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Helpful Holidays and Sykes Cottages

 
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Groucho



Joined: 04 Aug 2017
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:06 pm    Post subject: Helpful Holidays and Sykes Cottages Reply with quote

Are there any Helpful Holidays' owners out there who have concerns about the takeover of Helpful Holidays by Sykes Cottages? For example, differences in terms and conditions, with Sykes charging annual fees, and providing no cancellation guarantee. Or just being a small cog in a much bigger wheel? Would be interested to hear from other owners on Helpful Holidays' books.
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Mike&Chrissy



Joined: 04 Sep 2017
Posts: 6
Location: Selsey, West Sussex

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:24 pm    Post subject: Experience with Sykes Reply with quote

If its any help, we've been with Sykes for just over a year and have given them notice. Apart from issues over their bargain basement pricing we have found that their customer care for owners is appalling.

We have an 18th century seaside cottage and 6 months ago raised our off-peak short break price to avoid customers who just wanted cheap accommodation. Somehow, Sykes reverted to the old price and someone booked for 4 adults at that price. Sykes said they'd cover the difference. Fair enough. Then they let the customer amend the booking to 7 people including an infant. The cottage sleeps 6 and we stipulate no children under 5. We told Sykes. Two days later, still no response so we emailed the customer. He had been contacted by Sykes but they hadn't kept us informed. He says he's agreed with Sykes that the 3 extras will stay elsewhere and he'll bring his nephew instead but the booking still shows 6 people.

We're now worried about a family reunion happening in the cottage! Trying to sort this out is stressing us more than the income is worth.
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Groucho



Joined: 04 Aug 2017
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:24 am    Post subject: Experience with Sykes Reply with quote

Sorry to read about the problems you have encountered with Sykes. It's the sort of thing that worried me when I heard about Helpful Holidays being taken over by Sykes. I hope you have better luck with any new agents you appoint!
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Mike&Chrissy



Joined: 04 Sep 2017
Posts: 6
Location: Selsey, West Sussex

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:40 am    Post subject: Experience with Sykes Reply with quote

Thanks, Groucho. Something else to look out for is that Sykes don't routinely take a security deposit - and are pretty rubbish at recovering the cost of damage repairs. If Helpful Holidays copy this, I'd recommend that you jump ship.
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akwe-xavante



Joined: 01 Jul 2015
Posts: 221
Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before I started I invited a number of Agents to visit the property before I decided who to go with and spoke to friends who have been in the industry for a good few years now too.

Sykes was most disliked by far.

I decided to go with Cottages.com AKA Wyndham Vacation.

Overall I'm very happy with them, if there's an unusual request or a proposed potential booking that doesn't fit in with what I allow they phone and ask. Sometimes I say no, sometimes I say yes but they have never allowed a booking through that doesn't fit what I'm prepared to allow without phoning and asking first.

They do discount as time approaches an un-booked date but I have requested a fixed floor price below which discounting must not drop below and so far this has always been honoured and it has never dropped below it.

They recently introduced 2 night bookings without asking or telling me........... When I became aware of this and unhappy about it I phoned them to stop this and they did with 48hrs.

With Cottages.com you have to keep an eye on them but I have to say that if your not happy they will stop / change things without a fuss and so far they have always honoured and stuck to my requests to stop or restrict something.

I would love to stop bookings that have a dog and children.

Bookings with a dog and no children and vice versa is fine but both together has not been good for me and this is something they say they can't do!!!!!! Or wont!!!!

Otherwise I can't really fault Cottages.com as an agent overall but they are not perfect.
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delilah



Joined: 14 Jan 2013
Posts: 90
Location: mersea island, essex

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
akwe-xavante

I know its a couple of years old, your reply on that thread, but how are you finding cottages.com? thanks
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akwe-xavante



Joined: 01 Jul 2015
Posts: 221
Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd give them a nine out of Ten.

Overall very happy with them.
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