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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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Myself and partner was supposed be getting married at venue

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Hi myself and partner was supposed be getting married at venue that was supposed to cater 400-500 guests but to the current climate this is not possible. We entered into a contract agreement with a venue that was supposed to deliver this clearly states in the contract no refunds even if cancelled, the pandemic was not part of plan for us or them but we have asked for the deposit to be return as this is not a deliberate cancellation they cannot provide the service we expect they have confirmed we can leave contract with agreement to lose deposit but we don’t think that’s fair and feel owed back the deposit, please advise would I be eligible for deposit to be returned due to the pandemic?
JA: Where is this? And just to clarify, when was the purchase made?
Customer: The purchase was made back in November 2019 and the willows banqueting hall venue
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: just constant communication
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No

Hello, this is Jim, a dual-qualified lawyer (UK & Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you today.

The contract is clearly frustrated and that being the case you should demand a full refund. How much are you owed and is the venue in the UK?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Exactly as you said the contract is compromised I’m effect void that they cannot provided what we signed up paid for and now where does it mention anything in the contract regarding a crisis I or pandemic or in the event they cannot provide to the service, the reassurance that they keep giving us you can have it reschedule any date in the year but does the part of the agreement. Deposit is 2500 and 9000 total price for hire and yes this company venue is based in UK near ilford. How do I go about doing that and make a case that I am owed as I have only had various discussions with the employees event coordinators and they continuously pss on the message to management as they are the decision makes and I have asked time again that the manager needs to call me out of curteousy to explain why no refund in this situation?

I will set out how and will also include a template letter for you which sets out the situation well

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
After a month of going back and fourth the senior manager has agreeed to take a call with me today at 3:30 and I want to know what else I should be saying other than what I ready have done, appreciate your help please let me know what else I should be doing
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you I look forward to receiving your template
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Is it worth me paying the 44 to give you a call

Sorry I can't take a call. When you speak to the manager today, tell him there has been a change in contract, not agreed by yourself - therefore they are in breach of contract.

If you booked by credit card then you can make a claim - you can contact the card provider and ask for a refund under S.75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 - as they are jointly liable if you do not get the service you paid for. If you did not book with a credit card (or you did and the card company refuses to reimburse) then you should consider suing the venue.

The venue should not be charging you for a service which they cannot offer. The essential term to the contract you have with them is that you pay them - and in return they provide the venue for your wedding. The fact they moved the goal posts in a contract and now refuse to refund you is likely to mean they are in breach of contract - meaning you can terminate and demand your money back. A court will take a dim view if it looks like the venue penalises you financially through no fault of your own.

The term here is "force majeure", or an "act of God" clause - meaning that if performance of the contract is impossible then the parties can agree to suspend their obligations - for the duration of the force majeure, or in this case, for as long as the service cannot be carried out due to the lock down. If they simply change the terms and you do not agree, the contract is terminated.

If they dispute this, threaten them with a report to Trading Standards (tel: 03454 040506). You will need to send them a letter before action (see template attached) and give them 30 days to pay you. If they do not pay you, start a claim via the Money Claims website: http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

I hope this helps? If you would kindly leave me a 5 star rating (at the top of your screen), the question will stay open and any follow up questions are welcomed.

Many thanks,

Jim

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi Jim many thanks for this really useful and detailed, I did not make the transaction in cash but instead made the transaction via my direct debit card and not a credit card is this still ok? Thanks again providing above info.
What do you suggest I do in steps with the info u give me and I’m regards ***** ***** call worth their senior management????
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
I have just skim through your template looks great, I notice there are two pretty much same just font difference, you suggest I should I pick one template and incorporate all my details info and issue to the company?

Hi, the bank will not charge-back as no fraud is involved unfortunately - only a credit card insures your money for breach of contract. Even if you only pay £100 the full sum is insured which is benefit of using a credit card. You can speak to the manager on the phone - I do not think they will do anything unless you send them a letter before action though. You can use the template and tailor it, yes - I recommend you to that and post a copy (plus email them a copy too for speed).

Let me know how you get on.

Thanks

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Jim
Thanks for your fast response I really do appreciate it especially during these tough times. Because I didn’t make the transaction with credit card and did with bank card do you think that affects my chances. I also forgot to note to you that after back going back and forth with them initially at the start I also entered into a second revised contract basically pushing the date back to February 15th but this was done as they left me no option or other alternative but even then this date is not garusnteed thy at they will be able to provide to our expected capacity at the same time have also had conversations with them say that I want my money back as there is still no garauntee this will happen as required, does this also affect impact my chances regarding the whole process the fact I accepted revised contract but out of desperation we are approaching August and it was more of burning time blanket kind of date, should I still send the letter???

Hi, a credit card just offers a layer of protection and a means of getting your money back without having to sue someone. You will need to send the letter and sue them if they refuse a refund - your bank is unlikely to help because as I said earlier, banks only charge back funds if there has been a scam or fraud.

You should still send the letter, yes. They are still in breach of contract

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Perfect thanks for help I really do appreciate it, will let you know how I get on.
If it looks like after issuing The letter they are willing to corporate and return refund then that would be great! If it looks like they will not cooperate And refuse how would I go about suing them and what does that entail are there costs associated on my part if so do you have like a rough idea etc

If they refuse or they ignore your letter then you need to register at http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.

When you issue the claim you pay a fee (see page 5: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/789201/ex50-eng.pdf) which is added to the sum you claim

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