- This is no-ones fault (well ok, theres that wet market in China where it seemed a good idea to put a live coughing chicken in the bag with the Apples) it isn’t your fault, it isn’t the brides fault and it isn’t the venues fault.
A Couple Cancels on you.
- If the bride has paid you with a credit card, remember YOU are still willing and able to provide the service, Visa may try and claw back the payment and this has to be your position, you havent cancelled, you still have the ability to deliver.
- You may have to be “reasonable” So, for example, it may be seen as being reasonable that for a cancelled cake order, before the cake is made, that you offer a refund for the value of the ingredients as you won’t have to buy them now. But unless you secure another booking for the date, and you should try, you should not be liable to refund any of the your labour costs.
- If the bride is making a “substantial change to the contract” for example, it’s not a Thursday in May, it’s now a Saturday in September, then this is your call, what do you see as “reasonable” A judge might be persuaded that a discount off the new contract price to the value of the costs of the goods is acceptable. Of course if your offering is a “service” as a DJ or Photographer for example, the cost of your goods is minimal and forms no part of the pricing.
You cancel due to ill health
- Your first and preferred option as a dedicated wedding supplier is to cover the booking with a fellow supplier. Of course, if you’ve built up your business by undercutting all the other suppliers and being the cheapest, then a) you cant afford them and b) they’ll tell you to get lost.
- A refund, full or partial should be offered quickly and delivered quickly, it will be expected because you will have been keeping the couple informed.
A few things to remember.
Your agreement is between you and your customer. If a third party (like a venue) puts changes to the contract in place, you do not discuss it with them, you discuss it with your customer who has the option to cancel. An example of this would be, “Were not using the main hotel due to health concerns, we are using our sister hotel 20 miles away up six flights of stairs” This is not a made up example!
Every booking you have has cost you a sum of money to get. Let’s say you spent £400 on wedding fayres in 2019, £200 on Facebook £80 on flyers and cards, £100 in petrol for meetings and then £20 on phone calls. Nice easy maths £800 plus probably about 400 hours just chasing work, social media time etc. That year you secured 20 bookings. Every one of those bookings cost you £40 and 20 hours. So if a couple need to reschedule and come straight back to you, and you can do the date without turning down other work, I suggest to you that theres an easy £60 discount to be shaved off the bill.
Most important though is my earlier statement. This situation is not your fault. You have a responsibility to your own health and finances to ensure that you can keep working in the future.You will find that fellow suppliers (apart from the ones you’ve undercut) are keen to help out, you will find that for every screaming yelling bride to be, there will be ten that are grateful that you have offered to help in some way and when this is over, you will find that future customers will be reassured by your ability to deal with it.
Some of us have been here before, on a smaller scale, but in just as hopeless a situation, stuck in Tenerife with no WiFi and an ash cloud over Heathrow made me really glad that I didn’t have competitors. I had contingency. If you need contacts for your own contingency, then I have the best in the area. I’ll be here, My holiday has been cancelled ;-(