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    • Chandler2018
    • By Chandler2018 8th Jul 18, 6:38 PM
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    Chandler2018
    Accidentally Booked a Holiday Villa in Australia - Trying to Obtain Refund on Deposit
    • #1
    • 8th Jul 18, 6:38 PM
    Accidentally Booked a Holiday Villa in Australia - Trying to Obtain Refund on Deposit 8th Jul 18 at 6:38 PM
    My wife made a big mistake earlier this year. She accidentally booked a holiday villa in Mandurah, Australia as our daughter is getting married there in January 2019. She thought she was submitting an enquiry but instead booked two properties for the same date. Upon trying to cancel one of these we discovered that it was the owner's policy not to offer refunds on deposits. We contacted the owner to explain the situation and appeal to their better nature. We have thus far received no response. Does anyone know what the law in Australia says in relation to refunding deposits? Are there any organisations there we could contact for advice/support? Our trip to Australia is now in jeopardy as we aren't very well off and the deposit was close to 1,000. Any advice/help would be greatly appreciated.
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    • Browntoa
    • By Browntoa 8th Jul 18, 6:53 PM
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    Browntoa
    • #2
    • 8th Jul 18, 6:53 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Jul 18, 6:53 PM
    What web site did she book via ?
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    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 8th Jul 18, 6:54 PM
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    shaun from Africa
    • #3
    • 8th Jul 18, 6:54 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Jul 18, 6:54 PM
    Does anyone know what the law in Australia says in relation to refunding deposits? Are there any organisations there we could contact for advice/support?
    Originally posted by Chandler2018
    If this is the same countrywide:
    http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/ftw/Consumers/Buying_goods/Consumer_rights_myths_and_facts.page
    it looks like the Australian consumer law on deposits is pretty much the same as the UK:

    Deposit fact

    It depends. Whether you realise it or not, the piece of paper you sign is a contract.

    When you place a deposit on an item, you may be entering into a binding agreement to proceed with the transaction. If you change your mind, the trader may be entitled to retain all or part of your deposit.

    The actual amount the trader is allowed to retain depends on the circumstances. This money compensates the trader for the time and expense devoted to the transaction, but should not be so high as to constitute a penalty. As a gesture of goodwill, many traders will return your deposit.
    I'm sure that if you do a google search for "fair trading" and the name of the relevant state/territory where the owner lives then you should get the correct government site and send them an e-mail for advice.

    This one may do it.
    http://www.consumeraffairs.nt.gov.au/ForConsumers/ComplaintsAndDisputes/Pages/default.aspx
    Last edited by shaun from Africa; 08-07-2018 at 6:57 PM.
    • Chandler2018
    • By Chandler2018 8th Jul 18, 6:58 PM
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    Chandler2018
    • #4
    • 8th Jul 18, 6:58 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Jul 18, 6:58 PM
    My wife booked via Homeaway.
    • Chandler2018
    • By Chandler2018 8th Jul 18, 6:59 PM
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    Chandler2018
    • #5
    • 8th Jul 18, 6:59 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Jul 18, 6:59 PM
    Thank you. I was going to contact the Australian Government next.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 8th Jul 18, 8:39 PM
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    unholyangel
    • #6
    • 8th Jul 18, 8:39 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Jul 18, 8:39 PM
    Side note, perhaps highlight to your wife that they wouldn't have asked for payment details if it was just an enquiry.

    Also, I take it the dates aren't suitable? To actually go ahead with the booking instead of losing the deposit?

    Lastly, check the T&C's of where she did book it. Particularly what it says about how a contract is formed/what constitutes acceptance. Might not amount to anything but you'll be in a stronger position if you can argue that no contract was formed according to their own T&C's.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • mattyprice4004
    • By mattyprice4004 8th Jul 18, 9:36 PM
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    mattyprice4004
    • #7
    • 8th Jul 18, 9:36 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Jul 18, 9:36 PM
    Do you normally give payment details when just making an enquiry?
    I'm sorry but this smells fishy. When you make an enquiry you ask questions, not hand over the magic 16 digits from your credit card.

    I think your wife has to take some responsibility here too.
    • Chandler2018
    • By Chandler2018 8th Jul 18, 9:50 PM
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    Chandler2018
    • #8
    • 8th Jul 18, 9:50 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Jul 18, 9:50 PM
    I think I was clear that it was a mistake. I'm not absolving her of responsibility and neither is she. But she thought she was making an enquiry and instead made a booking. I'm not suggesting that there wasn't fault to be found in her actions. I'm just enquiring as to what our legal position is with regards to requesting a refund. In the UK the law is quite clear on the subject. You can request a refund and be refunded. I am seeking advice on whether the same is true in Australia.
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 8th Jul 18, 9:56 PM
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    p00hsticks
    • #9
    • 8th Jul 18, 9:56 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Jul 18, 9:56 PM
    In the UK the law is quite clear on the subject. You can request a refund and be refunded.
    Originally posted by Chandler2018

    Actually, I'm not sure that you can necessarily expect a full refund in this country if you simply change your mind having booked holiday accomodation and paid a deposit.
    • takman
    • By takman 8th Jul 18, 10:07 PM
    • 3,485 Posts
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    takman
    I think I was clear that it was a mistake. I'm not absolving her of responsibility and neither is she. But she thought she was making an enquiry and instead made a booking. I'm not suggesting that there wasn't fault to be found in her actions. I'm just enquiring as to what our legal position is with regards to requesting a refund. In the UK the law is quite clear on the subject. You can request a refund and be refunded. I am seeking advice on whether the same is true in Australia.
    Originally posted by Chandler2018
    Exactly as p00hsticks said above if you book accommodation for a set date then you have no right to cancel that booking under UK law. Just like when you book something like a premier inn saver rate which is non refundable.

    I very much doubt Australian law will be any different because hotels over there also offer non-refundable discount rates. So legally you don't have a leg to stand on.

    Your best bet is for a gesture of goodwill so make sure you asked nicely and explain how it was fully a mistake on your part.

    But i have no idea how she could possible confuse making a booking which details the deposit amount and asks for card details with making an inquiry?
    • Les79
    • By Les79 8th Jul 18, 11:43 PM
    • 306 Posts
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    Les79
    Side note, perhaps highlight to your wife that they wouldn't have asked for payment details if it was just an enquiry.
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    Precisely!

    An "enquiry" is akin to sending an email asking "how much will it cost, and can we maybe book this date? And what is your villa like? etc"

    If you pay even a PENNY to the company then you are going one step beyond an "enquiry" and actually making a "deposit".

    OP is coming across as quite obtuse in respect to that. I understand why like, they've messed up and want their money back.

    In the UK the company would be entitled to retain the deposit money which represents the losses which they have incurred due to your subsequent withdrawal. This may be 100% of the deposit amount, but it may not be (more so if the company can mitigate their losses and/or have a lot of notice). In Australia, I haven't a clue My rule of thumb has always been that a deposit to a non UK company is fully forfeitable unless explicitly stated. So I always take care when booking such things.

    Potential life lesson for OP.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 9th Jul 18, 9:42 AM
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    agrinnall
    Can someobody else who is going to the wedding take over one of the bookings?
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 9th Jul 18, 9:58 AM
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    DCFC79
    Thank you. I was going to contact the Australian Government next.
    Originally posted by Chandler2018
    Why the government ?

    There's other avenues to use before you go to the government.

    Still not sure how you can accidently book a villa thinking you were submitting an enquiry.
    • lindens
    • By lindens 9th Jul 18, 10:00 AM
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    lindens
    Did she pay by credit card? Is a charge back an option here?
    You're not your * could have not of * Debt not dept *
    • soolin
    • By soolin 9th Jul 18, 10:10 AM
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    soolin
    Did she pay by credit card? Is a charge back an option here?
    Originally posted by lindens
    On what basis? I can't see any way this would fit into either the 'fraudulent' or the 'not delivered/available' categories.
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    • lindens
    • By lindens 10th Jul 18, 8:22 AM
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    lindens
    On what basis? I can't see any way this would fit into either the 'fraudulent' or the 'not delivered/available' categories.
    Originally posted by soolin
    I didn't say there was a basis
    It was a question
    You're not your * could have not of * Debt not dept *
    • macman
    • By macman 10th Jul 18, 10:26 AM
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    macman
    No, chargeback is not an option here at all. Goods/services are available, and there has been nothing fraudulent.
    OP's only course of action is a claim under whatever Aus law applies here, (possible equivalent of DSR maybe?). If the T&C's say no refund for cancellations, then I can see no case, except under the above.
    Last edited by macman; 10-07-2018 at 11:19 AM.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • macman
    • By macman 10th Jul 18, 10:28 AM
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    macman
    I think I was clear that it was a mistake. I'm not absolving her of responsibility and neither is she. But she thought she was making an enquiry and instead made a booking. I'm not suggesting that there wasn't fault to be found in her actions. I'm just enquiring as to what our legal position is with regards to requesting a refund. In the UK the law is quite clear on the subject. You can request a refund and be refunded. I am seeking advice on whether the same is true in Australia.
    Originally posted by Chandler2018
    Really? So which law offers you this right then?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 10th Jul 18, 11:38 AM
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    shaun from Africa
    In the UK the law is quite clear on the subject. You can request a refund and be refunded. I am seeking advice on whether the same is true in Australia.
    Originally posted by Chandler2018
    Yes, the law in the UK is quite clear and that law states that you may be entitled to a full or partial refund but this all depends on the specific circumstances.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cancelling-goods-or-services-guide-for-consumers/cancelling-goods-or-services
    Sometimes youre entitled to a full or partial refund but you cant always expect all of your money back if you change your mind.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 10th Jul 18, 4:20 PM
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    sheramber
    As your wife booked two properties have you asked the other one for a refund?
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