Disappointed couples whose weddings were cancelled by coronavirus have now been denied full refunds.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has repeatedly warned wedding venues that they must refund customers who had lost out because of the pandemic.
In September the watchdog launched an investigation into one firm, Bijou Weddings Group, after its customers said they were charged an 80 cancellation fee.
Claudia Dickson, 26, and Jack Trowsdale, 28, had paid almost £21,000 towards their wedding at Botleys Mansion, Surrey, in June. When the wedding was postponed in March, they had to cover the 80 per cent cancellation fee in the firm’s terms and conditions.
The couple, from Horsham, West Sussex, found their wedding insurance excluded cancellation caused by ‘Government guidance’.
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After the CMA launched its investigation the couple were hopeful they would finally get their money back.
But last week Bijou Weddings told them they would only get £13,554 back – two thirds of what they had put down.
The venue said it was keeping £7,261 after the regulator agreed the firm could hold back money to cover its costs.
Claudia says: ‘We were gobsmacked. We did not even get a breakdown of what this money would cover.’
Sam Cutmore-Scott, managing director of Bijou Weddings, says: ‘We have entered into a refund scheme agreed with the CMA.
‘We are doing our best to ensure all our couples affected by the pandemic are treated fairly.’