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Helpful Holidays - anyone got out of a contract with them?
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 328
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GillianF wrote:
and the local paper are good ideas too.



And their Twitter feed, and their Facebook page.

Why not write a blog about your experience, as you try to persuade them to be reasonable? You would be doing their existing subscribers a favour.

If ever there was an argument for knowing your guests beforehand, and taking the bookings direct, this is it.

It probably also shows the pressure which some agencies are under, given the onslaught from the OTAs and the rise of the Book Direct channel. Getting squeezed, methinks.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5901
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Willoughby St Just wrote:
They say things like it's discrimination to refuse people and that my definition of holiday maker is different to them.


They can only play the discrimination card if it’s covered by the Equality Act, and that is restricted to matters of race, religion, gender, disability and age. As long as we observe the Act, any of us can choose to refuse a booking on grounds of unsuitability.

Their implied definition of “holidaymaker” is different from the definition that would seem reasonable to the average person. Assuming they haven’t gone into specific detail, the “Reasonable Man’s" definition carries more weight than HH’s definition, which is very obviously engineered to be a convenient cover for their activities.
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Willoughby St Just



Joined: 29 Nov 2017
Posts: 13
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your advice everyone. I contacted EASCO and they are helping me. Fingers crossed I can get some sleep soon!
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5901
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good news. Please keep us posted - this is a very important issue that potentially affects everyone who needs or chooses to use an agency.
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Willoughby St Just



Joined: 29 Nov 2017
Posts: 13
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will do. Thank you for your support!
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Sherry



Joined: 15 Feb 2017
Posts: 13
Location: Torbay

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn’t it make the blood boil when you feel you are being taken advantage of? This sounds awful. You may be covered on your insurance cover for legal cover. I needed some legal help for my holiday home ( dodgy building work from a local builder that the local Building Control refused to sign off because it was so bad) but didn’t have legal cover on the holiday property insurance . A solicitor friend said it might be possible to claim on my own house insurance, which does have legal cover . I was a bit dubious but rang the household insurance company, explaining that it was for the other property, and they said ‘no problem’, and that it covered up to £50k of legal fees. I’ve had to use their solicitor - and can’t say their service is hugely impressive - but the case is progressing and they are covering the costs, so you may be able to get help that way. Best wishes and good luck. It’s enormously draining energy wise but don’t give in! If they are doing this to you then it’s highly likely they will be doing it to others and it needs stamping out.
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Willoughby St Just



Joined: 29 Nov 2017
Posts: 13
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, thank you I hadn't thought of my own home insurance. If I end up having to go that way I will definitely give them a call. I hope your issue gets sorted too. It does give lots of sleepless nights! !
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Sandra J



Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Posts: 35
Location: North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The insurance for our holiday let states no DSS. This is specialist Holiday Let insurance so perhaps this sort of thing happens more than we know. Bookings are only taken directly by us so not an issue but if I were with an agency I could potentially breach my insurance and not know.

Hope you get out of your contract without a penalty.
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Willoughby St Just



Joined: 29 Nov 2017
Posts: 13
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll check my insurance!! Another good point. Anot her reason I can say no to housing these people.
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 754
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the outcome you need from all of this is to immediately terminate your contract with (un) Helpful Holidays, without any cost to you.

I would not trust them again, and would not try and negotiate anything other than “goodbye”.
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akwe-xavante



Joined: 01 Jul 2015
Posts: 217
Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it were me I'd just dump'em asap and especially if I had no bookings being the time of year. I'd then let them chase me for the money. It would cost them a lot of money to chase you for it, not worth it. You could work it the other way round, i'll get a lot of complaints from other readers of this post for this one: Don't clean the place, don't make up the beds etc etc guests will complain to HH and HH will dump you!!

I know I know but you'll probably upset one perhaps two sets of guests before you get dumped. You could just not be there with the keys to let people in! HH will then have to relocate them. How many times will they do this before they dump you?

Use the excuse that your ill or dying! Now there's another approach, get another family member to phone them, You've died! you've been in a serious accident and lost one of your legs or you have cancer and you've been given 6 weeks to live. Under such circumstances they'll cancel your contract for nothing. You've had a stroke or a heart attack because of the stress. You can't continue due to circumstances beyond your control. Is the contract in two names (Mr & Mrs) ..... Your wife has left you for another women and wants a divorce and you can't carry on with the FHL and hold down a full time job and look after kids and so on and on.

Try cottages.com, with cottages.com you can reject, cancel bookings if your not happy. They also phone you to ask if a booking is different or unusual in any way with the options of accepting or rejecting it.

I do seem to remember a few years ago where our government and or some local authorities were seriously looking at putting people into empty properties inc holiday lets whether the owners of these properties liked it or not and even at short notice and for as long as they liked! No idea whether it actually happens or not.

If I found myself in this situation I'd have them out onto the street pronto then fight my corner afterwards and even pull out of the business altogether unless I was offered a serious bond and the rental was high. The bond would have to be enough to fit a new kitchen, bathroom and replace the central heating system at least.
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 658
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zebedee wrote:
I would not trust them again, and would not try and negotiate anything other than “goodbye”.


It's rather more polite than I would have put it myself zebedee!
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Willoughby St Just



Joined: 29 Nov 2017
Posts: 13
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately negotiations with the help of EASCO have not gone well. They are denying all knowledge of Cornwall Housing being involved. However the contact details given on the booking confirmation form is Cornwall Housing. It seems I am stuck in the situation of leave and pay or just stay put for 9 months.

I can try the tourist board etc but they will just deny everything it appears. They really don't care about the home owners feelings. Initially they could have just agreed to me not having anymore bookings from Cornwall Housing. I've not had any bookings recently either for December or next year, yet the previous owners were fully booked most of the year (through cottages.com). They have no scruples 😢.

I'm going to sleep on it!
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 754
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Willoughby wrote
Quote:
They are denying all knowledge of Cornwall Housing being involved. However the contact details given on the booking confirmation form is Cornwall Housing. It seems I am stuck in the situation of leave and pay or just stay put for 9 months.


They are lying to you. You have evidence in writing. Even if you cannot tolerate confrontation do not put up with this. Write to them telling them they have lied to you and you have evidence of the breach of contract and that you withdraw your property from them with immediate effect.
Change the locks on the property immediately.

If they pursue you for the £2k it would only go to the small claims court. You will not run up costs. If you like, ask the forum to suggest suitable wording for your letter.
You must not let them get away with this.
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Willoughby St Just



Joined: 29 Nov 2017
Posts: 13
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know they are lieing I've told EASCO that too. I've been told by solicitors that you don't get the costs back at small claims it could cost me possibly £8000!

I will definitely be writing a legal letter to them. They haven't heard the last from me.
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