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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75915
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have paid £160 for a Christmas party to include a night's

Customer Question

I have paid £160 for a Christmas party to include a night's accommodation. This was done a few weeks ago. Ahead of paying the balance I asked if there would be any requirement for a vaccine passport and they responded that due to the numbers being under 500 this would not be the case. Now Welsh Government have brought them in and the venue now require a passport of a negative test downloaded onto an app and will not provide me with a refund. Do I have any recourse to challenge this please as I would not have paid the £90 balance if they had told me that passports were going to be likely. Many thanks
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Wales
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have gone back to the venue and told them that the the condition of passports was not in place when I booked and I was told they would not be needed for events under 500. They want me to download an app - which I don't have the capacity to do or get a paper covid passport which I cannot do either.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Just that they are saying it's not their policy but WG making a law that everyone needs to provide this information before they can attend an event, but this was not the case when the booking was made.
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Ok - I have to go to a meeting at 11.30am so just so you know!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Did you request this information verbally or is the conversation related to vaccine passports documented at all?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
It was via phone call unfortunately.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please leave it with me and I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, usually the same day. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about this situation and any associated issues.

Whatever has happened here, you cannot hold the venue responsible for the Government’s policy which was subsequently introduced. That is not something with the venue’s control and all they could have commented on is what the rules were at the time, not what could happen in the future (which is often unannounced and subject to change).

If the rules have since changed then that does not automatically entitle you to a refund as you would have had to do your own research on what is likely to happen and proceeded with the booking with such a risk in place. Any cancellation would therefore be on the basis of there being a cancellation policy allowing that.

Finally, it is worth informing them that they would be expected to mitigate their losses by trying to find a replacement customer following the cancellation. So if they are able to do that, it would mean they have reduced their losses and the deposit, or at least part of it, may no longer be required to cover such losses and should be returned.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.