Would you have expected a refund?

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Posted 4/4/2013 by Rebelyelle in NSBR Board
 

Rebelyelle
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Posted: 4/4/2013 8:41:36 PM
Here is the scenario...you booked a venue for an event about a year in advance of the event. Five months before the event, you call the venue and let them know that you'd like to cancel your booking, as the plans for your event have changed. The event hasn't been canceled, nothing the venue has done has caused you to cancel...simply, you have changed your plans and the venue no longer fits your needs. The venue informs you that, per the contract, you will not be refunded the 50% deposit of the rental fee that you put down to secure the date. You have signed a contract to this effect. Would you expect/ask for a refund, partial or full, of any kind?



voltagain
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Posted: 4/4/2013 8:43:14 PM
The venue informs you that, per the contract, you will not be refunded the 50% deposit of the rental fee that you put down to secure the date. You have signed a contract to this effect. Would you expect/ask for a refund, partial or full, of any kind? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I wouldn't but I know there are people out there that would.


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Posted: 4/4/2013 8:43:33 PM
No.


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SnowWhite.
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Posted: 4/4/2013 8:43:39 PM

You have signed a contract to this effect. Would you expect/ask for a refund, partial or full, of any kind?


No, but then again, I rather expect both parties to live by the terms in the contract. Crazy talk, I know. Surely there's some 'bad customer' story coming here, right?

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Posted: 4/4/2013 8:44:30 PM
No, I wouldn't. The contract is pretty clear.



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ilovebuble
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Posted: 4/4/2013 8:44:39 PM
No, I would not expect a refund or ask for one.

MonicaB
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Posted: 4/4/2013 8:44:51 PM
If the contract states that I do not get the refund, then I would not expect the refund.



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Posted: 4/4/2013 8:47:16 PM
I wouldn't expect more than the contract allowed.

I might be tempted to ask if additional money would be refunded if the venue would later be rented out for a different event on the date originally scheduled.


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lucyg819
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Posted: 4/4/2013 9:06:48 PM
I don't think your pissed-off erstwhile client is entitled to any money back.

But I've seen the peas say "it never hurts to ask" enough times to know there are plenty who certainly would ask. (For the record, I believe it often does hurt to ask, because you're always putting the small business in a difficult and money-losing position.)

And I've seen the peas say it's good business to satisfy your customer, even when their demands are unreasonable. (For the record, I don't believe in catering to unreasonable demands and encouraging more of the same bad behavior.)

For whatever it's worth.


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AKathy
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Posted: 4/4/2013 9:06:59 PM
No, I'd neither expect nor ask for a refund if I signed the contract.


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Aggiemom92
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Posted: 4/4/2013 9:11:55 PM
I wouldn't sign a contract like that. But if I did, I would expect to have to honor it.


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Cake Diva
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Posted: 4/4/2013 9:14:50 PM
No, I would not expect a refund.

My wedding cake contract is the same. I require a 50%, non-refundable retainer to hold your date.

I've had a bride pay me in full up front, and then not even a month later the wedding was cancelled. I sent her back the 50% that was due to her. I have no idea what their reason was, it was not my business. I sent a note with the refund wishing her well.

I had another bride pay her 50%, and then quite a few months later, cancel the wedding due to her Mom being ill. My contract does specify that if the cancellation is before 60 days prior to the event date, that 50% of the retainer may be transferred to another cake. I did a 30th birthday cake for her about 3 months after the wedding date.

If you do it for one person, and they tell somebody, and then they tell other somebodies, then the word gets out that you do it anyway.

If a contract was signed, both parties must abide by it.


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Posted: 4/4/2013 9:23:57 PM
I agree with the others. No.

moveablefeast
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Posted: 4/4/2013 9:28:53 PM
Sometimes if a venue can rebook a date, they will give you part of your deposit back. I think that's great customer service if they do that.

I've asked - I once had to cancel a retreat at a hotel for which I had put down a sizable deposit but later had to change my plans because, as you described, the venue no longer suited our needs. I explained the situation to them and asked if there was anything they could do. They actually gave me a large portion of my deposit back and kept the rest to cover staff time.

I would not for one second be upset or offended, however, if a venue could or did not refund the deposit per the terms of the contract. When I have asked, it is with the thought that you don't know unless you ask, not with the thought that anyone owed me anything in that situation, because I was the one breaking the contract.

freecharlie
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Posted: 4/4/2013 9:31:24 PM
I would not ask because I just don't do that very well.

I would understand some might ask in certain situations...sudden death of the bride or groom to be, sudden death of the birthday person who the party was planned for...but even then the venue has no responsibility to refund.


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Posted: 4/4/2013 9:38:15 PM
That's pretty standard. I only require 1/3 down.
Think of it this way, a year out, they have a good chance of booking that date, but the closer it gets, the less likely they'll be able to rebook it. At this point, if they don't rebook it, they'll actually lose money on the deal.


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Posted: 4/4/2013 9:38:24 PM
No, in your scenario I would not expect my money back. However, both times I rented a facility my contract had a specific clause that the venue agreed to.

If I cancel for a reason not related to them, I get 70% of my deposit back if they can re- rent the venue. If not I got nothing back.

If either of us needed to cancel due to extreme weather, the entire deposit can be transferred to another date. And yes extreme weather was defined precisely. And yes both clauses were discussed and written in before final price was quoted. In fact after we were done ( and after the last 3 years with abnormal extreme weather ) the venue added this to their standard contract. Many of his employees are his family and he wanted the right to cancel if there were dangerous conditions.

I never had cause to test either clause.

.Megan.
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Posted: 4/4/2013 9:46:39 PM
I wouldn't expect a refund. However, I'd like to hope if the venue were able to book the date I had they'd send me a refund check (maybe even minus a processing fee) so they didn't profit twice.



Fireflyy
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Posted: 4/4/2013 9:53:27 PM
No, I would not.

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Posted: 4/4/2013 9:54:58 PM
Cake Diva - that was really nice of you!




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Posted: 4/4/2013 10:36:40 PM
I would expect it to be as the contract stated.
So if the contract says no refund, I wouldn't expect one


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megmc
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Posted: 4/4/2013 11:07:42 PM
I would not expect it but if they re-booked they should send you a refund.

Mary Kay Lady
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Posted: 4/5/2013 2:55:57 AM

No, I don't think that a refund is to be expected in this situation.


dottyscrapper
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Posted: 4/5/2013 4:48:23 AM

I wouldn't expect a refund. However, I'd like to hope if the venue were able to book the date I had they'd send me a refund check (maybe even minus a processing fee) so they didn't profit twice.


Ditto !



justbecause
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Posted: 4/5/2013 7:13:15 AM
If the contract says no refund, no matter how much notice, then no. If it says partial refund if more than x days, then yes. I would hope that somewhere in the contract it says "if we book the same date, you'll get a partial refund" then yes, I will be checking to see if they managed to re-book the venue.




andtyler
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Posted: 4/5/2013 7:34:36 AM
No. I would expect both sides to honor the signed contract



blondiek237
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Posted: 4/5/2013 8:06:29 AM
No refund. But I agree with others that I would not be comfortable signing a contract like that. The time to speak up was when it was signed to see if you could alter that section. But now--too late


There was a hall here (has since changed owners) and for one wedding the bride died 2 days before the wedding--they did not get a refund (all the other vendors did due to the circumstances--this was my sisters friends)

brab74
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Posted: 4/5/2013 8:24:05 AM

The event hasn't been canceled, nothing the venue has done has caused you to cancel...simply, you have changed your plans and the venue no longer fits your needs.
It doesn't matter why the venue is to be cancelled (or that the event is still happening somewhere else) - the contract states no refund of the deposit in the event of a cancellation. I would not expect a refund.

guzismom
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Posted: 4/5/2013 8:35:58 AM
I would expect to get the refund that is stipulated in the contract; nothing more, nothing less. Isn't that what contracts are for?


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Posted: 4/5/2013 8:39:57 AM

The venue informs you that, per the contract, you will not be refunded the 50% deposit of the rental fee that you put down to secure the date. You have signed a contract to this effect.


Based on that, nope. No refund is due or should be expected.


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Posted: 4/5/2013 9:32:11 AM
We booked a 6 night stay at the Disneyland Hotel back in 2002 about 5 months in advance and the day before our departure my DD came down with the chicken pox. We had to cancel/postpone. The written terms were a $200 cancellation charge. However, when we elevated our problem to a customer service manager and said we are rebooking to 45 days later, they reduced it to $100.

So, at least we saved $100. I felt it was fair since we were rebooking and I felt they would probably be able to resell the room for at least a portion of our stay.

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Posted: 4/5/2013 9:48:12 AM
Would I expect one? No. Would it be great customer service if the venue offered one if they are able to re-book? Yes. Or even if they offered to apply the deposit (less a fee) toward a future booking. But I wouldn't expect it if I signed a contract stating no refunds.

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Rebelyelle
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Posted: 4/5/2013 9:51:27 AM
Thanks for the feedback all. I am on the venue end of things, so I guess this was a little bit of a PVM

I have always dealt with booking cancellations in the say way - "So sorry you're not able to move forward, our cancellation policy stipulates X". Then, if the client requests dispensation due to their specific circumstances, I'll allow them to transfer their deposit to another event within that fiscal year, as we can't carry a credit on our books beyond that time. I will also refund deposits if the specific date and room are rebooked by another client, but that hasn't actually happened yet. It hasn't been a problem until recently.

The last few months I've had a cluster of cancellations and they haven't gone very well. I've had some pretty upset clients, requests to speak to my supervisor about our policy, etc. I've been rethinking our cancellation policy in light of these incidents, but it's a pretty standard industry-wide cancellation clause so I'm not keen on changing it, although I am flexible to an extent on a case-by-case basis. I just wanted to get a temperature on what others thought about it, so thank you!



purplepackrat
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Posted: 4/5/2013 10:11:18 AM

've been rethinking our cancellation policy in light of these incidents, but it's a pretty standard industry-wide cancellation clause so I'm not keen on changing it,


Obviously I don't know your industry or location, but around here, deposits aren't 50 percent a year ahead, they are more like 25 percent with payments due on specific dates along the way. And "no refund" policies are usually within 60-90 days, not five months out, with the refund portion going from 100 percent to 25 percent depending on how far out they cancel. In other words, five months out would almost always involve a complete refund, except maybe for a small processing fee sort of thing.

But, having said that, whatever your contract calls for is what I would expect to occur. At five months, I might ask if you could help me out a little, but I wouldn't be angry over it or anything.


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lucyg819
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Posted: 4/5/2013 11:38:38 AM
I was thinking about this some more.

Someone remind me again why we thought Donna Downey should have refunded Sharon/Pe@ce's money when she had to cancel at the last minute for cancer treatment?

(Don't get me wrong, I thought DD behaved badly throughout that entire debacle ... but why was it such an issue to begin with?)


LUCYG
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Rebelyelle
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Posted: 4/5/2013 11:46:47 AM
Lucy - I could be wrong, but I believe it was because Sharon wanted to transfer the ticket to someone else, and Donna said that tickets were non-refundable AND non-transferable, and she then went on to resell Sharon's ticket. So, it was perceived as double-dipping.



.Megan.
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Posted: 4/5/2013 11:47:16 AM

Someone remind me again why we thought Donna Downey should have refunded Sharon/Pe@ce's money when she had to cancel at the last minute for cancer treatment?

I think I remember DD refusing to transfer the opening to another person.

ETA because someone will ask: so I have to have surgery Tuesday and Inspired doesn't give emergency medical refunds



lucyg819
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Posted: 4/5/2013 11:52:32 AM
Thanks, you guys. Now I can feel less hypocritical, for a moment or two anyway.


LUCYG
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purpledaisy
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Posted: 4/5/2013 11:53:35 AM
No. Because I signed a contract and knew that going in. I might ask, but would not expect it or be angry to not receive a refund.


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Posted: 4/5/2013 12:02:48 PM
No and I wouldn't ask. I really dislike people who voluntarily sign contracts and then want to wiggle out of them as they are always the people who'd go BSC if the other party tried to do the same.

nicolemartel
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Posted: 4/5/2013 12:16:43 PM
nope.


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Posted: 4/5/2013 12:51:45 PM
No, I wouldn't expect a refund if I signed papers and such knowing that my money wouldn't be refunded. I'm sure there is a very valid reason for that to be in the contract.

It doesn't hurt to ask for a refund, you never know I suppose, but I wouldn't expect to get it back.


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