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By brocs1, Dec 7 2020 12:36PM

The Competition Markets Authority (CMA) issues new warnings to wedding firms in relation to their refund policies for those whose big day has been affected by Covid-19. Although only a Court can decide how the law applies in each case the CMA guidance and statement may assist as many couples have not been able to get married as planned this year.

The current guidance is that:

• Businesses should NOT make deductions from refunds unless they can prove that costs have been incurred directly for the wedding in quest AND there is proof of the breakdown of such costs. Cases should be assessed on a case by case basis however a benchmark MAXIMUM deduction has been considered to be 37.2% .If the contract relates to venue hire ONLY the CMA does not expect any deductions

• There should be no additional charges where couples voluntarily agree to reschedule their wedding to a ‘comparable date and service”, as opposed to seeking a refund

• businesses need to meet their legal obligations promptly and should not unreasonably delay or refuse to provide refunds to couples when they are due

If your big day has been affected by Covid-19 and you are facing an uphill battle to get a refund OR your venue are suggesting you should pay more to move your date, please contact our specialist Dispute Resolution team to discuss your consumer rights on 0800 567 7595 or email [email protected]

By brocs1, Sep 23 2020 09:35AM

As the peak of the wedding season draws to a close, there may be many individuals wondering what their rights are as a consumer when it comes to requesting a refund from a business they may have hired for the preparations of their wedding. And as a business owner, you may be wondering how you should be treating your customers and what exactly you must do to treat them fairly and in accordance with the law.

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) have recently published a statement (or rather a guidance) on how the law will operate in respect of refunds when weddings have been affected by the pandemic that is Covid-19. The link to the guidance is given at the end of this article.

After the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday whereby the legal limit of 30 people attending a wedding reception changed to 15, many people have been left confused about how to go about obtaining a refund or whether a refund is due as the original wedding arrangements may have significantly changed. The CMA have accepted that this is a grey area and that ultimately only a court can decide how the law will apply in each case based on each parties’ individual circumstances. CMA have confirmed that where a wedding has not been able to take place due to lockdown laws, then the starting point is a full refund. Of course there are exceptions and one such example is that of expenses already incurred – if a wedding company has already incurred expenses in relation to the preparation of the wedding then they may be able to offer a partial refund to its customer/s as opposed to a full refund.

This is of course different if a wedding can legally go ahead, albeit possibly with some changes.

Tier 3 also known as ‘the very high tier’ does allow wedding ceremonies to continue with up to 15 people, however wedding receptions are not allowed. (updated 01/12/20)

If you are an individual affected by the return of the tier system and are wondering what your rights are as a consumer looking for a refund from a business you may have hired for the preparation of a wedding, or you may be a business owner wondering how you should be treating your customers and what exactly you must do to treat them fairly and in accordance with the law, then do contact our specialist team at Summerfield Browne Solicitors on 0800 567 7595 or email [email protected]


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