I booked a room at a B&B a month and a half in advance, over the phone. I asked to be sent a confirmation via email and a cancellation policy as I had not seen it at that point.

4 days before the trip we had something come up and wanted to cancel the room. I realized I had never followed up after booking and I had never received the confirmation OR the cancellation policy. The establishment is saying its's too late to cancel because they have a 2 week policy. Had I known that I would have cancelled right away as I don't agree with that policy at all. On top of that, it's a 2 night stay and they will charge for both nights even if I cancel. Is this even legal?

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    Do I understand clearly that you never received and agreed to a written/emailed booking confirmation ? It seems to me you are therefore absolutely free to cancel with no fee.
    – audionuma
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 16:22
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    Imagine you ran a B&B and were expecting two nights revenue from someone then 4 days before they cancelled. Would you be ok with just not getting revenue for those nights? Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 22:31
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    @KateGregory I wouldn't be happy under such circumstances, which is why I'd be sure to present my terms, and ask for confirmation that they'd been read and understood, before accepting a booking.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 6:14

1 Answer 1


I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, but this is fairly basic. It's legal in the sense that your booking is a contract with the proprietor of the B&B and you agreed to those terms by making the booking. Not following up is the same as not reading a contract.

You don't list the location but it's possible, though unlikely, that cancellation fee is not enforceable because of specific law applicable in the B&B's jurisdiction. In that case, they could only charge you what is allowed by law. You would have to look into the applicable laws to pursue that.


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