Thursday, March 6, 2014

Go With Your Gut

When you are planning an event whether it be a wedding or not, communication is key with your vendors, especially if you are in my situation where you are doing all the planning 5 hours away from the event location. Needless to say Mr. Farmer and I depend on technology to communicate. Why am I telling you this?

Because I just had to cancel a contract and request a refund from a bad vendor. No bride ever wants to run into a vendor that causes them problems but to say that it never happens would be lying. As Miss. Parisian would know, some vendors just don't seem to want your business.

Spaceballs 1987 via reactiongifs

Yeah I know I just don't get it either.

According to my timeline, we are supposed to book the rehearsal dinner location soon. We are very fortunate that Mr. Farmer's parents have offered to cover the expense of the rehearsal dinner. I passed this task onto Mr. Farmer to find a restaurant location that he thought would work well. He found our location in early November and called, Mona Lisa's to see about getting some additional information. Lisa, the owner informed him that they would not handle any contracts until 2014 so we would have to call back then.

Fast forward to the middle of January and I attempt to email Lisa, via the email address on their website, and it gets returned, address not valid. I should of realized here that this is where my "I don't like this funny feeling I have" radar started to go off. Since my email wouldn't go through because the address wasn't active I called the restaurant to request additional information. Lisa took down my name, number, event date, email address and said she would send me some info. 2 weeks later and I still haven't received anything so I call again.

Again, I should have listened to my gut saying, "I don't like this funny feeling I have" because Lisa in fact didn't write down our name, or phone number, or email address, or event date. In fact she had no clue who I was when I called back the second time. She never apologized but sent me the contract. I signed it, and she charged us the rental fee but never sent us a signed contract back.

Hrmmm, my gut is really screaming at me now, "Miss. Barn I don't like this funny feeling I have" and again I ignore it. Fast forward 3 weeks and we are in Eau Claire for a weekend of wedding planning. We decide to stop into Mona Lisa's to check out the place we are going to have our dinner at, seems like a smart idea right? We walked into the restaurant and the vibe was cool, the décor fun, and the wine list amazing. So far so good! Here is where things took a turn for the worst.

I asked if Lisa was in as I wanted to introduce myself and say hello. One of the wait staff went to find her and told us that she would be over in about 5 minutes. Ok great, I was starting to feel a little better about the situation. Although an hour and a half later and still no Lisa. We were not about to wait any longer for her to say hi. We had been seated at the bar for 45 minutes and then were seated for dinner for another 45 minutes. Mr. Farmer and I watched her walk around saying hi to all the couples around us, move people to different tables, help seat people, and generally conversant to couples all around us, but never to us.

Needless to say we were pretty irate. Ok Miss. Barn was pretty irate. I had read my contract and understood that the room deposit was non-refundable and was ok with that. Why? Because the service of her staff was great, the food amazing, and the general atmosphere perfect. However since I seemed to have a problem communicating with the owner, I sent her an email laying out all the details that I was concerned about.

1. bad email address
2. asking for a menu/information 3 times
3. being ignored for an hour and half
4. no signed contract from vendor

I wanted to ensure that she would remedy the situation because I really liked this place and wanted to give them another chance. Although after about another 12 days with no peep I finally had to say enough is enough. My gut was screaming at the top of it's lungs and Mr. Farmer was REALLY concerned/upset at this point. I wrote her an email saying it's clear she has no intention of addressing our concerns and that we request a refund. She responded almost immediately giving me a reason that she was out of town for 10 days. (She had given me the same 'reason' once before for not getting me information).

The vendor never once apologized just said, Ok fine where would you like your refund sent. Thankfully we were able to get out of a contract and avoid any future issues. I certainly have learned my lesson. Listen to your gut when you are selecting your vendors. If you can arrange a face to face meeting I encourage it. Had Mr. Farmer and I done that we could have avoided this whole emotional mess.

Selecting vendors to work with can be hard but don't make it any harder on yourself. If you don't feel right about a vendor don't ignore those feelings.

Did anyone else have trouble communicating or have problems with a vendor? 

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