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  1. I issued a chargeback against hotels.com I got the money back for a while, then Hotels.com appealed and lied to the bank to get the money returned to them. The bank then refused to correspond with me further regarding the issue. Personally, I wouldn't bother with Chargeback again, it seems the bank do the bare minimum required, then don't go near it again. It took around 6 months for the whole process and I was no further forward at the end. I ended up issuing court papers to get my money back. I now use a credit card for anything over £100, which gives the bank liability under the consumer credit act and they can't just brush it under the carpet. Obviously, it's your choice. But I'd issue court papers. I don't know exactly how you can go about it, but you can set up a UK PO Box and forward the mail to an overseas address, which might help. Regards, Mike.
  2. In case it's of use to anyone else, here is the letter of particulars that I sent to hotels.com after raising a claim. It might be useful to use as a template for anyone in a similar situation. Hotels.com Customer Relations PO Box 70720 London, EC1P 1GW 19th January 2013 Dear Sir or Madam, Please find below further particulars of the claim filed online at http://moneyclaimonline.gov.uk under reference xxxxxxx in respect of an order placed on the Hotels.com website under confirmation number xxxxxxxxxxxxx. The claimant’s claim amounts to a total of £501.94 which is itemised below. Breach of Contract The claimant is claiming £205.00 for breach of contract, given that the product that was ordered and subsequently confirmed by email was not available on arrival. The contract was unilaterally amended by the defendant to an inferior product without the claimant’s knowledge or approval. The first time the claimant became aware of this amendment was upon arriving at the hotel that had been booked and being advised there was no reservation. References; Sale of Goods Act 1979 Section 13 (1) Where there is a contract for the sale of goods by description, there is an implied term that the goods will correspond with the description. Section 14 (2A) For the purposes of this Act, goods are of satisfactory quality if they meet the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking account of any description of the goods, the price (if relevant) and all the other relevant circumstances. Loss of Enjoyment The claimant is claiming £200 for loss of enjoyment; this is calculated at £100 per adult. The booking was made to celebrate the claimant and his wife’s Wedding Anniversary and was booked at what he considered to be a prestige hotel. The majority of the first day of their stay was spent expressing their dissatisfaction with the Manager of the hotel and putting the complaint in writing. The claimant and his family were subsequently moved to a chain hotel which the claimant infrequently uses during work travel and pays around £45.00 per night for rooms of a similar standard to which was provided. Due to the exceptionally poor weather in which the claimant and his family had travelled, localised flooding and standing water on the motorways, he considered that a return journey was unsafe and accepted the alternative accommodation under protest through force majeure. References; World Weather Online reports that rainfall on 6th July 2012 was 27.2mm and 33.3mm in Lincoln and Sheffield respectively. BBC Website reports localised flooding affecting both Lincoln and Sheffield http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-18734887 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-18738432 Travel Expense Having travelled 107 miles on a round trip for a product which was not available, the claimant is claiming £42.80. This is calculated at 40p per mile and accounts for fuel costs and vehicle wear and tear. References; http://maps.google.com Google Maps get directions feature Interest The claimant claims interest to a value of £19.14 which will be claimed under section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at a rate of 8% a year from 6th July 2012 to 16th January 2013 on £447.80 and also interest at the same rate up to the date of judgement or earlier payment. Court Fees The claimant will be claiming court fees to the value of £35.00. Yours faithfully, Spikeachu (The claimant)
  3. I agreed to settle at what I'd asked for all along. I just wanted my money back. So barring a few pennies here and there, settlement was £240 ish, which covered my initial £205 outlay and £35 fee to submit to the courts. Sure, I could probably have got more if I'd pushed, but the additional costs I submitted on the court paperwork were mainly for leverage in getting a full refund or were to be an added bonus if the case went unopposed. As it is, both parties probably feel they got a fair deal. Hotels.com paid less than half of the overall claim that was submitted and I got all my money back. Of course, it would have been much easier all around if Customer Services did their job in the first place. I definitely won't be using Hotels.com's services again and I can't imagine that the publicity I've given them both on this forum and to family and friends will have done them any favours. Regards, Mike.
  4. Hi All, Just an update. The court documents got someone's attention and the dispute has been settled out of court.
  5. I gave Hotels.com one more opportunity to resolve the issue, requesting that a resolution be reached by 15th January. The acknowledged receiving the email, then ignored it. I have now raised a claim online. Let's see if they ignore court documents so readily.
  6. Is this a problem if they have a UK office? I've been provided with a UK address to serve.
  7. I learnt the hard way. But they'll receive no more of my custom. It seems it's not an isolated incident either, this makes interesting reading also. http://thundercloud.net/infoave/notell-hotel.htm
  8. Trust me, I intend to go through with it; I'd just like to give Hotels.com one more chance to resolve amicably. I don't stand to lose more than the £35 it costs me to submit it to the courts.
  9. Had I known that I was stopping in a Holiday Inn before setting off, I would have cancelled and/or rearranged. I regularly stay in 3* Holiday Inns through work and pay only £43 per night. They're not the type of hotel I would use to celebrate my anniversary and certainly not the type of hotel that I would pay £102.50 per night for. Despite my last two emails being ignored, I have emailed one more time explaining that if an acceptable resolution is not reached by 15th January, I will be submitting to the Small Claims Courts for breach of contract, loss of enjoyment, travel costs and interest. I'm not expecting a response but I might be pleasantly surprised. I received an autoresponder saying that I should receive a response within 24 hours .. that was 48 hours ago. Regards, Mike.
  10. OK, I respect your opinion, but strongly disagree. If I book the Hilton hotel and I receive an email explicitly saying I will be staying in the Hilton, I expect to be staying in the Hilton. As far as I am aware, Holiday Inn is not part of the Hilton Group. But given that two people have interpreted the email differently should clarify that it's contents were not concise enough. There is no Hilton hotel next to the Hilton Double Tree. When I received the email I thought that it had just been badly written and should have read "Hilton Double Tree" not "Hilton next to Doubletree", which considering the rest of the email I don't think is an unreasonable view. Having written correspondence for a blue chip company myself previously, I would have expected a better standard of English from them. I would also have included the words 'Sorry for the inconvenience' and 'if these changes are unacceptable, please contact xxxx to cancel or make alternative arrangements'. As I see it, price difference should be irrelevant, let me provide an example of why. If I hire out cars for weddings. I hire out a luxury Limousine at £200. I also hire out a banged out Austin Mini at £190. I decide that the Limo is double booked on the day of your wedding and send out the battered Mini instead. It's now your only option to get to your wedding on time, so you accept it, under protest. Because I value the Mini at £190 does not mean that in your opinion it is worth my valuation and you wouldn't have paid that much for it given free choice. Would you feel that £10 reimbursement in the above circumstances would be acceptable? Regards, Mike.
  11. Forgive me if I'm being facetious or missing something, but if I book in at the Hilton Doubletree hotel and receive the email below, how is it clear that I have been relocated to the lower rated Holiday Inn? This is something that I intend to put to before a judge, so I'm interested in how you have reached you conclusion, as a judge may reach the same decision. I accepted the alternative room but made it clear that it was under protest and that my options had been limited, having travelled for 3 hours with a baby in torrential rain and hazardous driving conditions (WorldWeatherOnline.com shows that 27.2mm of rain fell in Lincoln that day). Thanks in advance, Mike. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Email received from Hotels.com on 4th July which they feel adequately advises that the hotel has changed; Note from Hotels.com: Dear Guest, We were informed by the hotel that you will be accomodate at Hilton hotel next to Double tree hotel and the room type will be the same. For more details please call the hotel. Thank you
  12. I received a confirmation in May also at time of booking, but my point was that it was backed up by confirmation just a couple of days before I was scheduled to arrive. I have all the original emails, so I have all the server timestamps. I think the case is going to hinge around whether the email received on 4th July adequately confirms that the hotel had been changed and why I was given no option in that email to make alternative arrangements or cancel the booking. In my opinion, the email does not convey the message that Hotels.com wished to convey, which in hindsight is that they had changed my hotel to Holiday Inn, although this was impossible to know at the time. The Holiday Inn is not a place i would have booked for a special occasion to celebrate our Anniversary, so although my hand was effectively forced and I had to accept the alternative under protest, had I had full information available before setting off, I would have made alternative arrangements. It's now impossible to find out the differences in price between the two hotels at the time of booking, but as I would never have booked Holiday Inn through choice, should I be looking to claim a partial refund based on what I feel the stay in the Holiday Inn was worth to me (I'd value it at £40 p/night) or should I claim the full value based on the fact that I would never have booked Holiday Inn in the first place. Also, how do I value loss of enjoyment? I wasted half a day trying to resolve with Hilton Hotel management and spent most of the weekend mostly miffed about the situation we had been put in. Thanks in advance, Mike.
  13. Hi, Just posting on here for a little advice and hoping that someone would be able to assist. In May 2012 I booked a hotel through hotels.com. It was for my Wife and I's wedding anniversary. We also had a 4 month old baby. The age of our son meant that we would likely be spending a fair amount of time in the hotel room and therefore booked a room that was spacious and splashed out on the highest rated hotel in the area, 4* Hilton Doubletree. Even booking 6 weeks in advance, this cost just over £100 per night, but it was our anniversary, so spent a little extra for the occasion. Everything seemed great, I received confirmation emails on 3rd July and 4th July and arrived at the hotel after a lengthy journey in torrential rain and localised flooding on 6th July. On arriving at the hotel, I was informed that there was no booking for me. After a bit of panic and a few phone calls the receptionist at the Hilton Doubletree advised me that I had been relocated to the Holiday Inn, a 3* hotel nearby with much lesser facilities. I asked if there would be any refund for the downgrade and inconvenience, but as I had booked through Hotels.com, they advised to take the issue up with them, which I fully understand. My contract is with Hotels.com and not with Hilton Doubletree. I also spent a considerable amount of time on the arrival date discussing the issue with the Hilton Hotel Manager and ensuring I had everything documented. Due to driving almost 3 hours in terrible weather conditions with a 4 month old baby on board, I accepted the change of hotel, but made it clear that it was under protest and documented this in email on the day of arrival to both hotels.com and the Hilton Doubletree. On my return home a few days later I emailed hotels.com and expressed my concerns and asked what they intended to do to resolve the matter. They eventually offered a £50 discount off a future booking. I advised that this was unacceptable as I would not be using their services again and that I felt that they were in breach of contract as they had not provided what I had paid for. I suggested that a full refund might be a better resolution. This and a subsequent email to their Customer Service Team have remained without response. I have attempted to claim the cash back via Visa Debit Chargeback, however this has failed as Hotels.com say they emailed me on 4th July advising me that they had relocated me. Visa Debit Chargeback seem to support their claim. I received an email from Hotels.com on 4th July and at the time, I construed it as being a badly written confirmation email. I have copied it below. It certainly isn't clear to me that I won't be staying in the Hilton Doubletree. Due to lack of response from Hotels.com and failure to recover losses via Visa Debit Chargeback, I am considering putting the claim into Small Claims Court. However, I would like assistance in knowing whether I should claim the full amount with interest, just the full amount or a partial amount and on what grounds I should be claiming, is breach of contract and loss of enjoyment appropriate? Thanks in advance, Mike. ------------------------------------------------------ Email confirmation received from Hotels.com on 3rd July Thanks for using Hotels.com, your booking is confirmed! You don't need to call to reconfirm. Here are the details of your booking along with some useful information about the hotel. You can easily access your booking online anytime. Happy travelling, Hotels.com® DoubleTree by Hilton Lincoln Contact this hotel directly: 44-1522-668824 4.8 18 reviews Brayford Wharf North Lincoln LN1 1YW United Kingdom Number of Guests: adults - 2 Check-In Date: 06/07/2012 Check-Out Date: 08/07/2012 Total: £205.00 ------------------------------------------------------ Email received from Hotels.com on 4th July which they feel adequately advises that the hotel has changed; Note from Hotels.com: Dear Guest, We were informed by the hotel that you will be accomodate at Hilton hotel next to Double tree hotel and the room type will be the same. For more details please call the hotel. Thank you
  14. Short of asking a stupid question, but what is the model of the original product? It's difficult to compare specifications when only one model is quoted.
  15. I can guarantee that you are 100% misinformed in this statement. There are no set scripts, no set resolutions and last time I checked, Sheffield was in the UK. I can't vouch for information about Tesco and other companies, but if you're worried about libel on a website you are creating, you should make sure that your informants are reliable.
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