MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should flood ridden Rhett and Scarlet get free catering?

Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Should flood ridden Rhett and Scarlet get free catering?

Rhett and Scarlet had planned the wedding of their dreams; they’d booked the venue and paid for all the catering and booze. However, on the morning of their big day, floods hit and the venue was wrecked, so the wedding couldn’t go ahead. Yet Melanie, the caterer, had already paid for and prepared all the food for the reception. Rhett and Scarlet think she should cater again for free for the rescheduled wedding later in the year. Yet Melanie only runs a small catering firm would be losing out hugely.
Should flood ridden Rhett and Scarlet get free catering?
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Comments

  • andrea138
    andrea138 Posts: 6 Forumite
    If Melanie is running a business surely she would have insurance to cover something like this.
  • Mrs_B_12
    Mrs_B_12 Posts: 364 Forumite
    Melanie has already fulfilled what she was paid to do, couples should take out insurance themselves if they can't afford to cover the cost of things going wrong.
  • bev_b_4
    bev_b_4 Posts: 23 Forumite
    When planning an expensive wedding it is your responsibility to insure against weather, as the caterer is a small business it would be unfair to expect her to do another free unless all the food was frozen and they would be happy to have that defrosted (what happened to the food?). Maybe as a good will gesture she would offer to do it at cost or little profit?
  • bagpuss
    bagpuss Posts: 124 Forumite
    This is what wedding insurance is for! Melanie has met her contractural obligations and it is not her fault that the venue was flooded.
  • SMarg
    SMarg Posts: 56
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    As above, if you are getting married, take out insurance. It is not the fault of the caterer and she shuld not be out of pocket.
  • It's wrong of Rhett and Scarlet to think that Melanie "should" cater for free just because their wedding was ruined by an unpredictable disaster. They should have had insurance to protect themselves from any castastrophic situations; Melanie has provided her service so that's her end of the deal fulfilled. If she wants to cater for free as a goodwill gesture then great, but she should not feel obligated to do so as it wasn't her fault.
  • Mics_chick
    Mics_chick Posts: 12,014 Forumite
    bev_b wrote: »
    When planning an expensive wedding it is your responsibility to insure against weather, as the caterer is a small business it would be unfair to expect her to do another free unless all the food was frozen and they would be happy to have that defrosted (what happened to the food?). Maybe as a good will gesture she would offer to do it at cost or little profit?

    I think this is all that the caterer could be expected to do in these circumstances - if she wanted to. Expecting her to do it for free is extremely cheeky and downright unfair IMHO :D

    If she is a small business then I suspect alot of her business comes from word of mouth so I think it would be in her interests to do something like this coz the couple could bad mouth her to all their family and friends :( which could do a small firm's reputation a fair bit of damage...

    If she made this offer in as friendly a way as possible but firmly explained that is all she would be financially able to do then leave it up to them whether they do use her or go elsewhere...
    You should never call somebody else a nerd or geek because everybody (even YOU !!!) is an
    "anorak" about something whether it's trains, computers, football, shoes or celebs :p :rotfl:
  • Tetsuko
    Tetsuko Posts: 528 Forumite
    Melanie had already done all the work she promised to do. Melanine can't control flood, pestilence or death.

    It's up to Rhett and Scarlet to make sure that if they are spending a large amount of money on their wedding they should put some cash aside to cover insurance.

    If they didn't get insured...well, they might have to settle for a registry office and some curly sarnies at the local pub :D
    **********************************************************************
    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Voltaire :cool:
  • What a way to start a marriage, my sympathies to Rhett and Scarlet but they should have and maybe the caterer should have had insurance to cover such occasions. We covered our wedding and our daughters wedding with specific wedding insurance - in our cases just a waste of money as all went well fortunatly - but we must all take responsibility for ourselves and not expect other to look after us.
    Leslie
  • As an equipment hire company, previously caterer, there is absolutely no way that Melanie would be expected to cater for free, or indeed, at a reduced rate if she were to accept a re-booking at a later time. She had fulfilled her part of the contract to the full, assuming the food was prepared and ready for guests, and should therefore receive payment in full on this occasion. If the floods had hit wiping out her catering unit and the venue before the food had been prepared then I would expect she could not have charged for her services on this occasion as she hadn't fulfilled the contract and would have lost out but if this had happened, the clients would be in a position to re-book as they hadn't lost any money. No compensation would be due from the caterer in either event.
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