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MauiBride2B

Fired my planner! Need help!

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I was soo unhappy with my planner, Blue Sky Weddings, and we had a couple unfortunate events come up in the family, that I decided to fire them even after I had paid our deposit for their services ($2000) and the venue ($1000). In the few months she was "helping" we did not book any vendors other than the location at Olowalu, which I found myself.

 

Now she wont give me any of my deposit back, not even the $1000 for the venue. Even though I am still using Olowalu on the same date originally booked, they offer 100% deposit refund and it is refunded to BSW because they issued the check (even though I paid for it) and Olowalu has to give me a new contract without BSW. So now I've had to pay another $1000 deposit for Olowalu and BSW wont refund me claiming its for all the work they did (even though they got a retainer of $2000 on top of the Olowalu deposit).

 

I have been fortunate enough to find Lori of Tropical Maui Weddings who has been absolutely wonderful, but I'm $3000 in the hole and dont know what to do about getting any money back from BSW. Anyone have any suggestions?

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Do you have a contract that states she can do that?? That almost sounds like a small claims issue....

 

Good luck.

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ooo i'm so sorry your having to deal with all this stress!

 

i dont think they have a right to take the deposit from Oluwalu... you should probably take legal action if you want the money back.. maybe try to threaten them first, see if that might scare them into refunding you.

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Ya like Vikki said read through their contract. Threatening legal action may help. I know of people who have just paid a lawyer to write up a letter stating they are your lawyer and kind of threatening to sue and they often give in. Other than that, good luck!

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If you don't wanna hire a lawyer right away (I don't blame you after you've already lost $3,000) then you should send them a certified letter outlining your situation -- the problems that arose, why you are firing them, and of course requesting the monies due back to you. If there are specifics in the contract that support your case, include a copy and highlight those areas. Then add a closing graph to the effect of:

 

Given the above circumstances, I kindly request that you return the $______ forwarded to you for my venue (*if your contract allows you to get your retainer add that to it too). If the check is not received by ______ (give them 7 to 10 days), then I will be forced to take legal action against you.

 

Always good to document your problems and communication, this helps should you choose to go to court. Of course also save all your emails, and from now on try to avoid phone conversations and instead get it all in writing so it's documented. Sending a letter like this will buy you some time with hopes they will return the money and you can avoid attorney fees.

 

Let us know what happens ~ good luck rolleyes.gif

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I'm so sorry you have to deal with this! I, too, would recommend filing a complaint with the BBB. United States and Canada BBB Consumer and Business Reviews, Reports, Ratings, Complaints and Accredited Business Listings I believe they help get a lot of complaints straightened out. Another option is to contact the Hawaii Government Attorney General to request advice or assistance from them or find out if they have a Consumer Protection division.

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I'm a lawyer (however not in Hawaii so I can't write a letter for you, sorry!) but trust me, threatening legal action works almost 99.9% of the time. Even if it said straight up in your contract with the wedding planner that she gets to keep any deposits you pay for vendors, you could probably still get the $ back because that is "unconscionable" or not fair basically.

 

And you should also threaten contacting the Better Business Bureau and threaten to put bad reviews of their business online!!! That is very bad for their business to have reviews online that are horrible! I think a lot of brides now research online before choosing a wedding planner so it could hurt their business. And with the economy the way it is, I'm sure they don't want business to be hurt.

 

Anyway, good luck with getting your deposit back. And great choice with Lori at Tropical Maui Weddings!!!! She is awesome!!!! We are getting married in less than 2 months and she has been nothing but helpful, nice and so on top of things :)

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Thanks MarieSam! When you state "certified letter", what exactly do you mean? I've never dealt with legal issues before so this is all new to me.

 

In her contract, its states "Reservations will not be confirmed until receipt of this form and a non-refundable retainer of $2000 plus a deposit of $1000 for Olowalu Plantation House made payable to Blue Sky Weddings"

 

In the Olowalu Plantation House Rules it states "If an event is cancelled outside of 180 days of the occasion, the deposit is fully refundable." In my case, I did not cancel and kept the same date, however because I cancelled my contract with BSW, they were refunded the deposit, and I had to make another deposit for a new contract. But in another portion of the same contract it states "Reservations will not be confirmed until receipt of this form and a non-refunable deposit of $1000 made payable to Blue Sky Weddings"

 

After speaking with Olowalu, they said my deposit was fully refundable but it was up to BSW to refund me.

 

I looked BSW up on BBB and they are not even accredited! I'm an idiot and should have looked them up before signing. When I released BSW, I did so in a professional manner and nicely explained my reasons for being dissatisfied. I then got a response that was completely exaggerated for a rebuttal and it was the most correspondence I had from them since they were hired.

 

The problem I am concerned with is that she is a business woman, not a wedding planner and she only cares about the $ put into her pocket. You'll never meet her, and she doesnt even go to your wedding, someone else you've never talked to before would be there. That's crazy!

 

So needless to say, where should I start? Contact BBB or send the certified letter? I'm not sure how to threaten in a professional manner wink.gif

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