An Army veteran who booked a party at a hotel for his 50th wedding anniversary has spoken of his bitterness after the venue refused to return a £700 upfront payment when he had to cancel the event when his wife died.
Eric Clifton, 78, of Swanmore, Hampshire, had paid an initial deposit of £160 with a further payment of £535 to the Lysses House Hotel in Fareham for the event organised to celebrate the golden wedding anniversary of his marriage to Joyce.
But eight weeks before the event, Mrs Clifton, 72, died from cancer and her widower was forced to cancel the party.
When he contacted the hotel, he was told that both sums that he had paid were a deposit and he could not receive any refund.
The former warrant officer in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, who has two children and five grandchildren, said: "I feel rather bitter about it.
"They said that all of the amount paid was deposit, it couldn't be refunded and we were told at the time.
"I am pretty cross. We had been there several times before - I won't be going back there again."
Nicola Stafford, front-of-house manager at Lysses House Hotel, said that Mr Clifton had read and signed the hotel's terms and conditions when he had booked the venue and they were unable to refund the deposit as they had been unable to re-let the function room.
She said: "It's unfortunate and we understand he is upset and angry but we cannot give him preferential treatment.
"Our terms and conditions are standard across the industry and we would advise anybody booking a function to take out insurance for any such eventuality very much as if you had booked a holiday."