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    • Secretgeek
    • By Secretgeek 13th Jul 17, 11:23 PM
    • 5Posts
    • 0Thanks
    0 WOW
    Shady practices by Haven Holidays!
    • #1
    • 13th Jul 17, 11:23 PM
    0 WOW
    Shady practices by Haven Holidays! 13th Jul 17 at 11:23 PM
    So, story time. Last year we booked a safari tent at Wild Duck for this August. We set up a payment scheme (about 150/month) that was due to finish in June this year. Payments started going out and all seemed fine. Frankly, I forgot about it apart from looking forward to making the last June payment.

    So late last Saturday (July 8th) afternoon, I get a text message from Haven saying that they haven't received a payment and unless we pay the balance (153) within 24 HOURS they'll cancel the holiday!

    I checked back through my account and the payment that should have been taken by Haven at the beginning hadn't been.

    The only number given in Haven's text is an automated payment line but after some hunting around I manage to locate a phone number that gets me through to an actual person. When I asked why the payment hadn't been taken they said that they had tried but it had been declined by my bank.

    Hang on. Now, I know that's not true because Barclays (for all their faults) are very good at letting me know if I haven't got enough funds in to make a payment. In fact they Barclays text me during the day and give me the opportunity to transfer funds before they decline any payment. I know this because I've been saved by this feature on more than one occasion.

    Okay, so Haven are lying to me. Alright, putting that to one side for the moment. I ask the question, why didn't Haven contact me when they had a declined payment? I'm still not sure I believe the response. I quote,

    "Our research tells us that people don't like to be bombarded with texts and messages."

    Wait, what?

    "Well, I understand that. But surely, if you've had a declined payment that's an extremely good time to contact someone?"

    "Well, we don't contact people because they don't like to be bombarded with texts and messages."

    "I hear what you're saying but it's been almost six weeks since that payment was supposed to be taken and now you're giving me 24 hours to pay? That's not exactly reasonable, is it?"

    "Well, it's your responsibility to check that payments have been made."

    "But it was an automated payment taken by you?!"

    "It's your responsibility to check your account."

    After a couple more rounds of this, it was painfully clear that this was a script and the lady I spoke to was going stick to it like her life depended on it. I realised all I was goingto get was frustrated.

    VERY luckily I was able to make the payment (but only by taking a chunk out of the money put aside for the holiday), so I did and received confirmation shortly afterwards.

    But, putting aside my frustration, I have a strong sense that this was a deliberate and conscious tactic by Haven to try and force defaults on payments. Let's examine the evidence:

    Item 1 - All previous payments had been taken successfully at a point in the month when there where plenty of funds in the account.

    Item 2 - Barring the first payment (when the booking was made) all payments were taken no later than the 8th of the month. On the 8th June sufficient money was in my account to make the payment.

    Item 3 - Even if sufficient funds were NOT in my account, Barclays would have alerted me to that fact in plenty of time for a funds transfer to have been made. NO alert was received.

    Conclusion 1 - Haven did not attempt to take the final payment.

    Item 4 - The Haven representative claimed, several times, that the payment had been declined by my bank.

    Conclusion 2 - Keeping in mind Conclusion 1, the Haven representative was deliberately lying about the payment.

    Item 5 - A gap of several weeks between the 'declined' payment and the text alert from Haven. (In fact just 3 weeks before my holiday)

    Item 6 - A clearly scripted and prepared response to the question of why I hadn't been contacted.

    Conclusion 3 - This is a common issue faced by Haven.

    Item 7 - A scripted response that places the blame for the issue on the customer.

    Conclusion 4 - A conscious and deliberate effort by Haven to avoid responsibility.

    Motive - If I had been unable to make the last payment, Haven would have kept all the money I had paid up to that point (550 approx) and been free to resell my holiday.

    So, we have motive, opportunity and a description of the method used.

    I think it's fair to say that Haven have tried to pull a fast one and I wonder how many people in a less fortunate position have been unable to come up with that kind of money (late on a Saturday afternoon) and lost their holiday and all the money with it.

    If it wasn't for the fact that we'd lose our money and I have 3 boys very excited for their holiday I would have cancelled and tried to find somewhere else. I absolutely won't be using them again.

    To add, I haven't yet had the opportunity to contact them to formally complain (I want to do it by phone and I work long hours) but I will be doing and I'll update here when I do.

    Thanks for reading! And watch out for Haven!
Page 1
    • elsien
    • By elsien 13th Jul 17, 11:31 PM
    • 16,366 Posts
    • 41,367 Thanks
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 17, 11:31 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 17, 11:31 PM
    I think you're massively overthinking it.
    Yes they could have let you know sooner, but the money they'd not taken was still sitting in your account. Did you not notice you were 150 up?
    Used Haven lots of times and never had an issue.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 13th Jul 17, 11:53 PM
    • 18,655 Posts
    • 15,580 Thanks
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 17, 11:53 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 17, 11:53 PM
    VERY luckily I was able to make the payment (but only by taking a chunk out of the money put aside for the holiday), so I did and received confirmation shortly afterwards.
    Originally posted by Secretgeek
    VERY luckily??

    What a crazy exaggeration.

    Wasn't the 150 they should've taken still sitting in your bank account waiting for them to take it?

    If not, why not?
    Last edited by wealdroam; 14-07-2017 at 12:07 AM.
    • MrJones1
    • By MrJones1 17th Jul 17, 10:08 AM
    • 114 Posts
    • 58 Thanks
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 17, 10:08 AM
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 17, 10:08 AM
    They should have contacted you when the payment was supposedly declined by the bank. At the end of the day you still had the 150 in your bank account, which would cover the last payment. I understand that after you have made almost all payments, it doesn't feel good to get treated in the way they have done. They used an ultimatum tone. Pay this sum or your whole holiday will be cancelled. Of course that doesn't feel good. It could be that they were wrong. It could be that the bank was wrong. Regardless of this, mistakes can be done, and I don't think that you should focus too much on this. I hope you enjoy your holiday.
    • Vectis
    • By Vectis 19th Jul 17, 6:34 AM
    • 470 Posts
    • 579 Thanks
    • #5
    • 19th Jul 17, 6:34 AM
    • #5
    • 19th Jul 17, 6:34 AM
    Wow, you've gone well overboard with this! Do you honestly think a national company would go to those lengths? If you do then I think you've got more of a problem than you realised!

    Just pay the amount you owe, it's still in your bank, right?
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