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URGENT HELP Needed! Refund of wedding deposit..Please help


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Hi all,

This is my first post but it is a desperate one...

In January we paid a deposit of £500 for a venue for our wedding reception in October 2010.

And we were sent a terms and conditions to sign, but I think we never did complete the documents. I have one letter dated 17th January 09, that we obtained when we went to secure the venue with the deposit, that’s says thank you for signing the terms and conditions. But this was a pre-written letter and we did not have the details with us so we did not sign.

I then have another letter from the venue; 21st Jan thanking for us for the deposit, but assuming we were happy with the arrangements could we sign the terms and conditions at the back of our wedding package and return. But when I checked our paperwork we still have the terms and conditions?

The terms and conditions do say that the deposit is no refundable. But then later says the following:

Cancellation:

If cancellation is given, cancellation charge will be made on the following basis.

Upto two weeks 75% of total estimated bill

2-16 weeks 50% of total estimated bill

Over 16 week’s Initial £500 deposit

I received a call 3-4 weeks ago from the wedding organiser who said that unfortunately she would be leaving the venue, and that no-one would be appointed to take her place. But then she mentioned that the manager’s wife may take the position.

2 weeks ago I had a call from my sister asking if I had seen the newspaper. There was an article explaining that the venue never obtained permanent planning permission for the marquee in the grounds and that they had to try and obtain the permission on Thursday although it was being strongly apposed by the neighbours.

We were told that the marquee was never up errantly, and that was because they could take it down to be cleaned. It now seems that was a lie! This and the wedding planner leaving have knocked our faith and confidence in the venue completely.

We have since tried to contact the "new" wedding planner but she will not return our calls and we have not even told her why we are calling (to cancel the wedding) just that that the call back is an urgent request.

The venue has fifteen months to re-sell the date, and I believe to this date we did not sign the contract. Would we have a could case to argue our deposit back? Or take them to small claims court? We would be happy to negotiate an admin fee that we would be happy for then to keep of say £100 max?

Apologies for the length of this post. But I really am in a difficult situation and I would appreciate any help you can provide?

Many Thanks

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I am sorry, I dont know the answer to your question, but will move you to one of the other forums. Lets see if that will put you in a more prominent position and catch the eye of someone who will be able to help you. :)

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The issue of the deposit seems clear - no refunds, with the additional 'penalty' of having to pay more if the cancellation took place within the relevant timeframes.

 

I cannot see what relevance the permanence of the marquee is to your situation, unless you specifically required this as your reception venue. I know of many venues who provide a (classy) marquee when bookings are high, and never apply for planning permission because it isn't permanent and often is gone within 72 hours.

 

As to do you have a binding contract, as money has changed hands - and clearly you wished to have your booking confirmed and dates reserved, providing, there is no problem with this, your attempt at cancelling early may well be viewed as such, and the deposit lost. The fact you hadn't signed anything may be a useful argument if you hadn't paid anything but these days this becomes the way most businesses operate - T&C's exist, but without signing being mandatory, the contract is held to be in existence when a fee is paid, and this binds both parties to the deal.

 

By the same token, if the venue wanted you out - as you paid and no doubt had a receipt, you could take them to court for a breach - so you may have to bite the bullet and lose the deposit if you don't wish to use the venue as previously agreed.

 

What the wedding planners(s) did in the meantime doesn't appear to affect anything. What is the reason you want out?

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Did you know the terms and conditions at the time you paid the deposit, this is the key, if you did then then not much hope but you can alwys try and negoiate a refund. If you did know and these were sent later then you have a much stronger case and could even take them to the small cliams court.

Have you spoken to anybody that has had a wedding there? was it ok , ask for names as references. It may be ok and you are panicing for nothing. good luck anyway.

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