I’m here today with some legal advice for florists dealing with cancellations at the last minute. This month, I’ve had a series of enquiries from florists who have been properly shafted by unexpected ‘last-minute’ cancellations.
No warning signs. After all the design work, ideas, creative input and suggestions, but before the florist actually purchased the blooms. In these cases, ‘value’ has been provided in spades, but with lost booking, lost payments lost income and lost opportunity.
Florists Dealing With Cancellations – Where Do You Stand?
Where do you stand? I’m afraid again the starting point is your contract. Your terms and conditions. What do they say about cancellation and payments? The two sections of your Terms that deal with payments and cancellations should correlate. They don’t? You better have a look at this solution…
Don’t be left in a position where your contract terms entitle you to additional payments from a client who has cancelled their contract. You will most probably struggle to extract any spondoolies … Usually, the deposit payment is lost – but even this can be challenged if that is not writing!
So, if you do nothing else after reading this blog, make that deposit non-refundable. That’s great, simple advice for florists dealing with cancellations at the last minute.
Florists can look at some additional tips about deposits in other SGOL blogs too…
How Close To The Event Is The Cancellation?
Next – how close to the date is it? What payments or cancellation fees are due? AGAIN, this really must be in writing to be enforceable.
What are your chances of filling this date with another event or function? Hopefully, you have payment provisions that allow you to get paid well in advance of incurring the fees of actually purchasing flowers for an event – if not – why not!
This is a massive risk if a florist starts to order stock without making sure you have the money from the client.
The Third Problem Faced When Dealing With Cancellations
The third problem is where a client gets ‘stroppy’ (Midlander’s expression – hope it translates…) with you – and this is where many of my enquiries have started…because you are no longer providing the flowers, and the client thinks they should be entitled to some money back.
Is your floristry contract clear about the fees that are payable in a cancellation situation, even if you haven’t actually yet provided all or any of the goods and services? If not, you may be restricted to only your actual loss if someone cancels; that’s the loss of profit not the loss of income. Two very different prospects.
If you are unsure if your terms cover these situations – get a fixed price review with Stanford Gould and I can advise you if your T and C’s need some firming up. Or get a fresh set here for the fixed price of £225.00 – it’s got to be worth that for your peace of mind.