Veronica asks:

I know where you stand on refunds. Yesterday, I had a bride who cancelled her November wedding due to the relationship splitting, texting me nasty abuse and demanding the clearly stated non-refundable booking fee. It’s stated on my invoice & receipt, as well as my terms & conditions which were sent to her. I had agreed to refund a third as a gesture of goodwill back in May because I work with her father, but they have not collected the money (yep…it was cash & they want cash back). Also said if I refill the date I will refund the remaining amount. Do you think I should do anything else? Please advise.

Hi Veronica!

Three things are important when dealing with these circumstances.

A service contract exists to outlay what a commercial relationship looks like between two parties. When it talks about refunds, that’s what you have to obey. So if the service contract says no refunds, then there’s no refunds.

Secondly, boundaries are important in life. They allow us to have healthy relationships, even if one party is unhappy about the boundaries, the other party (you) needs to set and respect them. If we agreed on no refund, then there’s no refund.

Thirdly, outside of service contracts and boundaries is your word, and what you have said you will do. Some believe that our word is the only thing we really own, and if we give it away and make it worthless, then we really have nothing.

So if you’ve said you would do something outside of the agreed upon relationship stipulated in your service contract, something outside of the boundaries you’ve set, then you’ve really got to do it.

In future though, hold fast to your service contract, and make sure it reflects the kind of commercial relationships you want to forge. Set strong boundaries throughout your entire business, so that you can maintain a good level of mental health. Finally, use your word sparingly but powerfully.

Give them the cash back, say nothing about rebooking it, and learn from the experience 🙂