Troubleshooters: Catering Company Complaint
POSTED: Thursday, July 30, 2009 - 8:15am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:24pm
Naomi Campos is planning her wedding and following a strict budget, so she met up with a local business called Express Your Temptations Catering Company & Event Planning.
Naomi says she talked to them about catering, but during one of their meetings they offered other help.
"They offered for free, to help me find prices for different chairs and tables," she says.
Happy with their offer, she gave a down payment.
"I trusted them and the second time we met, we gave them a $500 deposit like they asked and I didn't know my exact quote for my catering, but they assured me, don't worry it's going to be within your budget," Naomi says.
But, when she actually got the cost estimate, she tells us it was too much, so she tried to get a hold of the owners.
Naomi tells us, "they wouldn't return my calls, they would tell me they were with clients, to make an appointment, so I tried various times. From what I understood, they were booked for the next three weeks and didn't want to speak to me."
She says she e-mailed them asking for all or part of her $500 deposit back. The owner replied, explaining that deposit was non-refundable.
"All they told me about the deposit was that it would go toward my catering bill, but they never told me you wouldn't get any of it back if you decide not to be with us. They said they told me through word of mouth, but me and my fiance don't recall that and like I said, I never signed a contract or anything legal stating that," Naomi says.
We met with the owners. They did not want to talk on camera, but say they told her up front that the deposit was non-refundable. They say they told Naomi she would be charged for all their planning services.
As for a contract? They say they did not ask her to sign anything up front because she was indecisive and had not submitted a final guest count. The owners are refusing to give the money back, saying it covered the cost of the work they have already done. Work that was outlined in an invoice they recently sent Naomi showing charges for things like initial meetings and phone calls. Naomi says she will keep fighting to get her money back, so she can afford to pay someone else to cater her reception and help her plan.