Wedding Venue cancellation in Italy

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Aug 1, 2020
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A wedding in Italy in Sept had to be cancelled due to Covid 19 concerns. Venue refuses to refund €4050 deposit because we signed a contract acknowledging deposit would not be refunded. Contract says nothing about a pandemic. We would not have cancelled otherwise. The venue did offer to move the wedding to May 2021, however, who knows if it will be safe to travel then? I have emailed several times, always politely asking for a refund, explaining that my husband (in May) will then be 71, has had a stroke, heart surgery and the heart condition A-Fib. I will be 70, the 4 members of the brides family will be in their 60’s. There are too many unknowns at this time and we don’t consider it a safe time to travel to Europe—if we are even allowed to by then! Every request is met with “you signed the contract--sorry” While I understand their position, they seem to be profiting from the pandemic. It’s very disheartening to lose such a large amount of money. We cancelled in June so they have ample time to book other weddings or events. I have kept the emails between Locanda and myself, should you wish to read them.
Thank you for your help.
www.locandaintuscany.com
Venue

What's your desired resolution? Having deposit refunded.

What's the value of your claim (in US $)? 4500.00

Date of transaction/travel date: 2020-03-20
 

smd

Mar 14, 2018
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1,035
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Here is the problem- Italy has enacted a law that businesses in Italy do not have to provide refunds- they can offer a credit. And it seems like you fall into this new law.
Even worse--That law is for situations where the vendor normally would have to refund (eg the flight was cancelled or the hotel was closed). In this case, the deposit was non-refundable and the venue is willing to host the wedding at the agreed upon time. Not only are they not required to refund, they are not even required to provide a credit.

SuzieQ, I sympathize but I don't think there's a lot you can do. You could propose that they give you a refund if they are able to rebook the property. They might agree, but are under no obligation to do so. Unfortunately, with the decrease in travel, few vendors are providing refunds unless they are legally required to do so.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,925
3,804
113
Maui Hawaii
A wedding in Italy in Sept had to be cancelled due to Covid 19 concerns. Venue refuses to refund €4050 deposit because we signed a contract acknowledging deposit would not be refunded. Contract says nothing about a pandemic. We would not have cancelled otherwise. The venue did offer to move the wedding to May 2021, however, who knows if it will be safe to travel then? I have emailed several times, always politely asking for a refund, explaining that my husband (in May) will then be 71, has had a stroke, heart surgery and the heart condition A-Fib. I will be 70, the 4 members of the brides family will be in their 60’s. There are too many unknowns at this time and we don’t consider it a safe time to travel to Europe—if we are even allowed to by then! Every request is met with “you signed the contract--sorry” While I understand their position, they seem to be profiting from the pandemic. It’s very disheartening to lose such a large amount of money. We cancelled in June so they have ample time to book other weddings or events. I have kept the emails between Locanda and myself, should you wish to read them.
Thank you for your help.
www.locandaintuscany.com
Venue

What's your desired resolution? Having deposit refunded.

What's the value of your claim (in US $)? 4500.00

Date of transaction/travel date: 2020-03-20
The resort appears to be taking online reservations for September 2020 indicating it is open. The fact that US citizens are banned by the EU is not something that the resort is responsible for. The resort is open and prepared to fulfill its side of the contract. For reasons far beyond its control, you cannot travel to Italy in September. They did offer to reschedule your event for 2021. You can accept that and then see what happens. There is no process to void the contract and force the resort to provide a refund, esp with the new laws in Italy.
 

Skippy

May 30, 2019
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While I understand their position, they seem to be profiting from the pandemic.
I mildly disagree. The venue likely has owner(s), rent, payroll, children to feed, just like other businesses. They likely lost a lot of revenue from the local shut-down and may need the money just to survive.

In the context of self-advocacy ...
Legally, you really don't have much of a recourse. You can't expect much from a Goodwill gesture because the law is behind them and they may need the cash now to keep the facility running after their lost business earlier this year (or even now).

I agree with the prior posts -- taking the new date to hopefully use as a 'wedding celebration'. Another alternative is to inquire if the credit could be transferred to a relative or friend who might use it or partially use it either in September or next May.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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I agree with Skippy - as it is very doubtful a refund will be forthcoming given they are abiding by their terms and conditions, what is the harm in taking them up on their offer to re-book for May? Anything is possible and even if, sadly, you could not make the wedding on the new date, you will have not lost additional monies

The idea to ask to see if they would be willing to transfer the credit is a great one - Is it only a wedding venue or could someone celebrate whatever they wish to do if there is no wedding, maybe an anniversary, a birthday, etc?

I too don't see them profiting from the pandemic; I am sure their future bookings have dried up terribly and they need what they have to survive.

Being disappointed is expected - it is a shame that lives have been so upended by this situation - and, tragic for so many.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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I think it is safe to say that very few businesses are profiting from the pandemic. Look around you......are your neighbors flourishing? The local restaurants? Shops? Unless its a business like Amazon, they are all trying to stay afloat long enough to see if their business model is viable in the near future.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,424
23,390
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
I think it is safe to say that very few businesses are profiting from the pandemic. Look around you......are your neighbors flourishing? The local restaurants? Shops? Unless its a business like Amazon, they are all trying to stay afloat long enough to see if their business model is viable in the near future.
One of the reasons many EU countries have formed these new laws is to try to keep those companies in business.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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NAPLES FL or Denver CO
The resort appears to be taking online reservations for September 2020 indicating it is open. The fact that US citizens are banned by the EU is not something that the resort is responsible for. The resort is open and prepared to fulfill its side of the contract. For reasons far beyond its control, you cannot travel to Italy in September. They did offer to reschedule your event for 2021. You can accept that and then see what happens. There is no process to void the contract and force the resort to provide a refund, esp with the new laws in Italy.
The combination of the new law to allow the venue to keep the deposit while the government (Italy) has blocked the party from entering the country is unethical in the extreme.
 
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May 21, 2020
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near Charlotte, NC
The combination of the new law to allow the venue to keep the deposit while the government (Italy) has blocked the party from entering the country is unethical in the extreme.
The deposit was non-refundable from the moment the OP agreed to the terms. Wedding vendors are notoriously inflexible with their non refundable policies. But this venue is offering a future credit to be used at the OP’s discretion and is quite flexible. If asked, they might even be willing to make the credit transferable. They also continue to reply to the OP’s emails.

I don’t see any unethical behavior in offering the OP future credit. I do think the OP is being unreasonable in expecting the venue to void the contract and make them completely whole.

Venue refuses to refund €4050 deposit because we signed a contract acknowledging deposit would not be refunded.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,424
23,390
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
The combination of the new law to allow the venue to keep the deposit while the government (Italy) has blocked the party from entering the country is unethical in the extreme.
This is the drawback of signing contracts with
nonrefundable deposits. Thousands of travelers are finding the same thing. The venue is allowing them to move it vs. losing everything.

Wedding venues in the US are just as bad. We’ve had brides in tears because venues have been closed and they are booked for 2021 already so brides and grooms can’t even move their wedding to 2021 on dates they want. And venues are telling them take it or leave it and if they rebook they are being charged 2021 prices.
 
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Aug 1, 2020
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Thank you, one and all, for your well thought out and interesting answers and comments. I appreciate hearing from you! I was only hoping that the woman at the venue, Claudia, would give us back our money from the goodness of her heart, due to a situation neither of us has any control over. The trouble with going with the May date, is that wedding guests will need to book flights, make travel arrangements, etc., well ahead of time because if you are traveling to Italy for a wedding, you are going to spend a couple of weeks sightseeing and visiting other cities. No one wants to assume that in May, everything will be just fine. No one wants to make lots of plans and reservations just to have to cancel them and probably not get refunds. Rescheduling in May seems like too much of a risk, which is why we didn't opt for that. Our cancellation in September did not hurt her business--Covid did. That's why I suggested she is profiting from this pandemic. I'm sure she could use the money--yet, so could we!
Again, thanks very much for all of the insights and helpful information. We'll chalk this one up to bad luck...
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
Thank you, one and all, for your well thought out and interesting answers and comments. I appreciate hearing from you! I was only hoping that the woman at the venue, Claudia, would give us back our money from the goodness of her heart, due to a situation neither of us has any control over. The trouble with going with the May date, is that wedding guests will need to book flights, make travel arrangements, etc., well ahead of time because if you are traveling to Italy for a wedding, you are going to spend a couple of weeks sightseeing and visiting other cities. No one wants to assume that in May, everything will be just fine. No one wants to make lots of plans and reservations just to have to cancel them and probably not get refunds. Rescheduling in May seems like too much of a risk, which is why we didn't opt for that. Our cancellation in September did not hurt her business--Covid did. That's why I suggested she is profiting from this pandemic. I'm sure she could use the money--yet, so could we!
Again, thanks very much for all of the insights and helpful information. We'll chalk this one up to bad luck...
You have a good attitude, Suzie. Millions of people are suffering economically from this virus disaster and there's not much anyone can do about it. The politicians seem unaware of hungry, homeless families because people can't get to work. I would like to see large companies split the difference in a situation like yours, but a small business can usually not afford to do that. Normal business overhead goes on, virus or not ... customers or not.

When my husband and I got married, he was in law school, so we had a tiny little ceremony and a nice dinner with two friends. Five years later, we threw a huge party ... bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, all our friends and family ... weddings are often not much fun for the bride and groom, but doing it this way was perfect. We were relaxed and enjoyed both celebrations.
 
Aug 1, 2020
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How nice that things worked out so happily for you and your husband! Maybe we too will have a wonderful story to tell one day.
BTW This wedding is for our oldest son and his fiancée, just to be clear!
 
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