Parent of Student having issues with hire company of Graduation gown

Hi, I am looking for some advice regarding a graduation gown hire service my daughter has used. My daughter was due to graduate from the university after a two-year covid-related deferral and hired her gown and cap as expected. On the day of her graduation, she was very ill running a fever. She missed her graduation and her boyfriend sent me a message to say she was unwell and wasn't in a fit state to attend.  I emailed the University events portal to explain and received a very comforting email suggesting another deferral. Once my daughter was well enough she spoke to the Gown hire company who refused to refund her the hire costs stating that they had a policy in their terms that clearly stated she would need to give them 7 days' notice for a cancellation. The company will not accept my email to the University (time stamped) of her sudden illness as an unusual and unexpected occurrence. They insist that they will not offer a refund. There is nothing in their terms about unexpected incidences.  I feel that the terms fall short and by not including an illness cover, they have benefitted financially and sadly my daughter has yet to graduate. Is there anything I can do as every correspondence so far has resulted in the company refusing to acknowledge the unusual circumstances and offer a refund? My daughter will require a cap and gown next year and will bear the burdan of having to pay twice. 
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Comments

  • So, in short, your daughter hired the gown, didn't collect it on the day, and only informed the hire company that she didn't need it that day after the event?

    If so, can you see why the hire company are a tad reluctant to refund or rebook?


  • comeandgo
    comeandgo Posts: 5,713
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    I think there are loads of instances when I have gone to hire something and there has been nothing in the terms about unexpected illnesses, that’s what you take insurance out for.  I don’t think the gown company have done anything wrong.
  • cymruchris
    cymruchris Posts: 4,895
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    It's the same as most services - you've booked something - whether it's a gown, a hire car, a hotel - and the business has reserved it for you. You then haven't used it - but the business hasn't had sufficient notice to be able to sell it to someone else, so if they refund you, they've lost out, when it's you that caused the issue by not turning up in the first place to use the service or product. You might be able to lean on their goodwill to get a discount off a rebooking next year, but I feel that's as far as you'd likely get. Yes, the circumstances were beyond your control, but that's your issue, not the company's. As has been mentioned this is where for large value purchases you might choose an additional insurance.

    (Just as an example - If you book a travel lodge hotel room - they have different tiers of prices for the same room on the same date - the cheapest has no insurance - if you can't get to the hotel they keep the money - full stop. If you pay the higher price you get flexibility and cancellation options - in the case of the gown it would have been worth asking prior to the event the cancellation terms and asking if any insurance was available).
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  • So, in short, your daughter hired the gown, didn't collect it on the day, and only informed the hire company that she didn't need it that day after the event?

    If so, can you see why the hire company are a tad reluctant to refund or rebook?


    Not quite, she collected the gown, but was unable to attend on the day of her graduation and informed the company the day after the event, together with the email that was sent to the University advising that she was ill and unable to attend. However, I see the point you are making.
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,322
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    Sorry she was unable to attend.  In my opinion these ceremonies are vastly over rated unless you are the star attraction.  Went to one of mine and it was dire.  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,767
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    So, in short, your daughter hired the gown, didn't collect it on the day, and only informed the hire company that she didn't need it that day after the event?

    If so, can you see why the hire company are a tad reluctant to refund or rebook?


    Not quite, she collected the gown, but was unable to attend on the day of her graduation and informed the company the day after the event, together with the email that was sent to the University advising that she was ill and unable to attend. However, I see the point you are making.
    As far as the hire company are concerned she had the service that was offered, she hired the gown.

    Brie said:
    Sorry she was unable to attend.  In my opinion these ceremonies are vastly over rated unless you are the star attraction.  Went to one of mine and it was dire.  
    I think of it more as a proud parent moment than so much for the graduand. Parents get to put a picture on their wall as a thank you for the support (and finance) they have given to their offspring. Years later is when most graduates look back at photos of their graduation, particularly group photos.
    I'm a Forum Ambassador on The Coronavirus Boards as well as the housing, mortgages and student money saving boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Forum Ambassadors are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
  • 2childmum2
    2childmum2 Posts: 177
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    My son had a great day at his graduation - it had been postponed by 2 years due to covid so he got to see a number of friends, many of whom he hadn't seen since they all suddenly had to go home at the beginning of lockdown.  We had a nice lunch together, he wafted around the city having photos taken at all his favourite places still in his gown, and then his college put on a formal dinner for the graduates and their parents in the evening.  We enjoyed it too but it was definitely his day


  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,322
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    I'm glad others enjoyed this sort of event.  I must admit I did think that it was a money maker for the photographers and gown people, possibly with kick backs to the uni.  Maybe it's just me or maybe it was just that one uni.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • kazwookie
    kazwookie Posts: 13,775
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    How much is gown hire?

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  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,767
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    kazwookie said:
    How much is gown hire?

    This year it was about £45 I think.
    I'm a Forum Ambassador on The Coronavirus Boards as well as the housing, mortgages and student money saving boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Forum Ambassadors are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
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