And finally…Vorsprung durch…how much?

BrassNeck2A woman who was offered a free meal by an Audi garage which damaged her car went to town and ran up a £700 bill at a flash Michelin-starred London restaurant only to be told they wouldn’t stump up after all.

Siobhan Yap, 27, from Hertfordshire, treated her mother to dinner after her Audi A3 convertible was hit while parked on Watford Audi’s forecourt.

In order to smooth out the bumps, in more ways than one, the garage agreed to give her a courtesy car and offered to cover the cost of a meal for two “for the inconvenience caused”.

Taking them at their word, Ms Yap did the only obvious thing and took herself and her mum off to Covent Garden’s L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon.

Living it up there, the pair enjoyed four glasses of champagne, two bottles of wine costing £69 each, six cocktails totaling £86 and a sloe gin.

The “small tasting dishes” they tried included one La Truffe Noire at £35, two St Jacques scallop dishes costing £29 each and two La Volatille risottos totalling £42.

But upon presenting the receipt for the jaunt to Watford Audi, the garage said the £714.61 bill was “excessive” and only offered to pay half, to which Ms Yap offered the predictable response that Audi should have “specified a price limit”.

Ms Yap told the JVS show on BBC Three Counties Radio that Audi should pay the whole bill because she had to send the car back for further repairs, and the cost was “relative to what they put me through and their customer service levels”.

“They put me through a lot of stress and it was a really nice restaurant,” Ms Yap said. “They should have specified a limit.”

A Watford Audi spokesman said it was “excessive expenditure for two diners”, but as it was “keen to make amends for the incident” it agreed to cover half the bill, equating to £357.

“We believe this is a fair and reasonable amount given the circumstances, and we stand by the decision taken,” said the spokesman.

Speaking to the BBC, Etiquette expert William Hanson said the garage should have set an upper limit and should “learn a lesson” and “absorb the cost”. But he said that “you don’t need to perhaps drink that much if someone else is paying”.

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