2020 is a year that we will not forget. For many wedding couples the months, if not years, of planning have been thrown into disarray, chaos & uncertainty.
For those couples, who are regarded in legal terminology as consumers, it has proved to be very challenging. And even now there is a high degree of uncertainty.
Consumers do have high degrees of protection when acquiring goods and services.
HOW WE CAN HELP
Legal-surgery.com provides a unique offering whereby businesses can, at an affordable price, gain an understanding as to its contractual rights. Our experienced team of contract lawyers will provide the appropriate guidance and assistance
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whAT CAN BRIDES AND GROOMS DO?
It’s more than likely that couples would have signed several contracts with their suppliers ranging from weddings planners, venues, caterers, bands, florists, photographers and make-up artists. All of those contracts will be unique and have its own idiosyncrasies. Consumers can be confused as to what their rights are and we are able to provide expert legal assistance.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 which came into force in October 2015 provides for suppliers to provide fair terms in the contract, for the services to match what was agreed and for those services to be carried out with reasonable skill & care. If the suppliers are in breach of contract remedies are available which could ultimately be decided by a Judge at the County Court. A Judge could award compensation/damages for such breaches.
Consumers should not be afraid to consider how contracts have been signed and the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 give a fourteen day cooling off period in certain circumstances.
Deposits paid to suppliers is always a hot topic. Is the deposit refundable or not? Is the consumer entitled to ask for the deposit back in the event that the wedding is cancelled or postponed? What is the difference between a deposit and a booking fee? The law provides for a payment for services carried out by the supplier but often with a wedding those services are provided on the day.
More recently the Competitions & Markets Authority (CMA) have stepped in to flex their muscles to protect the consumer.
Many couples would have taken out special insurance to cover losses associated with the wedding. Insurance companies need to be fair and ensure that if couples lose out because of the penalties associated with cancellations, there needs to be a full indemnification in accordance with the insurance policy. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are looking closely at the insurance industry and the impact of Covid-19. Claims can also be brought via the Financial Ombudsman.