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Destination Weddings

St. John Wedding Planner Quit 2 months before wedding - refusing to refund deposit

edited June 2015 in Destination Weddings
Hello Everyone. I'm having a destination wedding in St. John in the US Virgin Islands and hired a local wedding planner to help with travel accommodations for our guests, vendor selection, etc...She has wonderful reviews on wedding wire. The first red flag was when my future mother-in-law emailed the Wedding Planner with some questions and she never received a response back. We began to hear from other guests that they had emailed and no received a reply. When we questioned her she had lots of excuses, the email went into her spam folder, she thought she had replied...etc. 

We began working with her in November when we went down to visit the island and work out details. Our wedding is at the end of May. I have been stressed out since her response time for emails is about a week and nothing seems to be planned. My fiance decided to step in and emailed her asking for a phone call meeting. There was some confusion about the call time and the next thing you know we have an email saying she thinks it is best we find another planner to work with......2 months before our wedding. I politely replied that I was sorry this didn't work out and I expect a full refund of our deposit. Her reply: the contracts says the deposit is non-refundable.

I feel like I have been scammed. Has anyone else had to deal with a vendor quitting and refusing to refund the deposit? 

Re: St. John Wedding Planner Quit 2 months before wedding - refusing to refund deposit

  • plainjane0415plainjane0415 The hills of Tennessee member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Unfortunately, I think if a contract was signed that stated that the deposit is non refundable, then you are really out of luck. Are you getting married at a resort?  Is there another planner that you could possibly use?
    image
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Hello Everyone. I'm having a destination wedding in the US Virgin Islands and hired a local wedding planner to help with travel accommodations for our guests, vendor selection, etc...She has wonderful reviews on wedding wire. The first red flag was when my future mother-in-law emailed the Wedding Planner with some questions and she never received a response back. We began to hear from other guests that they had emailed and no received a reply. When we questioned her she had lots of excuses, the email went into her spam folder, she thought she had replied...etc. 


    We began working with her in November when we went down to visit the island and work out details. Our wedding is at the end of May. I have been stressed out since her response time for emails is about a week and nothing seems to be planned. My fiance decided to step in and emailed her asking for a phone call meeting. There was some confusion about the call time and the next thing you know we have an email saying she thinks it is best we find another planner to work with......2 months before our wedding. I politely replied that I was sorry this didn't work out and I expect a full refund of our deposit. Her reply: the contracts says the deposit is non-refundable.

    I feel like I have been scammed. Has anyone else had to deal with a vendor quitting and refusing to refund the deposit? 
    There is your answer. You agreed to the contract and the contract said no refunds.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Read your contract.  What does it say in regards to when the vendor quits?  I am sure there is some clause in there somewhere that states if the vendor quits then X, Y and Z happens.

    But most of the time deposits are non-refundable regardless of what happens.

    plainjane0415
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its

    Read your contract.  What does it say in regards to when the vendor quits?  I am sure there is some clause in there somewhere that states if the vendor quits then X, Y and Z happens.


    But most of the time deposits are non-refundable regardless of what happens.
    That is what I wondering.   

    I use to live in the USVI, I'm kind-of curious who  you were using?






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Unfortunately, her contract doesn't say anything about the vendor quitting. I never would have expected her to do this. One friend sent this link which talks about how without the service being complete, the money isn't actually earned. Her contract also stated she would be providing a service, which she didn't, shouldn't that count for something??

    http://www.diyphotography.net/why-the-non-redundable-photography-deposit-is-a-myth/
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Unfortunately, her contract doesn't say anything about the vendor quitting. I never would have expected her to do this. One friend sent this link which talks about how without the service being complete, the money isn't actually earned. Her contract also stated she would be providing a service, which she didn't, shouldn't that count for something??

    http://www.diyphotography.net/why-the-non-redundable-photography-deposit-is-a-myth/

    Sure it can count for something. But is this worth going to small claims court?
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • You are entitled to a refund.  "No refunds" in a contract refers to if the purchaser cancels the agreed-upon service.

    If it applied if the seller cancels the service, then people would just go around all day taking money from people and canceling and then saying, "You agreed to no refunds!"

    If you elect not to accept the services outlined in the contract, the clause means she doesn't have to refund you.  If she elects not to perform the services in the contact, she has not kept up her side of the legal agreement and you're entitled to a refund for services not rendered.

    If I were you, I'd start by contacting the credit card company you used to pay for the contract.  Let them know in writing that the other party in the contract is refusing to render services paid for and state that you are disputing the charges.

    They will contact her, and she will either have to perform the services or the credit card company will reverse the charges.
    Liatris2010kittykyat
  • You are entitled to a refund.  "No refunds" in a contract refers to if the purchaser cancels the agreed-upon service.

    If it applied if the seller cancels the service, then people would just go around all day taking money from people and canceling and then saying, "You agreed to no refunds!"

    If you elect not to accept the services outlined in the contract, the clause means she doesn't have to refund you.  If she elects not to perform the services in the contact, she has not kept up her side of the legal agreement and you're entitled to a refund for services not rendered.

    If I were you, I'd start by contacting the credit card company you used to pay for the contract.  Let them know in writing that the other party in the contract is refusing to render services paid for and state that you are disputing the charges.

    They will contact her, and she will either have to perform the services or the credit card company will reverse the charges.

    This is the correct answer.
    image
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    KatWAG said:

    Unfortunately, her contract doesn't say anything about the vendor quitting. I never would have expected her to do this. One friend sent this link which talks about how without the service being complete, the money isn't actually earned. Her contract also stated she would be providing a service, which she didn't, shouldn't that count for something??

    http://www.diyphotography.net/why-the-non-redundable-photography-deposit-is-a-myth/

    Sure it can count for something. But is this worth going to small claims court?
    it also state dependent.   Just because in CA you might get your money back doesn't mean in the USVI you will.    USVI is US Territory, but it has some 3rd world laws.  I know. I lived there for 16 years.    Going to small claims court means you may incur  fees in excess of the amount due back.

    If you want to go that route, see a USVI lawyer to if you have a chance to win.

    That said, if you used the credit card use @PurlplekittenMew advice.   After living in the islands for so long you will get more from going the CC route then the courts.  Of course, use social media too.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • edited June 2015
    If I were you, I'd start by contacting the credit card company you used to pay for the contract.  Let them know in writing that the other party in the contract is refusing to render services paid for and state that you are disputing the charges.

    They will contact her, and she will either have to perform the services or the credit card company will reverse the charges.

    Unfortunately she only accepts checks
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