Trouble with the State Room

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from June2009. Show June2009's posts

    Trouble with the State Room

    I have seen old posts by people who had trouble with the State Room's "event minimum" policies and am experiencing a lot of the same. I am wondering if anyone else out there has had difficulty with planning there and how they resolved it.

    Things include:
    - significantly different vendor pricing for the same vendor when direct sourcing or through the state room
    - shifting meal prices, including bundled costs suddenly becoming a la carte, creating a serious upswing in cost
    - trouble getting responses on basic event questions or setting up meetings, including needing two months lead time to get a tasting, making it hard or impossible to take care of some of our responsibilities

    There's a bit more, but this just hits the highlights! Was hoping someone who is navigating their event successfully can help - we are trying to stay optimistic about our wedding.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    Have you already signed a contract?  If not, it sounds like you may want to find a place that is less shady or at least more up front re pricing. 
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from June2009. Show June2009's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    We did - we had to sign one to guarantee our date. Though we talked about pricing before we signed, a lot of costs were pulled out or identified as separate -after- we paid.

    If we had even 25% down and this had come out, we agree that we probably would have just walked away - not worth it to have bad feelings associated with your wedding.

    It is such a popular venue, we are hoping someone was able to deal with this well.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    If it were me, I'd go to the top.  I'd contact the CEO, and ask for all your questions about pricing to be answered accurately and immediately.  No one will want to give you that number, but just don't hang up until you're connected or you have the number; they will not hang up on you nor will they hold you on the phone for hours.  You'll get the number if you're polite and stearn.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    Not trying to make your life difficult, but why did you sign the contract if they had changed prices and other basic items that you had discussed?  I assume you read the contract before you signed it?  If they made you pay a deposit to save the date before you saw the written contract, I would think you could get your money back, or at least the bulk of it.  If you did sign the contract, knowing what was in there, then I'm afraid you are stuck w/ the written terms.  Hopefully you can work something out with them.  Good luck.   
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie18. Show pinkkittie18's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    I second Kar's suggestion, call and get your answers and don't hang up until you do. If that doesn't work, go there in person.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Colby2000. Show Colby2000's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    Did your contract spell out the pricing for each item within the package?  If so, it would be hard for them to raise the prices on you.  However, the contract at our venue did not, just listed F&B minimum.  However we asked that they add an addendum to the contract saying they would honor all pricing as shown in their packages.  We then attached the printed package details with pricing to the contract and initialed each page.  They did the same. 

    We are not getting married at the State Room however I specifically remembered other brides going through the same thing you are going through now so wanted to avoid this problem.  Good luck!   
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from becauseican. Show becauseican's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    The State Room casts a magical spell on you when you walk in, the beauty of the view is overwhelming and we thought wow, our guests' jaws will drop when they see this (we have a lot coming from overseas).  The spell shattered when we read the contract. I went over it with a fine tooth comb and by the end I said absolutely no way in heck am I signing this nonsense. $800 for the bridal suite and $200 for a coatroom (in August) was ridiculous. There is ZERO negotiating either, we tried in vain to eliminate those costs and it was a solid no. Also the fact that our initial sweet kind wedding planner took a job somewhere else mid-way through negotiations and left us with a rather callous drill sargeant of a planner made the choice even easier to escape. I don't want my bad experience to inflict any doubt on your choice but I agree with both the ladies above, call or email the CEO, maybe they can help.  I feel that the State Room has so many functions emerging from large companies like Fidelity or Citi for example that book the room and basically have no limits on their budget and they forget average working brides don't necessarily want to pay $275 per person for dinner (that was my estimated cost for food for 100 people because of the event minimum)

    Good luck!!!

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from June2009. Show June2009's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    We did get as much information as we could -before- we signed the contract - and basic prices didn't change until after we had signed and given them most of our money. . . .

    A rider would have been a good idea, but to be honest, I never would have even been able to think of some of these separate charges. The State Room doesn't offer packages. Everything is promoted as being "customized," but this device seems equally useful for preventing lookthrough on prices. It took more than two months to get a menu set, and then pricing for that was another month or so.

    We did go through a lengthy contract discussion, but our timing must have been different from becauseican's since an $800 fee for a bridal suite would have set off sirens!

    Once they have your money, there seems to be little give, or even understanding, despite earlier promises.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Prill. Show Prill's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    If you have signed a contract and paid money with an understanding, per the contract, that prices won't change then they must honor the contract. If they have not discolsed all information to you before signing, even though they have had the information, then I would question their business practices as being deceitful.
    If, as they say they "customize" - then throw that term back at them and say you woukld like to "customize" your package to not include XY&Z (the bridal suite for example).

    Get as much information as possible, in writing (e.g - evidence of different pricing from vendors etc) and go and see them, face to face.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    They can't change the prices if specific prices are in your contract. That's basic.  Hold them to the written terms.

    A promise from a vendor means nothing if it's not in writing.  If they agreed to something in writing, hold them to it. 
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    I don't think it's necessarily a case of their changing prices after the contract... It's just that their system/pricing is so complicated!!  Other people have posted questions and pleas for help on here before.  I think they include their preferred vendors in the minimums and all kinds of crazy stuff?

    I hope it all works out!
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from becauseican. Show becauseican's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    I loved the fact that State Room still had an event minimum that was absurd even if you brought in your own vendors AND had the gall to charge an extra $500 for each vendor you bring in plus the 28% total taxes on the estimated cost of each. I wish I could send each of you the contract - you'd fall off your chairs if you read it. 

    Additional fees may apply for events requiring additional space(s) or time, complex set-up or break-down, extra, cleaning, repairs related to damage, parking, specialty linen/china/glassware, bar set-ups, audio/visual equipment and services, additional staffing, and other additional costs as required or necessary. State Room shall attempt to disclose the details of such charges when they become known to or determined by State Room.

    June2009 - it doesn't hurt to try everyone in the org chart within State Room for help with it.  I wish you the best of luck and hope they work something out with you. 

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    Even if the prices are embedded somewhere and somehow in the contract, I would bring the fact that it's confusing to the attention of a decision maker (not the function coordinator) of the State Room.  Highlight sections that are misleading and practice what you want to say before you meet.  Bring a list of questions and get them all answered before you go.
     
    Sounds like you are locked in, now, since you signed.  But, better to have them clarify what you agreed to earlier rather than later so you can plan your spending accurately.

    The practice of being pressured to sign a contract is common.  Apartments do the same thing.  They ask you to sign a lease to "hold" the apartment.  I thought that sounded weird, and asked if I were "holding" the apartment for 12 months that way. They laughed and said, "Yes, but you're the first one to ask and then read it all the way through before signing."  That's so wrong - they should say that if you sign this you are locked in for a year so read it carefully and let us know if you have any questions.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from June2009. Show June2009's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    The issue is that certain prices weren't revealed until after the contract was signed, so we can't fall back on written terms. Of course, knowing what we know now, we would have been more demanding before we signed.

    For instance, before we signed, I asked to talk to an event manager to see how they work, and to get some vendor names to see if the style fit. Would you believe that they did not reveal until the fifth meeting (well after we signed) that a very prominent Boston florist I'd repeatedly requested actually refuses to work with them? I couldn't figure out why they kept showing me their own in-house names.

    I was warned by vendor before signing, but never expected such bad faith coupled with purely reactive service.

    If we had to do it again, we would not go back to the State Room, certainly. But for anyone else considering it, I would have -everything- represented to you by sales added to a rider, and try to include as many major vendor estimates as possible. Demad to know what the underlying vendor charge is.

    I think when they realized we would not be booking through them - and therefore paying double on some services already priced at a wedding premium - they decided to increase their take by itemizing certain items that are ordinarily bundled with other bigger services.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie18. Show pinkkittie18's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    What a nightmare! If something is normally bundled, how can they now charge you seperately for it?
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    Depending on how far away your wedding is, it may make sense to walk away and forfeit your deposit.  If they are charging you for everything under the sun now [b/c it wasn't itemized and therefore isn't part of the contract], you are probably going to save money going elsewhere, even if you lose a $5K or $10K deposit. 

    I think when vendors are warning you about a venue location, it's best to just walk away, no matter how pretty the venue is. 
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie18. Show pinkkittie18's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    I'd also check with the Better Business Bureau, see if they have any similar complainst against them and if they were ever resolved. If they haven't resolved or responded to similar complaints I would run away fast!
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    I have to add my vote for strongly considering whether it makes sense to cut your losses now.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from June2009. Show June2009's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    I wish we could . . . we have paid 100% - we are close enough to the event.

    I worry if we complain too much too closely, then our reception will not come off well. . . .
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    [QUOTE]I wish we could . . . we have paid 100% - we are close enough to the event. I worry if we complain too much too closely, then our reception will not come off well. . . .
    Posted by June2009[/QUOTE]

    Well, whatever you've paid, you've paid.  Try to let the stress of it all go, and just enjoy the Day and those left leading up to it.  I'm sure the State Room will provide in grand style, and you'll look back on this and not care so much about the trouble or possible overcharge it was.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from dbilodeau. Show dbilodeau's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    The State Room is operated by Longwood Events in Brookline.  The CEO is Jim Apteker (617) 731-4800 (main number to Longwood Events).

    Hope that helps.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from June2009. Show June2009's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    Wow. Direct line to the top. Thank you!

    I think we are still a little bit nervous about having our reception come off well is we push too hard, so we are going to start being a little more forceful with our event manager and then work our way up from there.

    I will let you know how it goes! Keep your fingers crossed for us.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    I can understand your reluctance, but I think it's a mistake.  Your event will be the best ever if you go straight to the top and say you aren't happy with the service and contract as soon as possible.  No CEO will let that go; it's bad for business. He'll make sure his staff goes WAY out of their way to make your night so special you can't HELP but rave and rave and rave.  It's just good business.  If you deal with just the event manager, you won't have the same result because he/she won't be properly motivated by the one with a vested interest in your happines.

    It's all about vested interest.  Go to the one who has something to lose by your being unhappy.  That's the owner, not the salaried employee.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from Missy509. Show Missy509's posts

    Re: Trouble with the State Room

    File the complaint with the BBB. You would be surprised how fast businesses respond. Most of them do not want a negative report on the BBB. Or, if you are worried about the service not being so good that day, make sure you correspond several times via email (so you have proof you tried to rectify the situation but to no avail), and then after the wedding, file the complaint with the BBB and in the resolution section, put a dollar amount that you want refunded.

     

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