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To want my money back

(108 Posts)
Tadpolesandfroglets Fri 12-Jun-20 09:51:42

So last year I booked a catering van for a large party I was going to have to celebrate a milestone (100 odd people). It was a big deal for me as I don’t really have the money to do it but saved for a good while to hire venue and food etc. It became apparent that the party could not go ahead for obvious reasons so I emailed the company to request a refund of my deposit (nearly £200) saying politely that I may rebook once I’ve sorted out rebooking everything else but also wasn’t sure when this would happen as we are away next summer (hopefully). They didn’t reply to my email. Or the next one. I then contacted them on social media. I told them I was upset no one had got back to me and could they answer the emails I had sent? They were really quite rude and abrupt saying hadn’t I noticed there’s a pandemic on and that I needed to be patient and the office wasn’t staffed everyday (although they constantly update on FB and were still out working with a mobile van so think this is untrue). They told me only someone in the office on Mondays due to Covid so would have to wait for a reply. Immediately blocking me from making any response on messenger or their FB page. I felt a bit bad about it but had just wanted a reply to my original email and didn’t feel like I’d been impatient or out of order. I then waited until Monday and got a curt email at around 5pm asking me what I wanted to do and offering me 12 months to rebook and would I let them know. I wrote back explaining that I had let them know and I just wanted a refund, I explained my predicament once again, the venue I booked isn’t even open anymore to hold the party (it was happening in July) and too many people to safely go ahead. I explained I wasn’t sure I could rebook in 12 months as we might not even be here. I was polite but I did mention how rude I thought their Social media guy was and that he instantly blocked me and it made me reluctant to deal with them again too. That was four weeks ago. I rang early this week and was told that the boss would ring me back that day (Tuesday) He hasn’t. I then emailed giving my account details but nothing and it’s now Friday. AIBU I’m not getting my money back? should I just drop it? I realise everyone is struggling during this virus but I too have lost my job (freelance) and £200 is a lot of money. I can’t really afford to let it go but what can I do if they just don’t pay? I actually haven’t had anyone really speak to me in person about it and that seems a really rubbish way to run a business.

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Ellisandra Fri 12-Jun-20 09:54:53

Their customer service is terrible. However, 12 months to rebook (when it is actually you cancelling, and that’s the point of a deposit) is fair. It’s not their fault that you are away next summer. Presumably it’s a birthday type date, so no reason not to do it on a different date. So I think YABU for expecting a deposit back, but YANBU for hoping.

myusernamewastakenbyme Fri 12-Jun-20 09:58:48

I think you should get a full refund...you haven't cost them anything...they are not out of pocket....i would keep pursuing this op....but then im like a dog with a bone when it comes to things like this.

myBumJuiceSmellsLikeRoses Fri 12-Jun-20 09:58:54

How did you pay? If it was by card then go to your bank for a chargeback.

Lollypop4 Fri 12-Jun-20 09:59:39

Maybe contact CAB, for advice.
I would want my deposit back too.
A friend of mine had to cancel her wedding in May and all the bookings gave her deposit back no problem

dementedpixie Fri 12-Jun-20 09:59:55

Its you cancelling, not them. Venues/van might be available in July. The point of the deposit is to book the date which may still be available.

Its the same with holidays - we didn't cancel as we would lose money. We had to wait until the holiday company cancelled it as they then have to refund us as they cannot fulfill the booking

dontlikebeards Fri 12-Jun-20 10:06:34

You cancelled therefore you lose the deposit. If they had cancelled I would expect a full refund. They have been fair by offering you 12 months to use the service.

Tadpolesandfroglets Fri 12-Jun-20 10:07:13

@dementedpixie the venue is not available. They are not opening. They refunded. I don’t have anywhere to hold even if it was safe. They are saying they can still operate as mobile food van.

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dementedpixie Fri 12-Jun-20 10:09:34

The van is separate to the venue? The van is still available then so why should they refund? Deposits aren't supposed to be refundable- is that not the whole point of them?

Tadpolesandfroglets Fri 12-Jun-20 10:10:01

@Ellisandra I suppose the 12 months rebook was an okay compromise but this was not offered to me until I treated my tried to get in touch and after they were really rude. I suppose honestly I feel like I don’t want to rebook with them as they seem really quite horrible people. I guess I will have to suck it up if this is the case.

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Quartz2208 Fri 12-Jun-20 10:11:17

Yes you need to check out for proper advice as they in theory can still offer the service as a mobile food van and have offered you the ability to rebook. And it is you who are cancelling

Tadpolesandfroglets Fri 12-Jun-20 10:11:30

@dementedpixie but many people do get deposits back ( as above) they had plenty of notice. Deposits are just to secure the booking surely. I didn’t sign anything that said it was non-refundable, which is usually the case if it is.

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copycopypaste Fri 12-Jun-20 10:11:53

I've had something similar in that I've booked a motorhome for a family event that's not now taking place. The owners have offered me the ability to rebook at a later day but no refund.

All I'd ask in your position is the ability to rebook this at a later date. Once you've had the event and used their services I'd be writing a scathing review on their customer service

GreenTulips Fri 12-Jun-20 10:13:52

How did you pay the deposit?

dementedpixie Fri 12-Jun-20 10:14:19

the people above got deposits back as the providers of the service couldn't fulfill their obligations. You are the one cancelling the van so it is you that loses the deposit, or rebooks on a different date

Tadpolesandfroglets Fri 12-Jun-20 10:16:15

@GreenTulips by bank transfer I think but it was a while ago...

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Ellisandra Fri 12-Jun-20 10:19:03

You don’t actually say how long between your 2 emails you were waiting for a reply before taking to SM?

I ordered some school uniform and it took two chasing emails over 2 weeks to get a reply (online order, but no confirmation email received). Difference is they were polite and apologetic - but still, I made allowances.

I don’t blame them for blocking you on SM, you were complaining about their delay and they will have sniffed out that you might be complaining in public about their (reasonable) suggestion for your deposit.

They said they’d reply Monday - they did. It’s petty of you to point out that was 5pm (Monday is Monday) so I can see how they might have got the impression you could be a pain on their SM!

They definitely could have handled it better, but not having seen your emails, or the tone of your SM post, or know how long you waited - plus a reasonable 12 month extension - I’m not quite ready to roast them.

Tadpolesandfroglets Fri 12-Jun-20 10:19:28

@dementedpixie a few people booked campsites and holiday homes for the event but everyone got their money back. Think it’s just good business I guess. The company didn’t know they could still provide that service when I first cancelled at beginning of lockdown. Everything was shut and no one knew how long for...

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GladAllOver Fri 12-Jun-20 10:21:24

It's unfortunate, but I think you have to accept losing the deposit.
They are still able to provide the service on the day you wanted. You have cancelled because your venue is no longer available, but that's not their fault.
If the deposit was going to be refundable then there was no point in paying it in the first place.
We've all lost money due to Covid, and this is your share. Sorry!

Di11y Fri 12-Jun-20 10:22:16

if they're able to provide the service and you're cancelling I think 12 months re book is fair

Tadpolesandfroglets Fri 12-Jun-20 10:22:38

@Ellisandra a good few weeks. I have been polite and my tone was pleasant throughout. I’m
Not unreasonable. On the FB site I just asked if someone could get back to me. On the messenger I just said I wanted a reply to my email. I didn’t get upset until they were rude and blocked me. I realise, as I said, everyone is struggling. Also as I have pointed out I’m prepared to let drop if I’m being unreasonable. I just wanted opinions.

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Tadpolesandfroglets Fri 12-Jun-20 10:25:46

@GladAllOver yes, I guess this is true. I think I’ll just leave it as I don’t really want to deal with them again not give them over a £1,000 worth of business. I may leave a review about their customer service though! 😂

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Ellisandra Fri 12-Jun-20 10:28:11

That’s rubbish then, taking weeks to get back to you and being rude.
I still think that’s the point of a deposit, though it’s rubbish for you as this wasn’t something you could have predicted!
You say you didn’t have T&C though, so you may have a case.

quietheart Fri 12-Jun-20 10:30:29

Have you read their terms and conditions? Do they have a cancellation policy and did you cancel on time within that policy? We have booked accommodation which we have had to cancel, the T&C’s state the 30% deposit is non refundable if we don’t show.

They can still provide the accommodation, we can’t travel there, they have offered us a later date but we can’t commit. I am fully expecting to lose the deposit and claim on insurance or credit card.

Just because others have a refund doesn’t mean you are entitled to one.

Tadpolesandfroglets Fri 12-Jun-20 10:30:56

@Ellisandra. I think I’ll have to suck it up. In contrast I’ve been waiting four/five weeks for something being sent by post. They have emailed me to apologise, said I can cancel, explained their predicament etc. But I’m happy to wait.

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