How can I cancel the wedding cake if wedding was called off and can I get back the deposit? 2 Answers as of November 20, 2013

I placed a deposit for a wedding cake for an August 2014 wedding. Right now, the wedding was called off and I keep calling the pastry shop numerous times to cancel my order. What are my options?

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Lawyer for Indie Media
Lawyer for Indie Media | Sue Basko
A deposit is often a way of making sure a person is serious before placing an order. According to the shop policies and your contract, you may or may not be entitled to a full or partial refund. Most places will not give a full refund, but will keep a service fee or will keep the full deposit. However, by notifying this far in advance, you should not be responsible for the full order. When you placed your order, did you receive a written contract? If so, that contract will be binding. Otherwise, have you checked the written policies that may appear on the pastry shop walls or on a website? This may also form a contract. Since you are notifying the pastry shop so far in advance, you should be able to cancel your order and not be required to pay the full amount. Whether you will be entitled to return of your deposit is another matter. You do not say what happens when you call to cancel your order. Does someone answer and speak with you? Are you put through to voice mail? It is always a good idea to send a written letter saying you are canceling and asking if you are entitled to have the deposit returned. Give an address where that should be mailed. Keep in mind that before you ordered the cake, the pastry shop people probably spent a good amount of time with you helping you plan the cake, giving you samples, and doing background work to be sure your cake was possible. The shop might be entitled to keep the entire deposit and might have worked very hard to earn it, too.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 11/20/2013
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Stop by the shop personally and talk to the manager. Whether you get some or all of your deposit back will depend on the store's policy. But with 6 months notice of cancellation, most businesses would refund the whole thing.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 11/18/2013
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