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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48160
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We booked a wedding at a venue and after being passed from

Customer Question

We booked a wedding at a venue and after being passed from wedding planner to wedding planner we lost confidence in the venue so decided to cancel. We had already paid £4200 towards the wedding. it does state in the terms and conditions that we would lose 25% of the final value but as we have never signed a contract are they still allowed to take that from us?
We had a email from a member of staff stating that as we had no contract we could get all the £4200 back but now they are saying this was sent in error and we have to lose the 25%
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

How long ago did you book it?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Generally, when a person 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 the consumer wants to proceed with the contract. Do note that a contract can be verbal or implied, it does not have to be in writing for it to be valid or in place.

Unless the business subsequently commits a serious breach of contract, or there was a cancellation clause, the consumer would have no legal right to cancel the agreement and if they do so they will be acting in breach of contract and risk losing their deposit.

However, as this was a business, they will be subject to certain consumer rules and regulations. For example, you will have some protection under Schedule 2, Regulation 1(d) of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. It states that if the agreement has been cancelled after a deposit has been placed you are entitled to have the deposit returned in full, unless the business has spent time, effort and money, in which case they can deduct reasonable expenses. Even if some expenses have been incurred, if these are subsequently recovered, for example by re-booking the date to someone else, the deposit should still be returned in full. It follows that a blanket non-refundable clause that entitles the business to keep the deposit in all circumstances is most likely going to be unfair and unlawful.

If you are having difficulties in recovering the deposit when you believe you are entitled to have it returned, advise the business that you will not hesitate reporting them to the Office of Fair Trading and, if necessary, pursue the matter further through the county court. Exerting such pressure could often work in changing their position in this matter.

Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss steps you can take to pursue this don the legal route. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.