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Attorney opinion- Reading Art Works wedding reception problem

gjhardt

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Our daughters wedding reception took place at the RAW Upstairs Loft in Reading PA in July. The owners of the Reading Art Works assured us time and time again that the air conditioner would handle the large crowd of over 200. However on the day of the wedding by the time the cocktail hour was over and our guests went upstairs for dinner the room temperature was over 80. The entire evening the room temperature was 84 degrees.


We expected that the owners would contact our daughter and new son-in-law to offer them a partial refund for having such a disasterous thing happen and having no backup. I requested they contact a rental equipment facility and at least get fans right away. They did not.

I emailed and phoned the owners Dave and Janice Telstar to let them know we expected them to contact the couple by the time they returned from their honeymoon and since they didn't would they please contact us or them as we felt that as a matter of good customer service they should compensate the couple since they didn't get what they expected. (there were many other small problems prior to the wedding that my daughter had to work through but it was too late to consider another venue by that time). I told them I felt compelled to put a bad review on the internet if they did not make an effort to compensate for the problem.

Now to my question: DO YOU THINK IF WE GO SMALL CLAIMS COURT THEY WOULD HAVE TO COMPENSATE THE COUPLE?

At the very least I would like to post reviews on the internet to forewarn any other parents and couples of the issues that we had to endure and the unprofessional way things were dealt with. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE WE CAN POST A REVIEW?
 

rsnash

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Does it state anywhere in the rental agreement that the air conditioning is guaranteed and if so, at what level? If it's not in the contract, I wouldn't count on their verbal assurances holding up in court.
 

gjhardt

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That's what I was afraid of, but am I not seeing this clearly, wouldn't it make good customer service to offer some kind of a price break just for good will?
 

Charlie D.

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Why name names?? Was it your intent to do more than just get some advice on TUG?

Charlie D.:confused:
 

LUVourMarriotts

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Does the local paper have a section to write to the Editor? Many newspaper have this and you can use it to voice your opinion about local business that you want to call out on issues like yours. Something similar is the local news stations that do an "investigation" and try to help you get some money if they find your story entertaining enough to broadcast it.

If you really want to pursue this, maybe go down that path. If the wedding was a total disaster because of this, then you have a complaint. If this was a minor annoyance, but the wedding was a great time, you're less likely to go anywhere.
 

dougp26364

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That's what I was afraid of, but am I not seeing this clearly, wouldn't it make good customer service to offer some kind of a price break just for good will?

Good customer service? I haven't seen a lot of that lately. You either get it in writing or forget about it. It's not worth the effort or the aggrivation.
 

ctreelmom

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I'm curious about one thing you said, which was that you had asked the venue to assure you their AC could handle the size of your party. Why? Was there some reason you doubted it could? I'm asking because that doesn't sound like a typical concern a catering client might have--usually a venue is air-conditioned or it's not.
 

pcgirl54

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From what you wrote something should have been done IMHO as an act of good will. This does not mean there is recourse.

For issues we have experienced this past year with a corporations DH has used the Consumerist website guidelines of how to write a letter and approach a business as a "disappointed customer" and it worked. It also clearly says what not to do including threatening the business with legal action. http://consumerist.com/search/letter/

I feel for you on such an important day. IMHO I would not take it to court as it mars the wedding day. I would write a letter and send it certified and then if nothing is done I would move on.

This is a lesson for parents and couples who have upcoming weddings to ask about AC breakdown or other things going wrong and get it in writing.
 
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Jestjoan

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They should at least have gotten fans when you requested them unless it was after hours and they couldn't.
 

dioxide45

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Did someone visit the venue earlier in the day and indicate that it was cold and if the temperature could be turned up? I ask because I worked at a golf club, and regularly before weddings people would be in decorating and would complain that it was cold. We would tell them that it may be cold now, but once 200 people are in the room the temperature would sharply rise. Sometimes they would insist on it being turned up or would sneak and do it themselves.

Now to the initial issue. If the contract didn't state it, you may be out of luck. You could also try the local paper or news station as another suggested. Or try the last resort, Greg Dawson at the Orlando Sentinel does a column on this where he assist people with problems like this. He can also be seen every Monday on the Daily Buzz.
 

bluehende

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Why name names?? Was it your intent to do more than just get some advice on TUG?

Charlie D.:confused:

copied from original post


At the very least I would like to post reviews on the internet to forewarn any other parents and couples of the issues that we had to endure and the unprofessional way things were dealt with. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE WE CAN POST A REVIEW?
 

gjhardt

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It was a wonderful day other than the room temperature

In response to some of your questions, the reason we asked about the air conditioning was because she got married in the middle of July and it was an upstairs large room with windows.

We did not go that morning but one of the servers said that it was cold when they got there in the morning. So I don't know if they turned it up and did something to the system or not, but no matter I was dumbfounded that the owners didn't even attempt to apologize or offer some kind of compensation.

But, as one of the posters said, it actually was a wonderful day in everyway except the temperature, But that was a big one for such a hot day.

Our daughter and new husband are a wonderful loving couple and their friends and family wanted to share and enjoy their moment and they did.

so maybe I answered my own question and just need to get past this feeling of disappointment with RAW.

Thanks everyone for letting me vent.

Gloria
 

Blondie

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Well- doesn't the renter have the right to expect certain things will work up to standard? Does the contract stipulate that you will have bathrooms? Probably not, but you would have a certain expectation that bathrooms would be on the premises. Shouldn't that apply to other things as well like an appropriately functioning cooling system? Why would that have to be spelled out and BTW, are you sure there was no snafu? Could it be that the system malfunctioned and you were just unlucky enough to be there that day? Just wondering...:shrug:
 

wackymother

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I think this is a situation that calls for an actual paper letter (I see you've already e-mailed and phoned). I would be polite in my letter, and I would spell out exactly the reasonable compensation I expect--for example, ten percent of the cost of renting the venue? What do other people think would be reasonable? In situations like this, it's a good idea to ask for exactly what you want rather than expecting them to come up with a satisfactory offer.

In this case, there's that element of--your event is over and you don't have any more big parties coming up. They provided the space they said they would; there's probably a clause in the contract for equipment malfunction; and there's no percentage for them in making you happy now. It's not right, it's DEFINITELY not right, but there it is.

Sorry this cloud fell over your DD and DSIL's big day. It sounds like it was a happy occasion, though!
 
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