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Preempting refund enquiries by proactively sending a lettter

 
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Yorkshire Lass



Joined: 06 Sep 2010
Posts: 198
Location: North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:06 pm    Post subject: Preempting refund enquiries by proactively sending a lettter Reply with quote

As I've had several guests cancelling and/or looking for refunds I wanted to see what other UK owners feel about sending out a letter now to the guests who have already paid in full for their holidays. I've been drafting something along the lines of the following and would welcome any comments/suggestions:

Dear Guest

With the current unfolding crisis around coronavirus I am contacting you to ask if as advised at the time of booking you did take out or already have holiday travel insurance? If you or any of your party are self isolating and will not be able to travel or should the current situation change and we are all locked down then I will of course provide any supporting documentation you require in order to make a claim.

Unfortunately if you do not have insurance I am not in a position to act as your insurer and refund your payment. However what I can do is refund costs of cleaning/laundry, your security deposit and any charges for a dog. As a good will gesture I can also offer you a 15% discount on any future holidays.

We all find ourselves in a horrible, unprecedented situation which let's hope will not last too long.
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Joanna



Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 1007
Location: Chester, North West England & Sidmouth, East Devon

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the moment I'm taking it case by case and contacting the guests who are booked within the next few weeks - my offer to returning guests will be more generous because I know they're more likely to come back.

I start off by asking them if they are thinking about whether to cancel their holiday in the light of the Coronavirus situation. Then explain what our usual cancellation policy is. Then, if it's a regular guest, I'll explain the offer we can make them. Finally I ask them to let us know as soon as possible if they want to go ahead and cancel so I can notify our cleaners.

I'm not mentioning insurance at this stage - that would be in the next email if they demand a full refund.

Also, I'm aware that events may overtake us - if our area goes into lockdown, for example, then we might have to cancel because the cottage wouldn't be accessible. In that case it would be down to our insurance to pay up (or not).
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Jo

Joint owner of Baker's Cottage in Chester & Chandler's Cottage in Sidmouth
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1479
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joanna wrote:
Also, I'm aware that events may overtake us - if our area goes into lockdown, for example, then we might have to cancel because the cottage wouldn't be accessible. In that case it would be down to our insurance to pay up (or not).

I don't know about an owner's insurance paying up, but if the owner's terms and conditions includes an appropriately worded 'force majeure' clause, it could (or would) protect the owner, even if not specifically mentioned there, in the event of government legislation prohibiting something which was previously allowed (e.g. renting out your holiday property).
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rosebud



Joined: 14 Mar 2012
Posts: 625
Location: Steyning, West Sussex

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am thinking of sending a letter but for those who have booked directly i will offer to let them re book until the end of 2021.

Hopefully I would keep their goodwill and would spread my losses over a longer period.

Have already sent a message with wording below to guests unsure about staying. They live in Germany. My cottage is in the UK

Quote:
Normally if you did not want to travel I would re-advertise the weeks. I would refund any payment you made if I was able to let the full period at the original advertised price, (minus any costs), or a proportion if the booking was for a lower price, or fewer days.

In the present unfortunate circumstances I would like to offer you the possibility of using any money you have paid towards a future stay. This holiday could be taken anytime before the end of 2021.


Let's hope we will be clear of the virus by the end of 2021
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