Post # 1
3 weeks ago, my Fiance and I made a deposit of $600 on a venue using our credit card. The venus is located in upstate NY and it is a very small town.
This week, we found out that due to a NASCAR race in the nearby park, all the hotels were booked 1.5 years ago. Even the nearby churches are not willing to conduct a ceremony due to the race and they’re the ones who told me about the weekend.
We confirmed with the hotels, and there are only 3 room available. At $1200/night. We’ll be inviting over 150 guests.
The venue is arguing that the deposit is “non-refundable” and that it is stated on the policy. The policy also states that the deposit can only be paid by cash or check. And there was no contract required for this venue.
Do we have legal grounds to get our deposit back? or is this a lost cause?
Thanks in advance for your help, Weddingbee Brides!
Post # 3
I think your biggest problem is that it would likely cost more than $600 and take a LONG TIME to get that money back. You can threaten them with going to contact a lawyer, but it is likely in your best interest to just consider it a mistake and move on.
Post # 4
They won’t even let you move your deposit to another date? Our deposit was also non refundable, but you could move the date within the same year or X number of months, something like that.Maybe try that angle?
Post # 5
It depends on what the contract states, but I’m guessing that there’s not much recourse you have unless they promised you rooms nearby. Can you move the date? It’s likely that they would be more willing to move the date of the wedding than to refund you. You can also talk to them about the bad publicity – that it was deceptive because they should have known about this big event and that for the sake of their good reputation they should refund you.
Post # 6
Since it was paid by a credit card, could your credit card company help you out in any way? Like you said, there was no contract. They didn’t abide 100% by the policy anyway, so I’m sure there is some leeway in the matters, especially since it’s a small town. When will the wedding be? If it’s really close, then I’d understand why they wouldn’t like to refund the money. Anyway, good luck!
Post # 7
@littletkettle: Actually, it was more the OP that didn’t abide by the obligation to pay in a certain form or not, which the vendor could have chosen to reject but didn’t. Unfortunately, there is such a thing as “material breach” which is when one party fails to fulfill a significant part of the contract and “substantial performance” which is when one side mostly fulfills their obligations. In other words, the size of the error makes a difference. A little mistake on one part doesn’t mean the contract is invalid, but a big mistake on the part of one can make it invalid.
Post # 8
File a dispute with your credit card, the lack of a written contract is a good fact for you, as you signed nothing stating that you were aware that the deposit was non-refundable. I can’t remember my contract law classes, but certain contracts are only enforcable if in writing.