Pair get refund on wedding package after event cancelled due to MCO

Sulaiman with Nornasha at the Johor Baru Consumer Claims Tribunal office.

JOHOR BARU: A couple who was forced to cancel their wedding reception here due to the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) in March, found themselves in a bind when the bridal boutique refused to refund the money they paid.

Policeman Sulaiman Osman, 29, and Nornasha Shariza Mohd Shukeri, 26, had brought forward the akad nikah (marriage solemnisation) ceremony held at the latter’s house in Taman Pulai Perdana by a day to March 19.

This was because he had to report back for duty in Penang as he had been assigned to handle roadblocks during the MCO.

“Our wedding reception was fixed for March 22 but it was cancelled due to the MCO,’’ he said when met outside the Johor Baru Consumer Claims Tribunal in Menara Ansar here.

Sulaiman and Nornasha had on March 17, visited the bridal boutique in Ulu Tiram as they wanted to cancel the wedding due to the Covid-19 pandemic and MCO which was implemented on March 18.

They asked that the owner return the RM15,000 paid to her for the RM19,000 wedding package but the owner refused to do so.

She was only willing to return RM215 to them.

The package included bridal attire, dais, make-up, photography and videography sessions and food for 1,000 guests.

Sulaiman had on Dec 12, 2019, paid RM1,000 to the boutique, followed by RM9,000 in January and RM5,000 on March 8.

“We told her that we were willing to forego RM5,000 from the RM15,000 paid and wanted RM10,000 returned to us but she refused,’’ said Nornasha.

They then decided to file their case with the tribunal, adding that the owner did not turn up for a hearing in August despite a notice being served on her.

At the tribunal, the respondent said she could not return RM15,000 to the claimant as the wedding was cancelled at the last minute.

“I paid RM11,000 to the caterer, RM4,000 to the make-up artiste, photographer, videographer, kompang (traditional percussion) group and for the wedding cake as well as décor for the wedding hall,’’ she said.

The respondent said the terms and conditions in the wedding package clearly stated that the money paid was non-refundable.

Tribunal president Rashidah Abu Bakar said the claimant had informed the respondent five days before the ceremony.

“Hence, the issue of last-minute cancellation does not arise in this case.

“The claimant did not deliberately cancel. He was called up for duty during the MCO,’’ she said.

Rashidah said the RM15,000 paid to the respondent’s vendors was from the money paid by the claimant and he had the right to get his money back as the couple did not use the services under the wedding package.

She ordered the respondent to return RM14,038 to the claimant within 14 days, after deducting RM962 for the 16 wedding trays that the couple had used and for the wedding invitation cards.

Rashidah said RM10,000 must be paid in two instalments, with the first payment of RM5,000 on Oct 6 and the second on Nov 6.

She ordered the balance of RM4,038 to be used for a ceremony after the claimant’s wife gives birth this December.

Those who need assistance with tribunal matters can call 07-227 2828.

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