Added on January 12, 2016, by Reviewer619978
Review: Chose Paravati Catering because it was close to where our Wedding was going to be. Signed a contract and paid the required deposit a few months ago. Since then, the Caterer has been non responsive to our emails and phone calls and has put us in a jam when we have to get our invitations out in a week or two. Can tell they are in office as he has responded to dummy email accounts created to see if he was ignoring us.Desired Settlement: Would like our deposit back and would want people to be aware of the bad product
Revdex.com of Metro Washington DC and Eastern Pennsylvania
1337 North Front Street Harrisburg PA 17102
Attn: ******* *******
RE: ID# *******
Thank you for your letter regarding the complaint with our business, while we were upset to think someone was unhappy, we are more than satisfied that we had tried everything in our power to make the event work for our client. Below I am giving a brief description of the events* Please let me know if there is anything else you need or any questions you may have.
Client booked their wedding for the original date of October 12,2013,
Client received the contract from Paravati Catering in January 2013.
Client came in for tasting on January 20,2013,
Client wanted a revised contract which was granted and sent on March 27,2013.
Client signed and returned contract that they dated April 1, 2013.
A deposit was received according to contract.
Once the deposit was made the event was booked -
We typically call the client 3 months prior to their event to start the detail process of picking linens and finalizing the menu and the event details.
We had not received any emails, as stated in the document.
Except for one dated July 10, 2013 from a friend of theirs stating they were newly engaged and were looking for information regarding having their reception at our facility.
I responded to the inquiry and was asked to contact the clients.
I called the clients to see what was going on, no answer and no return call was made to me, We also emailed the “newly engaged" gentleman back asking him to have the clients resend any email that could have potentially been missed.
Approximately July 26th, the clients brother called and stated I was not getting back to the clients, I stated that I had called and not received any return calls. I did not receive any emails or phone calls from them, please have them resend or have them call directly. After getting off the phone with the brother, I again called and left the bride a message. Again, no return calls.
On Friday August 2,2013, after talking to you, I reached out yet again. I spoke with the groom for approximately 5 minutes; he then asked if he could call me back after work. I stated no problem. No phone call was made back to me.
So on Sunday August 4,20131 called again, no response so I emailed the client asking them to contact me regarding this and apologizing if they felt they had been neglected in any way. In response I received and email (first email received from them directly since approximately April) stating they moved the venue and would like some options since hey moved the event.
On August 7,20131 emailed the client with an offer of returning 50% of the paid deposit. They refused this offer and are demanding a full refund. On August 8,2013 they finally emailed a copy of the said email that was not replied to, this email had some questions pertaining to bringing in some desserts, children’s pricing and entree selections. In my opinion these questions do not warrant any concern to move their event to another venue.
It seems that they didn’t like the time frame of their event and wanted to move but knew they had signed a contract.
In Closing I want to reiterate that no phones calls were received from these people prior to them changing venues, in my opinion they wanted to change venues and wanted their deposit back and felt that because they signed the contract they would be denied.
I look forward to trying to come to an equal settlement for both parties. We take great pride in our business and receive many complements on how quick we return phone calls and emails. I am sorry they feel that I have neglected them, but I have tried to get all the information and settle this matter.
August 20, 2013
Revdex.com of Metro Washington DC and Eastern Pennsylvania
1337 North Front Street
Harrisburg PA, 17102
Attn: ******* *******
Thank you for handling our complaint made against Paravarti Catering. We understand you received a letter from the owner in response to this complaint. We would like to clarify a number of issues mentioned in this letter, as we feel the information provided is inaccurate.
We believe the following points made by the caterer in his letter dated August 6, 2013 to be in error:
• In his order of events the caterer indicates that the deposit was made after the signed contract was returned to him. In reality the deposit was made on January 20, 2013 during the tasting the bride and groom attended with their parents. This was before we even saw the contract, which was not sent to us until several days later, on January 23, 2013.
• The caterer stated that he typically calls the client 3 months prior to the event to start finalizing details. No call was ever made to us until July 20, after nearly a month of communications attempts with the caterer.
• While the caterer states he received no communication with the bride and groom, we have made multiple communication attempts by email and phone over a period of nearly a month before hearing from the caterer. These attempts were made by email on June 22, June 28, July 2, July 8, and July 17, and by phone on July 10 and July 16. Furthermore, suspecting that the caterer may be ignoring us on purpose, we also reached out to him in the form of a friend. The friend initially reached out to him by email as a new client on July 10, and received a response from the caterer minutes later. The caterer continued his correspondence with our friend until July 12, when the caterer became aware that the friend was emailing on our behalf. Afterwards, the caterer made no further communication with the friend, and made no attempt to contact us, even though he knew from the friend that we were trying to contact him. We did not hear from the caterer until July 20, nearly a week later, after we informed him by email that we were going elsewhere.
• While the caterer claims that we demanded a full refund, in fact that is not the case. Ideally we would like a full refund, but we also told the caterer we would accept a return of the balance of our deposit, subtracting the cost of the tasting we attended. The caterer had told us the tasting was $25 per person if we did not book with him, and we had 6 people. Therefore, we are expecting $350 to be returned, not our full deposit of $500.
Since the caterer has made many misrepresentations of our situation, we feel our entire history must be explained. We have provided supporting documentation in the form of our email correspondence with the caterer for your review.
• We never received a signed copy of the contract from the caterer, therefore our copy was not legally-binding.
• The parents of the bride were listed as the patron in the contract, not the bride and groom, but the caterer said any of us could sign it, and so it was signed by the bride. We learned from our lawyer, that because the contract was not signed by the patron, it was never legally-binding to begin with.
• Our deposit was made BEFORE we saw the contract, and would not be returned when we found there were clauses in the contract that we did not agree with.
• The caterer neglected to respond to numerous messages not only in our current complaint, but throughout our entire correspondence ever since our deposit was placed.
• In his letter, the caterer speculated that we did not like the time frame of our event, but the contract we signed with the alternate venue covers the exact same time frame, and was significantly more expensive than our original contract.
• The email the caterer says he "finally" received on August 8, 2013 was sent to the same email address and the same email chain that all the previous emails were sent to, and there is no reason they should not have been received. There have been communication lapses from the caterer in the past, and we believe he is trying to cover his negligence after learning we had switched to another venue in an attempt to keep our money.
• From the caterer's opinion stated in his letter to you that our questions "do not warrant a change in venue" it is clear how little he cares about our questions and concerns in this critical time leading up to our wedding and is indicative of the poor service we have received.
• The failure to respond to our extensive communication attempts combined with the lack of validity of our contract prompted us to find an alternate venue, fearing that the caterer had no intention of honoring our contract, and was only trying to steal our money.
We came in for a private tasting on January 20 with our parents, and at that time the bride's father made a $500 deposit. The caterer also promised us a group tasting in February that would include samples from the cake and flower vendors.
We did not see or receive the contract from the caterer until January 23 (see attached email coorespondencel). At that time we had it reviewed by our attorney.
On February 6 we emailed the caterer to ask about the group tasting with cake and flower vendors he had promised. That email was never answered. We were never invited to the promised tasting, and to our knowledge it never happened.
On February 25, we inquired about bringing in outside desserts because it was stated in the contract that no outside food would be permitted. We were told by the caterer that this was not allowed. At that time we inquired about the caterer's sweets table. That email was also never answered.
Our next correspondence with the caterer was not until March 4 (a week later), when he inquired why the contract had not been signed yet, and we responded that he never resolved the sweets table issue we had inquired about and would not sign the contract until it was resolved (see attached email coorespondence2).
When it became clear that the caterer would not permit us to carry out the wedding tradition of having family members bring home-made desserts, we requested information on his policy on refunding our deposit, and we were told it was nonrefundable, even though we had not yet signed the contract. The deposit had been made in good faith before we saw the contract, not knowing there were clauses we did not agree with.
After we inquired about reducing our wedding service to a much smaller (cheaper) package, on March 6 the caterer agreed to allow us to bring outside sweets. We confirmed that this arrangement was acceptable on March 11 and asked for the revised contract. When we did not receive a response, we asked again on March 19, and again on March 26. It was not until March 27 when we finally received the updated contract. This was 3 weeks after the changes to the contract were agreed upon.
The contract was signed by the bride (not the patron) and returned to the owner by email on April 2. A copy signed by the caterer was never returned to us.
We had no further correspondence with the caterer until June 22, when we sent an email with a series of questions. This was sent to the same email train that we used to send the contract, which the caterer admitted to you that he had received. Over the next month, we received no answer, and continued to follow up with additional emails on June 28, July 2, and July 8 (see email correspondence 3). On July 10 we made a phone call, and got no answer, but left a message to get back to us. Also on July 10, a friend of ours emailed the caterer as a new client and received an answer within minutes and an invitation from the caterer to visit his venue that weekend. On July 12, the caterer sent a follow-up email to the friend. This proved to us that the caterer was available, and was receiving and responding to emails, and we were being selectively ignored. On July 12, once the caterer became aware that the friend was associated with us and we had been trying to contact him, the friend's follow-up email was also ignored (see AJ email coorespondence). The caterer was asked to resend the email he claimed to have sent us. This was not done, and the friend received no further responses from the caterer. Furthermore the caterer made no attempt to contact us, even though he can no longer deny he knew we were trying to contact him.
On July 16 the groom made another phone call from his work phone. Again no one answered and we left a message that was not returned. After reviewing the contract with our lawyer we learned that this contract was not legally binding because a) the owner never signed it; and b) the patron (parents of the bride) never signed it. At this point it was quite clear that to us that the caterer had no intention of responding, and we had serious concerns that he did not intend to honor our event at all, and was only trying to get our money. Therefore, on July 17, we wrote a letter to the pastor of the parish where the venue is located complaining, and informed the caterer by email that we would be going elsewhere and wanted our money back. It was only after we made these complaints that we finally received any sort of response from the caterer on July 20 in the form of a phone call, which was promptly returned the next day (see bride's phone records). The caterer asked us to resend the email, which was done immediately, reiterating again that we were going elsewhere and wanted our money back. Additional phone calls by the caterer were returned by the groom or the brother of the groom while the bride was recovering from a car accident.
We re-sent the original email again on July 8 as requested by the caterer. This was sent in the same email chain, to the same email address in the same manner as all the previous emails. The caterer has admitted to you that he did receive this email containing the contract - the original email in the chain. Therefore, there is no reason we can see why he should have selectively received these two and none of the others.
As you can see, while the caterer may claim to have received many compliments of prompt service, this has not been our experience ever since we gave him money. Even early on in February some of our emails were never answered, and we had extensive waits on responses for others. When we had questions about the contract prior to signing, it was a week before we got a response, and this response was about another matter, not an answer to our question. When we agreed on modifications to our contract it was 3 weeks and 2 follow-up emails later before it was actually sent to us. And finally, in June when we emailed with additional questions for information that we needed to get our invitations printed and mailed, it was 4 weeks before we received a response, and this was only after we felt we had no choice but to switch to a different venue.
To reiterate, we have made multiple communication attempts through multiple routes, and all were ignored until after we were forced to switch venues.
Communication has been a problem ever since the caterer received a deposit from us, as we have waited up to four weeks for responses from the caterer on multiple occasions.
Our event is scheduled at the exact same time at the new venue, and is more expensive, putting us significantly over our planned budget. As a result, we have had to make sacrifices in other areas.
The only copy of the contract we ever received lacked the caterer's signature, and was not legally-binding. After multiple severe lapses in communication by the caterer, we had no reason to believe he intended to honor it.
We do not feel we are being unreasonable in expecting the balance of our deposit to be returned.
Thank you for your time and attention,
No Paravati Catering did not send us anything.
Please see attached response. The original check was sent to Revdex.com and is being forwarded to consumer.
Revdex.com of Metro Washington DC and Eastern Pennsylvania
Attn: ******* ******* ID# *******
I am offering the customer a refund of $350.00, this is the amount that was acceptable to them.
In doing so I am not in any way admitting any wrong doing from my company or myself in the handling of communications. We are willing to settle this case with the refund in return that the customer drops all allegations against us. Therefor each party admits no wrong doing in this matter and can continue in their separate matters. We wish them well and the best for their upcoming wedding reception.
Again, we feel that no wrong doing was done on our part, but would like to move forward in this matter. We are sorry that they feel that they were not being recognized with any concerns that they had. We hope this matter can be resolved with this offer and both parties can move forward.
Again, I want to make it clear that we are not admitting to any wrong doing and would like to settle this matter.
Thank You and I look forward to hearing from you.