mumsnet after reading the story of the Original Poster with username cocoloco117, who was so convinced that their family was a victim of theft.
But, instead, OP wanted to make the company whose services she required pay for the huge sum of cash that one of their workers allegedly stole.
Sharing the details on Mumsnet, she wrote: “Name changed and tin hat on for this. We recently had someone working in our house, after which I noticed a large sum of money had gone missing. It was a pile of notes that was left under an ornament on a bookshelf in the room in which they were working. Now I don’t need any lectures on the follies of leaving large sums of money lying around the house. Stupidly, I forgot to move it before they came. But whilst it is a stupid thing to do, does that mean I deserve to be robbed?”
OP continued to relate that there was no one among their family in the room during the period between when the money was last seen and when it disappeared. This was why she was so convinced that the hired worker took it. And yet, she had not discussed the matter with the company out of anticipation that the worker would just deny the theft.
OP further confided, “I was about to let it go and chalk it up to bad experience. But since the day of the work/theft, there’s been a few other issues, so we haven’t paid the invoice yet. In that time, I have been stewing over it, searching the place upside down and thinking about who else could have been in the house or what else could have happened. Post-stew, I am now certain that the only explanation can be that it was taken by the worker. Would it be unreasonable to unilaterally deduct the amount stolen from the invoice and tell them to recover the rest from their light-fingered employee?”
Now, that’s where the point of contention lies. Would Mumsnet commenters consider OP reasonable in her intention to deduct the alleged stolen cash from the payment she owes the company?
Here are several comments with eye-opening truths:
From LumpyPumpkin: “You’re being completely unreasonable. You owe the company the full amount of money you agreed to pay for work done. The missing money is something you need to raise with the police and the company. It doesn’t mean you can just refuse to pay.”
From ShanghaiDiva: “Unreasonable not to pay the bill, as this is completely unrelated to the theft.”
From lanthanum: “You should have reported the theft, even if it was a case of ‘your word against theirs’; if they get similar reports from other jobs, then things might look a bit different. I don’t think you can really withhold money from the company for something their employee did and that you haven’t even mentioned until now. But you could make sure that they are aware that there may be an issue.”
From Didtheythough: “Report to company in the first instance and police if they fail to act on it. Perhaps refrain from paying invoice at all until you’ve done this. But you have to admit, from the company’s point of view, you’ll look like you’re just trying to get away with not paying full amount. You should have told them immediately. Depending on the amount (i.e. a particularly big pile of cash?), they may decide to take you to small claims court.”