Post # 1
Sorry a little long, trying to keep it as short and to the point as possible.
Back in May I booked a lighting specialist to provide uplighting for my wedding. I gave her a $1000 deposit. The quote was $1650 total.
I originally was going to have my wedding in a tent at a private residence. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I had to change my wedding venue and contacted the lighting vendor as soon as this changed occurred on September 20th. She replied by telling me it would be “substantially” more due to the venue location change. I asked her how much more and she said she would get a quote to me that same day.
3 days went by with no answer, so I asked her if she could just return my deposit as an increase in price was really not in my budget.
5 days passed with no reply, so I wrote her another e-mail asking her once again to please provide a new quote or return my deposit. 3 days later still no response so I left her a voicemail. She responded to my voicemail by text messaging my cell phone. Basically saying sorry she has been very busy, but returning my deposit was not a option as deposit are non-refundable. Prior to that she had never mentioned it being non-refundable, she told me she required a deposit to secure the date.
I texted her to please call me so we can discuss and also e-mailed her asking her to call me. She has not responded, it has been 5 days.I am very worried since she is not answering my calls, e-mails or text.
My mom says I should take her to small claims court…but that is really something I want to avoid. Has anyone experienced anything similar? Anyone know what I am suppose to do?? I am completely unsure as to how to proceed.
Post # 3
If you didn’t sign a contract stating there was a non-refundable deposit, then I don’t believe she has grounds to keep it. Leave her a message stating that you want to schedule a meeting to discuss your options and give her a deadline to respond – say one or two days. Tell her if you don’t hear from her by that time you expect your deposit to be returned in full as there was no contract clause or verbal statement that it was non-refundable.
Post # 4
I think a lot depends on if a contract was signed. If you go to small claims court, you may end up paying close to $1,000 in court fees (I’m guessing here) and it can take quite some time.
I think your best bet it to continue to try to make contact with her and keep a log of all of the times you contacted her (if in case you do end up in court). Something simple like, “10/11/10, left message on cell phone at 3:00 pm).
If you can try to keep all correspondence with her in writing.
Post # 5
No contract was ever signed or provided. She provided me with a quote simply outlining the lighting she was going to provide. Requested a deposit to hold the date. I payed her via PayPal.
Ugh, I guess I am stuck with no real options and have to keep hounding her till she decides she would like to answer me.
I see myself in court after my honeymoon. : (
Post # 6
But if she’s not going to be providing a service, there’s no grounds to hold that deposit! At the most I could see her only refunding half since she may not be able to book that date any longer, but she doesn’t have any grounds to hold onto all of it. I’d try threatening her with small claims court and see if that might light a fire under her ass. She may go ahead and refund it to avoid the hassle.