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Asking for more money

Discussion in 'Consumer Law, Contracts, Warranties' started by Julie Vita, Sep 27, 2019.

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  1. Julie Vita

    Julie Vita Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I recently held a baby shower for my daughter at a private beach club. Prior to the event, I entered into a contract that covered what the cost of everything would be including a liquor package. I gave a deposit. The day before the event, I went to the club and paid what I was told was the balance. I was there all day decorating. The morning of the event, I arrived early to tie together loose ends. I generously tipped the event manager and the wait staff. I was there for a good 6 hours. We are now almost one week passed the event and I receive an email from billing stating that they neglected to include the charges for liquor ( something I honestly never noticed) and now want more money. Am I obligated to pay for this? I trusted that they would know what they are doing.
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Congratulations on your happy news and successful event. As to the post festivities demand, you should first look at your contract to ensure that your understanding and claim is backed by the facts - that the pricing under the contract included the liquor / alcohol / bar package.

    Was an honest mistake made which you knew or should have known about? For example, did you discuss the amount with the manager and he gave you the actual prices being sent by the office but the office made an obvious clerical error which left out the bar/bartender cost and resulted in a 50% discount on the amount agreed? If so, a claim may exist. But if the discussion did not include this amount and you had no reason to believe the amount offered to you and accepted was erroneous, it would not appear that you are legally obligated to pay the amount requested / demanded.
     
  3. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    (I'm going to use hypothetical numbers)
    Are you saying that your contract was for you to pay a total of $2,500, but when it was all said and done you only paid $1,750? If so, then yes, you owe the remaining $750. However, if the contract said the total cost was $1,750 and you paid a total of $1,750 and they now want more money, then no, you don't owe more money.
     
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Can you clarify this? Why would someone need to tell you what the balance was? You knew what the contract said the cost was, right? And you knew how much you had paid already, right? So, it was simple math (A - B = C) to figure out the balance, right?

    No one who hasn't read your contract and knows how much you've paid to date can intelligently answer this. I suggest you spell out the terms of the contract and provide other relevant facts.
     
    justblue likes this.
  5. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    On the surface it appears that someone in the office might have made a mistake and quoted a price without alcohol. Usually the bar is a substantial amount of money and such a mistake would be obvious, but who knows what wine and fine spirits they were serving? :)

    A week after the party has taken place and the remainder of the contract paid, the host is presented with a bill for an additional amount of money. I find it strange that this isn't discovered when settling at the party or after. When I used to play music for events (such as weddings, anniversaries, parties, etc.) I was paid the balance after the event took place at the event. Even if settlement occurred on the business day following the event, it is unusual to have a mistake in price not be corrected in a timely fashion.
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    That's not the impression I got. I got the impression that the OP knew s/he'd have to pay a certain amount, but, due to a clerical error, when the "final bill" was presented, it was lower than that amount. If this is the case, then yes, the OP owes the money.
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    That is possible.

    It might also be that the price was quoted and that a FREE bar was established by the person throwing the shower.

    A free OPEN bar can present surprising results, as some venues only know how much alcohol was consumed AFTER tallying consumption by guests.

    I suspect this is why the FINAL charges took some time to calculate.
    It has been my experience over the years that if one uses a FREE OPEN BAR, one provide your guests with tickets or tokens when requesting a beverage.

    Then you count the tickets or tokens collected by bar staff before leaving the venue.

    I have done that and found it to be the only way to accurately know that you pay for only what your guests have consumed.

    It also makes sure that certain people don't imbibe too much, such that they become inebriated.
     
    Michael Wechsler likes this.
  8. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Now this is certainly possible. And it is why the first step is always to look at the four corners of the contract. If it provides for what you are stating, which is certainly possible, then a bill is sent when the amount of alcohol consumed has been calculated - and one week after the event is certainly a reasonable time. I'm confident that if this is the case, it will be explained - and the host will understand who made the incorrect assumption.
     
  9. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    That's also possible. What might have happened is that the bill didn't include the alcohol as a line item or as a separate item - which would explain the "not noticing" part. I'm guessing that the contract will explain how to sort out this mess - but you would be very surprised. When I was working in the music industry many years ago, the informality by those owning related businesses (floral arrangements, catering, etc.) was evident by the horrendous contracts. Often they were little more than term sheets.

    Times have changed so that sample contracts are readily available online and information sharing has made the level of knowledge much greater. I would guess that you and @army judge probably have the correct read on what happened and that the contract will certainly spell out that an amount wasn't conveyed and, what explains all, the host didn't notice the line item had been omitted.
     
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  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    That is exactly what my 1L contracts professor would exhort us to do day after day.

    It is also what I tell others everyday, read your contract before you sign it.
     

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