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No holiday cottage. No money back.

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 fmck 21 May 2020

Ive just been messaged by the company we hired a cottage from for the first week in July. They say we will be unable to take the break due to the current circumstances. They are willing to give me a voucher for £651 i have paid. This is in Dumfries and Galloway it has less than 5 covid hospital cases for the whole area today.

Surely they cant just take your money and pap you off with a voucher for next year. I know the chances are we wont be able to take the holiday but I would expect a refund.The full amount isnt required until a month before although I have already paid in full.

 WaterMonkey 21 May 2020
In reply to fmck:

We had a holiday booked in a cottage over Easter. We simply changed the booking to another week in October. 

If you're unable to commit to any other dates then i'd have thought they'd give you a refund though.

Post edited at 16:23
In reply to fmck:

A polite reply back to them advising that it's them which are failing to deliver goods and services paid for, legally you are entitled to a full refund, deposit back as well. 

 Basemetal 21 May 2020
In reply to fmck:

Did you pay by credit card?

 Andy Johnson 21 May 2020
In reply to fmck:

Check the terms and conditions of the booking. There may be a force majeure clause covering cancellation by the owner or agent.

 Andrew Lodge 21 May 2020
In reply to fmck:

Good template letters on the Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert website and loads of information about getting refunds on holiday cottages.

They are aimed at one company in particular but would be easy to amend.

 fmck 21 May 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

No debit card. It was the family summer holiday. I could do with my money to do some other activity with kids. It wasnt spare cash sitting about it was our family holiday fund.

In reply to fmck:

I'd push for a refund, as holidays like this are not ATOL protected and that's a lot to lose.  I'd be happier with a voucher for an ATOL protected holiday because it has been made clear by the Government that the ATOL protection applies to a voucher in this context.

Post edited at 17:11
In reply to fmck:

>  This is in Dumfries and Galloway it has less than 5 covid hospital cases for the whole area today.

Which is actually a reason for not permitting travel from areas with far higher infection rates.

You are going to have to read your contract to see the rules for cancellation.  I'd have thought that if they kept the cottage available to you on the week you booked but you couldn't travel due to government restrictions then they'd be keeping their side of the contract and it would be between you and any travel insurance you have.  If they preempt it and say you can't come then it is them who are breaking the contract and you should get your money back.

 fmck 21 May 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Its 5 weeks from now. Who knows where we will be. Funny enough I have people moving into my old pad on the first of June and my mothers house has been sold with a move in date 1st of July. I live in the neighbouring county of Ayrshire. I know what you mean though. Its just some people will juat have deposits but because I paid early they get to keep the lot and give me a voucher.

In reply to fmck:

I would definitely argue the toss and read the terms and conditions your agreed to very carefully. 

We had a place booked in North Wales for the first week in June, not sure who with off the top of my head but cracking people. They contacted us asking if we would like a refund or to swap for the last week in August. We swapped. 

 Deleted bagger 21 May 2020
In reply to fmck:

Feckers are using your money as working capital. Scumbags.😠

In reply to fmck:

Get your card issuer to instantiate a Chargeback. I did it just recently to an airline that refused to cough up my refund and got my money back within days. Your card issuer will request you to email receipts of your booking and copies of your email exchange with the cottage owners. Good luck!

 jdh90 21 May 2020
In reply to fmck:

Mr Lewis was on the telly t'other day talking about this subject.  Hopefully not misquoting him, but he said if you're not recieving the goods and services as advertised, which was a stay in a cottage and not a voucher, you are entitled by law to a full refund, regardless of any company policies or terms and conditions - there's nothing they can write which can trump the law.

Of course I'm only repeating that parrot fashion so if we have any experts here who has a different take, I don't think it will be a very lively debate...

 ScraggyGoat 21 May 2020
In reply to fmck:




Worth reading in full. In short the Competition and Market Authority expects consumers to be offered a full refund where (amongst other situations) no service is provided by a business, for example they are prevented by Government public health measures, or a consumer is prevented from receiving services because government public health measures mean they are not allowed to use the services.

Note holiday homes in Scotland have been ordered by the Emergency Coronavirus legislation to close, if you need the legislation it is on the Scot Gov website.

If a business is not complying you can report them here:


Note the accommodation provider could at this point argue that should we be in Phase 3 by the first week July there will be nothing to prevent you from going and therefore no refund is appropriate. As soon as the Scottish Government covid route map indicates that we will not be in Phase 3 at that date (assuming accommodation opening hasn't been moved into Phase2) there will be no grounds for the accommodation provider not to provide you a full refund including any deposit. 

If they say at this point you are unable to take that week due to Covid restrictions you are entitled to the full refund.

The Government and CMA was very slow to issue legal guidance so many business have been making policy up as best they could, but the above advice was issued at the end of April, so the accommodation providers in your case are either not following, or are ignorant.

Out of interest which company is it?

Post edited at 22:43
 fmck 22 May 2020
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

Thanks. Just a small Solway lodges outfit. Barend.

Post edited at 07:06
 Philip 22 May 2020
In reply to fmck:

We're in slightly different position. Paid deposit (not much) and balance due in June for August holiday. Not sure what value of holiday will be if nothing is open.

 Sam W 22 May 2020
In reply to fmck:

Just a thought, but if you still want to take the holiday may be worth asking them to hold those dates open while you wait for the government to decide what's happening come July. 

Oliver Dowden (government minister) was in the Guardian yesterday saying they were hoping UK holidays could restart early July. Obviously lots of room for that to change, but it is a realistic possibility. If the government day they can open, and you want to go, I can't see they'll have any grounds for refusing a refund if they won't have you to stay.

 Jon Greengrass 22 May 2020
In reply to Sam W:

> Oliver Dowden (government minister) was in the Guardian yesterday saying they were hoping UK holidays could restart early July. 

You mean English holidays

 Ian Archer 22 May 2020
In reply to fmck:

I had a cottage booked on Jura for the first week in May. I had paid the full price. The first week in April I was contacted by them and full refund given to me with no prompting.

As a result of this the first opportunity I get I will book with them.

 ColinAus 22 May 2020
In reply to fmck:

We'd had a cottage booked in Northumberland for Easter. I contacted the owner and they were great - said they didn't need the money, understood why we may not have wanted to travel (this was before the formal lockdown kicked in) so were quite happy for us to either cancel for full refund or change dates. We've rebooked for October so hopefully should be ok for then...

In reply to stevieboywonder:

Gonna try that with Wizz and SAS next week - clearly holding on to the money from cancelled flights for as long as they possibly can.

 fmck 22 May 2020
In reply to summo:

I think I will try appealing to them that they are keeping my family money for summer 2020. 2021 we will have a new fund put by. Its the fact their keeping our money for this year. We could do with it as the family has a lot of stress at the moment. My wife is dealing with covid stroke patients who arent sudated but wandering confused. This is why old folk homes are hit hard. 

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