(Closed) Florist scammed me and took my deposit!

posted 6 years ago in Flowers
Post # 4
Member
2233 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

When is your wedding?

Sorry but if he’s ignoring you then I highly doubt he will return your deposit. Is there any other way to reach him to try to resolve this? Are you 100% sure he’s ignoring you?

I’m dealing with my own florist drama (very similar) so I feel for you!

Post # 5
Member
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

First off – that sucks.  🙁 I’m sorry.  Have you already found someone else to replace him?  In order to have any sort of useful suggestions we have to know a little more about your situation.

Where do you live? (country or state – laws vary by area & your information says “Array”)

Did you have a signed contract with the florist?  – If so, what are the cancellation clauses?

Was there an agreement that the $700 was a non-refundable deposit?

When was he supposed to provide the mock-up?  Do you have that in writing?

Do you know anybody who has any legal background, because they can probably give you advice that is better tailored for your specific situation, than a bunch of internet strangers… Although we sympathize and want to help!

Post # 6
Member
366 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

Oh my gosh, that is such a horrible situation to be in. Definitely the wording shouldn’t put him down or anything, like, “Due to our preferences changing, we unfortunately do not require your services at this time. We would also greatly appreciate our deposit back. We apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused you.” 

ETA: just read UmbrellaMoon‘s post and I totally agree with everything she said. Talk with the lawyer, and the contract point is important as well.

Post # 8
Member
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@meraklu:  Sounds like you don’t have an actual contract with your signature on it.  Do you have a quote, at least?

Typically, when a vendor takes a deposit “to hold a date” they consider it a non-refundable deposit.  Some vendors will issue a (partial) refund if you cancel far enough in advance and/or they are able to re-book your date.

The vendor does have the right to repeatedly request a deposit, but payment received should mean services delivered.  However, if you don’t have anything in writing fron the florist stating that a mock-up will be presented by Jul 31 (for example) for your approval, then that isn’t a failure to deliver services.  – So it would be less likely that you would receive your deposit back, even in small claims court. 🙁

Post # 9
Member
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

While I’m not sure you will be able get your deposit back, I think this will help you have a better chance of doing so:

If you have time (oh, 3 or 4 months or more) before your wedding, you might try sending a certified letter to the florist.  Keep one copy for yourself.  Keep it as civil as possible, this will be your evidence if you do go to small claims court.  You may wish to have the copies notarized, though that’s probably going overboard.

In the letter, outline the following:

  1. Your name, contact information and wedding date
  2. Your first date of contact
  3. A list of times you were in contact – including date and type of contact (phone/email/in person)
  4. Your understanding of the existing “contract” (as it stands – regardless of if it is signed, verbal, implied or via email)
  5. A list of all payments made to date
  6. Any major changes that have taken place since you entered your relationship with the florist (note the dates, or at least if they were before/after you made your deposit)
  7. Your expectations of the florist
  8. Any way the florist has not fulfilled your expectations to date
  9. How you wish to proceed
    • Attach a copy of the emails you have saved – especially if they detail discussions about the work he will do, what you want to see from him, his store providing you service (vs. him personally, from his home) or the price he has quoted you.

If you really liked this guy’s work, but you are just worried he’s a little flaky, then “how you wish to proceed” should be: I would like to work out our issues.  Please contact me at your earliest convienience. If we are unable to resolve my concers, including a veiwing of the mock-up [of the table centerpiece] that we discussed on [April 23],  I will be seeking to terminate our business relationship and will request a refund of the $700 paid to date.

If you don’t have much time before the wedding, or if you just can’t imagine working with him, then leave out the part about wanting to see the mock up, and just flat out explain that you feel he misrepresented himself and his business, that he has not provided the mock-up as indicated, and you will be using an alternate source for flowers at your wedding.  As he breached an implied contract by failing to provide a sample of his work, you are seeking a refund of your deposit.

Post # 10
Member
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I agree with @UmbrellaMoon. Write a letter, keep it as evidence, and take it to small claims court if you don’t receive a timely response. When you’re discussing your expections, make sure to include a sentence along the lines of “If I do not receive a response by X, I will begin the litigation process in Small Claims Court”. Be SPECIFIC. I once had a problem with a landlord who wouldn’t give me my deposit. A letter like that solved the problem IMMEDIATELY. 

Post # 11
Member
13010 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@UmbrellaMoon:  Great advice!

The only thing I have to add is that in my area, not having a storefront isn’t really shady.  Real estate is ridiculously expensive here, so most do work out of their homes or commute in.  Heck, I met a florist in a coffee shop because she has a farm 60 miles away, so she drives in once or twice a week to meet with potential clients with a huge showing of her work on a laptop.

The lack of contact is what’s shady, so I would follow UmbrellaMoon’s advice!

Post # 12
Member
11752 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

 I hope you have a contract.  If not, express in your letter you have sought legal counsel and will take action.  

Post # 14
Member
250 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

How long ago was it?  Can you stop the check?

Post # 15
Member
3417 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Lodge

It may not be an actual contract but an email is just as binding.  It is a written contract between 2 parties.  Taking him to small claims court and providing those emails may help you.  Hopefully you’ll get a full refund.  Also make sure you can provide the carbon copy of the check you wrote him, this will also help you in court.

Post # 16
Member
3692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I’ll bet he’s having financial difficulties, and took your money, but can’t afford to get the materials together for your mock-up.  So now he’s avoiding you.

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