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Welcome Cottages - Being Chased for Deposit Balance on Cottage Hire after Cancelling Booking


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Hi Everyone - this is my first post!

 

We booked a cottage with Welcome Cottages in February 2015 with their £25 special offer deposit deal.

 

However, we decided not to go ahead with the booking for financial reasons

when the balance was due late July because I'm on a temporary contract at work which could end any day.

 

Welcome Cottages are now chasing us for £145 which is the balance of the deposit.

 

I sent them an email asking them the following questions:

 

"On the Welcome Cottages website,

the cottage appears to have been re-let again from 4 to 11 September 2015,

which covers the period of our cancelled booking.

 

Therefore, if the cottage has been re-let again,

please can you explain why we are being asked to pay Welcome Cottages an amount of £145,

when the owner of the cottage and Welcome Cottages appear to have not suffered

or incurred any financial loss from our cancelled booking.

 

Please can you explain how the amount of £145 you are claiming was calculated.

 

Can you also provide a breakdown of actual costs and losses suffered or have been incurred by the owner

and Welcome Cottages, resulting from the cancelled booking."

 

and they replied with:

 

"Thank you for your email.

 

Unfortunately, as you know, the reason for cancellation does not meet the qualifying criteria for a refund of some of the monies paid.

We understand your concerns and are grateful for the opportunity to explain our position in more detail.

You may wish to show this letter to anyone you seek further advice from.

It is unlikely that the CMA is the appropriate forum.

 

At the time you made your booking, the low deposit offer was running which afforded you the choice to

pay in full,

pay the standard deposit

or the low deposit.

 

You were advised at the time of booking, if the booking is cancelled for a non-qualifying reason,

the difference between the low deposit and the standard deposit is payable - (£170.00) in your case

 

The amount of deposit is commensurate with the cost of the booking.

The cancellation terms provide many qualifying reasons for cancellations

; including redundancy,

illness,

death

and even when extreme weather prevents travel.

Many other companies do not provide this benefit at all.

 

Of course, there is no obligation to continue with a booking if our terms are not agreed to.

 

We feel that if you had read the low deposit terms, and the booking conditions,

you would have understood that the low deposit offer does indeed allow a booking to be secured for £25.00

with nothing more to pay until 8 weeks before departure,

 

but that if it is cancelled for a non-qualifying reason,

the difference between the low deposit of £25.00 and the standard deposit becomes payable.

This is an industry standard and not an unfair contract term.

 

Our booking conditions carry a Plain English Campaign Crystal Mark and we believe that Section 4 is clear

about the low deposit offer and that the cancellation terms are also clearly presented.

 

We hope we have satisfactorily responded to your concerns and look forward to receiving the outstanding amount of £145.00 by return.

 

Welcome Cottages have ignored questions I put to them in my first email

but have confirmed that cottage has been re-let over period of our booking from 4 to 11 September in another email.

 

We have not said that we will not pay the £145 balance and Welcome Cottages have hinted that remaining balance could be paid by monthly instalments.

However, if Welcome Cottages had not re-let the the cottage again

and they and the owner had made a loss,

then we consider that we would be liable to pay the balance.

 

Therefore, do we have a case to challenge having to pay the remaining amount of £145

because Welcome Cottages and also the owner have not suffered a financial loss on our original booking

as they have successfully re-let the cottage?

 

I also consider that they will be making an additional profit because they have also made a profit on the new booking.

Or are we still liable under contact law to pay the remaining balance of the deposit?

 

Any comments or advise will be gratefully received.

 

Many thanks in advance.

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

I'll move your thread to the holidays forum where hopefully the guys will be able to advise you. I'll leave a short term link on this forum for you to follow to the new one.

 

My best, HB

  • Confused 1

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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when did you let them know you would not be able to use the cottage and the reason to cancel please...

 

 

seems a bitphishy to me too...

 

 

dx

  • Confused 1

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 dx100uk

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

 

We emailed them the day the balance on the deposit was due,

which I think was 8 weeks before the let started.

 

 

Reason to cancel was financial,

I've been moved to a temporary contract at work which could end at any time although this may not happen,

so it's the financial uncertainty.

 

 

it's a change in our financial circumstances since February.

 

 

I've explained our situation to them on the phone but they said we were still liable for the deposit balance,

although they might consider payments by instalments. No reduction was offered.

 

Welcome Cottages also tried to take the remaining balance of what we owed on the letting from my bank account,

which I used to pay the £25 deposit.

 

 

Fortunately my bank declined this because I did not have enough funds in my account.

They apparently do this as standard practise!

 

My case is that they have re-let the cottage again and have therefore covered any loses which might have occurred

from our cancelled booking to both Welcome Cottages and the owner.

 

 

They have confirmed this in an email after I asked them a direct question.

Because they have now re-let the cottage,

does this change the terms of our original contract with them?

 

 

Also is this covered by the Unfair Contact Terms regulations?

 

Also if you multiply what has happened to us with all the other re-lets made after cancelled bookings,

then Welcome Cottages must be making thousands additional profits each year

because people don't challenge this and just pay up.

 

 

As I said, if they had not re-let the cottage then I would have probably paid the balance of the deposit.

 

I could ignore them but the only fear is either a court case they might make under Small Claims

or being referred to a debt collection agency which will then affect my credit rating.

 

Many thanks for your help.

 

Cheers

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no a dca cant effect your credit file

they are not bailiffsand have no such legal powers

 

 

pers I'd be cancelling the card CPA with you bank

and ignoring them unless/until you get a claimform

 

 

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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Think you should write back to state the financial reasons for cancelling and that as Welcome have taken another booking for the property they cannot evidence a financial loss. Apologise for any inconvenience and hope that the matter is now closed.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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Hi Everyone

 

Today I sent following email to Welcome Cottages:

 

"Thank you for your email confirming that the cottage has now been re-let from 4 to 11 September. We wish to apologise again for having to cancel our booking.

 

However, because the cottage has now been re-let, we contend that Welcome Cottages and the owner have not suffered a financial loss resulting from our cancelled booking. We consider that any further charges we are required to pay could be regarded as an unfair profit for your company and the owner.

 

As a gesture of goodwill, we will not be seeking repayment of the £25 we made at the time of the booking in February 2015."

 

Lets see what response I get to this one.

 

Cheers

 

Baching Mad

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Hi DX

 

I've contacted my bank and they will be unable to block any payment request from Welcome Cottages if they try and take out the balance of the deposit. The only option would be to close my existing account and then open another one which I don't really want to do.

 

So there's a risk that they might take out the balance of £145 without my consent because they have my card details from when I made the original deposit payment over the phone.

 

Anyway I'll wait and see what response I get from them to my email I sent yesterday (post 10) before I decide what to do next.

 

Cheers

 

Baching Mad

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well go tell your bank they are WRONG!!

 

 

under the FCA rules they MUST stop or block any future Continuous Payment Authority request

 

 

not ruddy hailptats is it?

 

 

GENERAL NOTES ON CHARGEBACK & Continuous Payment Authority & BACS

.....

We have been telling people to put a letter into their bank instructing them

not to make any payments under any circumstances to these companies

.

http://whatconsumer.co.uk/visa-debit-chargeback/- it works!

usually this should be done using the number on your debit card

.

banks MUST follow written intructions from their customers !

.

CANCELLING YOUR DEBIT CARD DOES NOT STOP CPA'S

.

This fsa guide has now been updated:

.

http://www.fsa.gov.uk/static/pubs/consumer_info/know_your_rights_guide.pdf

http://www.fca.org.uk/news/continuous-payment-authorities-your-right-to-cancel

.

Here's the text:

.

Cancelling a regular

card payment:

.

When you give your credit or debit card details to a company and authorise them to take regular payments from your account,

such as for a gym membership or magazine subscription,

it is known as a ‘recurring transaction’ or ‘continuous payment authority’.

.

These are often confused with direct debits, but do not offer the same guarantee if the amount or date of the payment changes.

.

In most cases, regular payments can be cancelled by telling the company taking the payments.

.

However,

you have the right to cancel them directly with your bank or card issuer by telling it that you have stopped permission for the payments.

Your bank or card issuer must then stop them – it has no right to insist that you agree this first with the company taking the payments.

.

Be aware, though, that you will still be responsible for paying any money that you owe.

and that CANELLING YOUR CARD WILL NOT STOP THE CPA

.

..

.

New june 2013

.

Regulator orders Banks and mutuals to review complaints about not cancelling recurring payments from November 2009.

.

Consumers who have set up a regular payment from their account will now be able to successfully cancel that arrangement

by contacting their card provider, the Financial Conduct Authority said.

.

The FCA has been examining how easy it is for customers to cancel Continuous Payment Authorities (CPAs)

due either to payday lendersicon or for other regular payments such as subscriptions or gymicon memberships.

.

CPAs, which are also commonly called recurring transactions or recurring payments,

are relatively easy to set up but can be hard to cancel, causing problems for consumers trying to manage their finances,the FCA said.

.

Now, following the FCA review of how the largest high street banks and mutuals process requests to cancel CPAs, they have agreed that they will ensure that when

a customer asks for a recurring payment to end, that will be sufficient to cancel the arrangement. They have also confirmed that should a payment go through by

mistake following cancellation by a customer the customer will be refunded immediately.

.

In addition to securing this commitment, the largest banks and mutuals have agreed to review every individual complaint they have received about the non-

cancellation of a CPA and to pay redress where payments have continued to be made despite the customer cancelling the arrangement. This applies to all complaints

since November 2009 when the Financial Services Authority, the FCA’s predecessor, began regulating banking conduct.

.

Clive Adamson, the FCA’s director of supervision, said: “It’s important that consumers are confident that banks are meeting their everyday banking needs. Today

customers can be confident that when they ask for a Continuous Payment Authority to be cancelled – it will be cancelled - and that it can be done easily.

.

“We recognise that historically this is an area where some customers have struggled but the banks and mutuals have responded positively to our work on this issue.

From now on we expect them to be getting this right. In addition, they have committed to review past complaints.”

.

.

Also mentioned your displeasure that as whomever took your money had obviously attempted this many times

probably activating your banks own anti fraud software - nobody had the decency to inform my you this was going on.?

.

.In the FSA's own words:

.

..

What should I do about a payment from my account that I didn’t authorise?

.

Your bank must refund an unauthorised transaction.

Money can only be taken from your account if you have authorised the transaction

or if your bank can prove you were at fault –

.

see below.

Contact your bank immediately if you notice an unauthorised payment from your account.

.

If you are sure you did not authorise the payment, you can claim a refund.

.

However, your bank does not have to refund you if you do not tell it about the payment until 13 months

or more after the date it left your account.

.

Your bank must refund an unauthorised transaction

.

------------------

.

Your bank may only refuse a refund for an unauthorised transaction if:

.

? it can prove you authorised the transaction

– though your bank cannot simply say that use of your password,

card and PIN proves you authorised a payment; or

.

? it can prove you are at fault because you acted fraudulently,

or because you deliberately,

or with gross negligence, failed to protect the details of your card, PIN or password in a way that allowed the transaction

.

-----------------------

.

How quickly must my bank refund me for an unauthorised transaction?

.

The bank must make the refund immediately unless it has evidence that one of the above reasons applies.

Your bank may ask you to answer some questions and fill out a form confirming what has happened,

but it cannot delay your refund while it waits for you to return the form.

If the bank has evidence that one of the above reasons for refusing a refund applies,

it may investigate before making a refund

but must look into it as quickly as possible.

If your bank rejects your claim for a refund it should explain why.

If the transaction was on a credit card, the refund may not happen immediately.

But the card issuer cannot charge interest or ask for repayment of the amount unless it can prove you are liable to pay

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 Everyone

 

Just one other thing, I've just noticed under Welcome Cottage's T & C's they state the following if you cancel your booking before the holiday:

 

"We will also keep a cancellation administration fee of £51 for each week or part of a week per booking".

 

So presumably they're charging me this fee within the £145 they say I now owe?

 

Are they able to do this, or is yet another 'administration' penalty charge specified under the Unfair Terms legislation?

 

Have these cancellation 'administration' charges ever been challenged with other holiday companies?

 

Cheers

 

Baching Mad

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I doubt they have been challenged, as i am not sure who would deal with such a challenge.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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OK noted thanks Uncle Bulgaria.

 

However, I need advice please on whether I can challenge their £51 admin fee under the Unfair Terms legislation as a penalty charge.

 

I think I need some legal advice on this.

 

Many thanks for your help.

 

Cheers

 

Baching Mad

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yes ofcourse you can

under FCA rules/guidelines

any 'penlty' for doing 'something' against any agreement or T&C's can be challenged and is deemed by them to be 'unlawful'

 

 

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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Share on other sites

OK noted thanks DX.

 

Do know if any one on CAG has been successful in challenging these cancellation 'administration fees' charged by holiday companies, which seems to be standard practice in the holiday industry?

 

This is just another example of these companies making extra profit out of holiday cancellations as part of heir business model.

 

I consider these fees to be a penalty charge and they set them high and use it as a disincentive for people to cancel their bookings. No way does £51 cover their 'administration costs' when they have already made a profit out of their agency fee. Their administration costs should be covered under their general business costs.

 

I'm going to ask for a breakdown of the £170 their demanding from me next just to see what additional charges they've added when they reply to my last email.

 

Cheers and thanks for your help.

 

Baching Mad.

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Id wait to see if a claim form arrives

then you would put them to strict proof of their costs

 

until then, why waste your time playing letter tennis

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

 

 

 

The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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OK sabre sheep thanks for your reply, let's see what they come up with next.

 

Not sure if they'll send me a claim form as what I owe them is a little low. It'll also cost them to take me to SC Court. Any idea of what the cost is? If I do get one then of course I'll ask for advice.

 

However, I'm half expecting an email from then telling me that they've had no option but to pass my 'debt' on to a DCA for action. Even though it's not really a 'debt' but just a penalty charge they've concocted to increase their profits.

 

I'm hoping this happens because I can then just ignore.

 

Cheers

 

Baching Mad

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I'm hoping this happens because I can then just ignore.

 

Cheers

 

Baching Mad

 

Correct

A DCA will send begging letters and threaten they will come and see you via a doorstep collection

 

Get yourself down the diy store make sure that doorstep is the best one in the street natural stone always look good they will be glad to add it to their doorstep collection:lol:

 

A DCA can do very little telephone calls and letters will be their main ways

That can be addressed if it happens later

If i have helped in any way hit my star.

any advice given is based on experience and learnt from this site :-)

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Hi IHB

 

Thanks for your reply. Yes I'll go down to the nearest DIY store and buy them the shiniest doorstep I can find in anticipation!! Still haven't received a reply from them to my last email perhaps they will ignore. More likely they'll send me a final demand soon and promise fury and damnation 'or else' if I don't comply!

 

Not so concerned about the DCA as I've dealt with these morons before and can just ignore them. However, I'm a little concerned about receiving a Claims Form as I've never received a Small Claims Court Summons before.

 

Hopefully they'll not go down this route as presumably they'll have to hire solicitors which will cost them plus having to pay the SC Court fee. After all it's only £145 were talking about not £1,450 or £145,000.

 

Perhaps I'm just worrying about nothing and should just wait and see what happens.

 

Cheers

 

Baching Mad

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  • 2 weeks later...

they make these charges because they can get away with it.

 

 

Most people accept that they lose their deposit if they dont continue with a contract

but like with airlines and insurance companies this firm seems to have gone a step further by demanding money for something they didnt supply.

 

They will probably send another demand and may well get a DCA to write to you demanding god knows what

 

 

but there is no loss to the company or the homeowner letting his premises so the £25 they have already has would cover their costs.

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