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Is anyone able to let me know if I might have a case?(31 Posts)
Long story short we booked a wedding venue just over a month ago.
In person at the initial visit we agreed on certain things such as the requirement of family rooms for us and our immediate family members with babies as the venue is far away from where we live.
End of January I ask to confirm the rooms required for us and for immediate family (parents/siblings etc)
They tell us at that point that there aren't enough family rooms.
I ask again and explain that we agreed what we required back when we visited and the response from the venue was that they couldn't accommodate the children.
This meant we wouldn't be able to hold the wedding there and they had gone back on their terms so I asked for them to return our deposit minus any admin fees occurred (which should be minimal as it had only been a month since booking)
The response was no we couldn't have our deposit back.
We were contacted shortly after to say they had changed their minds and now they are willing to accommodate the children.
This would have been fine if they had done this originally but due to the tooing and froing along with the stress this issue had caused has left us aggrieved with the service provided thus far and we have made subsequent requests for the return of our deposit.
All of which have been firmly refused saying it's in the contract that deposits are non refundable.
However, we wouldn't have asked to cancel ha they not caused the issue in the first place.
The deposit is a large sum and over 10% of the venues overall charge and I believe that the term of the contract is unenforceable due to unfairness as it has not left them £1000 out of pocket
IMO you might have had a case for return of the deposit if they were not able to provide the accommodation. Now they have said they can I don't think you have any legal recourse.
I tried appealing to their good will and asked for a partial refund knowing that if these issues have happened so early on in planning stage that I would be nervous about further issues happening down the line and would be mad to hold my wedding with them now (especially after way the manager has handled the complaint)
As they have now changed their mind and can offer alternate arrangements to accommodate us to prevent us from getting our deposit back, would we have a case if we went down the route of unfair terms due to the large deposit being withheld so soon after booking?
Can you still have your wedding there? Ask them to give you a discount for stress and inconvenience caused too!
Do you have legal cover with your home insurance or Which membership as they could advise you if you do.
Il check my home policy but I don't think I ticked the legal cover box
I could sign up for which, I didn't realise they had that service
I can't see how you stand a chance I'm afraid. Yes if they hadn't been able to accommodate but now they can there's nothing stopping you using the venue (except that you don't want to). Where gave they found the family rooms from though - does that solution work?
Which advise the following so looks promising -
The wedding venue may be asking for more money than it is entitled to. Just because it is in the contract, doesn’t mean it is always legally binding as businesses cannot rely on unfair terms.
Businesses can keep your deposit or advance payments, or ask you to pay a cancellation charge only in certain circumstances.
If you cancel the contract, the business is generally only entitled to keep or receive an amount sufficient to cover their actual losses that directly result from your cancellation. This could include costs already incurred or loss of profit.
Unfortuanltey despite them changing their mind and being able to accommodate us now doesn't make us want to continue the booking with them due to the way it's been handled and the rudeness of the manager when I asked for good will.
He told me I had no leg to stand on as their contract was written by a lawyer.
(It's obviously not been as it's full of errors and missing elements anyway)
But there is no problem, they can accommodate the children.
It took them a week of emailing asking for the manager to call me and asking for a refund before they offered that.
Would you continue with such an unprofessional company?
We asked for a partial refund minus reasonable costs.
Based on advice from Which, that's what we should expect (basing the argument being it's our choice to cancel rather than putting the blame itself on the venue, which would obviously mean we would expect full refund due to their admin error and breach of contract. )
I've just been looking into it and seems fine and we wouldn't pay costs if it was awarded in our favour.
Looks like I can either draft the notice before claim myself or pay for a solicitor to do so
doesn't make us want to continue the booking with them
Sadly; as they can now accommodate your original plan, you're asking to change the contract because you've changed your mind, which usually isn't covered.
Check that the Which advice refers to wedding deposits. I'm not totally sure that it does, sadly, but it'd be great if there's now case law that supports that.
Yes which advise is that they can't lawfully withhold the full amount with a cancellation early on as per their info here - https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/i-need-to-cancel-my-wedding-venue-can-i-get-my-deposit-back
What you said is exactly what the manager kept saying to me and I had to remind him that we were only cancelling as the trust and confidence had been lost due to their error in the first place, which we have in writing
Would you continue with such an unprofessional company?
It sounds like a miscommunication/mistake initially that they have tried to put right.
If your communication with them has been anything like how wound up you sound on here I wouldn't be surprised if things haven't been blown a bit out of proportion.
From their point of view you might have just got cold feet and decided you want to go elsewhere and are scrambling to find reasons to cancel.
Perhaps ask if you can deal with someone else instead of the manager you have fallen out with.
I suppose it also depends on how far away the wedding is and if you can find anywhere else you like.
I'd be going in, doing a bridezilla act and asking to see these family rooms that have miraculously become available since they refused to return your deposit. Insist if they refuse to show you them or explain to you how more are suddenly available when they weren't before. Then decide how you proceed after that. Take a friend as an independent witness too.
I haven't fallen out with anyone there but feel they haven't been professional
I have been very calm and polite with what I have asked of them.
I can imagine many other brides might get rather emotional with such a thing.
I can't see that I'm coming across as wound up
It's that they haven't acted fairly, and I wanted to ensure I won't be wasting my time if it went to small claims.
Yes we have wondered how the family rooms miraculously became available.
It's all quite suspect.
They know we are a 3 hour drive away so I guess don't think we would make the effort to go down there.
Before you go down small claims route, you should do a “letter of claim”. Effectively a pre-action letter stating what you want and why. This should go to manager of venue. If you google you’ll find plenty of templates. You may find that if they think you will pursue this they may back down.
No one can advise you fully without reviewing correspondence and contract - and the cost of a solicitor doing this would probably outweigh what you would recover.
Is your wedding soon? As the Which advice indicates, the closer to date more likely venue can argue deposit represents genuine loss.
Hi, this all comes down to what was agreed i.e. the terms and conditions of the contract at the time they agreed to supply the wedding venue. For example when you said you would go ahead with the booking, did they provide written terms and conditions at that time, or was that something that was sent to you afterwards and if so, how soon after. Terms and conditions cannot be introduced into a contract after the primary terms have been agreed unless both parties agree.
Secondly, as people have pointed out, their losses are probably not the full cost of the deposit unless they can show they had another bridal party interested in the same day as you. If they can show that, then you could lose the full deposit.
Regarding your loss of confidence in the venue. I am like you, if something goes wrong at the beginning I tend to lose confidence and would do exactly as you are doing but not if it cost me that much.
Is it worth having a day out to the venue and meeting with the manager and another member of staff and telling them how you feel let down and have a loss of confidence in them due to their confusion over accommodation? Most people want to give a bridal party a really good service and an enjoyable day. They may wrongly think you have found somewhere else you would prefer and are messing them around?
Thank you @Catstar123
The wedding is nearly a year away.
I think a letter is worth a try. Il have a look at some online templates
@Jon66 thank you.
Maybe a trip out there to sit down face to face is worth it.
I haven't got another venue yet as really we would need some money back from our current venue to be able to do so.
I'm worried the the longer it goes on for that things would have been booked up.
I have nearly a year but before I booked the current venue there were some places that were already booked up until 2020!😱
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