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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I paid a deposit on a holiday. I cant go. Do I have to pay

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I paid a deposit on a holiday. I can't go. Do I have to pay the full price

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

Do you have travel insurance in place please? May I ask the reason you can no longer go? What type of holiday is it - e.g. package, accommodation only etc?

Customer: I am not great at typing, can we speak? Or is this the only medium of conversation
Joshua :

There is a facility of speaking but for some reason it does not appear to be available on this thread. Are you happy to continue typing - I should not need to ask you to type that much.

Customer: it is accommodation only , we do have insurance. I paid £500 deposit in Sept. we cannot afford the holiday any longer as we had a huge bill
Joshua :

Oh dear - I am sorry to hear that. Is the accommodation in the UK or overseas? Is it a hotel or villa?

Customer: I have just had a call from them demanding the balance of payment, the holiday is in the upcoming half term. An appt in the alps. It is a large ski holiday company called CGH
Customer: My ? Is, do I have to 'honour' the deal, or can I just not pay and forego the deposit. Can they prosecute me?
Joshua :

Thanks. Finally is the company who you paid based in the UK or abroad - i.e. did you pay the company in the Uk or overseas?

Customer: I paid online I believe. Or on the telephone. They are based in France
Joshua :

Thanks. Do you have a link to their website so I can review their terms and conditions?

Joshua :

That should be all I need...

Customer: i can find it for you,
Joshua :


Joshua :

That appears to be an email address. Do you have the weblink?

Customer: Sorry!
Customer: i didn't get an email confirming the origib
Joshua :

Thanks. If you could bear with me while I have a look at the terms...

Customer: naloriginal transaction, and it went completely out of my mind. Neither did I get a reminder or I would have acted sooner. They say I can't cancel as it is imminent
Joshua :

From what you say the holiday is in the next week or two?

Customer: Yes. Next week
Joshua :

Thanks. The company has a set of terms and conditions which specifically provide for cancellation. They provide...

Joshua :

If you cancel:
• Between 14 and 8 days before your arrival, we retain 75% of the total amount of your stay including ancillary services.
• Between 7 days and the day of your arrival, we retain 100% of the total stay including ancillary services.

Customer: But they do not have the money yet. All they have is my deposit. So my question is , do I still have to give them the balance even though I know I am cancelling?
Joshua :

There is no choice of law clause in the contract to say whether the contract is governed by French law or English law however given that the company with whom you are contracting is based in France and the subject of the contract in France, there would be a strong case to support that the contract subject to French rather than English law

Customer: and what does that mean for me?
Joshua :

in English law, it is accepted that providing cancellation terms are not unreasonable, where they exist in terms and conditions, they will be binding upon the parties and based upon the conditions detailed in the cancellation policy this would likely apply here. Accordingly, unfortunately I would consider that it is likely that you would be bound by the cancellation terms provided. However, as you say, you have not yet given them the balance of money and you may consider that you do not wish to make life easy for them and simply notify them that you will not be attending and suggest that the attempt to relet the accommodation. You may consider claiming that because you did not receive any form of confirmation from them, you did not believe that the booking had been accepted by them and try to avoid the contract on that technicality. I do not suggest this would be successful ultimately if they decided to pursue the matter in court but it introduces an element of doubt which makes pursuing you potentially more difficult

Joshua :

also consider, that they are based in France and you in the UK and whilst I do not suggest it is very difficult for them to pursue you, it is certainly not a straightforward as it might be if they were based in the UK and the combination of the above approach and your geographic location may be enough to dissuade them from taking further action

Joshua :

how you proceed, is very much up to you to decide depending upon your appetite for risk. you could of course choose to simply pay what they request but you may prefer the above approach and hope that they do not pursue you given the above potential difficulties for them in doing so

Joshua :

if they were to pursue you, they would be able to at limited though not significant legal costs to a claim they bring so you may consider that it is a risk worth taking

Customer: okay I will try negotiating with them
Joshua :

If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further for now?

Customer: i have to go back to work now , I'm a GP with a surgery in 20 mins. Thanks for your help.
Joshua :

A pleasure. If I can assist further do please let me know.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

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