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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47392
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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hi have booked a holiday paid a part deposit have cancel ed.but

Resolved Question:

hi have booked a holiday paid a part deposit have cancel ed.but they say I have not and are demanding full deposit paid on both holidays ,I have booked another with them and paid in full for that one .they say I did not cancel .but I sent a letter and phoned .they are saying they will take me to court, WHAT CAN I DO
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did it say anywhere on the contract that you had to cancel by phone?

Customer:

sorry but my reading is not very good ,and I did not read thr small print .but they say it is

Ben Jones :

have you checked to see if that was the case?

Customer:

hi no.but they have told me there details have changed .if it is right what they say ,and I had to cancel by phone ,.well I did phone ,but they say they have no record of this

Ben Jones :

How much is the deposit?

Customer:

.I paid £25 on each ,but they want £195 on one and £365 on an other

Ben Jones :

Did you want to cancel both holidays?

Customer:

hi yes one holiday was not describe as it shuld have been and the other one was all good but some friends desided to come with us so we needed more bed rooms,that why we booked another holiday with them and have already piad in full ,for that one

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Customer:

helo

Ben Jones :

yes

Customer:

hi its says you have left the chat and to rate my view ratting is this over ,or do I wait

Ben Jones :

you can ignore that, I am still here

Ben Jones :

Generally, when a person places an order for something and pays a deposit they enter into a legally enforceable contract with the other side. It is implied that they have accepted the deposit as security and as proof that you want to proceed with the contract.


 


Unless the other side subsequently commits a serious breach of contract, or there was a cancellation clause, you would have no legal right to cancel the agreement and if you do so they will be acting in breach of contract and risk losing the deposit. This is especially true if the deposit was described as non-refundable.


 


In your case you have a couple of arguments – you mentioned a misdescription on one holiday and if it was not as advertised and you relied on the wrong description to make the booking then you could argue they have acted in breach of contract first and you should be entitled to cancel and get your deposit back. Also there was a specific cancellation clause but only if you cancel by phone, which you did. They may claim that you did not but the fact of the matter is that you did. Whilst it may initially be your word against theirs, these days phone records are mainly digital and if necessary you can contact the phone company and ask them for a copy of the phone records to see what calls you made on what day and be able to prove that you did contact them as claimed.


 


You should also consider what they want to keep the deposit for – if they have managed to let out the accommodation despite your cancellation they would not have suffered any enormous losses and to keep your deposit in the circumstances could amount to a penalty clause which is illegal. They can only cover actual and reasonable costs so if they managed to get someone else on the dates you booked they can only really keep part of the deposit to cover actual losses, like admin fees, etc.


 


Finally, even if they take you to court you will not really spend anything defending the claim – this will go to the small claims court, this is a venue designed for small disputes like this where you do not need a lawyer – it is generally just you and the other party in front of a judge in a room discussing the issues and a decision being made. Usually the worst that could happen is you pay them what they are claiming, together with some court costs but these would not be that high, we are talking just a couple of hundred most likely. So you will not be left in a much worse position than you would have been had you agreed to pay them in full now. You could therefore take your chances and even call their bluff in case they never intended to take this as far as court.

Customer:

hi I undersand that but do they have a case ,because they can do this to any one .how can I prove I phoned and how can they prove I did not

Ben Jones :

whether they have a case will depend on what evidence they may have, how convincing they are, whether the judge believes them and so on - there are many factors that can affect the outcome. It is their claim and they have to prove it is valid but as mentioned you can get phone record details from the call company to show you called them as claimed

Customer:

hi the time difrrence between the cancel phone calls and the letters from them is mouths no way I can remember

Ben Jones :

that may be the case but you can get a full list of the call records and just go through to see when you called the specific number

Customer:

ok thank you

Ben Jones :

you are welcome

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