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  • FIRST POST
    • ahmeras
    • By ahmeras 20th Mar 17, 12:55 PM
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    ahmeras
    Wedding deposit + liabilites
    • #1
    • 20th Mar 17, 12:55 PM
    Wedding deposit + liabilites 20th Mar 17 at 12:55 PM
    HI folks.

    This has been posted a few times, but im hoping mine is slightly different.

    I made a deposit on a venue two weeks 3 days ago. unfortunately my wedding was cancelled in that time.

    i called today to try and cancel the venue. I was expecting to lose my deposit of 1k. however they are now saying i am liable for 50% of the venue cost which is 3.5k ontop of my depo (wedding is in 6 months)

    This is apprently part of the TsCs. I was never told this, nor is there information on their website. As well as this because of various postal issues, i never received the hard copies of the ts and cs. I notified them of this and they sent me an digital copy last thursday. I have not yet signed anything, just paid the depo over the phone

    when i intially made the payment i never received any positive confirmation or receipt of the booking either. (via email). THis was meant to be what was int he post.

    I am not sure what to do on this to be honest. I feel like i am being treated a bit unfairly given it has only been 2 weeks 3 days since i paid the depo. the venue is popular and before booking they told us they had enquiries for the date (sept 24th)



    ---edit : I have included the email I sent a couple of posts down with all the details of my conversations with the venue and events for peoples reference.
    Last edited by ahmeras; 21-03-2017 at 10:14 AM.
Page 1
    • ahmeras
    • By ahmeras 20th Mar 17, 3:45 PM
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    ahmeras
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 17, 3:45 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 17, 3:45 PM
    If it helps. They have no where posted an Ts and Cs. not even on their website. So on booking there is nothing for me to reference that this is what i am agreeing to.
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 20th Mar 17, 3:47 PM
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    • #3
    • 20th Mar 17, 3:47 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Mar 17, 3:47 PM
    They cannot hold you to T&Cs that were not made clear in pre-contract discussions. Therefore the additional charge they want to make, tell them to swivel and take you to court for it - if they dare.

    I'd also look at recovering your deposit too ... it is highly unlikely they've borne sufficient costs in 2.5 weeks to warrant keeping £1k.
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    • Oakdene
    • By Oakdene 20th Mar 17, 3:48 PM
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    • #4
    • 20th Mar 17, 3:48 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Mar 17, 3:48 PM
    HI folks.

    This has been posted a few times, but im hoping mine is slightly different.

    I made a deposit on a venue two weeks 3 days ago. unfortunately my wedding was cancelled in that time.

    i called today to try and cancel the venue. I was expecting to lose my deposit of 1k. however they are now saying i am liable for 50% of the venue cost which is 3.5k ontop of my depo (wedding is in 6 months)

    This is apprently part of the TsCs. I was never told this, nor is there information on their website. As well as this because of various postal issues, i never received the hard copies of the ts and cs. I notified them of this and they sent me an digital copy last thursday. I have not yet signed anything, just paid the depo over the phone

    when i intially made the payment i never received any positive confirmation or receipt of the booking either. (via email). THis was meant to be what was int he post.

    I am not sure what to do on this to be honest. I feel like i am being treated a bit unfairly given it has only been 2 weeks 3 days since i paid the depo. the venue is popular and before booking they told us they had enquiries for the date (sept 24th)
    Originally posted by ahmeras
    Of course they will tell you that as they want you to think that if you don't book it, someone else will.

    Did you receive the T&Cs after you paid the deposit? You would need to prove that you were not told about the cancellation policy at the time of booking really...
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 20th Mar 17, 4:21 PM
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    • #5
    • 20th Mar 17, 4:21 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Mar 17, 4:21 PM
    If they said they posted the T&Cs etc., do they have proof of posting? If they don't then, if they weren't received then they weren't posted (as far as the law's concerned AIUI).
    Diary of a madman
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    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 20th Mar 17, 4:41 PM
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    Undervalued
    • #6
    • 20th Mar 17, 4:41 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Mar 17, 4:41 PM
    If they said they posted the T&Cs etc., do they have proof of posting? If they don't then, if they weren't received then they weren't posted (as far as the law's concerned AIUI).
    Originally posted by DoaM
    For a civil case in England mail is normally presumed to have been delivered unless the recipient can show a history of mail problems etc. Yes, the sender would need to offer some evidence that they had actually sent it, but that doesn't necessarily have to be a certificate of posting. Ultimately the judge would have to decide, on the balance of probabilities, who he believes.

    Regardless of any t & c, ultimately they cannot claim more than their actual losses (including reasonable admin costs). They would also be expected to have taken reasonable steps to minimise any losses (trying to resell, cancel ordered supplies etc).

    On the face of it I doubt they would get more than the deposit if the sued and, as has been suggested, there is an argument some of that should be refunded.
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 20th Mar 17, 5:01 PM
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    • #7
    • 20th Mar 17, 5:01 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Mar 17, 5:01 PM
    Yes, the sender would need to offer some evidence that they had actually sent it, but that doesn't necessarily have to be a certificate of posting.
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    How else can you prove (on the balance of probabilities) that it was posted? Unless there is some physical evidence (e.g. a COP) then it's a he said/she said situation.

    The rest of your post I agree with.
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    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 20th Mar 17, 5:18 PM
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    Undervalued
    • #8
    • 20th Mar 17, 5:18 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Mar 17, 5:18 PM
    How else can you prove (on the balance of probabilities) that it was posted? Unless there is some physical evidence (e.g. a COP) then it's a he said/she said situation.

    The rest of your post I agree with.
    Originally posted by DoaM
    Evidence from other member of staff. Some sort of computer proof that the letter was produced increases the probability that it would have been sent. Well kept audit trail of work etc etc.

    Remember a COP doesn't prove what was sent, just that an envelope was posted. It could have been something else or even empty!

    As you said, it is the balance of probabilities not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
    • naedanger
    • By naedanger 20th Mar 17, 5:27 PM
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    • #9
    • 20th Mar 17, 5:27 PM
    • #9
    • 20th Mar 17, 5:27 PM
    How else can you prove (on the balance of probabilities) that it was posted?
    Originally posted by DoaM
    A witness statement. If your only evidence is you say you posted something it is still evidence. It will then be up to the judge to decide whether or not to believe you (on the balance of probabilities). (I completely agree having a COP is much better evidence.)

    Unless there is some physical evidence (e.g. a COP) then it's a he said/she said situation.
    Yes, it might be a he said/she said situation. In which case the judge perhaps has a more difficult job.
    • ahmeras
    • By ahmeras 20th Mar 17, 6:40 PM
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    ahmeras
    Thanks for the very informative advice guys.

    This is the email I sent earlier today

    As mentioned, none of the Ts&Cs were discussed on either open day or when i called up. They are not available anywhere online either.

    As below - I did ask the team why this was not mentioned. Both sales and manager expressed "people dont usually cancel" so they dont feel the need to mention the cancellation policies with customers
    -----------------------------------------

    Hi Victoria

    As discussed over the phone earlier today My wedding on the 24th has been cancelled unfortunately.

    I also do not agree with the charges you have stated (an additional £3500 - 50% of the event value) as cancellation fees and I should be entitled to my deposit back because of the following reasons:

    · On both open day and when I called to initially pay my deposit, these cancellation terms were never stated. Your team has also admitted to me on the call today (20/03/2017) that they never discuss these with potential customers at either stage as “we don’t expect people to cancel”. As well as this, no information in this regard is available on your site/brochure which your team also confirmed to be the case today. This is completely unfair, that I am just expected to know this without ever being told or have anything to reference and am having to face such hefty charges unknowingly after my wedding being cancelled.
    · As well as the above, no information was provided regarding when any paperwork had to be submitted by before grace periods are ended and cancellation fees are imposed. Reason given by your team was the same – that Is, the expectation is people don’t cancel so the information isn’t provided, so I was only made aware of these details today (20/03/2017). Once again this is not fair.
    · There was also a delay in receiving the terms and conditions as these were sent by post, which I did not receive. I took every step I could to check on the status of the documents. I rang up your office and spoke to someone at reception as Charlotte was out and I mentioned that I had not received any positive confirmation of receipt of any payments/deposit made, nor had I received any documents from Fennes. I asked on the status of either of these, to which I was told that they would arrive and I should wait. I then later received the attached emails asking on the if I had signed the Ts & Cs, to which I replied I hadn’t yet received them and requested they be sent out to an alternative address. The documents were then emailed to me later that day (17/03/2017) but I only managed to see them late Friday(18/03/2017).
    · Given that I have not signed the documents and therefore not accepted the terms and conditions yet, I don’t see how any of these cancellation fees can be imposed, especially since I only made the booking 2 weeks 3 days ago (approx. 11 working days). As mentioned previously, these are not available on your website either for reference so I was completely unaware. I have done my best to update you in a timely manner with my wedding being cancelled.
    · I was also told by yourself that the terms and conditions become imposed after 14 days if not signed + returned and that this is stated in the Ts & Cs. Having read through the Ts & Cs again this is not stated anywhere. This fact was also never mentioned on the open day nor the initial phone call to pay the deposit. It seems completely unfair that you have attempted to enforce these Ts&Cs without ever making it clear to me or in the absence of anything being signed.


    For the above reasons, the cancellation fee is incorrect. There may be additional grounds but sending this email in the interests of time

    I feel as I am not being treated fairly, but I would like to resolve this as amicably as possible.

    Given the popularity of the venue I see no reason why this can’t be rebooked. As well as this there is a duty to mitigate your losses as well as mine according to the Unfair Contract Terms Act. I have even gone to steps in advertising at my own cost on various websites.

    Please let me know if you require any further information.
    • bris
    • By bris 20th Mar 17, 6:41 PM
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    bris
    Even with the lack of T&C's contract law still apples. There is no doubt you made a contract because actions also form contracts, in this case you paid a £1000 deposit to secure this contract.


    They are entitled to there losses resulting in your breach of this contract, in this case it's loss of profit.


    They need to mitigate these losses, Google that to see your rights on that but despite what the other posters say you're on the hook for this.
    • CM66
    • By CM66 20th Mar 17, 7:02 PM
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    CM66
    If the deposit was paid over the phone and not done in person then i would see that as a payment to secure the date subject to the contract being signed.

    As you say that the contract was never signed i definitely don't think they can chase you for the additional £3.5k but you might have to forgo the deposit.....

    Have a look here: http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-cancel-a-contract-without-being-penalised
    • ahmeras
    • By ahmeras 20th Mar 17, 8:04 PM
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    ahmeras
    @CM66 - That was my understanding too, as well as some of my lawyer friends. I was expecting the loss of the deposit to be honest and would have paid it (maybe kick up a small fuss to try and get some money back - but ultimately i would have been ok with that)

    My issue more is around the 3.5k

    @bris - with the lack of Ts&Cs - what is the contract being applied against though? Does the ambiguity not favour me? I was put into a contract without all the information. I should have maybe had the due diliigence to check - but as the consumer should i be expected to check everything - especially since i am not experienced in the matters of wedding planning and such
    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 20th Mar 17, 8:11 PM
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    wealdroam
    I was put into a contract without all the information.
    Originally posted by ahmeras
    I think that you are looking at it wrongly.
    You agreed a contract with the information available at that time.
    Now the other party to the contract wish to add terms to that contract.

    What are the "various postal issues" you refer to in your opening post?
    • ahmeras
    • By ahmeras 21st Mar 17, 9:33 AM
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    ahmeras
    Yes, actually seems you are more correct.

    My underrstanding as mentioned before, was the depo was to reserve the date so no one else could take it. And booking was yet to still occur. It even says on their booking form, no formal booking confirmation can be completed till the booking form, T+Cs, and deposit is received.

    Wrt postal issues - probabaly not the best of wording.
    After i piad the depo on the phone, they told me they would send out some docs. Few days later I still hadnt received said docs nor had i received a receipt for the payment. Given it was a large payment I called up asked about the docs and whether they had actually received my payments. I was told they have been sent via post.and should wait. about a week later they emailed me asking if i had signed the docs + booking form. I told them I havent received anything yet and asked to post to an alternative address. This time instead of posting it out againt they emailed it to me.

    I assumed postal issues but cant confirm. It doesnt seem like on their end the documents were sent via any signed method either so they are unable to confirm via any tracking number.

    I sought some council from a legal friend - who off the top of their head told me in the absence of the Ts+Cs being told to me or on their website, that any cooling off period shouldnt begin until I receive the information because i am not sure what i am cooling off from. In this case because the docs werent received and they cant confirm that they sent it, it would be from when they emailed me the docs which would have been last week. Given that I called them and emailed them requesting it, there is a bit more umph in my claim. However i did not take a recording of the call, but i do have the emails which can help substantiate that part of the claim.

    I looked into the above a little, and having looked at other wedding venues they clearly have all these details stated on their site. i.e if you book and cnacel by x date there is y cost.

    The venue have yet to reply to me
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 21st Mar 17, 9:41 AM
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    Undervalued
    Yes, actually seems you are more correct.

    My underrstanding as mentioned before, was the depo was to reserve the date so no one else could take it. And booking was yet to still occur. It even says on their booking form, no formal booking confirmation can be completed till the booking form, T+Cs, and deposit is received.

    Wrt postal issues - probabaly not the best of wording.
    After i piad the depo on the phone, they told me they would send out some docs. Few days later I still hadnt received said docs nor had i received a receipt for the payment. Given it was a large payment I called up asked about the docs and whether they had actually received my payments. I was told they have been sent via post.and should wait. about a week later they emailed me asking if i had signed the docs + booking form. I told them I havent received anything yet and asked to post to an alternative address. This time instead of posting it out againt they emailed it to me.

    I assumed postal issues but cant confirm. It doesnt seem like on their end the documents were sent via any signed method either so they are unable to confirm via any tracking number.

    I sought some council from a legal friend - who off the top of their head told me in the absence of the Ts+Cs being told to me or on their website, that any cooling off period shouldnt begin until I receive the information because i am not sure what i am cooling off from. In this case because the docs werent received and they cant confirm that they sent it, it would be from when they emailed me the docs which would have been last week. Given that I called them and emailed them requesting it, there is a bit more umph in my claim. However i did not take a recording of the call, but i do have the emails which can help substantiate that part of the claim.

    I looked into the above a little, and having looked at other wedding venues they clearly have all these details stated on their site. i.e if you book and cnacel by x date there is y cost.

    The venue have yet to reply to me
    Originally posted by ahmeras
    They may have it on their website but ultimately all they could enforce via the courts is their actual losses. Under some circumstances that could be more than the deposit but in many cases it will be less. They have a duty to mitigate any losses as far as possible by making reasonable efforts to sell the date, cut their own costs etc. Trying to claim more than that becomes a penalty and is unlikely to be enforceable regardless of their terms and conditions.
    • naedanger
    • By naedanger 21st Mar 17, 10:18 AM
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    naedanger
    I sought some council from a legal friend - who off the top of their head told me in the absence of the Ts+Cs being told to me or on their website, that any cooling off period shouldnt begin until I receive the information because i am not sure what i am cooling off from. In this case because the docs werent received and they cant confirm that they sent it, it would be from when they emailed me the docs which would have been last week. Given that I called them and emailed them requesting it, there is a bit more umph in my claim. However i did not take a recording of the call, but i do have the emails which can help substantiate that part of the claim.
    Originally posted by ahmeras
    I do not think you get a cooling off period with hotel bookings, and I think a wedding venue will similarly not get a statutory cooling off period period.

    [There are some contracts where you won’t have a right to cancel a service. For example, hotel bookings, flights, car hire, concerts and other event tickets, or where the trader is carrying out urgent repairs or maintenance.
    From: http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-contracts-regulations]

    That said I think it unlikely the hotel's expenses and loss of profit will be greater than £1000 provided they are able to book a replacement. (If they rebook then loss of profit will only arise if they have to accept a lower monetary profit margin on the replacement booking, similarly the hotel's expenses will only be the extra expense arising from your cancellation e.g. marketing costs to find the replacement etc.)

    I also think you could argue that you believed the deposit was what you thought you would lose if you were to cancel (though I am not sure this argument would be successful).

    So I would let them sue you.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 21st Mar 17, 4:48 PM
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    unholyangel
    I do not think you get a cooling off period with hotel bookings, and I think a wedding venue will similarly not get a statutory cooling off period period.
    Originally posted by naedanger
    You're right - hotel accommodation, catering or leisure activities to be performed on a specific date/s are exempt from the right to cancel. The implementing guidance actually gives a wedding venue as an example for leisure activities.

    However, the rest of the CCRs apply so the venue were under an obligation to provide certain information prior to the OP being bound by the contract and then provide confirmation of the contract & certain information via durable medium.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • ahmeras
    • By ahmeras 21st Mar 17, 4:54 PM
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    ahmeras
    You're right - hotel accommodation, catering or leisure activities to be performed on a specific date/s are exempt from the right to cancel. The implementing guidance actually gives a wedding venue as an example for leisure activities.

    However, the rest of the CCRs apply so the venue were under an obligation to provide certain information prior to the OP being bound by the contract and then provide confirmation of the contract & certain information via durable medium.
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    They actually do have a cooling off period which was told to me once only when i called up to cancel.

    As mentioned, when asked why these arent mentioned on booking they told me it was because they never expect people to cancel so dont feel the need to mention. As to why none of this information is not available on their site - there was no comment.

    THey have however replied to my email.

    My issue was raised with the "sales director" and the cancellation fee was waivered. but they are still going to keep the depo.

    I guess this is a sort of win. Is it worth me trying to argue my deposit back?
    • takman
    • By takman 21st Mar 17, 5:12 PM
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    takman
    They actually do have a cooling off period which was told to me once only when i called up to cancel.

    As mentioned, when asked why these arent mentioned on booking they told me it was because they never expect people to cancel so dont feel the need to mention. As to why none of this information is not available on their site - there was no comment.

    THey have however replied to my email.

    My issue was raised with the "sales director" and the cancellation fee was waivered. but they are still going to keep the depo.

    I guess this is a sort of win. Is it worth me trying to argue my deposit back?
    Originally posted by ahmeras


    Well if its a popular venue and the original date gets booked up you can then use this as a reason to get your deposit back. If you send a Letter Before Action and start a Money Claim Online they will have to prove that you cancelling has cost them money.
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