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Location not as described and owner screamed that we are never getting a refund @emblefarms


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@emblefarms on Twitter and Instagram

 

The website implies that the cabins are on a farm overlooking the sea whereas in reality the cabins are at least a mile away from the sea with uninspiring views of the back of Seahouses town and open farmland. Photos on the website for Emble Farm overlooking the sea are from their cottage, not the cabins.

 

There are several cabins situated close together and no trees or wind breaks so you can hear everything happening in tents nearby - not at all the tranquil picturesque escape implied by their website.

 

When we said that we were unhappy as we thought it would be a quiet getaway on the sea the female owner stated that she would of course give us a refund if we were unhappy but kept trying to entice us to stay and suggested that perhaps we stay at Calder cottage another time. 
We were so disappointed that we left.

When we asked for the refund the female owner went silent.

 

The next day her husband rang up and initially seemed polite and friendly but it degenerated quickly and he tried to belittle and bully everything I said, e.g. made out that it was our fault, that there was something wrong with me and ended up screaming down the phone that we are "never getting your money back". They know what they are doing, they invoice you to pay by bank transfer so that you aren't protected by the banks. 

We tried some of their food, the lamb chops were really good but their "merguez" sausages were over processed, tasteless and didn't resemble any merguez sausage I had ever had. Similarly, the hamper of breakfast items contained over processed and tasteless sausages and black pudding that still had the price tag on and they obviously chose the cheapest options, the one exception being the smoked salmon. The fruit and vegetables looked like they were bought from sainsbury rather than the local farming community. For £80 (breakfast hamper + dinner hamper) I expected better quality organic or at least predominantly locally produced food.

 

 

 

 

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  • thebeehive changed the title to Location not as described and owner screamed that we are never getting a refund @emblefarms
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Dear Consumer Action Group, thanks so much for all of your help. The claim went to mediation and some of the points that you raised in discussion earlier in this conversation (i.e. that the text messa

Dictation software?   ”you reneged” rather than “urinate” ??

They have replied and said to refer to their previous email which said that they would not be issuing a refund. So it is now step two. Perhaps I could respond with some like the following:  

Have you come to us to ask for some help or have you simply come here to do a hatchet job on this company?

If you are here to ask for some help to get some money back – then we would be happy to get involved. If you have simply come here to do a review which may or may not be accurate and then not to visit us or contribute any further but simply to spread your dissatisfaction over the Internet, then this is probably not the place.

Maybe you could let us know please

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Well maybe that's partly because you don't tell us the story.

You haven't told us the dates, how much you paid, how long you stay there, – what about the food? Did you pay for it?

If you decide to tell us the whole story then we may be able to help you.

Also, you posted up some pictures which I suppose are pictures of the actual site. You haven't actually given us any comparators. Do think that might be helpful if you did?

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We paid £409 to stay from Monday the 19th October until Thursday the 22nd of October. We staid for one night and being disappointed and having received confirmation from one of the owners that they would refund us we left. We paid £80 for the food in cash. 

 

Attached is a screen grab of text messages from the owner promising a refund, here are some photos for comparison from the website - the first post that I sent has images of the location. 

 

After the owner called us up the day after we left to scream at me he also emailed me stating that he would not refund us and can be provided too. 

 

 

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Okay thanks.

I think that there are two good arguments here.

First of all that you went on the holiday and that it wasn't as described. We've only seen limited pictures – and you are the person who would have to provide all the evidence in order to persuade a judge if it went that far – as I can imagine it would.

The second backup argument is that you clearly have had a chat conversation with them whereby they've said very clearly that if you leave the property then they will refund you. That is strong evidence that there was a contract there in which you promise to leave – which you did and that they promise to refund you and they have reneged on that promise.

On that basis, I can't see them winning if you decide to make a claim.

The first argument is most interesting because presumably you took time off to go on the holiday. You incurred expenses travelling there and you incurred expenses travelling back. Please can you tell us what these were – and also are there any other expenses which you reasonably incurred and which you would not have incurred if you had gone on holiday.
In addition to that, there is an expectation loss which is the loss of enjoyment of the holiday. How many of you were involved?

I think we need to understand all of the inconveniences you suffered, the preparations you made et cetera to go on the holiday so that we can understand the extent of your losses.

The second argument that there was a contract to leave – is a fallback argument. On that argument you would not be able to claim any of those additional losses – simply a refund but it is very good fallback position.

I think that in addition to giving us the information that we've asked, you should also spend time looking around this forum about how to bring a small claim in the County Court. I'm quite sure that this is where this will lead. Of course when they realise that there is trouble coming then they will probably change their mind about the refund and give you a refund. You will have to decide whether the refund is sufficient or whether in fact you were to be compensated for your loss of enjoyment and for any other related expenses recently incurred.

Of course if they did then carry out the original promise to give you a refund – if you accepted this then it would be the end of the matter. On the other hand, if you feel seriously aggrieved by it all and you want to dig your heels in then you stand a good chance of success but I am quite sure that it would lead to litigation. Read up on it around this forum

Also read our customer services guide and if you have any further phone calls, make sure that you have recorded them. Read our customer services guide

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39 minutes ago, BankFodder said:



The second argument that there was a contract to leave – is a fallback argument. On that argument you would not be able to claim any of those additional losses – simply a refund but it is very good fallback position.
 

 

I agree BF but if it got to court I don't think it is actually a new contract. It sounds more like an agreement by both parties to vary the original contract. A bit pedantic maybe, but there is a difference.

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Interesting point but there are several arguments against it.

Please monitor this straight for a fuller reply tomorrow

 

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Thank you for exploring this issue.

 

Both of us took time off work to go on holiday in case we went into lockdown again. The travel expenses amounted to approximately £20 in petrol for the two of us - me and my partner. There was indeed a loss of enjoyment of the holiday in addition to the subsequent frustration and letdown by the owners. It really was a very aggressive and bullying phone call by the husband of the team and he was so loud that my partner could hear him shouting at me on my mobile phone from the other room. That was very stressful.

 

The food that we purchased from them was worth a fraction of the price that they charged, some of it had prices tags on still and it probably cost them £20 in total for what they charged.

 

We would be happy with the refund of £409 and to leave it there. However, I believe that they would do this again to someone else. I have tried to warn people through Yelp and Trustpilot but they haven’t claimed their Trustpilot account so they don’t appear in searches for their accommodation.

 

I will read through the customer services guide tomorrow, thanks.

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Well, on their site there is clearly written "Within Emble we have luxury cabins overlooking the sea" so if you can prove they are a mile away it puts you in a very good position.

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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12 hours ago, Ethel Street said:

 

I agree BF but if it got to court I don't think it is actually a new contract. It sounds more like an agreement by both parties to vary the original contract. A bit pedantic maybe, but there is a difference.

 

Good morning.

Yes you are raising an interesting point – and it hadn't occurred to me.

If it is simply an agreement to vary the original contract – then it still operates as a fallback position and at the very least it guarantees the refund of the basic purchase price of a holiday.
Of course if it varies the original contract then it effectively changes the terms of the original contract so that one wouldn't be able to sue on those terms – and I suppose that is the point you are making.

However, in order to agree a variation of the contract both parties must bring something new to the deal. The problem for the holiday provider here is that if they have already breached the contract by selling something which is not as described, then I think the damage is already done, in principle they already owe the refund and so they are not bring anything new to this – ancillary – contract (maybe we can call it that).
On the basis that the holiday provider has not bought anything new to this "variation"/new contract (whichever), I suppose it would be open to the holiday provider to say that his offer was not binding on him because he had brought anything new to the contract because he was already obliged to make a refund anyway. Of course that would be an extraordinary thing to say – because he would basically be admitting that under the terms of the original contract he had breached it sufficiently to justify a claim for a refund. And of course once he reaches that position, then he has no basis for resisting any further claim for the recovery of ancillary losses.

Of course this is all becoming a bit abstruse. I think that the basic situation is that the the exchange of texts provides a fallback situation if the OP doesn't want to go for their ancillary losses based on the loss of enjoyment and actual expenses incurred going to and from the holiday destination.

The OP has already indicated that they would settle simply for refund of the basic holiday price. Of course that would be the easy option and it would solve everything and everybody could go home. On the other hand if this holiday has been seriously miss described then maybe some redress would be a very good idea not only to reimburse the OP but also to help protect others who found themselves in the same situation.

I suppose we really have to calculate what the value of additional losses might be and also how badly miss described the holiday site really was.

In terms of finding out more about the location of the holiday site, I suppose what we need are some Google photos and Satellite to give us a better idea of the situation rather than simply relying on the impression or perception by the OP. That way we can take a more objective view.

Also, we've heard that the OP and their companion took days off work to go this holiday. We don't how many days they took off all what the value of those days were and what percentage of their total annual holiday time those days might have represented. Also, we don't know what the OP and their companion did with the time which suddenly became available to them.
We could get into some complicated calculations here. The 20 quid of petrol is scarcely worth bothering about – but the expectation loss in the waste of time might be something to be reckoned with.

I can imagine that if there was simply a threat to recover the refund by means of legal action, that the defendant might stump up the money rather than push it to the issue of proceedings. On the other hand, if there was a demand for additional compensation, then the defendant may well decide to go the whole hog.

If the OP would be prepared to walk away if they had the refund then maybe the way to tackle the holiday provider is to tell them that if the refund plus their petrol money wasn't received within a certain amount of time then a claim would be lodged for the refund plus the petrol money plus a figure for expectation loss. That might be the extra bit of pressure needed to make the holiday provider fall into line without too much trouble.
 

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I have measured the distance from the farm to the beach using google maps and at its closest point the beach is 1.19 miles away from the cabins. I have already told the owner that I would complain formally about the misrepresentation of the site to Trading standards and the Ombudsman and he said to go for it and that I could speak to his solicitor.

 

We took off four whole days from work and with the remaining days we visited places locally and returned to work one day early. The defendant comes across as reasonable but it only takes a few questions and he  before he escalates aggressively.

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Well trading standards won't be interested and there is no ombudsman for this kind of thing – and even if there was, it would make no difference. You really ought to check the availability of these complaint routes before you start using them as threats because you simply lose credibility

 

Anyway, regardless of the way he becomes aggressive, you have to decide what you want to do. You say you took four days off work – but you don't tell me what that is worth.

You say that you be happy to settle for the £409 – or whatever it was. So if you manage to get that without any further hassle, would that suit you?

I think you had fairly detailed explanations of your position and so you need now to start making decisions

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For my partner it would be a loss of earnings of £533, for me it would be £160.

 

I think that the decision on the best way to proceed hinges on whether this is a gross misrepresentation of the site, which is the root of all of the trouble and how this relates to the legal arguments that you have all generously discussed. Is being over a mile away from the sea when it is advertised as overlooking the sea a gross misrepresentation? The photos on their website as well as reporting of their accommodation in high end websites/magazines like Conde Nast are of their cottage and they make no effort to clarify this which makes their cabins more desirable and is why we rented the cabin from them in the first place.

 

Some people don't think that a mile is an overrepresentation, and some people do. 

 

 

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Well maybe you should link us to their website and also to the relevant Google satellite views. We can give you a rough opinion – but at the end of the day the decision is yours. The legal action is yours to lose or to win.

The courts are very reluctant to make awards for things like loss of earnings and it would have to be very thoroughly evidenced. I understand that there were four days – what days where they? Friday to Monday?

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Hi.

 

On their website, it does say that the cabins have canvas sides. They don't look too close to each other in their photo - how close would you say they are?

 

I couldn't find these people on TripAdvisor - is it right that they only started this year?

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi,

I am aware that they have canvas sides, this was supposed to be a glamping experience.

 

I would say that they are about 0-15 metres apart.

 

Here are some photos that I took.

 

 I can't find them on TripAdvisor either. It looks like the cabins were available at the beginning of 2019.

The owner said that they had 200-300 people stay there over the years but may have been exaggerating. 

 

 

 

 

On 19/11/2020 at 09:01, BankFodder said:

If the OP would be prepared to walk away if they had the refund then maybe the way to tackle the holiday provider is to tell them that if the refund plus their petrol money wasn't received within a certain amount of time then a claim would be lodged for the refund plus the petrol money plus a figure for expectation loss. That might be the extra bit of pressure needed to make the holiday provider fall into line without too much trouble.

 

I think this is the way to go having given it some thought. It seems the most sensible place to start rather than the more convoluted argument of item not as described.

 

I read your consumer advice and it seemed to do more with recording any phone calls

What is the best way to proceed from here?

Do I contact legal advice to write a letter?

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You can certainly contact somebody if you want some help to write a letter – but we can do it all here.

What letter do you think you want to write at this point? Do you want to send a letter of claim or do you want to send a less conflictual letter?

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When you say that the issue has already been "escalated", what do you mean?

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Well of course you keep on talking about the attitude and the language used by the owner on the telephone – but this is not something you have any verifiable evidence of. I'm not disputing what you say, but there's no point in going on about it if you don't record your calls. It's too late to start recording your calls on this problem – but you should read our customer services guide and implement the advice there in future dealings with any company.

You would have a lot less problems in your life.

In terms of the letter, why let you prepare a rough draft of what you'd like to say and then we'll have a look at it. I suggest you try to give it factual and keep emotion and accusation out of it.

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Ok,  are there any template letters that I could look at? Does it make any difference in regards to the Civil procedure rules if I am in Scotland and the owners (and the property) are in England?

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