Coronavirus Help: What to do if your event is put on hold due to COVID-19

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been widespread, not only on daily life but for special events - some that have been planned for months.

From weddings to bridal shows, now many people are scrambling and forced to make tough decisions. That includes those businesses - catering halls - that make it all happen.

So what do you do if your big day has been put on hold?

Ralph and Genny couldn't wait for their daughter Vanessa's baby shower over the weekend. But with the restrictions on large gatherings, the celebration last weekend was off.

They paid their contract in full -- more than $6,000. The catering hall's contract says if they cancel, they can only get 40 percent back. And the hall was going to give all but $1,200 back.

But Ralph says he didn't cancel - and the contract doesn't cover the what if the catering hall or anyone or anything else forces cancelation.

Dana Ullo doesn't agree either. Her engagement party, scheduled for mid-April, had to be canceled with 140 people on Staten Island next month.
Her contract is more restrictive. It says all deposits are non-refundable. It also states it's not responsible if they have to cancel for "any reason beyond it's control."

Her catering hall said they wouldn't go by the letter of the contract and would instead, work on reasonable conclusion. But after 7 On Your Side got in touch with the Vazquez's venue, it agreed to a full refund for the family.

The catering halls we spoke to urged customers to take a breath -- especially if your function is months off. Then try to work with them. That may mean postponing your event.

As for customers -- read your contract and know your refund policy. And if you charged your deposit you can put in a dispute through your credit card.

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