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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70526
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I need help as to what action to take on this situation,

Resolved Question:

Hello
I need help as to what action to take on this situation, for my wedding I placed a deposit on a hall to have my evening reception and on the first viewing appointment no one showed up to show us around. We waited for a very long while before someone who was not a member of the company took us up and I had already made numerous calls to the office but no answer and the person that was meant to meet us Was a no show. I should of taken this as a warning but being overwhelmed and excited I thought I would give the company a second chance.
Two months of contact with the company after I was put under pressure to pay the rest of the amount to secure the booking and stupidly did then out reputable caterer manager came to view the venue, this time one of the company staff actually showed up and took us around the details of the venue, at this time they were undergoing refurbishment of the hall and our caterer pointed out concerns of public liability, health and safety issues and the venue told our caterer that cooking is not permitted in the building but only warming up and frying is allowed...
When I asked for a refund the very next day due to the fact that they never mention that my caterer can not cook on site or was under refurb when I decided to put deposit down. From our very first conversation they said I can bring in my caterers to cook on site as they have a kitchen.
since then the company had ignored my calls and emails it's been over 3 months, I should be entitled to A payment back for breach of contract, if I had given a clear description of not having any cooking on site or that the building was under refurb I would not have booked it...
What should I do to take action?
I believe I am not at fault here as there was information held from me in order to secure a contract/payment.
Alison
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Which date have you booked for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Jo, I booked it for the 16th of August, it's way past the date now, we already had our wedding on the 15th but I have paid a lot of money for the venue and I wish to get it back.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
OK.
What was the date you gave notice?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I paid the deposit on 18th March, then full on 16th june but made a cancel on 17th due to concerns of the hall. In total I paid £2700.00
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
That is a problem.
Did you agree rights to cancel?
Do you know if they let the venue to somebody else on that day?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I asked them about refund and they said if given enough time (6 months before the date) I would get 50% back and company discretion applied. Now they won't answer my calls or emails. The event company called sapphire london based in Mile End.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, I'm afraid that just under two months is not likely to be considered enough time. Anyway that was really just an undertaking rather than a contractual term.
I'm afraid you are in difficulty. Come what may, you booked this venue and you were bound.
Unless you agreed cancellation rights none will exist.
The only hope you have is to challenge the way in which they mitigated their loss. They were under a duty to mitigate their loss by trying to let this venue to another and they did have two months to achieve that. if they were able to do so then you are not liable unless they had to reduce the amount and even then you would be entitled to recover something. If they were not then you could ask them to prove that they may reasonable efforts to find a replacement.
They might just cave in if they are being sued. That does happen sometimes.
If you went to court and they could prove that they had looked and were unable to find anybody then you are liable I'm afraid.
Sorry but I have to give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When I was deciding wether to book the venue or not they put me under pressure to place the deposit down telling me there's 'other parties' wanting the date, so does that help or not?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Not really,
Only in that it tends to suggest there was pressure on the venue so it might be that they were able to sell to another but then it could have been a ruse to get you to agree.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Even when I spoke to a manager of the venue about the contract, he told me I would be given 50% back, can I use the fact that they misinformed me about the venue and refurbishment and false tactics to 'make' me pay up? I did not sign anything as it was via email, I paid the deposit under pressure?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This is their terms and conditions
1. Definitions: "Company" means Sapphire, "Hirer" means person who has requested services, "Client" means person who has requested services, "Venue" means the venue named on the invoice.
2. The booking of the Company products and services will only be confirmed once the Company has the reservation fee which is 530% of the Clients invoice. The remaining balance should be cleared at least 620cdaaleynsdparriomr otontyhosuprreioverntot fyaoilurevteonktefeapilurpewtoitkhepeapyumpewntisthmpaymreesunlttsimn eayvernetsuclatninceelavteinotncwanitchefluatlliobnalwanitchefduulleb.alance due.
3. Cancellations must be made in writing. A fee will be charged depending on the following: Notification made within 6 Months of event date = 50% of your invoice charged and notification made giving over 6 months notice of your event date = 30% of your invoice charged.
4. It is the Hirer's responsibility to adhere to Venue and service hire times which is inclusive of set up and clear up. Should times exceed Sapphire will charge £300 per hour for Venue & Staffing costs for service only events. Equipment hire extensions may vary please discuss at the time of booking.
5. The Client is responsible for cleaning for self catered events failure will incur cleaning charges which will be invoiced to the client. 65.1ThCeutClelireynCtrnoacmkerdyohnirethdiswiinllvboeicdeewliivllebryeorenslypoandsibelxepfeocrteadnytodabmeapgaeckteodeiqnuaipmpreonptroiarteVebnouxesdautritnhgetehnedcofnthraecetevdentitmbeyptheerioHdIR(EthRisuninleclsusdtehseccaltienretrhsiroersssueprpvliicerstuanffle.ssprovidedin- 6h.oTuhse)C. Tliehnetfunlalmcoesdt onf atnhyisrienpvaoiircse/ wreiplllbaceermesepnotnwsiblllebefocrhanrgyedatmoatghetColieqnut/ipHmirenrt. oArnVyecnousetsdwuhriincgh tehxececeodnstrtahcetevdaltuime oefptehreioda(mthaigseindcelupdoessitcwatilel rbeersboillresduptopltiheersCulinelnets/sHpiroerv.idInedthien- fhirosutsien)s.tTahnecefutlhl ecodsatmoaf gaenydereppoasirtsw/ irlel pbleacdemduecnttewd.ilTl hbies cahlsaorgaepdpltioesthtoe aCnliyenbtr/eaHcirheor.f aAdndyitciosntasl wcohnicdhiteioxncseeadgsretehde bvyaltuheeocfotmhepadnaym. age deposit will be billed to the Client/Hirer. In the f7i.rsTthiensCtoamncpeatnhyemdamy apgpeodinetpoasrietcwoivllebryeadgeednutctoedr.eTcohvisearlcsosatpspthlieast etoxcaeneydbdraemacahgoefdaedpdoitsiotnhaelldco, tnhdeitCiolinesnat/gHreiredr wbyillthbeclioamblpeafnoyr.any recovery costs.
87. TPhueblCicolmiapbailnity minasuyrapnpceoicnotvaereicsopvreorvyidaegdenbtyttoherecomvepracnoystosntlhyafot rexthceepdrodtaemctaiogne doef pthoesipt uhbelidc,atghaeinCslitednat/mHairgercwaiullsbeed ltioabthleefpour banlicy breyctohveecryomcopsatsn.ies personnel or equipment and 8n.oPtubbyliacnlyiaabciltiitoyninosfutrhaencaenyconverinisaptrtoevnidaendcbey, wtheocmomaypcaanuysoenalynyfosrutchehparomtetcotitohnemofstehlveepsuobrlioctahgearisn.st damage caused to the public by the companies personnel or equipment and 9n.oTthbeyCaonmyapcatnioynaotfththeeiradnisycorneetioin,artetesenrdvaenscteh,ewrhigohmttaoyccanucselathneyesuvechnthoanrmbetohatlhfeomftsheelvVeesnoureo.tVhenrsu.ebookingsremainstheresponsibilityofVenue.
19.0T. hTheeCHomirepra/nCyliaetnthuenirddeirsctraentdiosnt,hraetsfeurlvlyescathtereridghetvteontcsanmcaeyl tchoenteaviennstoomnebperhoadluf octfsthsuecVheansuneu. tVse, nanude/boorowkhinegast,rethmearienfsorteheitriesstphoenHsibreilrit'sy roefsVpeonusieb.ility to ensure all guests are 1m0a.dTeheawHairer/ofCtliheins.t understands that fully catered events may contain some products such as nuts, and/or wheat, therefore it is the Hirer's responsibility to ensure all guests are 1m1a.dSeapapwhaireLoofnthdios.nmaytakephotographsbeforeorduringevents,andpublishforpromotionalreasons,allcopyrightisheldbySapphire,ifyoudonotagreetothis,pleaseinform t1h1e. SreapprehsierentLaotnivdeoknnmowayptraikoer tpohyootougrreavpehnst.before or during events, and publish for promotional reasons, all copyright is held by Sapphire, if you do not agree to this, please inform t1h2e. Aredpdrietisoenatlagtiuvesktsnfoowr fporoiodrsteorvyiocuerweivlleintc.ur additional charge depending on the menu. (This will not exceed what we have charged you per head initially).
1P2le.aAsdedrietiqouneasl tgauelastrsgefoprrfionotdfrsoemrviycoeuwr irlel ipnrceusreandtadtitivioeniaflrcehqaurigred.epending on the menu. (This will not exceed what we have charged you per head initially).
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I'm afraid that just under two months is not likely to be considered enough time. Anyway that was really just an undertaking rather than a contractual term.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok Jo
So there is nothing I can do? How do I go about challenging them or what is there that I can do? I mean losing 2700 over a venue I never have is a lot for me, also are you telling me even getting 50% back as they agreed if I cancel within 6 months is a loss?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The only hope you have is to challenge the way in which they mitigated their loss. They were under a duty to mitigate their loss by trying to let this venue to another and they did have two months to achieve that. if they were able to do so then you are not liable unless they had to reduce the amount and even then you would be entitled to recover something. If they were not then you could ask them to prove that they may reasonable efforts to find a replacement.
They might just cave in if they are being sued. That does happen sometimes.
The 50% isn't a term of the contract. It was just a statement that they made subsequently.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So I don't really understand if the terms and conditions are their statements then how is it impossible to get any refund at all? no money can be refunded at all wether signed or not? If it is an undertaking and not contractual surely there was no agreed contract right?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, part of the problem with that is that verbal cancellation is not written notice although you could argue that is an unfair term.
No, there was an agreed contract. You accept a contract and anyway there is paper evidence.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jo
I did send in a written email as to why I wanted a refund, as they have requested it.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
You could try relying on that to recover something. I'm surprised they didn't qualify that elsewhere.
But the better challenge is mitigation as you woukd recover more if it succeeds.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Jo please can you clarify what mitigation means?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
They were under a duty to mitigate their loss by trying to let this venue to another and they did have two months to achieve that. if they were able to do so then you are not liable unless they had to reduce the amount and even then you would be entitled to recover something. If they were not then you could ask them to prove that they may reasonable efforts to find a replacement.
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