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Complaint with Cottages.com not being answered!

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Complaint with Cottages.com not being answered!

13 replies 246 views
I booked a holiday through Scottish Country Cottages (Cottages.com) a couple of weeks before taking that holiday in October 2020.  There were various problems encountered at the supposed luxury cottage throughout the week but the main one was no water (at all) coming out of any tap (hot or cold) on 3 separate occasions throughout the week.  As the owner was not nearby, it was very difficult to get a hold of him in order to get the water sorted.  We also had no mobile signal at the property so had to keep driving up the road to try and reach him on the phone.  This wasted several hours.  On each occasion we lost water, the owner eventually sent someone round to fix it and it was fixed on each of those 3 occasions.  However, it marred our holiday experience so on the day we left we spoke to the owner to say we were not happy about the experience we had had.  The owner was quite horrible and said we should be grateful that he managed to get the water turned back on again 3 times!  I think he was completely missing the point that this was meant to be a holiday.  We wrote a letter of complaint to Scottish Country Cottages, addressed to the email stated in their terms and conditions.  They said they could take up to 28 days to answer the complaint but to date, 70 days later, we have received no response whatsoever!  We have chased them 3 times but still no answer. We know they are receiving all our emails as we receive an automated response straight back saying they have our email.  In our letter of complaint, we asked for a partial refund of £345, which equated to about 25% of the total cost.  We deemed this fair for what we had to put up with.  However, to not even get a response, I am unsure what to do next and how to proceed.  Does anyone have any ideas on what I can do next?  Is there an Ombudsman I can go to, to get this sorted out? 
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Replies

  • WeAreGhostsWeAreGhosts Forumite
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    Have you tried contacting them via their social media pages? Usually if a complaint is made public it can spur them into action.
  • daveyjpdaveyjp Forumite
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    Go to the organ grinder and not the monkey

    https://www.awaze.co.uk/
  • supersaver21supersaver21 Forumite
    31 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Have you tried contacting them via their social media pages? Usually if a complaint is made public it can spur them into action.
    That is a great idea but I am not on social media and don't really want to be if I'm being honest.  I know this has worked for a lot of people though.  I just keep thinking there must be a next official layer to complaining about a holiday company if you are not happy with the outcome, which is why I mentioned an Ombudsman potentially?
  • edited 8 January at 6:47PM
    WeAreGhostsWeAreGhosts Forumite
    3K posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    edited 8 January at 6:47PM
    Have you tried contacting them via their social media pages? Usually if a complaint is made public it can spur them into action.
    That is a great idea but I am not on social media and don't really want to be if I'm being honest.  I know this has worked for a lot of people though.  I just keep thinking there must be a next official layer to complaining about a holiday company if you are not happy with the outcome, which is why I mentioned an Ombudsman potentially?
    I've been saying the same thing for a few years - holiday cottage companies are (strangely) unregulated. Even if they're in Visit Britain, or something like that, there's no one to complain to (as far as I know and I've read a lot of complaints on social media). The excuse people usually get is that the company is just a marketing company and that your contract is with the owner. But that doesn't help in cases like your when the owner does not care as long as he has his money, or in cases where the visitor does not even know who the owner is.
    There is a Minister for Tourism, and I have pondered whether to write and explain the situation, but it probably won't be worth it ... there'll probably be some legal loophole somewhere. However ... lockdown and all ... I might have some time on my hands!

    **also my argument is how can anyone have a contract i.e. hand over money, before they even know the other party (the owner) in the contract? I wouldn't think that was legal
  • supersaver21supersaver21 Forumite
    31 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    daveyjp said:
    Go to the organ grinder and not the monkey

    https://www.awaze.co.uk/
    Another great idea but it's actually awaze that you have to write to with regard to complaints as all emails have to be addressed to [email protected] so unfortunately even the organ grinder is not playing ball.
  • supersaver21supersaver21 Forumite
    31 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Have you tried contacting them via their social media pages? Usually if a complaint is made public it can spur them into action.
    That is a great idea but I am not on social media and don't really want to be if I'm being honest.  I know this has worked for a lot of people though.  I just keep thinking there must be a next official layer to complaining about a holiday company if you are not happy with the outcome, which is why I mentioned an Ombudsman potentially?
    I've been saying the same thing for a few years - holiday cottage companies are (strangely) unregulated. Even if they're in Visit Britain, or something like that, there's no one to complain to (as far as I know and I've read a lot of complaints on social media). The excuse people usually get is that the company is just a marketing company and that your contract is with the owner. But that doesn't help in cases like your when the owner does not care as long as he has his money, or in cases where the visitor does not even know who the owner is.
    There is a Minister for Tourism, and I have pondered whether to write and explain the situation, but it probably won't be worth it ... there'll probably be some legal loophole somewhere. However ... lockdown and all ... I might have some time on my hands!

    **also my argument is how can anyone have a contract i.e. hand over money, before they even know the other party (the owner) in the contract? I wouldn't think that was legal
    It all seems so unfair because in effect, what you are saying is, these companies can just completely ignore complaints as there's no-one above them to hold them to account.  I naively assumed that this could not be the case but I guess I am wrong in that assumption. 
  • edited 9 January at 5:20PM
    WeAreGhostsWeAreGhosts Forumite
    3K posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    edited 9 January at 5:20PM
    Have you tried contacting them via their social media pages? Usually if a complaint is made public it can spur them into action.
    That is a great idea but I am not on social media and don't really want to be if I'm being honest.  I know this has worked for a lot of people though.  I just keep thinking there must be a next official layer to complaining about a holiday company if you are not happy with the outcome, which is why I mentioned an Ombudsman potentially?
    I've been saying the same thing for a few years - holiday cottage companies are (strangely) unregulated. Even if they're in Visit Britain, or something like that, there's no one to complain to (as far as I know and I've read a lot of complaints on social media). The excuse people usually get is that the company is just a marketing company and that your contract is with the owner. But that doesn't help in cases like your when the owner does not care as long as he has his money, or in cases where the visitor does not even know who the owner is.
    There is a Minister for Tourism, and I have pondered whether to write and explain the situation, but it probably won't be worth it ... there'll probably be some legal loophole somewhere. However ... lockdown and all ... I might have some time on my hands!

    **also my argument is how can anyone have a contract i.e. hand over money, before they even know the other party (the owner) in the contract? I wouldn't think that was legal
    It all seems so unfair because in effect, what you are saying is, these companies can just completely ignore complaints as there's no-one above them to hold them to account.  I naively assumed that this could not be the case but I guess I am wrong in that assumption. 
    That's correct, yes. It's a massive business sector that is largely unregulated. I don't think "the powers that be" have any idea that holiday cottage companies take your money and then it's pot luck as to whether you get what you paid for.
    I once had to spend three nights sleeping on the floor of a cottage as the mattress was so thin I could feel the bed slats digging into my back. The floor was more comfortable! I didn't receive any compensation because the owner said there was nothing wrong with the mattress, even though I could bend it in half.
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
    9.5K posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Are you sure it is Cottages.com as Scottish Country Cottages website is part of holidaycottages.co.uk
  • supersaver21supersaver21 Forumite
    31 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Have you tried contacting them via their social media pages? Usually if a complaint is made public it can spur them into action.
    That is a great idea but I am not on social media and don't really want to be if I'm being honest.  I know this has worked for a lot of people though.  I just keep thinking there must be a next official layer to complaining about a holiday company if you are not happy with the outcome, which is why I mentioned an Ombudsman potentially?
    I've been saying the same thing for a few years - holiday cottage companies are (strangely) unregulated. Even if they're in Visit Britain, or something like that, there's no one to complain to (as far as I know and I've read a lot of complaints on social media). The excuse people usually get is that the company is just a marketing company and that your contract is with the owner. But that doesn't help in cases like your when the owner does not care as long as he has his money, or in cases where the visitor does not even know who the owner is.
    There is a Minister for Tourism, and I have pondered whether to write and explain the situation, but it probably won't be worth it ... there'll probably be some legal loophole somewhere. However ... lockdown and all ... I might have some time on my hands!

    **also my argument is how can anyone have a contract i.e. hand over money, before they even know the other party (the owner) in the contract? I wouldn't think that was legal
    It all seems so unfair because in effect, what you are saying is, these companies can just completely ignore complaints as there's no-one above them to hold them to account.  I naively assumed that this could not be the case but I guess I am wrong in that assumption. 
    That's correct, yes. It's a massive business sector that is largely unregulated. I don't think "the powers that be" have any idea that holiday cottage companies take your money and then it's pot luck as to whether you get what you paid for.
    I once had to spend three nights sleeping on the floor of a cottage as the mattress was so thin I could feel the bed slats digging into my back. The floor was more comfortable! I didn't receive any compensation because the owner said there was nothing wrong with the mattress, even though I could bend it in half.
    Sorry to hear about your bad experience:(
    I guess Social Media is my only real option left so maybe I'll have to do that.
  • supersaver21supersaver21 Forumite
    31 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    sheramber said:
    Are you sure it is Cottages.com as Scottish Country Cottages website is part of holidaycottages.co.uk
    Yes I am sure
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