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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 30778
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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Hello, My wife and I planned to get married on a dinner

Customer Question

Hello,

My wife and I planned to get married on a dinner cruise. We signed a contract and paid a $1,800 deposit to secure the arrangements. We then cancelled in 48 hours when we had a family function conflicting with the date. The cruise company offered to allow us to use the deposit at another date instead of refunding it, as the contract states that the deposit is non-refundable. My wife has a business partner who wants to use the deposit for a function, which was approved by the dinner cruise company. The business partner needs to change the date he wants to use the deposit on. There is no contract paperwork for this new event. Now the dinner cruise company is warning that if the second event does not go through the deposit will be void; the new rep is saying we should have used it within a year. Can they do this? There is nothing in writing from the sales manager who booked the original wedding plans that says we have a year to use the deposit. We were told we could use that deposit in the future for another event.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Tina replied 7 months ago.

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

Does the contract indicate that the deposit will be forfeited at any point?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.

Cancelation or Breach of the Passenger Contract. If you cancel or breach this Passenger Contract for any reason besides Force Majeure, you will be responsible for the following cancellation penalties.


 


If you cancel >90 days prior to the cruise date 25% of Total Cost


If you cancel 30-89 days prior to the cruise date 50% of Total Cost


If you cancel <30 days prior to the cruise 100% of Total Cost


 


We shall be entitled to seek any remedies available to us in addition to retaining any payment made by you to collect the cancellation penalties. If payments made by you exceed the penalty amount, we


will return the difference to you as a refund.


 


That's what is in the contract as best as I could type it, wouldn't let me copy and past. We sign the contract on 4/24/2012 for a sail date of Sunday, July 8, 2012.


 


 


 

Expert:  Tina replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for this information, Vince. On what date did you cancel the sail date of July 8th?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.

Hi, its Erica, Vince's wife. We booked that Saturday. We got home and there was an email from one of his relative announcing her 70th birthday celebration the same week end in NYC. So, that Monday he called our sales rep (who is no longer with the company) to cancel and see if we could get the deposit back. We put the deposit on my credit card and could have cancelled but chose to wait til that Monday to talk to the rep.

Expert:  Tina replied 7 months ago.
Hello Erica and thank you for clarifying that for me.

Since the sail date was canceled 30-89 days before the cruise date, the contract would permit the company to forfeit 1/2 of your deposit based on the information provided here. Instead, they agreed to permit you to transfer it to someone else to use the deposit toward a different sale date, which appears to be a concession they were not required to make under the contract.

However, the remaining 1/2 which is not subject to forfeiture should be refunded to you if the new sale date is also canceled since you would have been entitled to a 50% refund under the terms of the contract you entered into with the company.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need so I will be compensated for my time from the deposit you posted with this website. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!

Tina

Customer: replied 7 months ago.

If you cancel >90 days prior to the cruise date 25% of Total Cost on Contract


 


If you cancel 30-89 days prior to the cruise date 50% of Total Cost on Contract


 


If you cancel <30 days prior to the cruise 100% of Total Cost on Contract


 


Sorry, I didn't put the "Total Cost on Contract". The total cost was to be $7,184, 1800 was 25% of the cost. We were wondering since we cancelled within 48 hours, would we be able to get the deposit back, or if that is the reason they the sales rep said we could use it at a future date? So, are you saying they can now put a time frame on the deposit at this juncture?

Expert:  Tina replied 7 months ago.
Hello again,

If the total cost was $7,184, then the company could have retained the entire deposit based on the contract language, and not permitted you to use it toward a different date. That appears to be a concession on their part and they could place restrictions on it since it is beyond what the contract required them to do.

Unless there was a provision in the contract permitting you to cancel within 72 hours without penalty, the contract would normally be binding from the moment you signed it and there would be no right to rescind it for any reason other than a breach by the company. Some people purchase travel insurance to compensate them for these types of circumstances, but if you did not have travel insurance for which you could file a claim, you would normally be out the amount of the deposit unfortunately.

There does not appear to be anything unlawful about the company informing you that the deposit will be forfeited if it is not used on the scheduled sail date. I'm sorry.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need so I will be compensated for my time from the deposit you posted with this website. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!

Tina

Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 30778
Experience: JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
Tina and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Tina replied 7 months ago.

Thank you very much for your positive rating of my service. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope you will ask for me should a future legal need arise.

If you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please consider scoring me a 9 or 10. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.

Thanks again and all the best to you.

Tina

Note: Please feel free to request me if you have future legal questions by typing your new question in the question box on my profile page. Here is a link to that page, which you can bookmark or add to your favorites: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-tina/. I look forward to hearing from you again should the need arise.

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