DILEMMA: Should she pay for cancelled plans?

edited 22 September 2010 at 12:22PM in Money Saving Polls
25 replies 2.3K views
SJ_JonesSJ_Jones Forumite
182 Posts
edited 22 September 2010 at 12:22PM in Money Saving Polls
My sister was due to go on a Hen Do, but cancelled on the night before due to her dog being very ill, and subsequently put down.

She had had some details of itinerary and so on ahead of the weekend, but there was never any mention of the costs, or any requests for deposits, refundable or otherwise – and nothing was mentioned when she cancelled with the bride either.

Now, one and a half weeks later she received an email from the Hen Do organiser (cousin to the bride, who she knows slightly, but not a close friend), stating that there were certain elements of the Hen Do that couldn’t be refunded, and that my sister now owes her £140 to cover costs.

Costs of the Hen Do had not been discussed at all, and as my sister is running her own, newly set-up business, she is not particularly well-off at the moment.

What should she do?


Additional info: costs are for: room reservation, dinner and the wine tasting event

however, my sister adds this:

"We were told that a booking would be made - as money hadn't been mentioned, I was still considering driving home (instead of staying over), as it's only an hour away...
It appears that the whole evening was paid for in advance - including dinner, which I think we would normally consider if you don't arrive, you don't consume, so you don't pay - even if a restaurant takes a deposit for a booking, this is usually just to reserve the table, and gets deducted from the final bill, so how can I have incurred costs there?

I understood the accomodation was for a bunch of shared rooms - I must admit I thought of hostels, hence v low costs

There was a wine tasting event, which may have been arranged for a certain number, but again, shouldn't be too high a cost for a single cancellation, as they don't open as much wine!"
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Replies

  • zx81zx81 Forumite
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    Pay up, assuming that she can verify the costs.

    And next time, find out how much she is paying for something she's agreed to.
  • aliasojoaliasojo Forumite
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    SJ_Jones wrote: »
    She had had some details of itinerary and so on ahead of the weekend, but there was never any mention of the costs, or any requests for deposits, refundable or otherwise – and nothing was mentioned when she cancelled with the bride either.


    Costs of the Hen Do had not been discussed at all, and as my sister is running her own, newly set-up business, she is not particularly well-off at the moment.

    What should she do?

    Had she made a firm agreement to go? Was it something like a booked room for her, for example that she's being asked to pay for? Why would she agree to go somewhere not knowing how much it was going to cost her, especially if she's not particularly flush right now?

    If particular things had been booked and needed paid for, then it's really not fair for the others to have to pick up the tab for her no show, even although she clearly had a good reason for it.
    Herman - MP for all! :)
  • edited 22 September 2010 at 12:04PM
    CloudaneCloudane Forumite
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    edited 22 September 2010 at 12:04PM
    If there weren't any costs mentioned then technically/legally I don't think she has to do anything. But then it sounds like a ladies' agreement (female version of a gentlemen's agreement!) so there could be a moral issue there.

    Really it's down to whether it'll ruin any friendships worth >=£140. If so, then try to meet in the middle before forking out the whole 140, if not, let her whistle for it!
  • aliasojoaliasojo Forumite
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    Cloudane wrote: »
    If there weren't any costs mentioned then technically/legally I don't think she has to do anything. So really it's down to whether it'll ruin any friendships worth >=£140. If so, then try to meet in the middle before forking out the whole 140, if not, let her whistle for it!

    Sorry, don't agree with that.

    If (just using a room as an example) she agreed to go and required a room booked somewhere, then not being told the cost for it isn't relevent, especially if she didn't ask or stipulate it should be no more than x amount. She made a verbal agreement that a room was needed and that's what she'd be responsible for.
    Herman - MP for all! :)
  • I've checked back with my sister, she's said that had costs been mentioned previously, she would have pulled out before the booking was made.
  • aliasojoaliasojo Forumite
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    What were the costs for though?
    Herman - MP for all! :)
  • KateBobKateBob Forumite
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    My first thought was - £140 just for the non-refundable element, how much would it have cost if she had gone in the end?
    Anyway after my "I'm obviously getting old" moment I'm afraid I come down on the side that she should pay, after all she agreed to go without any details of the costs.

    However I'd be more than a little bit narked that no costs were mentioned especially as they were apparently going to be quite high and would probably say so as I paid up.
    Kate short for Bob.

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  • Have added additional info, on original post
  • BNTBNT Forumite
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    I think that there is a shared responsibility. Your sister was naive to agree to go to something without checking the price and other arrangements. Not knowing the organizer well makes it danerous to make assumptions on what accommodation and arrangements were going to be made. And, as someone pointed out, it is unfair for the others to have to pick up the additional cost of what sounds like quite an expensive weekend.

    However, I also think it was wrong of the organizer to accept the cancelation without letting her know that some costs had been incurred that were not refundable. Even if she did not know the exact costs at the time, she should have mentioned the fact rather tan wait until it is too late. I'd also put her at fault for going ahead and booking everything without agreeing payment from those attending.

    I think it should remain between the oranizer and your sister. The organizer should pay the £140 and try to come to an arangement with your sister. She should not make it an issue between your sister and everyone else who attended.

    Perhaps she can reach a compromise and pay part of the cost. Depending what her business is, perhaps she can offer something to the others through her business -- might be good publicity.
  • aliasojoaliasojo Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    SJ_Jones wrote: »
    Additional info: costs are for: room reservation, dinner and the wine tasting event

    however, my sister adds this:

    "We were told that a booking would be made - as money hadn't been mentioned, I was still considering driving home (instead of staying over), as it's only an hour away...
    It appears that the whole evening was paid for in advance - including dinner, which I think we would normally consider if you don't arrive, you don't consume, so you don't pay - even if a restaurant takes a deposit for a booking, this is usually just to reserve the table, and gets deducted from the final bill, so how can I have incurred costs there?

    I understood the accomodation was for a bunch of shared rooms - I must admit I thought of hostels, hence v low costs
    Jones says:
    have a look now...
    Big Sis says:
    There was a wine tasting event, which may have been arranged for a certain number, but again, shouldn't be too high a cost for a single cancellation, as they don't open as much wine!"

    Ok, you're not going to like my opinion, but you asked so I hope you'll not be offended. :D

    I think big sis has a large part to play in being saddled with these costs. She knew rooms were being booked but she still was considering going home? Did she really think the others would be happy to cover her share if she decided after the booking, that she was going home? She should have made a decision one way or the other before the booking was made. Once the booking was made, then she was committed financially, regardless of whether she decided to go home or not.

    She made various (wrong) assumptions, so why should the others have to pick up more of the bill because of that? She presumably gave the impression she was 'in' for the hen do, the same as the others, so if costs were at all an issue for her, she really should have asked before she committed herself to anything.

    As for the wine tasting event, there will likely have been a set price per head, it doesn't go by how much wine is opened. If a booking was made for 10 (for example) then that's what will be expected to be paid for. If only 9 turned up then the 9 will still have to pay the agreed cost.

    Was this a package? I'm wondering if the price was set at £140 per head for the room, food and wine tasting so this would still need to be paid....by the others if someone didn't turn up.

    I think she should clarify exactly what she is being asked to pay for and perhaps even call the place in question to clarify what happens re:costs when a group booking is made and one of the party is absent at the last minute. I'm not for one minute suggesting the others would rip her off but for £140...I'd be checking exactly what that was for and why.

    Don't get me wrong, I have loads of sympathy for her, I'd be gutted at having to shell out £140 for nothing, but I do think it's hugely unfair on the others if they've had to cover her costs.

    And I'm really sorry about her dog, she probably really doesn't need any of this hassle right now.
    Herman - MP for all! :)
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