Where do I stand -Hotel booking

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by edd1989, Dec 4, 2008.

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  1. I recently booked a hotel from the 31st of December to the 3rd of January in Edinburgh for a good new years bash with my girlfriend.
    Unfortunately my grandmother has just been diagnosed with a terminal medical condition with the doctors saying she is unlikely to last long. Therefore I have cancelled my trip to spend her last Christmas and New Year with the family.

    The hotel has charged me full price (just shy of £300) under their cancellation policy. I booked the hotel on my debit card under the belief I wouldn't get charged until my stay was over so I’m not protected by credit card.
    They have had plenty of warning of my cancellation and I feel this is both unfair and legally wrong.

    Their cancellation policy is as follows:

    Terms and Conditions

    Hotel Policies
    These are general hotel policies. As they may vary per room type; please also check the room description.

    14:00 hours

    11:00 hours


    If cancelled up to 14:00 on the date of arrival, no fee will be charged.

    If cancelled later or in case of no-show, the total price of the reservation will be charged.

    Accepted credit cards

    American Express, Visa, Euro/Mastercard, Maestro, Switch

    The hotel reserves the right to pre-authorise credit cards prior to arrival.

    Above reference

    It would be worth pointing out that I booked on the 16/11/08 and cancelled on the 27/11/08. I believe (however I’m not sure) that I’ve heard of some sort of 11 day "cooling off" period whereby anything can be cancelled for any reason.

    I e-mailed "booking.com" and they said I was charged under the cancellation policy of the hotel and to take it up with them.

    What I want to know is legally where do I stand and how to go about this matter? I know I have to speak to the hotel however I'm inexperienced with this sort of thing so what would be the best way to present my "case".

    Many thanks

  2. msr

    msr LE

    Write to the hotel before reaching for your lawyers.

  3. With regard to the cooling off period, I think that you are referring to
    The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000, which allow for cancellation within seven working days.

    However, regardless of this, I think that you have cancelled sufficiently far in advance to have your monies refunded. There is still time for the hotel to offer the room to another guest - I would imagine that it has already done so.

    I would be inclined to write an actual letter, rather than e-mail (take a copy), to the Manager of the hotel. Explain that you received this sad news after you had made your booking and ask if the hotel would be so kind as to reimburse you. A decent hotel will want to assist - you may not be able to go there this year, but they will surely realise that, if they treat you properly, you may well book with them at a later date and in happier circumstances.
  4. What's the name of the hotel?

    If you haven't been given details of the cancellation policy specific to that hotel (booking.com's general hotel policies aren't worth the screen they're written on because they're not relevant), it shouldn't be too hard to find the information on the hotel's website. Finding the hotel's website can sometimes be a bit of an art as most Googled references to it will be on hotel booking firms' sites.

    Once you have this information, you can work out where to go next.

    If the specific cancellation policy says that you get a full refund, then contact booking.com with the relevant clause and tell them to refund the dosh - I presume that you've actually paid booking.com, rather than the hotel. Essentially, you deal with the company that took your money.

    If the specific clause doesn't allow you a full refund, then contact the hotel and explain the circumstances of the cancellation. Be very nice and give them the impression that you'd like to use their hotel sometime in the future - after all, you've selected it once, but unfortunate circumstances have prevented you from using it. They may make an exception to their general clause. Do this by e-mail, rather than phone so that if their reply is favourable, you have a written copy that you can forward to booking.com. Again, your request for reimbursement goes through the company that actually took your money.

    If you don't get any joy from either of them, post back on here and let us know. I doubt that there'd be many ARRSErs who would want to direct their cash to firms that don't have an ounce of compassion.

    PS Giving the hotel's name at this stage isn't an attempt to denigrate it. The hotel may well be very nice and have sympathetic management. The outcome of your case will determine whether it's a "recommended" hotel or one to avoid.
  5. Sounds like you are being rippied off there completely.

    Some things just make my blood boil espdcially big companies harassing us "little" people thinking they can get away with it.

    I will make the phone call for you completely free of charge. I have PM'd you my telephone number to give me some more background.

    You can make a donation to ARRSE or H4H or RBL as a trade off?
  6. Cow

    Cow LE

    Can we have an update on this please Dredd? Did you get to call them and bring the wrath of god down on them?
  7. I am sure Edd wont mind me saying this but he is going to "have a go" himself, which i think is brilliant and if that does not work then The Dredd will take over and see where we get.

    I will keep all posted where I am able to.
  8. Edd, Dredd,

    What was the outcome?
  9. Randy, I think your handle is brilliant!

    As for how he got on ...I dont know, Edd?
  10. Outcome?

    Received a full refund about a week ago. Result!

    I wrote a "letter before action" around mid January giving them 21 days to give me a refund before legal action would be taken. After many attempts to f*%k me off with their "no refund" policy they eventually (with 7 days remaining) offered me a booking at another time within a three month period.
    I couldn't (and didn't want to take it) for many reasons but mainly the fact both my gf and I couldn't find a time where we both had off and a different time is by no means equal to New Year.
    I pointed this out and immediately got told that there was nothing more they could do and they considered the business to be concluded. They even had the nerve to suggest their offer was more than generous. I replied that legal action would not be taken until the 21 days was complete and in all my correspondence I highlighted the fact that defending the case would exceed the £294 I was claiming for so it made no sense for them to attempt to dispute it.

    With 2 days remaining I received an email saying they were prepared to give me a full refund. Looks like they were playing chicken and they blinked.
    After I received the news they demanded for the refund to happen I had to send them written correspondence stating that after the refund the business would be complete.

    I followed their instructions last month and sent their conformation. After that they messed me around for a little over two weeks claiming they needed to get the cheque from head office. A week would be acceptable, but two I thought was pushing it.

    Like I said received and banked the cheque last week.

    Even thought I did receive my money back, I thought the way they handled the situation was extremely poorly and they showed no sympathy for my family issue. I certainly won’t be booking with them again.

    With thanks to the site and JudgeDredd for his help. Don't know how far I would have got without his assistance.

    £10 to arrse and £10 to H4H for his trouble.

    Unfair contract terms act 1999, it works!

    Many thanks

  11. Would it be unfair to name and shame the hotel/chain? I can feel a short lived, unfruitful boycott coming on!

    Seriously, good result for you Edd.
  12. Please do not name and shame the hotel. There will be legal implications in doing so. Sending a PM to whomever wishes to know of the hotel will be the only appropriate way forward. Sorry to be boring!

    Many thanks.
  13. Edd, I am so pleased you got a good result in the end.

    Bloody good effort for hanging in there and not letting the big bullies get you down.

    Thank you also very much for the donation, it wasnt necessary but I am sure will be gratefully recieved by ARRSE and H4H.

    I hope now many more will have the confidence to take matters further where they are being p*ssed around !
  14. Rec'd JD, although I was going for sarcasm with that post! :wink: