Wedding venue says deposit 'non-refundable'

Posted at 7:36 PM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 22:37:32-04

A Glendale wedding business is shutting down, leaving families to figure out what to do next.

Laura Roether, of Glendale, says she's been planning her son's wedding for months.

While he is stationed in Montana, she has taken on the planning of his 2017 wedding.

But just a few weeks after giving a cash deposit to Manor at Catlin Court in Glendale, she found out the business is shutting down.

Even worse, they wouldn't be refunding her deposit.

"It's supposed to be the happiest time of their life right now. They're getting married. They're ecstatic and you're taking somebody's money," she says.

So she let me know.

Owner Kent White sent me a letter from his landlord saying the business is being evicted due to the building being sold. He calls the deposit non-refundable and says the money is already spent. But says he arranged with two other venue to provide the services at a discount.

In a statement he says in part:

"We will be honoring existing weddings this month and next. After nearly nine years, over 500 weddings, this is not what we expected.  So sorry this happened.  We felt it best to notify everyone."

Laura says, not good enough.

"It's $1,000 more and it's not exactly what they were looking for."

She wants her money back.

"As a human being I do feel bad for you. But in a business sense, you need to give me my money back," she says.

Big lesson here is that cash disappears.  If a credit card had been used, filing a dispute may have gotten her money back.

Bottom line--non-refundable deposits protects the business. So avoid cash, and make them small.  If you can get it in writing, specify that you want the money held for the event, not paying the light bill.

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