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My first complaint!
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cottage garden



Joined: 07 Aug 2018
Posts: 2
Location: lancashire

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:27 am    Post subject: My first complaint! Reply with quote

Hi thanks for adding me! I am after some advise! I have been running an annex to my property in Lancashire for the last 5 years with lots of 5 star reviews its self contained with a private garden and off road parking. Anyway I had 2 guests and their dog stay for 1 week, I showed them around I usually check in day 2 to see if everything is ok but she knocked 1st thing the next morning to ask about hairdressers she said everything was fine and we chatted for 5 minutes or so. I didn't see her the rest of the week and they went a day early, I emailed saying sorry i missed you hope everything was ok and we look forward to welcoming you back. I got a letter of complaint out of the blue with photos saying it was disgusting she had pulled out the bedside table and found dust, dust behind the microwave, the metal toilet brush holder had left a ring on the floor and the grill pan had not been cleaned. She also said the fridge did not work properly and they threw £100 of food away. She also complained from not enough towels and tea towels left to not enough scourers and the biscuits and cake I left her were stale?! I leave a welcome pack of breakfast items tea coffee and the likes cake biscuits and dog treats, she said that was rubbish as they stayed in the lakes and was left a pasta dish for their tea and fudge??. They stayed 6 nights with not a mention of a complaint to myself or tripadvisor. I could have rectified the issues straight away but she never gave me the chance . her letters are so nasty. I replied apologising as those things should not have been missed but I could not understand why she never gave me the chance to rectify the problems. She said it was not her place to come and tell me she was the guest why should she find me i should have been more social? Tripadvisor said as she stayed with out a complaint for 6 nights I am not obliged to refund her re her booking contract. I offered her a £60 good will gesture as an apology which she has turned down and is going to take it further. Do you think I should refund her, can she sue me? Guests each side of her stay gave a 5 star review and booked for next year. It is causing me alot of sleepless nights waiting for the next recorded delivery nasty letter! thanks x
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roxytoo



Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Posts: 1641
Location: Spain Costa Blanca

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't refund her anything. My contract states

'Any dispute or complaint which the Client may have concerning his holiday must be immediately reported directly to the local key holders. If the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction it should be reported immediately to the Proprietor and they will endeavour to put matters right. Any complaints not reported to either the keyholders at the time and only reported to the Proprietor after the Client has returned from holiday will not be considered by the Proprietor'

If she did take it further I very much doubt she will win. Stay strong!
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 1055
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with Roxytoo.

If your Tcs donít include the above then see it as a lesson and change them immediately.

It sounds like a bit of a scam to me. You need to stop being nice (as it could be an admission of guilt or weakness) and be formal, concise and businesslike.

Write and refer her to the need to tell you about problems whilst you are there.
Your £60 offer is made as a goodwill gesture only and no further communication will be sent if she does not accept this within 7 days.

I donít believe the pasta and fudge story.

We have occasionally had stories of people trying to get a free holiday by behaving like this. Maybe someone on the forum who remembers more detailed circumstances will reply.
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Pixiepower



Joined: 21 Oct 2015
Posts: 17
Location: St Ives

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She sounds like a horrible, rude scammer. Most of the supposed problems are trivial.
If the fridge wasnít working then any normal person would have told you at the time, the fridge is presumably fine now or you would know about it.
Donít refund any more than your goodwill gesture and donít worry about her.
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CSE



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4143
Location: Galicia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
with photos saying it was disgusting she had pulled out the bedside table and found dust, dust behind the microwave, the metal toilet brush holder had left a ring on the floor


Welcome to this forum. I will leave the advice as written above.
Reading that the guest has seen too many 4 in a bed TV shows for my liking. Shocked
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rammy100



Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 552
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As others have said, I am certain that this person is trying it on and after a freebie. The issues were minor and could have easily been rectified, if they existed. And who on earth provides pasta and fudge for dinner, and so what if they do? Utterly ridiculous.

Just ignore any further communication from her and maybe post it on here if there is any for others to comment. But essentially, ignore her.
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 794
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You simply cannot please all of the people, all of the time or change anything now so why lose sleep over it? Staying 6 nights of 7 without a word of complaint to the host next door sounds a bit scammy to me.
Any issues raised that you feel warrant further attention, then deal with them as you see fit. No refund, take the pending negative review on the chin, ignore further correspondence & move on.
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louiseddie



Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 170

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She is totally trying it on, those complaints are minor and it sounds like because there was very little wrong with your property she is dredging up (and making up) lots of minor points to make it sound like a lot so she could complain and get a refund or a freebie. Her entire motive seems to be that, not anything to do with your property. I also think having seen a chink of 'weakness' from you with the £60 goodwill she's going to just try and keep bullying you.

If you hear from her again I would simply reply very curtly that as per your previous correspondence you have noted the claims she has made about your property (and I would call them 'claims', not 'points') and while you are disappointed that she didn't bring them to your attention at the time so you could rectify them, you have made a goodwill gesture and as far as you are concerned that is the end of the matter. Ignore any further letters and don't reply to them. If she wants to take you to small claims (which she won't) then she won't come off well.

Good luck.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 6097
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Difficult and stressful situation for you to be in the middle of, but pretty clear from an outside view.
I agree with the others, youíve had the misfortune to get a chancer who thinks itís worth trying it on by putting together a list of minor complaints (real, imaginary or both) and building it up into a refund demand after the stay, typically with review blackmail. Probably done it before (or knows someone who has) and will probably try it again.

Follow the good advice on here, donít get drawn into discussing detail, send a businesslike final response and put a line under it; but not before youíve written the email or letter that youíd really like to send but never would, no holds barred, read it a few times out loud to friends and family before finally archiving it. Wink

Idle thought - what sort of volume of typical perishable food for a holiday would £100 represent? If the whole lot was shoved in a fridge, would the fridge cope?
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Joanna



Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 940
Location: Chester, North West England & Sidmouth, East Devon

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with everyone else on here - they are definitely trying it on. We've had a similar situation and it's horrible for you and these guests know it. You've got a lot at stake - your business reputation. They've got nothing to lose but could get a refund on a holiday they've already had. Truth is they can't seriously damage your business so don't waste hours mulling over what you should do / could have done differently. Rest assured they aren't giving it anything like the time you are. As others have said, you've made a goodwill offer so now draw a line under it. If they come back, leave it a day or two before replying. Don't make excuses or get hung up on details - there are some housekeeping issues which you have fixed and the fridge has not been an issue for anybody else.

If they threaten a bad review let them do it. You can write a reply (get lots of tips on here if it comes to that). We had a bad review - I emailed our other guests asking for reviews and the bad one was followed by several enthusiastic ones. It didn't seem to make any difference to our bookings.

Try not to dwell on it. Focus on your future guests and chalk it up to experience.
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Joint owner of Baker's Cottage in Chester & Chandler's Cottage in Sidmouth
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rosebud



Joined: 14 Mar 2012
Posts: 611
Location: Steyning, West Sussex

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very distressing and unfair..

Agree with what everyone else has said.. Don't give way
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cottage garden



Joined: 07 Aug 2018
Posts: 2
Location: lancashire

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for all your advise I feel much better now! She has given me a 1 star review but the rest are 5 star so I am sure future guests will see past it
The tripadvisor booking contract states
ďIt is essential that you contact us if any problem arises so that it can be speedily resolved. It is often
extremely difficult (and sometimes impossible) to resolve problems properly unless we are promptly
notified. Discussion of any criticisms with us whilst you are in residence at the Property will usually
enable any shortcomings to be rectified straightaway. In particular, complaints of a transient nature
(for example, regarding preparation or heating of the Property) cannot possibly be investigated unless registered whilst you are in residence at the Property.
If any complaint cannot be resolved during your holiday, you must write to us or email us with full
details within 28 days of the end of your Booking.Ē
I may however add something similar to what Roxytoo mentioned which is more to the point! I am also with airb&b so I will check what their booking contract states. Its a learning curve onwards and upwards! Thanks again for all your advise xx
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apexblue



Joined: 10 Sep 2008
Posts: 2202
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would ask TA to remove the review as advised after departing of problems.
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Giraffe



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 410
Location: Cornwall, England

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She's definitely a con artist after a free holiday. Great advice above.
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amandajane



Joined: 14 Jul 2014
Posts: 199
Location: South hams, devon

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What an unpleasant experience, and an unpleasant guest. I agree with all that has been said. Try to put it behind you , write a carefully worded response to her review and hopefully move on.
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