Give my money back!
June 23, 2009 12:18 AM   Subscribe

Will they return my reservation fee?

So I made my initial reservation (which is 20% of the total fee) for a new house and lot I was interested in last June 5th and then I went back to the developer's office to pay the other 80% of my reservation fee last June 10. Now, the package deal I was interested in, turned out it cannot be made into two floors, and the house will remain bungalow, that means misleading or false information for me because they gave me the idea that I can have an additional floor for the house. So they calculated and presented to me a new package again. This time, with a second floor, but right after I gave my full reservation fee, they told me that there will be additional fixed factor rate that I wasn't aware of before even giving them the full payment. That means undisclosed information for me. So after that, we went back to the site, and they showed me the place where the chosen package will rise but since it is not in a very good location, we decided to look somewhere. We found a better area, and I asked them if that will have the same pricing with the chosen package we have, and they said YES. Tripping's done, after a day they called me again, to tell me that the price went higher AGAIN, for additional P25, 000 or around USD520 more. So that is when I decided to just cancel the whole thing and just get my money back.

Now, according to their form, it says "Reservation fee is valid for 30 days, non-refundable, non-transferable." My take on that is that, I just finished paying the total fee last June 10 so obviously I still did not reach the 30-day period. I know laws vary by country and I am a total newbie with this but I just want a clearer picture if I can still have my money back, or at least a good percentage of it. What do you think guys?
posted by LittleMissItneg to Law & Government (3 answers total)
I think you should hire a lawyer right now.
posted by fshgrl at 12:36 AM on June 23, 2009

I think "no".

Of primary importance is the contract associated with this payment. You can hire a lawyer or just read the contract and go by that. Your particular area might give you more rights than the contract (contracts can never take away rights even are written to do so), so talking to a lawyer isn't a bad idea if their consultation fee is less than your reservation.
posted by @troy at 1:29 AM on June 23, 2009

A few things here.

First, if you want your money back, get a lawyer. No way around it.

I had a longer response written out, but then I realized that you're in the Philippines, and I have absolutely no clue about the law in that jurisdiction. I don't even think it's a common law jurisdiction, meaning discussions of consideration and the Statute of Frauds, which immediately came to mind, are completely out the window.

Get a lawyer. That's your only option.

@troy is wrong about one thing though: contracts can and do take away rights. That's what they're intended to do, as a matter of fact. At the very least, when two parties enter into a contract they give up the right not to do the things they've promised to do. But there are a wide number of rights which parties may voluntarily give up for the purposes of a contractual relationship, including the right to seek redress in court in favor of binding arbitration. Such terms are enforceable and do affect your rights. Granted, there are certain public policy goals which courts will protect, but there is a presumption that the terms of a contract entered into voluntarily will be left undisturbed.
posted by valkyryn at 3:04 AM on June 23, 2009

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