/ Do you expect a refund of a deposit?

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Sam Mayfield - on 09 Nov 2017
When you book a service/accommodation/car hire and pay a deposit, if you have to cancel for whatever reason do you expect to receive the money refunded?

Would you even ask?
Would you insist if the person said no?
Would you be happy to allow the deposit to be rolled forward for a futher time?

Thanks any ideas welcome or experiences.

Ta Sam
dunc56 - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

If it is far enough in the future and you will definitely get someone else, then I would consider giving a refund as a sign of very good customer service. I'd make it clear that I was not obliged to pay up though or you will get known for allowing people to mess you about.

A lot of variables here. Size of group. Size of deposit. Closeness to arrival. How much of a d1ck the organiser is.

As a rule though I would not expect a deposit back ever but would try and get it refunded if possible.
Ron Rees Davies - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Depends on any contract you have with them, and the timing.

If you cancel a room at a popular hotel 6 months in advance then probably expect deposit back. If you cancel a remote B&B the day before arriving definitely not!
baron - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

I've usually seen a deposit as a way of securing a service which I'll use in the future and as a way of the service provider not being completely out of pocket if I don't for some reason pay the remainder of the money that I owe.
It wouls seem unfair to, for example, book a hotel room and then not turn up at the last minute and expect to pay nothing.
The hotelier would be unable to rent the room and would receive no money.
The same goes for other things such as holidays, car rental, etc.
1
john arran - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

If someone needs to cancel a reservation at Chez Arran at a late stage, we usually say we'll refund anything we're able to recoup by rebooking the same apartment during the same dates. It's not always straightforward though, and as long as it seems like the cancellation was really unavoidable (i.e. we aren't being messed around) we'll usually offer credit against a future booking.
Sam Mayfield - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to john arran:

Thanks John, we also do our best and offer credit for future bookings and make sure if we fill the room the same, then we refund the whole amount.

I am not really happy to be told "the other accommodation have refunded" almost as a threat. I pointed out we are not the other accommodation and left it there.

The whole point of a deposit is a risk you take normally isnt it? So just wanted to check what others think.

its £50 so maybe thats alot to some people or more the principle of paying for something they will not be getting.

Sam



1
jkarran - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

> When you book a service/accommodation/car hire and pay a deposit, if you have to cancel for whatever reason do you expect to receive the money refunded?

It depends. Expectation would be based on the cancellation policy, hope would be based on a reasonable person being on the other end of the phone and what we each stood to lose and or gain.

> Would you even ask?

Yes. Don't ask, don't get. I don't have money to burn.

> Would you insist if the person said no?

It depends why I was asking and how reasonable the refusal were.

> Would you be happy to allow the deposit to be rolled forward for a futher time?

It depends, if there was a real chance I'd get value from it in the near future, probably, if not I'd pursue the cash refund.

> Thanks any ideas welcome or experiences.

This summer we accidentally booked a pricey hotel room for the next night with a big (possibly 100%) deposit but mistakenly got the month wrong (phone screen, distraction,stupidity, who knows, it happens), the refund policy was clear on the 3rd party booking site (no refunds) but it was a big loss we could ill afford so we called the hotel manager who agreed it was no skin off his nose, he'd fill the room we'd booked. As we were just passing never to return and the room we actually needed was unavailable a rebooking made no sense. If the hotelier potentially stood to lose something or accept a significant risk I'd have still called to discuss it but would have been accepting of a different outcome though hopeful of a compromise.
jk

summo on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

The most I would expect would be the value of the deposit deducted from a future booking.

Otherwise it is not a deposit, but a refundable prepayment.
neilh - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

It’s a deposit. So no I do not expect a refund.
Andrew Kin - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

I kept a £5000 deposit once. Guy order £40,000 van which was highly personal spec and would not have resold without double the amount discounted off it.

When it arrived the guy wouldn't answer the phone, wouldn't answer his door when I went around personally and after 3mths of trying i wrote to him explaining the vehicle would be sold and we were keeping his deposit. He still didn't respond.

We sold the vehicle to a coach convertor in the end for a huge loss.

12mths later he came back and asked for a quote on the same vehicle. I asked for a 50% deposit but he wasn't so keen........
Neil Williams - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:
> When you book a service/accommodation/car hire and pay a deposit, if you have to cancel for whatever reason do you expect to receive the money refunded?

No.

> Would you even ask?

Depends how cheeky I felt, but the expected answer would be no (unless it was something like changing the date because of an error, in which case I might think there was a chance of yes, but no guarantee).

> Would you insist if the person said no?

No.

> Would you be happy to allow the deposit to be rolled forward for a futher time?

Yes.
Post edited at 14:17
mountain.martin - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

This should be covered in terms and conditions. If (as I would expect) the t & C's say the deposit is not refundable then I wouldn't insist or get upset if I didn't get a refund. If it was £50 and short notice I probably wouldn't even ask.

If a credit was offered it would be appreciated and make it likely that I would re-book.

Anyone who trys to insists that you disregard the agreed t & C's (especially over £50), is being an arse.
Philip on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

I'd expect to lose a deposit i failed to turn up of failed to cancel as per the T&C. I wouldn't pay a deposit without checking the conditions, but if others do then tough luck.
Si dH - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

It depends on the contract signed and the reason for the cancellation.
bouldery bits - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Depends on the contract I have entered in to.
peppermill - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Depends on the timescale and the T&Cs (with a bit of your own discretion obviously). Some people just won't be able to understand that you have a business to run, staff and overheads to pay regardless of whether they use your services.
Trangia on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

No.

I think your approach of refunding if you manage to re-let the room is more than fair. After all, their cancellation has put you to additional work in doing so, but I don't suppose they appreciate that. The offer of a roll over is also very fair.

Fraser on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

It depends on the contract and what the 'deposit is for. If it's an advanced partial payment, then probably not, but if it's as a security for something, eg accommodation being rented for the longer term, then I'd expect it back, assuming all conditions had been met.
Chris Craggs - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

I always see the deposit as my side of the agreement - to ensure I will turn up as arranged.

If I don't show, I wouldn't expect it back.


Chris
keith sanders - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

I would always expect to pay a deposit when booking accommodation or service, It's my side of the agreement and if I didn't use it then its my loss, if who was offering the service didn't honer the agreement I would expect my deposit back.

keith s
Epic Ebdon on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Surely this is exactly the point of a deposit? If you book some kind of finite resource like a hotel room, then the deposit is there so that the customer has a bit of "skin in the game". Otherwise, you could just not turn up, and the hotellier, who might have turned people away because you said you were coming, might not be able to let out the room which would leave them out of pocket. The deposit is there to equalise the risk a bit for the hotellier. The level of risk is dependent on the time of cancelling, obviously just not turning up almost certainly leaves the hotellier out of pocket, whereas if you cancel a year in advance, then I'd expect the room could probably still be let out. Deposit return clauses are often written to reflect this (i.e. cancelling 6 months in advance, full return of deposit, 1 month in advance, 50% return, 2 weeks 25%, less than two weeks, no return).

Now, this would all depend on the actual contract signed, but I generally wouldn't expect to get the deposit back, although that's not to say that I wouldn't perhaps ask. I think a fair approach would be for you to refuse to return the deposit, but if you do manage to get a booking for that week, then you can return the deposit. Otherwise, that's exactly what it's there for! I think whether you choose to roll it over to another booking is up to you - it might make commercial sense for you to offer that if you think it might secure another booking, but I think that could be seen as a goodwill gesture. There's nothing wrong with you just upholding your side of the contract though! If they signed up for a non-returnable deposit, then that's their choice, and there are things such as travel insurance that they could use to claim their expenses back if they want to. If they haven't got any travel insurance, then that's again a risk they chose to take.

As a counter-example, there is a hotel I've stayed at a few times which specifically states that there is no deposit or advanced booking to pay, and that cancellation is "free" right up to the time of arrival. The first time I booked, I specifically chose it for that reason, and I've been back on at least two occasions since, so you could argue that their policy won my business. Whether it pays in the long term for them to offer that policy is something that they have to work out themselves.
Sam Mayfield - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to Epic Ebdon:

Thanks guys for taking the time to reply.

We have very few cancellations over the years, usually an injury which I then feel sorry for the climber. This person said they had split from partner!

No one has ever argued when we said we would carry the deposit forward. This person was quite rude in my opinion and sarcastic and saying The Olive Branch gave full refund really got my back up!

I wrote a long reply and then just pressed delete and put "we are not the Olive house"

I am doing the T&C's as we speak and put a link on the bottom of the email we send out.

Thanks again peeps Sam x
1
wurzelinzummerset on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

I think this is very much dependent on context. If I had to cancel, i wouldn't expect the provider of the service to be left out of pocket. So, if the deposit I'd left appeared to reasonably cover any loss they'd suffered, then I'd just leave it at that. If it seemed to amount to more than that, I'd probably approach them to ask if they'd consider returning a part of the money, or come to some arrangement about setting it off against a future use of the service. I wouldn't let any contract terms get in the way of me making that approach as I think most reasonable people regard those as safeguard of last resort (certainly I do with my work). Referring people back to contractual small print when they make a reasonable request is like sticking two fingers up to their face, and not good for business.

I can think of a couple of examples, one where I'd booked accommodation for climbing, and my climbing partner broke their ankle just prior to the start of the booking. In this case, despite the contractual terms stating I wouldn't get the deposit back, after I explained what had happened, they were very polite and considerate and did return the money. So, I would definitely return there to book again in the future. A recent example is where I'd booked an appartment for a holiday in a city in France, but a close family member was taken seriously ill the day before I left. I'd paid in full, and I found there was no will to negotiate on their part, despite it being booked at an off peak time, and me suggesting they offset some of the money against a longer stay the same year. I was just referred to the contractual terms. So, in this last case it leaves me with the impression that this person is a short word begining with "c", which I'd happily relay to their face, given the opportunity, and I will not be going back to book with them again.

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Scott K - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Sam, from one of your comments above, it looks like you are very fair with refunding deposits. Some people may be unlucky and have to cancel last minute but you should have holiday insurance. Surely £50 is small change compared to flight bookings and car hire?
Toerag - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Surely deposits lost due to inability to travel are covered by travel insurance?
Jenny C on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:
This is why for an expensive trip you should always take out travel insurance early as it will cover you if you are forced to cancel.

Post edited at 13:13

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