Reptoparty cancelled on the day and no refund - anyone else?

(73 Posts)
Reptilefanmum Sun 10-Jul-16 22:45:38

I have namechanged as I'm a regular user and Reptoparty have my details. We booked Reptoparty six weeks before my son's birthday party using their 50% off parties offer on Facebook. He was recommended by a colleague and there are a number of reviews, photos etc on Facebook so I had no reason to be concerned. I paid the total requested by bank transfer, communication was very quick and it was all sorted.

Two days before the party I again messaged Reptoparty to confirm the booking was all in order and received a reply to say they were coming.

At 8am on the day of the party, I got a text message to say three of the reptiles had come down with a respiratory illness so he would have to cancel the party as he couldn't risk the others getting ill. As we had already arranged a party with all his school friends we asked if he could at least bring a few of the reptiles who were well enough as my son was extremely disappointed. He said he would see after going to the vet.

In the meantime I began calling other reptile party organisers, and was surprised to find this was an extremely common problem for Reptoparty and they had all received a number of similar phone calls from people who had been let down on the day. Several of them sent messages saying (direct quotes) 'He is giving us all a bad name' 'Let's just say that name does not surprise me' 'Had quite a few people contact me lately in the same boat and by same company'.

He later messaged to cancel and promised a refund which has not materialised after a week. He has also now blocked me on Facebook which I realised after trying to send a message today.

Anyone else had a similar experience or know how I can get a refund? Fortunately I was able to find another entertainer who saved the day but it was very expensive and stressful. I am shocked that someone would callously cancel a child's party on the day leaving parents high and dry. If it was an exceptional emergency of course that would be different but it seems to be commonplace and i have found several other reviews online with the same complaint.

Reptilefanmum Sun 10-Jul-16 22:57:01

two reviews, cancelled on the day
another review

AuntJane Sun 10-Jul-16 23:08:41

I've heard similar of Reptoparty before, and there's evidence that his previous business folded.

If you are in south London/Kent/Surrey borders I would recommend Reptile Events (www.reptile-events.co.uk) who are a reptile rescue. They are reliable and reasonably priced.

Reptilefanmum Sun 10-Jul-16 23:12:43

Thank you, I did speak to a number of very good and helpful reptile party providers and am just so annoyed that this has happened as we can't really afford to lose nearly £100 and I won't give it up without a fight! I am considering going down the small claims route if he doesn't pay up. More importantly, I wish I had known that this was a risk as I would never have booked him.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Sun 10-Jul-16 23:15:41

Don't mess around. Tell him you'll go to small claims if he doesn't pay up by a certain date. And stick with the threat.

Reptilefanmum Sun 10-Jul-16 23:17:14

I've given him 3 days to pay and my solicitor sister has just gone on mat leave so she can help me with the letter!

VimFuego101 Sun 10-Jul-16 23:30:05

Hopefully small claims can get you your money back. Keeping reptiles in poor conditions/ temperatures lower than ideal does cause respiratory infections - I wonder if he keeps their enclosure temperatures lower than they should be to make the animals more docile for handling?

ohtheholidays Sun 10-Jul-16 23:53:09

If it's the one I've seen on facebook they're still offering they're partys and spouting off about having great reviews!

Disgusting way to run a buisness,I hope you get your money back soon OP.

AuntJane Mon 11-Jul-16 22:47:08

Intrigued to know how this one pans out.

Reptilefanmum Tue 12-Jul-16 13:43:14

Really cross now, he's ignored my polite message to refund me for 2 days now. I will check if he's paid me back tomorrow and then will give notice of intention to go to small claims court. Also tempted to comment on all his ads on local Facebook selling pages

Reptilefanmum Tue 12-Jul-16 13:43:47

The message was sent after a week of not paying, the party was on the 2nd.

MiscellaneousAssortment Tue 12-Jul-16 14:09:56

Oh no! What happened on the day of the party?

Did you manage to get some other kind of entertainment, or pull the party together somehow?

There's something so stressful about your child's party being derailed like this. I hope you at least get your money back.

Reptilefanmum Tue 12-Jul-16 17:29:35

My DSis and I rang every reptile company in the South East until we found someone who could do it! It was a horrible experience though, my son was in tears when I told him.
We used Pentangle Aquatics and the owner was brilliant.

Interestingly Reptoparty were able to do a party a few days later and he has disabled comments on his Facebook page.

Reptilefanmum Sun 17-Jul-16 23:24:27

Still no reply or refund, so will be taking this further. Any advice that would be helpful in resolving this quickly?

Lemonlady22 Sun 17-Jul-16 23:33:25

im astounded!....'keeping reptiles in poor conditions ....etc etc '....im surprised this is even allowed....some bloke taking his reptiles to be handled by kids at a party surely is cruelty.....and they spread all sorts of germs i.e. salmonella.....just crazy....have people gone mad!

Reptilefanmum Sun 17-Jul-16 23:37:17

I have to say, I have no evidence that the animals are kept in poor condition, but he did cite illness in the reptiles as his excuse for not attending. What bothers me is that he is free to carry on stealing money and disappointing families with no comeback at all which seems unfair.

Reptopartydisappointment Tue 09-Aug-16 19:13:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VotePedroPony Tue 09-Aug-16 20:31:30

Ooooh interesting! This guy did my son's party and I have to say he was great when he was there. However, when I was booking he was really pushing me towards paying in full up front through Bacs transfer, or through PayPal but saying it was a personal transaction rather than business. This raised my suspicions as I would have no payment protection that way and it just felt a bit dodgy. I did go ahead, but making clear that I was uncomfortable with that and it would be PayPal, deposit only, as a business transaction.

As I say, all was good for me in the end, but shocked hearing these stories thinking how easily the same could have happened to me!

AuntJane Tue 09-Aug-16 20:49:52

If you're in the south London/Kent/Surrey borders I would strongly recommend www.reptile-events.co.uk. They send two handlers as minimum, have insurance and are licenced with Bromley Council, registered with DeFRA. They do not ask for payment in advance, and their rates are very reasonable.

They are an established business. To my knowledge they have never cancelled a party, and have never had a child bitten at a party. Added to this, all of their animals are rescued, rather than bought from pet shops.

EnquiringMingeWantsToKnow Tue 09-Aug-16 20:52:51

If you paid by credit card you would have been able to get a refund from them, but it looks like he's discouraging that.

AuntJane Wed 10-Aug-16 08:01:31

You can, however, try reporting him to Facebook.

Pearlman Wed 10-Aug-16 08:05:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YelloDraw Wed 10-Aug-16 08:43:05

Ask for a refund to be in your bank account in 3 working days, and if that doesn't happen you will go through small claims.

Small claims are interested in facts. You have a paper trail of a booked party, a canceled party, and no refund. Simple win to you.

Ribbityfrogand3 Tue 23-Aug-16 18:24:27

Hi this just happened to me last Saturday too 😔 Reptoparty cancelled at 6am on the morning of my sons party. Daniel Barnes has no shame and has let down several others that I know of too. He uses sensitive excuses when cancelling in order to be believed and has no thought for the children involved. #Reptopartyscam

JessB2008 Sun 04-Sep-16 17:26:55

Hi. I, really sorry that your sons party was cancelled but I just want to add a bit of balance to this thread. Dan from Reptoparty came to my sons birthday party today and he was fantastic. I was so nervous when I saw this post after I had booked and handed over my money but I can only say amazingly positive things about Dan and his relaxed approach to the children handling the reptiles.
He replied to messages sent via Facebook, sometimes a little slowly, but he always replied. I think it's a bit mean to say that he is a con. He definitely wasn't for us and my son said it was the best birthday ever.
I am also going to post this message on a similar thread on this site.

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