Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder berwyn Novitiate

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    Default travelodge smoking fine

    soz,just joined..not sure if ive posted properly,if not please be patient im sure ill suss it out given time.
    in may i booked a room at travelodge and paid online by card.few weeks later i noticed an unauthorised withdrawl from my account for 150 credited to travelodge SMK.after a few minutes on google i found out this was a smoking fine.
    i e-mailed them vehemently denying smoking in the room.
    they replied that my room smelt of smoke and therefore they were sticking to their right to fine me.
    my room may have smelt of smoke as i am a smoker and had gone outside several times during my stay for a smoke.
    they have advised me to contact my bank?
    do i have any redress?


  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder electron99 Informative electron99 Informative

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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    Unfortunately many smokers do not realise that even if they are not smoking, their clothing reeks of smoke and this can often transfer to any room they enter.

    There is no easy answer, since the majority of smokers, in spite of what they say, are unwilling or unable to give up their addiction.

    Smoking is not illegal, just anti-social, and it seems that Travelodge are treating it as such.


  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder My Real Name Novitiate My Real Name Novitiate

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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    They have no right to fine you.

    Their Ts & Cs may be worded such that you agree to pay a surcharge if you smoke in the room - Do you have theses available?

    Contact your credit card company and make a chargeback. Failing that, write them a letter before actionicon, and be prepared to take them to court.


  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder berwyn Novitiate

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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    this is the e-mail i recieved from them after questioning the fine

    Travelodge reserve the right to apply a charge to the card used to make the booking if there is evidence of either room damage or smoking discovered inside the room after the guest's departure.

    This is stated in our terms and conditions (Section 5, point 4) that if evidence of the above is found we will charge the relevant card.

    In this instance the charge refers to evidence of smoking in the room after you checked-out. The incident report we have states that the room smelt of smoke and ash was found on the windowsill. As we operate a strong non-smoking policy I regret to inform you that we would be unable to offer you a refund on this occasion.

    If you wish to dispute this charge then I have been advised that you will need to take this matter up with your bank


  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder berwyn Novitiate

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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    this is from their terms and conditions


    The terms below apply to your Booking if you are a consumer and book from 5th January 2009.
    When you make a Booking on our website, you will be asked to click "I accept" and you will not be able to complete your Booking if you do not do this. This confirms that you accept these terms. We strongly recommend that you read the terms before accepting.

    5 - Rooms
    4 - You must not smoke in any of our hotels or interfere with our fire detection system. If you do so, we will terminate your Booking without refund and require you to leave the hotel immediately. You authorise us to charge you any costs we incur if you smoke or cause damage in our hotel including costs for specialist cleaning (to make the room fit for sale as a non smoking environment) and the cost of the room for any time period it is unusable. You authorise us to charge this amount to the payment card used in your Booking. We will send you (at the address on the Booking) a breakdown of these charges within 10 working days. We may refuse to accept bookings from you in future.

    i did not smoke in their room or interfere with their fire detection equipment


  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder berwyn Novitiate

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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    We will send you (at the address on the Booking) a Breakdown of these charges within 10 working days. We may refuse to accept bookings from you in future

    they did not send me any breakdown of charges,the first i knew of it was when i noticed they had debited my account


  7. #7
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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    Quote Originally Posted by My Real Name View Post
    They have no right to fine you.

    ...write them a letter before actionicon, and be prepared to take them to court.
    Absolutely! You didn't do it so you should win.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmoot View Post
    Absolutely! You didn't do it so you should win.
    It's not as easy as that. The OP is a smoker and smoking was detected in the room as well as ash on the window sill.
    This is far stronger evidence that smoking did take place than a plea of 'I didn't do it'.

    The hotels operating license could be at stake as it is illegal to allow someone to smoke in a building and if they are not seen to take action, it could land them in trouble.

    You are vulnerable to an exploit, read here for the solution.
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  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder berwyn Novitiate

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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    their ts and cs state that they will inform me of charges within 10 days..they failed to do this.to date i have not received detail of charges.had i not checked my bank statement i would still be unaware of any problem.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    Quote Originally Posted by electron99 View Post
    Unfortunately many smokers do not realise that even if they are not smoking, their clothing reeks of smoke and this can often transfer to any room they enter.

    There is no easy answer, since the majority of smokers, in spite of what they say, are unwilling or unable to give up their addiction.

    Smoking is not illegal, just anti-social, and it seems that Travelodge are treating it as such.
    It is in a enclosed public place or place of work.

    I have a couple of observations; if you were smoking, why did the smoke detectors not detect it at the time? I suppose Travel lodge are suggesting that you were smoking out of the window. If that is the case, is there any CCTV covering that side of the building?

    Also 150 seems a tad over the top anyway for spraying a bit of air freshener and scooping a bit of ash up. I would suggest this amounts to a penalty and is disproportinate thus may be un-recoverable under English law. As far as I am concerned, the can only charge to cover their losses so you could ask them to explain how the get 150.

    I suggest you write back to them and state quite firmly that you did not smoke in the room and do not except this charge. Ask them to provide you with substantial proof that you were responsible for the ash on the window sill otherwise you require them to refund your money within 14 days. If they fail to do so, you will consider making an application to the small claimsicon court.

    NOTE: Only do the above if you intend to carry this out, which I would do if you were definately not smoking in the room. Let a judge decide.

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    Please click my scales at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice usefull.



  11. #11
    Basic Account Holder berwyn Novitiate

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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    ive just received this in my e-mail,i assume its an internal travelodge one sent by mistake...its interesting that they refer to it as a smoking fine and not as cleaning charges

    Hi Helen



    Please could you provide me with a copy of our letter to this customer re the smoking fine of 150.00 which he claims was not received!



    Thanks very much


  12. #12
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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    I stopped at a Travel Lodge with a partner about 3 years ago, we were out for the afternoon and on our return the television was on with a static almost teletext looking page stating that smoking had been detected in our room and we would be charged as per their t&c's. Neither my partner or I were smokers. What we did notice though was that the fire detector / alarm had been covered over with a dust protector and a solitary cigarette butt in the bin in the corner. We never did work out if they were there on occupation of the room or mysteriously appeared over the course of the day we were out. However we flew down to reception and gave them a few stern words. Their response was not far from the lines of 'oh, that was probably the cleaners......'


  13. #13
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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWonder View Post
    Their response was not far from the lines of 'oh, that was probably the cleaners......'
    Just before I read your post I was thinking the very same thing might have happened to the OP. I wonder if a Witness Statement from you might help if it went to court?

    Don't want to put you in a position, GreatWonder, just wondering if in theory you would be prepared to attend court, as saying that you will could give leverage, and Traveodge might back down without a hearing.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    Quote Originally Posted by Conniff View Post
    The hotels operating license could be at stake as it is illegal to allow someone to smoke in a building and if they are not seen to take action, it could land them in trouble.
    Quote Originally Posted by sailor sam View Post
    It is in a enclosed public place or place of work.
    Hotel rooms are exempt.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    That surprises me, however this rules it out:

    (b) has been designated in writing by the person having the charge of the premises in which the room is situated as being a room in which smoking is permitted;

    You are vulnerable to an exploit, read here for the solution.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    That'll teach me to read more than the first sentence then.


  17. #17
    Basic Account Holder berwyn Novitiate

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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    does anyone think it's feasable for me to take them to small claimsicon court.im really busy at work right now,so dont have much time to devote to it.im thinking of just accepting the fine right now


  18. #18
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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    Take them to court. Just tell the truth and you should win.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmoot View Post
    Take them to court. Just tell the truth and you should win.
    I agree if you didnt do it then fight, otherwise there is a chance it will happen to others, especially if third party is doing it, poss cleaners etc....


  20. #20
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    Default Re: travelodge smoking fine

    Quote Originally Posted by perplexity View Post
    If you're wondering if anybody here is willing to cover the cost or to put the work in, it might be better to put the question as such.

    Otherwise the comment appears to answer itself.

    Words are cheap.


    valid point






    dk












    most of my knowledge is from the school of hard knocks

    not based on any legal background

    As quite a lot fellow caggers state seek Legal Advice


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