What To Do...deposit Not Returned By Hotel

Business By missmeg Updated 17 Sep 2009 , 1:46pm by lardbutt

missmeg Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 3:38pm
post #1 of 27

I did my first wedding back in July - hurray for me icon_biggrin.gif. The reception was at a waterfront Sheraton (biggest swanky hotel in our area). My contract has a $30 refundable equipment deposit included, if my equipment is returned to me withing 3 business days after the event.

I talked with the MOB a few days after her daughter's wedding, and informed me that my plates and pillars had been misplaced by the hotel...possibly returned to the wrong wedding party. I explained to the MOB that unfortunately it meant that I would be keeping her daughter's $30 deposit to replace my equipment.

The next day I received an email and phone call from the event coordinator at the hotel. She apologized for having my equipment lost, and requested that if I would return the $30 to the bride, the hotel would then reimburse me directly. I was told that they wanted to keep the bride & co. happy, but recognized that the error was on the hotel's part.

So I dutifully sent a check to the MOB, and submitted an itemized receipt to the hotel.

It's now been two full months, and repeated phone calls and emails to the event coordinator at the hotel have been unanswered. I'm a one-woman show; I don't keep scores of separator plates on hand. I'm extremely upset and disappointed. Over the weekend, I emailed the bride and asked if she could also follow up on my behalf as well. Anything else you can suggest I do to recover my deposit?

26 replies
Mensch Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 3:41pm
post #2 of 27

Send an invoice to the hotel's accountant, including a copy of the e-mail from the 'event coordinator'.

And next time, let the hotel reimburse the client. They lost the stuff, it's now their responsibility.

Show up at the hotel and request to talk to her in person.

Beat her up.

missmeg Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 3:50pm
post #3 of 27

Well, I can't beat her up 'cause she's on vacation this week icon_confused.gif (just left her another VM).

I should have let the hotel reimburse the deposit, but I'm actually getting more $$ this way, as my refundable deposit clause did not accurately reflect how much it would actually cost to replace the items icon_redface.gif . That has since been rectified. I included on the itemized invoice submitted to the hotel the mileage reimbursement as well, as the only speciality cake shop in the area is a 40 minute drive each way.

sadsmile Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 3:53pm
post #4 of 27

I would have insisted the Hotel pay the deposit to the Bride since it was thier mistake. Hindsight is always 20/20. Reference this fo the future.

Sending an invoice to the accounting department is the way to go. And follow up that they recieved it and ask when to expect your check to be mailed. Things may run on a biweekly basis and that may be the only time they cut checks. Some are weekly and even some do outside stuff once a month.

If it had been passed on you should have surely recieved by now!

Time to bypass that event coordinator. I wonder if she works under the F&B department and if the top manager of that department would be of any help.

Mensch Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 3:53pm
post #5 of 27

What does she say when you talk to her? Have you tried calling the accountant directly?

mandyloo Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 3:54pm
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mensch



Beat her up.




ROFL! icon_razz.gif

missmeg Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 4:02pm
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mensch

What does she say when you talk to her? Have you tried calling the accountant directly?



She has completely ignored all emails and VMs since the end of July icon_confused.gif . It's been impossible to get her on the phone.

I called the main number and asked to speak to her boss. Had a pleasant conversation with the Director of Sales, who took down all my info, apologized, and said she would contact the accounting department directly and get back to me within the hour.

The director said she understood my frustration and that she was so sorry that it had come to this. We'll see what happens next.

sadsmile Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 4:06pm
post #8 of 27

Yeah that is a matter of them not wanting to loose $30.00 of sales because it looks bad on their whole department for silly mistakes. Go to the accounting department. You may have better luck if you look up the manager of the accounting dept and contact him/her directly by name.
Getting the run around for $30.00 is crazy.

cylstrial Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 5:26pm
post #9 of 27

I can't believe the hotel is being that stupid over $30.00. Someone should just pay you already!

missmeg Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 7:05pm
post #10 of 27

The Sales Director just called back.

After doing some research in accounting, she disovered that a check WAS cut and mailed...to Sweet Creations. I am SweetCake Creations by Meg. Different company all together. The other company cashed the check more than a month ago.

So there will be a new check cut and mailed to me tomorrow. The director doesn't know why the event coordinator never responded to my emails or VM's - something that's going to be addressed when she returns from vacation. The accounting manager also will need to research why the other company cashed a check without questioning where it came from.

But I'll be getting my $35 back at the end the week icon_smile.gif.

xstitcher Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 7:10pm
post #11 of 27

Glad to hear your getting your deposit $$$ back. I can't believe it took them this long to do so.

sadsmile Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 7:12pm
post #12 of 27

And I wonder how they got your address wrong too... sounds fishy to me.

LaBellaFlor Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 8:33pm
post #13 of 27

You do realize that your contract is with the bride & not the hotel & they are in no way obligated to give you anything. Thats great that they are. Now you know for the next time. I do think that coordinator was trying to get over on you. She knew she should have delt with the hotel for the deposit.

Win Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 8:52pm
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

You do realize that your contract is with the bride & not the hotel & they are in no way obligated to give you anything. Thats great that they are. Now you know for the next time. I do think that coordinator was trying to get over on you. She knew she should have delt with the hotel for the deposit.




The OP dealt with the bride first -exactly you suggested. If you read closely, it was the next day that the hotel contacted her and offered to make good on the amount of the equipment. thumbs_up.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 8:58pm
post #15 of 27

Yeah, I did see that, but I was just observing for all of us to stick with dealing with the people we got the contract with. It helps with less headaches...not no headaches, just less of a chance. icon_wink.gif

Deb_ Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 10:19pm
post #16 of 27

Yeah, my response to the hotel's original e-mail would have been..."You want to keep the bride happy then YOU refund the $30". It's not my responsibility to protect or preserve the hotel's reputation. They screwed up, they should deal with the bride directly.

I'm happy this turned out well for you in the end.

LKing12 Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 10:36pm
post #17 of 27

This is one reason my deposit is for way more than the value of my equipment. The time and effort involved in this was way more than the $30.00!

cfao Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 11:30pm
post #18 of 27

This is not what you want to hear, you were out $30, but think about what you have "accomplished". This was your first wedding cake, which was done in July. The wedding was at what you consider the best hotel venue. It's never great to lose any money, but now you have ranted to every department head that matters on the wedding side of things at this venue over $30. I'm sure they consider you and your problem small potatoes considering they are used to dealing with brides at thousands of dollars per event, so your couple of bucks is nothing to them. BUT do you think they will ever recommend you to a bride in the future? No way now. You should have revamped your deposit situation for future orders and gone on with life, now even if your cake was the most beautiful and yummy creation they have ever seen, you have burnt your bridge with them on your first time there. They admitted it was thier mistake and the wedding department thought the acct. dept. had taken care of it. To me, it just wouldn't have been worth that small amount of money when looking at the overall situation. Just my 2 cents.

LaBellaFlor Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 12:12am
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfao

This is not what you want to hear, you were out $30, but think about what you have "accomplished". This was your first wedding cake, which was done in July. The wedding was at what you consider the best hotel venue. It's never great to lose any money, but now you have ranted to every department head that matters on the wedding side of things at this venue over $30. I'm sure they consider you and your problem small potatoes considering they are used to dealing with brides at thousands of dollars per event, so your couple of bucks is nothing to them. BUT do you think they will ever recommend you to a bride in the future? No way now. You should have revamped your deposit situation for future orders and gone on with life, now even if your cake was the most beautiful and yummy creation they have ever seen, you have burnt your bridge with them on your first time there. They admitted it was thier mistake and the wedding department thought the acct. dept. had taken care of it. To me, it just wouldn't have been worth that small amount of money when looking at the overall situation. Just my 2 cents.





What a great point of view! thumbs_up.gif Never even thought about those points. This is why I love this site. icon_smile.gif

missmeg Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 3:57pm
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

You do realize that your contract is with the bride & not the hotel & they are in no way obligated to give you anything. Thats great that they are. Now you know for the next time. I do think that coordinator was trying to get over on you. She knew she should have delt with the hotel for the deposit.



I agree with this and plan on taking this route next time.

As for basically screwing myself with the venue for next time...not much I can do there now. The bride found me through an external source, not the hotel. So the hotel might not recommend me, but it doesn't mean I might not have that place as a venue at some later date.

sadsmile Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 4:39pm
post #21 of 27

Honestly how great of a hotel is it really? Their banquets employees missplaced, threw away or sent your stuff to another vendor-they don't even know what happened. Their event coodinator is inept and didn't handle it right or in a timely manner, nor did she follow up on it.

They used the wrong buisness name and address-where did they get that any way- oh yes the inept coordinator.

Sounds like you had three points of contact with the hotel. Most of the contact was to the coordinator who dropped the ball repeatedly.

I think the coordinator has more to be worried about than you do about burning bridges-assuming you were buisness like and respectful when you made contact each time honestly they may remember you. But as long as you handled yourself in a respectable manner you will be fine, but they will remember that the coordinator mucked things up. She was probably in vacation mode when she mucked it all up to begin with.

kellymarie Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 5:06pm
post #22 of 27

Even though it was their fault- you could send a dozen cupcakes with some business cards and a thank-you note to the Lady responsible for making things right. That way you know they understand no hard feelings, and you might get more business from it as well?

* edited for spelling * icon_rolleyes.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 5:06pm
post #23 of 27

Here's the number for Starwood (parent company) Corporate Customer Service. I just spoke with Laurie there, told her you're my cousin (yeah, I lied, but it was for a good cause). I told her you were having a problem at a particular location, and that this is an ongoing issue. I asked if her office would be the one to call and she said yes. I told her I would have you call her directly.

7 AM to 9 PM, Eastern Time

1-800-328-6242

Theresa icon_smile.gif

Ruth0209 Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 5:36pm
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfao

This is not what you want to hear, you were out $30, but think about what you have "accomplished". This was your first wedding cake, which was done in July. The wedding was at what you consider the best hotel venue. It's never great to lose any money, but now you have ranted to every department head that matters on the wedding side of things at this venue over $30. I'm sure they consider you and your problem small potatoes considering they are used to dealing with brides at thousands of dollars per event, so your couple of bucks is nothing to them. BUT do you think they will ever recommend you to a bride in the future? No way now. You should have revamped your deposit situation for future orders and gone on with life, now even if your cake was the most beautiful and yummy creation they have ever seen, you have burnt your bridge with them on your first time there. They admitted it was thier mistake and the wedding department thought the acct. dept. had taken care of it. To me, it just wouldn't have been worth that small amount of money when looking at the overall situation. Just my 2 cents.




I have to disagree. It sounds like the OP has been entirely professional in following up on her request for the payment that the hotel volunteered to give her. She didn't make it personal, and I seriously doubt that they will, either. It was simply a billing issue. Plus, it identified a problem with the wedding coordinator that now they know they need to address. Conflicts are not unusual in the world of business. It's something that businesses learn how to handle all the time. The hotel should be more worried about the OP not referring anyone to THEM, not vice versa.

spring Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 2:19am
post #25 of 27

95% of my business is word of mouth and catering sales managers are my biggest source of referrals. If a catering manager recommends my company, I almost always get the business.

This referral network has placed my company at the top of our market. I have made it a point to be as accommodating and as easy to work with as possible at every venue we deliver a cake. You may have gotten your $35 back but I doubt they will ever refer a bride to you. In the end you will have lost a lot more than $35.

Any plates or pillars we use are considered disposable and I add them into the cost of the cake. That way I don't have to worry about whether or not we will get them back or inconvenience the bride or venue.

Minette
www.minetterushing.typepad.com

cfao Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 1:39pm
post #26 of 27

Most venues in my area have everything in a package, the cake, the flowers, limo, etc. and if you go outside of their vendors, you get a very small credit off your bill, but in the end it ends up costing you a lot more. For the cake for instance, they tack on a large cake cutting fee to outside cakes. Very few brides will go outside the package, a few do, but most do not.

For the venues that don't have a package, the wedding coordinator will usually make recommendations of the vendors they prefer. If that person changes, vendors notice the new person's preferences very quickly. Brides will go to the companies recommended by the person in charge of their wedding. Like Spring said, if you are very accommodating and are easy to work with at each & every wedding you do, your business will grow.

lardbutt Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 1:46pm
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mensch

Beat her up.




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