Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the UK is in an ever-changing state and unfortunately, it is not yet clear as to when our lives will return to normality. In light of this, we have had to update our processes to ensure that everything is in line with Government advice, so that we can ensure social distancing measures wherever necessary. Poptop is remaining positive with regards to the landscape of offering online events as well as preparing for our regular celebrations, once the restrictions have been lifted. We are working very hard during this time to offer support for both our clients and suppliers in these uncertain times and we wish you all the best during this difficult period.
We have been working closely with our clients and suppliers to continue our services but this has not been an easy process. We work with over 14,000 suppliers, from all corners of the UK, and the vast majority of these suppliers are self-employed or run their own small businesses. This means that they have all been hugely impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 virus.
This also means that unfortunately some of our suppliers’ businesses have not been able to survive this period. All others have been very heavily affected due to the lack of bookings for the upcoming months, coupled with the effect of prior bookings that can no longer take place this year. This has had a severely detrimental effect on us and our suppliers.
Poptop will continue to help our clients and suppliers as much as we can. This is of most importance right now, and we have a full understanding of what everyone is going through, as well as the effects this time can have on everyone.
For clients, this means:
- Aiming to provide high-quality support with fast responses to guarantee a smoother process of rescheduling requests.
- Where applicable we work closely with suppliers in order to find the best solution and negotiating the best terms for both parties
- When refunds are applicable we try to provide them ASAP, depending on the monetary transaction and processes in place.
- We advise in terms of best practices on the market, how to approach suppliers and will liaise with them on our clients’ behalf
While Poptop and our suppliers still remain positive and hopeful for the future, please find the information regarding our current policies in place to help manage any bookings that are affected by the current situation.
Existing Bookings and Postponements
Poptop advises all clients and suppliers whose upcoming bookings will be affected to reschedule their bookings in order to avoid any losses for both parties. This ensures that our clients are able to have their original chosen suppliers when their event does eventually take place.
Our suppliers are adhering to advice given in order to be as flexible as possible while honouring prices and rescheduling to future dates. Over 95% of our bookings scheduled for the upcoming months have all been rescheduled.
In the case where a supplier is unavailable for the new proposed date, we have been hugely successful in finding replacement suppliers, and transferring deposits over to a new booking with minimal stress or work for our clients.
This will safeguard the survival of thousands of small businesses and allow them to deliver future events they are booked for, so this option is the best one for all parties involved and ensures fair progression through this unprecedented time.
What if I have no idea of when my event can take place?
If no new dates can be confirmed or even discussed at this point, we advise that bookings are put ‘on hold’ until a new date can be agreed. This means that as soon as a discussion about the rescheduled date occurs, the deposit is simply moved to the new date, and the booking remains largely unaffected.
Deposits & refunds
Anything beyond postponing bookings, as detailed in the above section, must be dealt with on a case by case basis with the Poptop team.
Most deposits were booked under non-refundable terms, in line with the suppliers’ individual own Terms and Conditions at the time of quoting for an event. These bookings must be reviewed individually and may be affected by the event date, and whether the client has refused the option to reschedule.
In the majority of cases, the supplier holds the deposit funds that were originally paid through the Poptop system. Due to the effects that Poptop has suffered and the cancellation policy we uphold, refunds can only be processed with supplier input and only when we have received the deposit amount back from them.
Poptop charges our suppliers a service fee of up to 12% inclusive of VAT, from the total amount of each booking they receive. In line with our Terms and Conditions, viewable on the deposit payment page, this payment is made directly to us from the deposit paid by the client.
We are continuing to uphold the Terms and Conditions of our website and therefore any non-refundable booking fees remain non-refundable.
For example: If you made a booking for £300, for which you paid a £100 deposit, the Poptop fee in question would be £36. In this case, If a refund is agreed with the supplier, the client will receive £64.
Poptop remains supportive to both our suppliers and clients, and we have put these measures in place to ensure a safe and fair system for everyone involved, as well as to best protect the immediate future of the events industry.
The CMA (Competition & Markets Authority) have provided their general views on how the law operates, which you can find on the government website.
In terms of the Poptop fees (see the above section); they cover the provision of services that, at the time your booking was made and deposit was paid, had already been provided by Poptop i.e finding and booking a supplier for an event.
The advice from the government regarding how Covid-19 affects services such as our own explains that because we have provided the service, we are not bound to refund our fees which, like any other business, covers our costs and overheads.