I have paid a deposit of £550 to my daughter's friends parents for a holiday. The girls have fallen out with each other resulting in my daughter not going. The parents of the other girl have kept my deposit although they have now filled her place on the holiday. Am I entitled to ask for my deposit back from them?
Thank you for your question. Was there any agreement about the terms of the deposit? Was the deposit refundable under the terms of the booking? Do you know whether the person join instead has paid the same amount as your daughter would have done?
I paid the deposit to her parents who then gave me a booking confirmation which showed Alice's name booked on the flight and cruise. When the balance of £500 was due to be paid their daughter "fell out" with Alice and was not prepared to resolve the issue whereas Alice was. Her father said that they would pay the balance and that both parties would have to put it down to a bad experience, both losing £500. I know who the girl is who is going in Alice's place but as yet I have not contacted her parents to find out what has been paid, I wanted to get legal advice first.
Well it is really a matter of what was agreed. If the arrangement was on the basis that they were acting as your agent in making the booking but with the intention that both girls accepted the booking terms then probably the deposit would be forfeit unless it was refundable at the time the trip was cancelled. On the other had if they booked and you were merely reimbursing them then you may have a claim if they have managed to get soon else to take your daughters place. I would ask for the deposit back politely on the basis they have got someone else to go - there is no reason why your daughter should subsidise someone else's holiday- but whether you really legally have a claim will depend upon what was or was not agreed and also upon whether any of the deposits were really lost. Certainly if the parents said both girls would lose their £500 but they have now got someone to take the place, the parents would have no right to do it on the basis that your daughters deposit would reduce the cost to the new passenger. If they have done that then i think you have a claim for return of the deposit.However I am afraid you will have to try and find out tactfully what the facts are if possible.
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