Contract Problems?!

posted 2 years ago in Flowers
Post # 2
Member
616 posts
Busy bee

I dont know much legal wise. However in this situation I would reply and say something along the lines of 

“I walked into that meeting hoping for information and I felt extremely pressure to sign a contract and unfortunately I did. No work has gone underway and the contract is really fresh so I will not be paying anything.” 

Hopefully the thought of pursuing you legally and the costs involved would deter her from doing anything. 

Either way, dont let her bully you into giving her money. 

Post # 3
Member
9033 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

marblequeen25 :  What does the contract say? And does where you live have any regulations around cooling off periods in terms of contracts? 

If you have no cooling off regulations and the contract that you signed says you are liable for the deposit then you may very well end up in small claims court and owing the deposit (and court costs depending where you live).

Change of mind isn’t normally a valid reason for getting out of a contract and high pressure sales is usually not illegal and as an adult we need to be accountable for our actions. 

Post # 4
Member
3868 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Legally, yeah you probably have to pay the deposit. You signed a contract saying you would, and the contract probably states that she gets to keep the deposit if you cancel (check that). You can’t just change your mind after that. You can say what cosimaskye suggested and hope she doesn’t chase you for it, but she probably could. 

The only way I can see you getting out of it is if the contract doesn’t say anything about the deposit (unlikely!) or, as PP suggested, if there is a cooling-off period for contracts where you are. In Australia there is a 10 day cooling-off period but only where the seller approaches you unsolicited, so it wouldn’t apply here anyway. 

Sorry. I guess it’s a learning experience though – never sign on the spot!

Post # 6
Member
4081 posts
Honey bee

The moral aspect of her making you pay the deposit is irrelevant. Read the contract. If it says you have to pay the deposit, she can go after you for it. Regardless of what work was/wasn’t done, and how much of her time you received.

Post # 7
Member
1728 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I’m not lawyer, but I’ve read contracts where the contract doesn’t begin until the deposit is paid so that’s something to look at. I can’t remember the verbiage that goes with it. I’d probably go with what Cosi said and be prepared to explain exactly what happen in review site so other patrons know not to use her services. I would hate to meet to get information only to be subjected to high pressure sales. Thats really poor customer service and you don’t get referrals or repeat customers with that. I would think floral shops aren’t the high volume that car dealerships are, while a dealership can survive it, idk how that shop is holding on.

Post # 8
Member
2849 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

marblequeen25 :  What does the contract actually say? Both of the contacts that we have had to sign so far clearly state that they are null and void until a deposit has been paid. If her contract says something similar you may be able to get away with it. If she has it clearly laid out otherwise it doesn’t really matter what work she has done or how long you met. Sometimes as adults we face hard lessons and this may be one of them. No matter how pushy she was, you’re  still an adult capable of making your own decisions. 

Post # 9
Member
573 posts
Busy bee

I wouldn’t pay the contract and I highly doubt she’s going to go through the effort of taking you to small claims court.

I’d just ignore/ghost her personally.

Post # 11
Member
3868 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

What you find fair and what might be legal aren’t always the same. I think the law generally does a pretty good job though. And from her point of view, it wouldn’t be fair for someone to sign a contract with her and then break it with zero consequences. 

Your situation is a bit odd because normally you would pay the deposit at the same time as signing the contract, and as the contract will say it’s nonrefundable you definitely won’t get it back. This vendor should really start getting deposits at the time of the contract! I’m actually unsure now, after all, at this point there has been no consideration given.

If you do refuse to give it to her she will likely give up eventually, or she might try to file court proceedings. You could just wait and see what she does. If you get a notice of court proceedings you could choose at that point to pay so you won’t actually end up in court. 

 

Post # 12
Member
616 posts
Busy bee

 

Check out this http://weddingindustrylaw.com/non-refundable-deposits-contract-cancelled/ 

I think the main things I took out are:

“For most people who end up suing, damages are the most important part – getting your money back.  Generally, the law compensates plaintiffs for the actual amount of harm suffered, so that the plaintiff would be in the same position that she would have been had the defendant not breached. These are called “expectation damages.””

“The law requires that the caterer must “mitigate” her damages. This means that the caterer must make reasonable attempts to book another event or sell any food to someone else.  If the caterer does not attempt to mitigate, her damages could be reduced or even lost.”

So, you, the wedding business professional, have learned to get at least some money up front. That way, should the bride cancel, there is less need to go through the time intensive and costly litigation process: proving your case, proving your damages, showing the court that you mitigated the damages, etc.

The non-refundable deposit(s) (retainer, installment, etc) is basically the vendor’s way of saying, “These are my damages if you cancel, and I am entitled to them without having to do anything else….punk.”

The law refers to the non-refundable deposit as a Liquidated Damages Clause (the “LDC”). As stated, the LDC must reflect a good faith effort to estimate the damages suffered from a breach, or should represent a value amount of the contract that you would be happy with if the bride bailed at a particular point in time prior to the wedding.”

I reckon if she took you to court it would be dismissed as she has suffered no damages as no work has gone underway.  Dont give her any money. 

Post # 13
Member
144 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

What does the end of the contract where you signed say? Some contracts say you are agreeing to pay with a signature while others say the contract is valid upon signing and delivering a deposit. I think you’re liable to pay if you signed the contract and a deposit wasn’t required to make the contract valid. Is there a line in the contract for what you have to do to cancel? You can google all you want, but what you signed is the relevant information for what you’re required to do now. 

In the future, never sign a contract without thoroughly reading it and taking it home to review for a couple days. I’ve had several vendors “pressure” me by saying I need to sign now or they’ll be booked up, but I’ve thought over each contract for at least a week and never had an issue getting the vendors I want secured. 

Post # 14
Member
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

I agree you have signed a contact so legally you are liable to pay, but where I live (Aus) in order to sue someone for breach of contract the person needs to have suffered damages. In this situation she has not suffered any damage, she can go out and find another client for your particular wedding date so surely she wouldn’t be able to get anything out of you. So I agree with cosimaskye in terms of what to say to the florist and see how that goes.

 

 

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