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All,

 

I received an email from CRS stating that I should call them regarding a claim from travelodge.

 

Not knowing who they were I called the number eager and worried to find out what this was about.

 

The person I spoke to said that Travelodge had appointed them to resolve a claim that I had been smoking during my stay.

 

They read through the witness statement and asked me for my version of events.

 

My explaination of events was dismissed as they said the client's (TL) employee had no reason to lie.

 

I disputed this, and went on to explain why I felt there had been malice in the accusation.

 

Having stayed at the hotel for close to week I had made various complaints about H&S issues which were not been taken seriously.

This led to a confrontation with a member of staff and then being accused of smoking in my room.

Thus far I have not yet put my side of the story in writing and have requested

they provide proof that they are authorised to represent TL in pursing me and to provide a breakdown of costs.

 

They have side stepped answering these questions and continue to refer to TL T&C in their responses.

 

I have now refused to discuss the matter further until they provide the information I asked for.

 

Incidentally they are claiming £150 which is the same amount others have had levied against them according to other threads.

This strongly suggests that they are fining me as it would be unlikely all smoking related claims would have the same costs for TL.

 

Room rates and I expect cleaning costs will differ from one TL to another.

 

Is this point worth arguing?

 

Also, if this does go to court at what point will I be required to provide evidence and my statement of facts.

I would rather just present in court.*

 

On the H&S issues, while I wouldn't be interested in making a claim myself,

*I would like the hotel independently assessed to evaluate whether they are entitled to keep their licence.

I think it's only a matter of time before they have a serious injury / fatality.

I am not at all surprised they are cutting corners to avoid costs given the financial situation they are in.*

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ignore them

 

no DCa / fake solicitor has ANY legal powers

 

there are plenty of threads here about these 'speculative invoices'

 

moved thread to the RLP forum

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Hi Cva

 

Welcome to CAG

 

A whole stack of threads on 'Travelodge' - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/forumdisplay.php?369-CIVIL-RECOVERY-SOLUTIONS-LIMITED

 

Please let us know how your problem has been resolved, it could help fellow Caggers.

 

Thread has been moved to the correct forum.

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Another smoking in hotel room post, it is rather worrying the number of these issued, especially to (we are to assume) innocent people, some of whom have managed to get withdrawals/apologies.

 

It is also strange thet the hotel choose not to write to the customer first, instead prefering to rely straight away on DCA's, a cosy arrangement, the hotel chain not wishing to get its hands dirty ?

 

So, if you are innocent what is the answer ?

 

I'd write back (dont phone), denying liabilty, perhaps try and follow the CPR pre-action protocol (and point out the DCA hasn't - I'm assuming their letters dont) and saying you will defend any action and seek the maximum in costs (follow the pre-action protocol gives you more of a chance of getting costs even in a small claim).

 

Also add you expect the case to be clsoed and an immediate apology issued. I'd also use as eveidence some of the other posts where the hotel has admitted mistakes.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?355065-Travel-Lodge-Speculative-Invoice-photograph-TL-had-proved-it-wasnt-me-**RESOLVED**

 

and

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?352499-Travelodge-Smoke-Detector-Fine-*SUCCESSFUL*

 

Andy

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Hi

 

Why is Travelodge allowed to get away with this yet another Travelodge client accused of smoking in a room without any notification from travelodge or right to appeal but straight to CRS and first client knows is CRS letter.

 

1. Why are Travelodge not informing these client of the accusation before sending to CRS.

2. Why are Travelodge invoiceing clients without with not right of appeal before sending to CRS.

3. Human Rights Act - Right to a Fair Trial (Not Travelodge your all GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY)

 

My main Concern with Travelodge is now the frequecy and amount of people being accused of smoking in room (witness statements by travelodge employees) (no photographic evidence) and lastly the first an accused person know of this accusation is when they recieve a letter from CRS not Travelodge with no right of appeal and no contact from Travelodge. (GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE - ACCUSE YOU, DONT IMFORM YOU PASS DIRECT TO CRS WITH NO APPEAL)

 

Seems like a very good money making scheme

 

Make a Formal Complaint to Travelodge

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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TL have tightened up the wording on their T&Cs, removed some of the threatening language, removed the right to precharge and the obligation to send a breakdown of costs within 10 working days, widened the scope for charges and included a sentence on instructing a third party to claim costs.

 

CRS sent me the attachment below today.

 

Pre 12 March 2012 T&C:

Smoking / Damaged Rooms

40. All our hotels are designated as non smoking. This means that smoking is strictly prohibited in all our hotel rooms and all our public areas. By agreeing to stay in our hotels, you agree to refrain from smoking or compromising our fire precaution system in any way during your stay.

41. If you smoke in our hotels you will be breaching the law and you agree to stop any such behavior immediately upon request.

42. If you are observed of smoking or compromising our fire detection system in anyway, you understand that normally you will be asked to leave immediately and without a refund.

43. In these circumstances, you will be required to pay for specialist cleaning, and to pay for the cost of the room until it is fit for sale as a non smoking environment. We reserve the right to charge this amount from the payment card associated with your reservation. A full breakdown of these charges will be supplied to the address detailed on the reservation within 10 working days.

44. We may report such behavior to the police as criminal damage and will usually hold your reservation detail within our systems to prevent you from making any further reservations with Travelodge.

45. We also reserve the right to cancel any future bookings already made or made in the future.

 

After 12 March 2012 T&C:

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. We may either (at our sole discretion) request the immediate re-payment of our costs during your stay or instruct a third party to contact you after your stay to recover our costs. The costs we incur if you smoke in our hotel include costs for specialist cleaning, repair or replacement of damage by you to our property, the cost of the room for any period it is unusable and our administration expenses.

Travelodge & UKCRS.PDF

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The email they sent me yesterday:

 

Claim value: £150.00

 

Dear Mr XXXXXXX,

 

Thank you for your emails received on 20th August 2012 and 21st August 2012.

 

Unfortunately when responding to disputes we send correspondence to the same email or postal address we receive said dispute from. If you wish no further correspondence to be sent to your employment email address please refrain from contacting us on this address.

 

As previously stated, Travelodge’s terms and conditions are clearly set out on line when you make a booking. These terms state at clause 5.5:

 

 

“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. We may either (at our sole discretion) request the immediate re-payment of our costs during your stay or instruct a third party to contact you after your stay to recover our costs. The costs we incur if you smoke in our hotel include costs for specialist cleaning, repair or replacement of damage by you to our property, the cost of the room for any period it is unusable and our administration expenses.”

 

These clearly state that you will be contacted by a third party following any incidents that breach this clause. Our client does not contact anyone directly.

 

We are unable to provide you with any contact email addresses. If you wish to make a complaint we advise you contact Travelodge via their support centre online: http://support.travelodge.co.uk/ics/support/splash.asp?css=splash&style=classic&deptID=15090.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

EXXXX XXXXXX

On behalf of Civil Recovery Solutions Limited

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i suppose the obv Question needs asking...

 

did you?

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Hi

 

Is the witness statement by any of the employees you complained to on the H & S issues?

 

Exactly when are they claiming you commited this offence (bearing in mind what you wrote on the new T & C about terminating booking) now were you still staying there after the supposed offence claimed?

 

Some things to consider:

 

1. The employee witness statement - a. How long has this employee been employed by travelodge? b. How many other people have had witness statements provide by this same employee? c. Are Travelodge employees since they work with the public required to complete a CRB check?

2. You require a full breakdown of these cost with proper invoices for each of the supposed works carried out and by who and evidence of this completed work.

 

What does the witness statement supposedly say the employee supposidly witness?

 

As i said Formal Complaint to Travelodge Head Office remember this is not a fine or a penalty it an "INVOICE"

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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This is a speculative invoice. I would as suggested write a strongly worded FINAL response to them. Finish with the line ' no further correspondence will entered into, any legal action will be strongly defended'.

 

Travel lodge have outsourced this. When you make a reservation, you give card numbers ? If they honestly wanted to charge you they would have put this through a PDQ machine, and charged the card. You would then have to submit a chargeback and fight for the money back. They would submit their t and c and records of checkin and honestly it would be a struggle for you - but you would win in the end....

 

I would suggest TL are once again incorrect - they ain't going anywhere with this, certainly not before His/Her Honor.

 

I would complain to TL head office, not to the hotel unit. This is the ceo.

[email protected] .uk

 

"It is also strange thet the hotel choose not to write to the customer first, instead prefering to rely straight away on DCA's, a cosy arrangement, the hotel chain not wishing to get its hands dirty ?" it costs the hotel company £2.50 - £5.00 per letter...with 'payment / robbery' split 50/50

 

For good templates follow previous threads in this forum, all with good outcomes :-)

 

N

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Dear Mr Xxxxxxx,

*

I can confirm CRS are responsible for Smoking claims. As detailed in the letter you have received, any disputes should go back via CRS.

*

Kind regards*

*

Xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

Health, Safety & Security Co-ordinator

 

T +44 (0)1844 358648

F *+44 (0)1844 358564

*

Sleep tight at travelodge.co.uk

 

Travelodge is a part of Travelodge Hotels Ltd.*

Registered Office: Travelodge Hotels Ltd, Sleepy Hollow, Aylesbury Road, Thame, Oxon, OX9 3AT.*

Registered No: 769170 VAT No. 805367726.

 

P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

size=2 width="100%" align=center tabindex=-1>

From: Michael Xxxxxxxx

Sent: 23 August 2012 19:21

To: [email protected]

Subject: Fwd: Travelodge Claim Number 125568

*

Hi XXXXX,

*

Please confirm the authenticity of the attachment granting Civil Recovery Solutions Ltd the authority to pursue a claim of £150.*

*

I have been told that the claim is for an allegation of smoking, made by one of your employees . I strongly believe the employee acted through malice after I complained about H&S standards at the hotel. Please note that my stay was longer than one day where I had to change my room on multiple occasions due to safety and hygiene issues.

*

Log of complaints during my stay:

- missing power button on electrical heater. I was provided a knife by a gentleman *on the night shift saying to use it to switch on the heating!!! Ofcourse I refused and he did it himself.

- exposed wire on kettles in multiple rooms. Again raised to staff at the desk. Told that the cleaners were at fault for not spotting it. Another guest also complained about the same thing.

- faulty window restriction

- blocked drainage in hotel room. Wasn't fixed the next day as staff told me it would. Eventually managed to changed my room

- smell of maryuana in the communal hallways. Raised with front desk but no action taken.

*

I have photographic evidence for the above, except the last point, which I can provide upon request. While I understand your company is going through financial difficulty, I cannot accept a hotel chain as big as yours to cut spending to such an extent to put the health and safety of your clients at risk.*

*

I expect a full apology and compensation for being approached in this unsolicited manner by a third party and for the awful experience I had during my stay. You have 10 working days before I proceed with Legal action against Travelodge for negligence and harassment

*

Regards, Michael

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Thanks everyone,

 

Above, the email I sent to travelodge and the response. The health and safety officer is clearly not interested in any of the health and safety issues raised in my email, and which can be substantiated with photographic evidence. I'll forward the email to Hearn.

 

Separately, I responded to CRS requesting a detailed breakdown of costs.

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Thanks everyone,

 

Above, the email I sent to travelodge and the response. The health and safety officer is clearly not interested in any of the health and safety issues raised in my email, and which can be substantiated with photographic evidence. I'll forward the email to Hearn.

 

Separately, I responded to CRS requesting a detailed breakdown of costs.

 

If they are not, then the Local Authority HSE would be - it would certainly cause TL a lot of paperwork and wasted time, and could result in a visit....

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I note in your above letter you do not deny that you smoked in the room ?

 

Andy

 

Why should I deny or accept it? I know I didn't smoke and I'm pretty convinced that I would present a decent case if this went to court.

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I asked for a breakdown in cost, invoices and admin fees. In summary this is what they said:

£99 pounds for deep clean. No invoices can be provided as this relates to time spent.

£52 pounds is the average charge rate for a room. They are not willing to confirm when the room was subsequently let, or provide any details on occupancy rates etc. Thry however say that the charge is for loss of opportunity, where the room may need airing between 24 to 48 hours.

They then say the charge of £150 is a genuine estimate of the loss incurred by TL. ( this was in response to why they have lodged claims to other customers for exactly the same amount)

 

TBH, I don't know where to start on this. Average rates for contracted cleaners is £15 ph. I assume this service is outsourced to a third party cleaning company where TL have negotiated rock bottom rates. However if they did pay the average rate it means they spent 6.6 man hours cleaning it! Ofcourse they could have had Grant Hearn contracted in to do this, and given his hourly rate, the cost may well be justified!

 

In regard to loss of opportunity I suspect they need to prove they have actually been out of pocket. I'm no expert on the law but if they are not willing to tell whether the room was let out on the subsequent night they can't really claim it.

 

The numbers don't add up. If the 150 was an estimate, why not amend it when they are supposedly sending me the breakdown! Anyway they should make sure they charging correctly before they start the case. This strongly suggests they are mailshoting 100s of potentially innocent customers knowing that on average, a certain percentage will pay up what is an overstated fee once they are threatened with court action. Much cheaper to set up an automated email process than to go through the effort of substantiating whether an offence actually occurred and then apportioning accurate costs. I suppose this is what they mean on the CRS website by the implementation of efficient technologies!

 

Finally its strange that they have decided not to put in any admin fees!

Edited by Cva001
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I don't think a company can claim in-house/regular contracted staff costs at all in this case. The cleaner was simply doing the job they are paid to do, clean. Whether you had smoked or not is irrelevant to this bit as they'd still clean the room.

 

However, if a "specialist" company or "equipment" was used this could be different.

 

As for the loss of the room. TL would surely have to prove that either:

 

1) Somebody specifically requested that room and as a result of it being unavailable, left, causing them to lose a customer or;

2) The loss of that room caused TL a financial loss because as a result they didn't have enough rooms available for paying customers.

 

I don't think a DJ would throw it out though solely based on "it wasn't me". The balance of probabilities could be against you. They don't have to prove beyond reasonable doubt.

 

So "balance of probabilities" could be swung in TL favour by:

 

1) Witness statements (cleaners, staff etc), stating the room was spoilt as a result of smoking and that since your check-out no further customers or staff had been in that room

2) You, or one of the occupants with you, normally smoke, and confirming this by examining you under oath (on penalty of perjury).

 

You would therefore (IMO) be better focusing on that the charges are unreasonable

Edited by firstclassx
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