Legal action threatened vis problems with a UK holiday (that I bought as a gift for a family member)

Looking for advice as to how others would approach this. I booked a stay at a glamping site as a gift for my daughter and her partner. This was clear on booking via 3rd party 'pitchup', and in comms with the site owner. They checked in ad the stay was apparently going OK until the bed buckled and (there's no other way to put this) it wasn't being used in an unexpected way! My daughter couldn't find the site owner to alert them, so went out planning to try again later. Whilst they were out the owner entered their tent (she stated because a light was on which they dispute), photographed the bed - and the whole tent including all their stuff. She then sent me all these photos demanding I pay £180 for a new bed which is the cost of a new replacement from a company called wayfair(?) After they left she also sent me a photo of a chipped coffee mug and a cracked button on the gas BBQ and asked for another £50 as she had forgotten to take a breakages deposit. The pitchup site states £50 breakages deposit will be taken which obviously wasn't but I am wondering what to do. The owner has told me she will take me to court if I don't pay up and is instructing a solicitor. I can't afford to get into a wrangle but (a) this was a gift and I'm not too happy they had to sleep on a mattress on the floor for the rest of the stay and (b) my daughter sent a video to me of her OH literally able to bend the bed frame easily with his bare hands after the owners removed it (telling them as they did so that over 50 other parties had slept on it with no issues). I'm pretty sure this is a unique situation, but any relevant advice or thoughts would be welcome.

Comments

  • bargainbetty
    bargainbetty Posts: 3,455 Forumite
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    edited 13 August 2021 at 4:58PM
    With regard to the bed, ask her for evidence of the original purchase date and cost. If it is a significantly old bed, then you might have scope to arrange for a partial payment. With regard to the mug and cracked button, I would refuse to pay on the grounds that she has no evidence that your party were responsible for the damage and you are not liable for the charge. 

    Ask them for the contact details of their business insurance provider for information regarding the claim - they should have insurance for such things if they are a business and any legal action should be taken by insurers to recover costs. (If they do not have proper liability insurance as a business, I'd report them to Trading Standards.)

    In the meantime, speak to your daughter about the damages - perhaps she would go halves at least, since it was her and her partner that broke it. 

    Perhaps arrange for a 30 min consultation with a solicitor about your liability? 
    Some days, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps....
    LB moment - March 2006. DFD - 1 June 2012!!! DEBT FREE!



    May grocery challenge £45.61/£120
  • Unless the bed was brand new and they were the first, I don't see what justification the owner can have for a replacement at full price - it could be damaged by any number of previous visitors and they were the unlucky one. I'd be half tempted to counter complain about injury/anguish for her providing a faulty bed.
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