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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70295
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We have a client who booked a wedding at our venue and paid

Customer Question

We have a client who booked a wedding at our venue and paid a £500.00 non refundable deposit. They have now decided not to go ahead and are demanding their deposit back. We have refused to do this as the terms and conditions clearly state it is non refundable.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Will you be able to find someone else to take the date?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
quite possibly but this will be a big drop in profit for the company, usually other couples will choose an alternative if their preferred date has gone
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
non refundable should surely be just that....if we start refunding we will have couples taking dates on a whim and cancelling
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
are you still there?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

Hi. I've been asked to look at this.

Why will you have to reduce the price?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
we wont have to reduce the price, but we will be losing a wedding booking worth c£12k
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

But if you can replace the booking with something else then surely you won't be losing a booking?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
there is no guarantee we will fill the booking if it is cancelled....surely a non refundable deposit should mean just that?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

No, that is an unlawful term.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

Whether the deposit says it is not refundable or not matters not.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
where do we stand?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

You have an obligation to make efforts to mitigate your loss by trying to sell the booking to another. If you do not achieve that then a court will want to establish what steps you have taken. Whether or not your explanation would be accepted depends on the length of time you have had to sell.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
they signed a contract agreeing that the deposit is non refundable
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

If this is months away then probably you will have to return in full.

If it is very imminent then maybe not.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

As I said, that is an unlawful term.

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