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Lastminute cock up


Lager_Lou
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Hello everybody,

 

In June I booked and paid for a hotel stay for 2 nights in Amsterdam for new year's eve and the following night. I thought all was well, booked flights from flybe and have been looking fwd to it ever since.

 

At the weekend myself and gf went to London for the night and stayed in a hotel she had booked with lastminute. there was a problem with our booking so thought I'd better check everything was OK for my Amsterdam booking.

 

I emailed the Amsterdam hotel direct on Monday and the informed me that they had cancelled the booking with lastminute.com, the very same day (in June) that I had booked it - as they couldn't have guests for any less than 5 nights over the new year period.

 

I was furious - lastminute have not informed me of anything being worng and they still have my £273.00. If I hadn't emailed the hotel on Monday we would have turned up on new years eve with nowhere to go.

 

I sent lastminute an emial and received a reply saying that - 'oh yes, the hotel was indeed cancelled, but it's OK as the hotel didn't charge you a cancellation fee (thanks!) and we've just tried to refund the money onto your card but it has expired in our system. Please call and give a card number so you can have your money back"

 

I don't think so - I have booked flights, have been looking fwd to this holiday and want them to find me somewhere else in the same central location to stay and I don't see why i should pay any more money.

 

I have called them twice this week. Both times I've been fobbed off as 'there is no room to stay' and 'the relocations team are closed' and 'my manager is not here' etc etc. both times they ahve promised to callback and haven't.

 

I'm really angry - I don't just want a refund; I have paid for flights, don't want to pay more (this is why we booked in June) and don't know what to do next?

 

Any ideas? And does anybody know who they are regulated by? Suggestions welcome as I intend to call them the moment I get home!

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I think Lastminute.com are entitled to give you a refund, although the customer relations side of it seems to be appalling! I have had great success with them over the last couple of years, but I know people who haven't. A friend I know used to work for them, but left shortly afterwards saying that they were extremely disorganised!

 

They are a member of ABTA and are ATOL protected.

Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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I agree that you might be onto a loser on the legal side of things but there's more than one way to skin a cat. Why don't you go to your local newspaper about this? It's amazing how many cases of appalling customer service get resolved very quickly when a journalist calls the firm for a comment. I work as a reporter and in my opinion it would make a good little story for the festive editions, which are generally a struggle to fill. Just make sure you get in touch with them well in advance of their deadline - if it's a weekly paper, the day they come out or the two days after that are the best times. Stress the fact you would have got to Amsterdam on NYE and had no place to stay and use lots of colourful language (well, not TOO colourful).

Gruffle Gaw vs Halifax - £1531.50: ***WON - cheque for £1966.78 received 30/09/06***:)

I'm not a legal professional and my advice is given without prejudice or liability.

If you found my post helpful, please click the scales on the left.

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And if you still don't get any satisfaction (unlikely in my experience) at least you'll be able to enjoy venting your anger. :) They will want to name and possibly photograph you though, so if you go down this route you need to be OK with this.

Gruffle Gaw vs Halifax - £1531.50: ***WON - cheque for £1966.78 received 30/09/06***:)

I'm not a legal professional and my advice is given without prejudice or liability.

If you found my post helpful, please click the scales on the left.

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I definitely think it's worth a letter to them claiming that they are in breach of contract and therefore you are seeking damages to cover whatever it will cost you to book a room for those two nights (note, this must be reasonable, you must make every effort to get a room as similar as possible to the one you booked).

 

If they hadn't taken your money they might have been able to state that there was no contract and they hadn't accepted your offer to book those rooms, but - to me - taking your money seems that they have accepted your offer and therefore a legally binding contract is in place.

 

They are therefore in breach of contract and liable to pay you damages to cover the cost of a replacement booking.

 

Well worth a try, I think.

Please note I'm not insured in this capacity, so if you need to, do get official legal advice.

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