Q: If someone cancels a live event bc of COVID and makes it a virtual event, do you have the right to your deposit back?
They marketed it as a completely new event, changed the price, and refuse to offer deposits back. They have offered other options such as transferring it to next year, pay for the new event, or lose your deposit. It seems pretty reasonable that you should get your money back if they cancel an event, but I wanted to get an actual lawyer's perspective.
This new world comes with new problems. Without knowing about the event, the terms and conditions related to the deposit, or any agreements you have with the event, it is very tough to give you an answer. An example may help. If you bought an airline ticket and your flight was canceled due to Covid-19, the airline had in place policies that govern cancelation of your flight. When you bought the airline ticket, you clicked through the terms and conditions, which more likely than not incorporated the airline's cancellation policy. This policy dictates, as something you agree to, what will happen in the event there is a cancellation. Therefore, if the policy says you can reschedule your flight for a date in the future or get a refund, minus some fees, those are your options. If the airline, or some government response to Covid-19, allow you to receive your entire payment back, then you will get it.
Another thing to think about is the amount of your deposit. If you want to seek an attorney's help, it could cost you more than the price of your downpayment. Knowing the terms and conditions (incorporated policies) of the host, and knowing what you agreed to will be your best bet.
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