Should I Pay a Fee When I Cancel a Booking, Reservation or Order?

We Have Simple Answers For You!

The Consumer Protection Act protects you, the consumer from unfair business practices by people selling goods or offering you services. You may find the full Act by clicking here: Consumer Protection Act

Can I Cancel A Booking, Reservation or Order?

YES.

You have the right to cancel any booking, reservation or order you may have made in advance such as a hotel room, a wedding venue or wedding cake. However, this rule does not apply to goods that have been especially made for you, known as special order goods.

Can I Be Forced to Pay a Cancellation Fee?

Yes.

The supplier, for example a hotel or baker may have already asked you for a reasonable booking fee or deposit in advance. The supplier is, by law allowed to deduct a reasonable cancellation fee from that deposit.

What is a “reasonable” Cancellation Fee?

A reasonable cancellation fee is determined by:

  • the nature of the goods or services; a popular hotel in a busy tourist location may charge you more for cancellation.
  • the length of cancellation you gave the hotel/ baker.
  • whether there is reasonable potential for the hotel/baker that is acting diligently to find another person between the time you cancelled and the date you had the hotel room reserved for you
  • the normal rules of practice in that relevant industry. This means that if the hotel industry usually takes 20% of the booking fee when a booking is cancelled, that 20% is considered the reasonable cancellation fee.

What If The Cancellation Was Beyond My Control?

In some cases , you have no option but to cancel a booking, reservation or order. The hotel/baker cannot force you to pay a cancellation fee if the cancellation was because of the death or hospitalisation of the person the booking/ reservation was supposed to benefit.

Therefore, if you made a hotel booking for your mother on Mother’s day and she gets hospitalised on the day, the hotel cannot force you to pay a cancellation fee, even though you yourself are well on the day. This is because the person who was supposed to benefit from the booking is unable to make it.

We hope this has been as useful as it is simple. 

Disclaimer

The information contained on http://www.mysimplifiedlaw.wordpress.com aims at providing you with guidance on the South African law. We have ensured that this information is accurate, however, the law is constantly being changed. Although we have tried to keep this information accurate, we cannot guarantee that there are no omissions  or errors. Therefore, http://www.mysimplifiedlaw.wordpress.com will not , under any circumstance accept liability for or be held liable for  consequences resulting from the use or inability to use the information by the reader or negligence by us in relation to the information used. Every person has unique circumstances and this information has not been provided to meet individual requirements.

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