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KnowYourRights, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 27184
Experience:  Experience protecting consumers against unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent advertising, marketing and financial practices.
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My daughter paid a $500.00 "non-refundable" deposit on a cam

Customer Question

My daughter paid a $500.00 "non-refundable" deposit on a camper van. The trip was cancelled due to personal issues. Is she able to a refund?
JA: The Consumer Protection Lawyer will need to help you with this. Please give me a bit more information, so we can help you best.
Customer: She placed a $500.00 deposit on a camper for a week; however, her boyfriend could not get the time off for the trip. When she called and canelled her deposit was kept. Is this legal?
JA: Anything else I can tell the Consumer Protection Lawyer before I connect you two?
Customer: That's the crux of the story. I just want to know if "non-refundable" deposits are legal in California.
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Consumer Protection Lawyer about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  KnowYourRights replied 1 year ago.
Was a contract signed? if so, was anything stated within that would allow her to cancel and get a refund for a specific reason? Do you know why he did not secure the day off ahead of time?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was a website, so nothing was actually signed. In addition, the camper van was not as described.He is a daily employee. and a new member of of the International Association of Stage and Theater Employees Local 44.If he refused the work call, he would have lost the job. Since he is new, it is important for him to take every work call to build his network of associates and improve his skill set to increase his ability to secure future work.
Expert:  KnowYourRights replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the additional information. if it was clear that the deposit was non-refundable, then she would not be entitled to the money back. The purpose of the deposit is to hold the camper and not allow anyone else to rent it. As such, the company could have lost other sales and now will not be able to rent it and thus, will be out the anticipated full rental price, so the deposit is a form of liquidated damages. Unless there was a clause when she signed up, that would allow the refund with X notice or upon Y conditions, she likely would not be entitled to it, since she gave the deposit and agreed that it was nonrefundable.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would it matter if the van was not as described? She indicated that even if they could have gone, the van was not as described, and they would not have been able to us it anyway. Other members of the party attempted to use the van and reimburse my daughter; however, when they went to pickup the van, it was in a state of disrepair and without the amenities described on the website.
Expert:  KnowYourRights replied 1 year ago.
Yes, that would certainly be an argument to make. However, she would have needed to be ready, willing and able to take possession to make that claim. Now, you share that someone else went to use it, so I am not sure the timing as you said the trip was canceled so if it was, then why anyone else would use it. If it was reserved and someone went to use it and it was not what was agreed to, then they would be in breach. If she simply canceled, then she would not be entitled to anything. It all depends on what happened first.

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