• This topic has 58 replies, 44 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by kelvin.
Viewing 19 posts - 41 through 59 (of 59 total)
  • Holiday Cottage cancelled within 1.5h of check-in – What are my rights?
  • Premier Icon StirlingCrispin
    Full Member

    That cancellation text is poor and is the minimum I would expect.

    Did you pay by credit card – they may have a full refund policy.

    Premier Icon Jujuuk68
    Free Member

    It might be their cancellation text, but frankly, with no warning, thats an unfair term. They can’t expect someone to find fresh accomodation with 1.5h notice. They’re effectively cancelling your holiday once you’ve fuly committed other costs. I bet if you try to cancel, the t&c on you are far more onerous.

    As such, for £80, it might be worth Moneyclaims online later on. Trivial costs to you, should be nil costs in the event you lose.

    But I also think its highly likely at peak season, there’s no issue with the cert. The property has just probably been booked, by the owner, outside Cottages.com, to a higher paying family. They need a “technicality” to cancel with zero notice.

    I’d be checking out the occupation if I was passing, and taking photos of any signs of occupation to support my claim for damages.

    Premier Icon tuboflard
    Full Member

    I’d go further and if I saw the property occupied I’d knock on the door and ask them who they booked through (ooh this is such a lovely property, I tried to book it but it was already booked… etc)

    Premier Icon roger_mellie
    Full Member

    Anyone else think it odd that you would have your gas safe certificate renewed every year in the middle of the busiest period of the year.

    Indeed. It’s also shoddy that the property owner has had 12 months since the last certification to arrange a new one, but seemingly can’t manage that task…

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    It’s perfectly possible that the certification has beeen postponed from a “better” time of year due to Covid / staff shortages etc

    Premier Icon xora
    Full Member

    It’s perfectly possible that the certification has beeen postponed from a “better” time of year due to Covid / staff shortages etc

    This is what I was going to say, a certain British Gas company stopped providing them at all over Covid even if you were paying for landlord service. So everyone was madly scrambling to get them done!

    Premier Icon mrmoofo
    Full Member

    They either need to put you in suitable alternative – or compensate you for all your losses.
    And don’t take any offer the make initially – Consult a solicitor.

    Premier Icon el_boufador
    Full Member

    With 90 minutes to go?

    I know about Hanlon’s razor and all that…. but it’s very very difficult not to smell bullshit here.

    Premier Icon FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    Naff news but better not to be dead

    Go through all the websites you can, compo sounds reasonable so far, see what you can get and ask them to pay the difference (within reason)

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    You could message Drac as he’s a local and may have some contacts or suggestions.

    Not any with space until after Xmas. Although there may be some space in a friend’s  campsite, that has bell tents. Maybe they can pay for the OP to stay there for few days until they can fix the issue.

    Premier Icon convert
    Full Member

    With 90 minutes to go?

    I know about Hanlon’s razor and all that…. but it’s very very difficult not to smell bullshit here.

    Not at all – I could very easily see this situation happening.

    Declaration – we run a holiday cottage effectively in our garden. But use Sykes, not Cottages.com

    It’s worth understanding how these firms work. They own nothing. They rent nothing. They are merely an agent – putting punters and owners together and charging circa 20% from the owner and a booking fee from the customer. So not really that different to Airbnb. They will not ‘have’ other accommodation to put someone in – merely other owners on their books that might have vacancies.

    As an owner this is your worst nightmare. You not only loose the booking money but you have to pay a penalty too – i.e. the compensation is not really coming from cottages.com but from the owner. From memory it’s tiered from how far out you let someone down. When my mum was running the one we run now and my dad died (and she wasn’t in a position to do the changeover), the cancellation fee for the next guests was a few hundred pounds, on top of obviously paying back the booking.

    But it’s entirely imaginable that this could happen. You don’t want to disturb guests whilst they are in so book maintenance and safety checks in on changeover day. If you have a failed gas safety cert you just have no choice but to cancel – there is no winging it. With Skyes you have to have a valid cert uploaded on their portal or your property closes – oddly they don’t just take your word for it. You wouldn’t want to stay somewhere where they did wing it would you?

    Where there got this wrong was booking the gas safety checks for high season. If possible you’d book it in for where you had a couple of empty weeks, normally in the low season, so if something went wrong there was time to sort or at least give longer notice. You’d have to really hope there was a good reason for planning it when they did.

    I hope the new property works out for you OP. But yes, in this situation with you well on the way to getting there, I would hope cottages.com would go beyond their standard T&Cs – at at least look more favourably at covering the cost of the new place that they state in their terms. However, they were by some margin the worst of the cottage letting companies when covid hit, retaining money way beyond reasonable and not answering the phone to customers or owners for weeks. They lost a lot of owners after that and confessed to be being very poorly prepared. Heads rolled. I’d not hold my breath sadly.

    Premier Icon servo
    Free Member

    I have to say Cottages.com very promptly refunded our holiday in November 2020 within 1 week after the government announced the second lockdown. It seems like most of the rental cottage industry did struggle with refunds at first, but most of them got their act together.

    In fact, Skyes took longer than Hoseasons (owners of Cottages.com) to get their refund policy sorted out.

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/07/sykes-cottages-reverses-coroanvirus-refund-policy-after-regulato/

    Premier Icon ElShalimo
    Full Member

    What happened to the OP?

    Did they get away?

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Full Member

    Based on a post last week – yes but nothing since.
    I’m sure they’ll be along with an update soon.

    Premier Icon xcpootler
    Free Member

    OP here to provide a happy end to the story.

    We managed to book somewhere last minute with Sykes cottages (thanks whoever mentioned that above as an option) and had a great week in Alwnick and the area.

    Cottages.com initially offered 40% compensation in addition to a refund, although they were very sniffy about it and alleged that they didn’t have to offer anything other than a straight refund. I rejected their compensation offer on the basis that it didn’t even cover the additional cost of the last-minute cottage I’d had to book. In the end, they increased the compensation offer to cover it, so I wasn’t left out of pocket (other than my stress levels!)

    For those thinking of going to Northumberland on holiday, I wouldn’t bother – as everyone on here keeps saying, it’s rubbish! 😉

    Premier Icon xcpootler
    Free Member

    Oh, and there’s no salacious end involving bombers and frozen sausages either. I walked past the cancelled cottage a couple of times during the week and it seemed empty on both occasions. Also, our last-minute cottage had a gas inspection on the last day, so perhaps it’s not so unusual after all?!?

    Premier Icon avdave2
    Full Member

    Also, our last-minute cottage had a gas inspection on the last day, so perhaps it’s not so unusual after all?!?

    Stupidity and lack of forethought are certainly not unusual it seems. Glad you had a great time and aren’t out of pocket.

    Premier Icon convert
    Full Member

    Stupidity and lack of forethought are certainly not unusual it seems. Glad you had a great time and aren’t out of pocket.

    My guess is this goes back to the 2020 lockdown. Gas safety certs are like MOTs – annual and most people tend to leave it until the last one is about to run out. There will be a whole load of folk who got there 2020 check delayed and had it done as they reopened in the summer of 2020. If you were wise, you’d not wait for it to expire in 21 and 22 but do it early and change the annual cycle back. Gas engineer availability for doing the sensible thing might be a limiting factor here I guess.

    Glad you got that resolved OP and had a good time – I’d be very interested to know who paid your enhanced compensation – if cottages.com swallowed it or if they went back to the owner for more….

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    But did you go to the Tanners’ Arms?

Viewing 19 posts - 41 through 59 (of 59 total)

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