Okay, so my brother set up an internet domain for my mother a few years ago, using his bank account to make the payment (and she gave him the money) and then on the same account, added another domain for me, because at the time there was a deal for existing customers to get additional domains at a reduced price (and I gave him the money). This was in December 2006.
After one year, the email account was choked with spam and I was no longer using it, so I told my brother to, when the time came, NOT renew my subscription.
The time came and he forgot, but I let it go, gave him the money, and was stuck with another year of a useless email account. During that year I often bitched about the stupid thing and how I have to keep logging into it to clear all the spam as it takes up all the space on my mom's account so she can't use her emails properly, or something, and how I couldn't wait to just close it and forget about it. I also bought my own domain under my own, separate account.
Around July last year, my brother copied me and mom in on an email giving us all the passwords and what-not to administrate the account, 'for our convenience', so that we could add email addresses and whatever ourselves. Knowning that this was the limit of our technological expertise. But he kept the financial administration (ie bills!) as going to his email address.
In August, mom stopped using her account as well, as she had her internet connection permanently disconnected and decided against using emails for reasons of her own. With all three of us at the table, we discussed how the accounts would still be live but we could just leave them to expire naturally in December, but if nobody was using them then there was no need for me to keep logging in to clear the spam.
So the last time I logged in or had anything to do with that account was in August 2008.
Skip to last week, when I visited my brother and he and his housemates had no food in the house, though he had invited me and my kids there to stay for a few days and was expecting us. None of them had any money on them, so I went to the supermarket and bought a few days' worth of food. We agreed to divide the bill equally between the people who would be eating the food, and they agreed to pay the money into my bank account when they had it.
But me and the kids only stayed there for one night because the following morning my daughter was ill and had to go home. They kept all the food though, enough now to last them over a week, and I didn't increase their share of the cost even though me and the kids had only had one meal out of it all.
Several days later, the housemates had paid in their shares to my account but my brother only paid in a quarter of his share. He said he had taken off the amount I owed him for the domain, and forwarded the bill from a few weeks ago.
I was surprised as I had completely forgotten about the account and at the time the bill came in, he didn't tell me a word about it or check with me, before renewing my domain. I didn't even know until I found out this evening that I'm stuck with it for another year.
The money he took off his share of the groceries, I had been relying on to get OUR groceries this week and I've now had to borrow money off my neighbour.
My brother holds that he's blameless because, as he says, he gave us the passwords and it was up to us to cancel the accounts if we wanted to. I think he should've said something to me when the bill came in, and I find it unlikely that he wouldn't have remembered my mom and I saying that we didn't want the accounts any more. And I also think it was dishonourable of him to keep it to himself and suddenly spring it on me to get out of paying me what he owed me.
Also, I looked up the web hosting people and it says the account is renewed automatically if there's no reply when they send out the bill. So in fact, I suspect that it was simply that he forgot to either cancel it or remind me and my mom, and is now using the 'it wasn't my responsibility' ruse to absolve himself of blame.
What do you think? Am I unreasonable to feel conned?
Sorry, I know that was a long post but thanks if you made it to the end!