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Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor
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Heya, Me and my partner booked a holiday for this May 2018

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Heya,Me and my partner booked a holiday for this May 2018 but the deposit bounced and the deposit wasn't paid and therefore that booking was cancelled on their system as we our card would not process the deposit payment.It said our booking would have been cancelled in 7-14 days without the deposit and said nothing about fees we would have to pay, so we just let that one eventually cancel itself and decided to book for next year in March with the same company, for this booking we have successfully paid our deposit and will have paid the booking off by the time we need to which is December..However, now I am being contacted by this holiday company daily - sometimes more frequently than this by email/phone, about a cancellation fee, and up until now (as I had been busy and unwell) I hadn't thought much of it, but today I looked and they are claiming we need to pay a cancellation fee of £1225.50, despite this booking never having been confirmed with a deposit?When I spoke to the lady at the company earlier she said it was likely it could have accidently gone through as a booking in full, not realising we hadn't paid a deposit yet... but whilst they were transferring me to their helpdesk the line went dead and I had to go out so I thought I would call back tomorrow to get this sorted and clear up the payment mistake.... but returned home to an email with an invoice for the cancellation fee and telling me I need to pay this?Do I need to pay this? I'm just after some help of the legalities of this as I thought I was only liable to abide by their T's & C's if I had paid their deposit and the deposit was never paid for this booking?Thanks.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I have added documents below - one is for the confirmation of cancellation and the fee we have to pay, and one is when we paid our deposit and it didn't go through.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with your question today. I am reviewing it, please give me a moment.

Just to be clear you never actually booked?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No the booking was never booked if that makes sense, we made a deposit payment but it bounced... we haven't paid a deposit for this booking.

Did you have a booking confirmation?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We had a reservation number and a confirmation of booking but they sent that out regardless of not having paid a deposit.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I have attached the booking confirmation that they send - they say this means we need to pay the cancellation fee. But we never paid any form of deposit agreeing to their T's &C's

Oh so you did book it. Are you trying to cancel or still want to go on it?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No we haven't paid a deposit for it, we haven't booked it - because we haven't paid any deposit. We haven't cancelled it because we also never paid a deposit. We have a booking for next year which is fine. But NCL are saying we need to pay this cancellation fee for the booking this May... because we cancelled the booking.We haven't cancelled the booking, we made an enquiry, attempted to pay a deposit that didn't go through, and then chose to go on a different holiday with the same company.I don't see this as a booking - no money has changed hands, and I have not paid a deposit at all? But they are asking for a huge cancellation fee.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We were told if the deposit wasn't paid (via automated emails) it would cancel itself... we thought that was fine cause we had booked a different holiday for next year anyway... but then are being hit with a huge cancellation fee. This wasn't brought to our attention when the deposit declined... we were just informed our booking would cancel... not knowing we would be liable for this fee.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Heya - I have to go now but I will see whatever the answer is tomorrow.The only reason we didn't contact them earlier to ask why they were asking for cancellation fees is because we thought this was a mistake - in our eyes we haven't opened a contract with them we haven't paid or signed anything, and no where when we failed to pay a deposit did it say that this was now a booking and we would be liable for cancellation fees - it was essentially them saying 'please contact us to pay this deposit again/with another card' as the first hadn't gone through... OR 'this booking will cancel' - we were not aware that if it cancelled we would be liable for this large fee.

When did you get confirmation, when you booked it?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hello we got confirmation on the day we booked - although we hadn't actually booked anything as at this stage we hadn't even paid a deposit. I have attached the document we were sent on 11/3/2018.Following our card bouncing back the deposit payment was not taken (there were sufficient funds in my account and I called the bank who apologised and said we needed to re-try the payment) we didn't attempt to pay the deposit again as we thought that we either pay this deposit to confirm this booking or we leave this to time out and it will cancel off - and we wouldn't be paying anything as we had not confirmed this booking through paying a deposit.3 days after receiving the document attached we thought - nevermind we will go for the following year as in hindsight that worked better for us, and we then completed a booking for dates for March 2019 and paid a deposit for that one... on the 14th March... we thought nothing of this booking that we hadn't even paid a deposit on actually being an active booking, that we would need to pay a cancellation fee for.I am struggling to understand how without paying a deposit and without signing a contract or agreement that we are liable for a cancellation fee when surely without paying a deposit the booking is not confirmed...The confirmation is attached - but like I said we received this despite not having paid any deposit... we hadn't paid a penny and I still feel we are not liable to pay any cancellation fee, because what would we be cancelling? We hadn't paid a deposit therefore we didn't have an existing booking to cancel?

I assume you ticked yes to accepting their terms and to book? Forget the decline payment for one second.

But you intended to book?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We did intend to book - but I don't remember tick anything accepting T's & C's we have booked with them many times and never remember ticking a box like that?

Ok. So if you didn’t tick it, then surely it would save come up with an error, saying you need to tick terms?

Did it say by booking you agree to our terms?

Did you cancel after the attempted booking or did you just get cancellation invoice with no prompting?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I honeslty don't remember about ticking a box agreeing to T's and C's and I'm not sure how I can find that out without trying to book something...We went to pay the deposit and it declined, but we didn't actively cancel it or call them to cancel it just cancelled itself as we didn't pay the deposit to keep that booking as we already decided to go the following year instead...So we didn't cancel, the cancellation invoice was sent without us prompting for it and was sort of automated
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
But I guess if I have somehow ticked this box agreeing then I am liable to pay that fee cause I agreed to their T's & C's? I'm just not sure what to do or whether I actually need to pay this fee or whether they are at fault?

Ok. Well if you didn’t cancel it, then you don’t have to pay the fee. If they cancelled it and it appears they did, then it is not your fault.

As you say, no deposit was taken so you can argue technically you didn’t book it and therefore technically you didn’t cancel.

So no, you didn’t have to pay. It appears they automatically cancelled it. Therefore not your fault.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today, please?

If not, I would appreciate a 5-star rating for my answer. If you need anything further I am available for a follow up at no extra cost.

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