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Welcome Cottages - letter of complaint
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# 1
Ivrytwr3
Old 11-06-2006, 9:36 AM
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Default Welcome Cottages - letter of complaint

Hi all,

This isn't really a dig at Welcome Cottages as i've used them for years and never had a problem or cause to complain. However, my complaint is with the property owners.

We had a holiday booked and on arrival there were a few things wrong and not in accordnace with the advertisment. In accordance with WC's complaints procedure we contacted the property owners and although promises were made, the problems were not rectified.

I have drafted a letter to WC, could someone take a look over it for me? My main questions are should we complain? (or is it petty as although it put a dmapner on the holiday, it certainly didn't ruin it for us). What, if anything, do i want to get from this?

Ta for looking:

Quote:
Dear Welcome Cottages,

CUSTOMER COMPLAINT - PROPERTY REFERENCE xxxxxxx 3 JUN 06 – 10 JUN 06

My family and I have holidayed with your company for quite a few years now and the reason we always go back to you is the excellent descriptions and images of your properties which enable us to make an informed choice of holiday suitable to our needs.

Making a choice of holiday suitable to our needs is very, very important to us as both my wife and I work and arranging time off together is a logistical nightmare! This coupled with the fact we have 2 children both under two years of age means that we select our holidays very carefully to ensure we have the best time possible; something we have always found possible with Welcome Cottages. Unfortunately on this occasion what we thought would be a perfect holiday cottage, during our stay there, we realised this was not the case.

The property in question is:

Property reference - xxxxxxx. Holiday dates - 3 JUN 06 – 10 JUN 06. Booking reference xxxxxx.

Your brochure advertised:

a. “Garage” – Although a garage was present, there was no means of securing it. Both the remote control was broken and the key, although which fit the lock, did not engage the locking mechanism. My plan was to keep my Sat Nav, mobile phone etc in the vehicle and also to load the vehicle each night, when the children were sleeping, for the following day’s adventure safe in the knowledge that the vehicle and its contents were secure. We were unable to do so and so each morning was a mad rush and tears and tantrums, from both children and parents, getting everything ready when this so easily could have been avoided.

b. “2 colour TV's, video” – This means to me 2 x TV’s and 1 x video. This was not the case, there was 1 x TV in the living area and a 1 x portable TV and video combo in an upstairs bedroom. The plan was for my wife and I to enjoy a meal and drink while the children watched the video cassettes we had brought for them. Although this problem was partially rectified by transporting the combo unit to the living room. Not my preferred solution when I was expecting them to able to view on a full screen TV.

c. “Garden furniture” – This was most important to us, to allow the children to play in the garden whilst under supervision. Also we were so looking forward to nights sat on the patio eating a meal, enjoying a drink etc; there was no garden furniture.

In accordance with your instructions, on the 10 Jun 06, I contacted the cottage point of contact and informed them of the concerns. I spoke to a female; I did not get her name, who appeared to be the care home/cottage manager. The lady informed me of the situation with regards to the garage and the broken remote control and advised me that a new one was on order as a previous guest had broken it and provided me with a manual key (which I later found out did not engage the lock). The video concern, although she apologised, she stated nothing else could be done. However, the garden furniture problem she stated that a few weeks prior there was terrible weather and some of it had been destroyed. I asked where the remainder was and she stated she had removed it to her property for her personal use!

On 11 Jun 06, I then contacted the cottage owner Mr xxxxx and informed him of the concerns. Mr xxxx arrived at the property within the hour and again confirmed about the garage and video. However, he stated that he was unaware that the garden furniture was missing and agreed that as holiday makers we should have garden furniture as advertised. He asked the lady where the furniture was and she stated that it had all being destroyed in a recent storm. Mr Barton promised me that by the latest the following day he would bring a new set of garden furniture to the cottage for our use; unfortunately we waited and waited and it never arrived.

I appreciate items get destroyed/damaged. However, perusing the cottage visitor guest book I noted that on 6 Apr 06, a guest had entered “”Some garden chairs and a table would be a useful addition” and on 25 May 06 another guest had commented “Garden furniture would have been lovely for the lovely summer evenings”. It appears that there has been no garden furniture present for at least two months.

I have attached images of the guest’s comments and also photos of our ‘make-shift’ garden furniture, which you hopefully agree is not the standard you would expect; it certainly is not the standard I expect.

Up until now we have been extremely happy with our holidays with Welcome Cottages. However, this holiday has been a serious let down. I have followed your complaint procedure and still nothing was rectified; I would have thought that common courtesy and rectifying problems asap was a priority. I have been patient and polite throughout therefore I feel I have no other option but to put my complaint in writing to you.

I hope I have explained myself fully. If you do have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours an aggrieved customer,






Mr xxxxxxx

Enclosures:

Image of extract from visitor guest book dated 6 Apr 06.
Image of extract from visitor guest book dated 27 May 06.
Image of ‘make-shift’ garden furniture.
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# 2
waterbaby
Old 11-06-2006, 11:01 AM
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Hi Ivrytwr3,

This is a good letter as far as I can see. You've described the problems well, and you come across as patient and reasonable yet also willing to stand up for yourself. I don't think it is petty of you, as your holiday was clearly damaged by them not giving you what was advertised.
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# 3
VickyA
Old 11-06-2006, 11:25 AM
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A really good letter, pointing out the faults.

We complained about a holiday cottage last year which we'd hired through a different company. There were 4 adults in our party (two double beds in the cottage) and only 2 wine glasses. In addition, we were promised two shower rooms - the second was a lean to and not very well maintained and we felt that we had been mislead in the property description. Anyway, we complained and received a cheque for £50! Obviously the wine glasses were quite minor, but we had specifically chosen that cottage because it was ideally set up for our party..................
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# 4
ts_aly2000
Old 11-06-2006, 11:25 AM
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Yes I agree, comes across as quite timid and entirely reasonable. I'd send it. It's by no means overpowering and it wouldn't get my back up.

We would hope (note the word hope) that the letter would result in a free weekend. If it was me I'd buy you a nice little £100 patio set to have at home and leave it at that.
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# 5
Astaroth
Old 11-06-2006, 12:15 PM
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I agree with the others that it is a well written letters and not the motive RANDOM use of capital letters etc that too many people on here seem to do.

The one bit which would be missing from my point of view is what you want them to do. One of my previous jobs was handling CEO complaint letters for a large mail order company. The worst type of letters to deal with were ones where people dont state if they wanted to cancel the order, return it, compensation, replace it etc.

Do you want them to simply apologise for the problems? Do you want them to give some money for your inconvenience? Do you want a discount off your next holiday with them?
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# 6
Ivrytwr3
Old 11-06-2006, 12:58 PM
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That is what i am finding difficult. I hate asking/demanding compensation, but yes, the reason why i am writing is a) compensation and b) for the property owners to pull the finger out and provide what is advertised.

I would like cash, but i will be holidaying with the comapny again, so money off another holiday would be nice.

So how do i phrase that without sounding demanding and getting someone's back up?
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# 7
hjb123
Old 11-06-2006, 1:39 PM
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That letter seems great and to the point when pointing out the problems that you had and how they had been advertised. I wouldnt state outright that you are wanting compensation but do it in a round about way.

I would say something like:
I look forward to hearing your response as we do wish to holiday with you again as we have had many great holidays through you in the past but this experience has blotted our image of your company.
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# 8
Astaroth
Old 11-06-2006, 1:42 PM
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Something like HJB's or:

Quote:
Whilst I have had many great holidays booked through yourselves and had intended to remain a loyal customer this bad experience has now made me concerned that the standards of service are now being allowed to slip. I look forward to receiving your response within the next 14 days
All posts made are simply my own opinions and are neither professional advice nor the opinions of my employers
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# 9
suekjw
Old 11-06-2006, 1:45 PM
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Are the dates right? You quote from 3-10 June, but then state you first spoke to someone on 10th June, the the owner came over on the 11th June - surely this is after you left?!
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# 10
Bossyboots
Old 11-06-2006, 1:49 PM
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I'm a bit confused as the holiday dates are 3rd - 10th June and yet the letter states a discussion took place with the manager on the 10th (yesterday) and the owner on the 11th (today)..


Edit: cross posted with suekjw.
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# 11
suekjw
Old 11-06-2006, 1:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bossyboots
Edit: cross posted with suekjw.
At least I know I'm not going mad - unless you are too!
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# 12
Bossyboots
Old 11-06-2006, 2:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suekjw
At least I know I'm not going mad - unless you are too!

Sadly, that is a strong possibility!
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# 13
Ivrytwr3
Old 11-06-2006, 2:14 PM
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yes, you are right!!! This is why i like 2 sets of eyes to read over my paperwork, or in this case hundreds!!

I like the additions to the letter, not demanding comensation but merely asking the company what they intend to do about it.

Many thanks all
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# 14
suekjw
Old 11-06-2006, 2:27 PM
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Good Luck with it - let us know how you get on, its always nice to get 'closure' lol! As regulars, maybe you'll get a discount on your next holiday?!
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# 15
C_Ronaldo
Old 11-06-2006, 3:58 PM
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hope you get a response, let us know of the outcome
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# 16
Ivrytwr3
Old 07-07-2006, 4:19 PM
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Received today a cheque for £50!
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# 17
suekjw
Old 07-07-2006, 4:50 PM
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That's great news!
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# 18
C_Ronaldo
Old 07-07-2006, 7:59 PM
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at least you got something,
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# 19
Ivrytwr3
Old 07-07-2006, 8:41 PM
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you think that's bad? Considering the holiday only cost £400, i don't think £50 is too bad. Especially as it's cash and not vouchers. Like i said, it didn't spoil our holiday, just was an inconveniance.
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# 20
VickyA
Old 08-07-2006, 7:14 PM
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Excellent news Ivrytwr3! We spent our £50 (see my post further up the page!) on a chinese buffet. Not bad for a bit of inconvenience!
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