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  • FIRST POST
    • nicknike
    • By nicknike 10th Mar 18, 9:39 PM
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    nicknike
    IMHO Unfair Deposit.
    • #1
    • 10th Mar 18, 9:39 PM
    IMHO Unfair Deposit. 10th Mar 18 at 9:39 PM
    Hello

    My wife booked a holiday cottage.
    She booked it over the telephone and paid a deposit of £30 by debit card.
    We later decided to book a couple of foreign holidays, and so decided to cancel the cottage, giving more than 6 months notice.
    We were prepared to lose the £30 deposit.


    The company telephoned us asking for a further £140.
    They stated that the £30 was a low rate deposit, and at the time of booking, my wife believed this to be the total deposit. They did not say there would be additional charges and the paperwork did not indicate this. If we had been told about the total of £170, she says she would not have booked it.


    I have now read their terms and conditions. They state that if canceled by the number of days we are giving, the total deposit becomes £170.
    Bear in mind we have booked many cottages over 45 years, and the usual procedure is to pay a deposit, and then pay the balance at a predetermined date. We have never had to read T&C before.

    I feel asking for more ‘deposit’ of £140 is unreasonable.
    The £30 is a deposit as we have deposited that money with them. The rest they are asking for has not been deposited, and I would claim is a penalty that cannot be claimed under common law (I have read on the INTERNET).
    I believe they are entitled to claim reasonable costs and the £30 should cover their costs in booking the holiday. They have no further losses and it is the owner of the rental property that 'loses' the main amount. The property is booked each week either side of our booking, so is popular and hopefully it will get booked-up.

    I have read other peoples' reviews on the Internet covering this matter with the same company, but they did not say what the outcome was without paying.
    I'm wondering if anyone reading this has had the same experience and whether they did not pay, what the next course of action would be, what happened eventually and will they be kind enough to offer any advice?

    Thanks.
Page 1
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 10th Mar 18, 10:54 PM
    • 12,286 Posts
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    unholyangel
    • #2
    • 10th Mar 18, 10:54 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Mar 18, 10:54 PM
    Most of these sites are acting as agents for the owner, when you book via them you are actually entering into a contract with the owner, not them - so if they are claiming any cancellation fees, it will likely be on behalf of the owner.

    Theres no automatic right to cancel contracts like this so technically, you are in breach of contract by cancelling and as such, are liable for actual losses incurred.

    Now if they manage to resell, then they should not charge you anything other than a reasonable fee for the admin involved. However if they do not manage to resell, then you may well become stuck.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 11th Mar 18, 8:44 AM
    • 20,113 Posts
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    agrinnall
    • #3
    • 11th Mar 18, 8:44 AM
    • #3
    • 11th Mar 18, 8:44 AM
    We have never had to read T&C before.
    Originally posted by nicknike
    Perhaps now is a good time to start then.
    • George Michael
    • By George Michael 11th Mar 18, 11:10 AM
    • 3,049 Posts
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    George Michael
    • #4
    • 11th Mar 18, 11:10 AM
    • #4
    • 11th Mar 18, 11:10 AM
    I feel asking for more ‘deposit’ of £140 is unreasonable.
    Originally posted by nicknike
    The time to decide if it was unreasonable or not would have been before you ticked a box agreeing to the T&C's without actually having read or even looked at them.
    • bris
    • By bris 11th Mar 18, 11:27 AM
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    bris
    • #5
    • 11th Mar 18, 11:27 AM
    • #5
    • 11th Mar 18, 11:27 AM
    As Unholyangel says it's all about them mitigating their losses.


    You could write to them stating that as the date is still some time away they will need to mitigate their loss and as they don't know what that loss is yet the demand for payment is unreasonable. It's up to the company to prove their losses not the other way about.


    The time to decide if it was unreasonable or not would have been before you ticked a box agreeing to the T&C's without actually having read or even looked at them.
    Originally posted by George Michael
    Most people on here know by know that companies T&C's are often unreasonable (for consumers) and unenforceable so the courts decide what's reasonable or not, not the company writing them.
    • George Michael
    • By George Michael 11th Mar 18, 12:00 PM
    • 3,049 Posts
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    George Michael
    • #6
    • 11th Mar 18, 12:00 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Mar 18, 12:00 PM
    Most people on here know by know that companies T&C's are often unreasonable (for consumers) and unenforceable so the courts decide what's reasonable or not, not the company writing them.
    Originally posted by bris
    But how could other people know or even suspect that a set of T&C's might be unreasonable if they didn't even bother reading them in the first place?
    "We have never had to read T&C before."

    If the OP had taken an extra minute or two to read what they were agreeing to they wouldn't be in the situation that they are now in.
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 11th Mar 18, 12:44 PM
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    DoaM
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 18, 12:44 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 18, 12:44 PM
    Where and how were these T&Cs presented? Remember that the booking was made over the phone ........
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    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 11th Mar 18, 4:17 PM
    • 12,286 Posts
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    unholyangel
    • #8
    • 11th Mar 18, 4:17 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Mar 18, 4:17 PM
    Where and how were these T&Cs presented? Remember that the booking was made over the phone ........
    Originally posted by DoaM
    It may not be in the OP's interests to go down that route.

    With T&C's his maximum liability is £170. Without them, its the whole contract price.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • stragglebod
    • By stragglebod 11th Mar 18, 4:18 PM
    • 113 Posts
    • 92 Thanks
    stragglebod
    • #9
    • 11th Mar 18, 4:18 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Mar 18, 4:18 PM
    Booking was made over the phone.

    Unless the OP's wife specifically agreed during the conversation to be bound by the T&Cs on the website, it's difficult to see how they are relevant to her.
    • nicknike
    • By nicknike 11th Mar 18, 6:41 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    nicknike
    I don't seem to be able to answer each helpful (thanks all) individual comment, so I'll answer all with this one posting.

    Agreed.
    But I would have normally expected a single tier deposit, not two amounts according to the circumstances.
    I didn't read the T&C and I should have, but would have believed that the deposit paid would be lost if reasonable notice is given, longer than 6 months being reasonable, and would not even have thought there was another deposit amount.

    We didn't tick a box. We booked over the phone, and no explanation of the two tier deposit was given.

    I would have thought that two deposits, starting at £30 and ending at £170 were unreasonable,
    Last edited by nicknike; 11-03-2018 at 6:52 PM.
    • takman
    • By takman 11th Mar 18, 6:53 PM
    • 3,315 Posts
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    takman
    Agreed.
    But I would have normally expected a single tier deposit, not two amounts according to the circumstances.
    Originally posted by nicknike
    It's not that unusual and you aren't paying "two" deposit amounts. The deposit is £170 but the offer allows you to only have to pay £30 of the deposit on booking but the £170 is still due in full and always will be no matter if you continue with the booking or cancel

    TUI offer a similar thing with a "low deposit" offer and you only have to pay something like £50 when you book but the deposit is £200 and you have to pay the £200 no matter what.
    • photome
    • By photome 11th Mar 18, 6:56 PM
    • 13,094 Posts
    • 8,651 Thanks
    photome
    It's not that unusual and you aren't paying "two" deposit amounts. The deposit is £170 but the offer allows you to only have to pay £30 of the deposit on booking but the £170 is still due in full and always will be no matter if you continue with the booking or cancel

    TUI offer a similar thing with a "low deposit" offer and you only have to pay something like £50 when you book but the deposit is £200 and you have to pay the £200 no matter what.
    Originally posted by takman
    But as the OP booked over the phone and the terms of the deposit were not spelled out , I think the OP has a case for not paying the estra £140
    • nicknike
    • By nicknike 11th Mar 18, 6:59 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    nicknike
    It's not that unusual and you aren't paying "two" deposit amounts. The deposit is £170 but the offer allows you to only have to pay £30 of the deposit on booking but the £170 is still due in full and always will be no matter if you continue with the booking or cancel

    TUI offer a similar thing with a "low deposit" offer and you only have to pay something like £50 when you book but the deposit is £200 and you have to pay the £200 no matter what.
    Originally posted by takman
    There was no mention this was an offer, and so we were lead to believe this was the total deposit amount. Should they not inform the buyer of this up front?
    • takman
    • By takman 11th Mar 18, 7:17 PM
    • 3,315 Posts
    • 2,901 Thanks
    takman
    There was no mention this was an offer, and so we were lead to believe this was the total deposit amount. Should they not inform the buyer of this up front?
    Originally posted by nicknike
    What did they say when you told them this? Did they say you must have been told about it?
    • nicknike
    • By nicknike 11th Mar 18, 7:23 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    nicknike
    What did they say when you told them this? Did they say you must have been told about it?
    Originally posted by takman
    I could only talk to the telephonist who would not put me through to the 'credit control team'. So she could only keep saying it's in their T&C. I did point out there was no information given about the deposit details, but a waste of time.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 12th Mar 18, 1:26 AM
    • 12,286 Posts
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    unholyangel
    OP didn't pay £30 to have the option later on of booking the cottage at £x. They paid £30 to book the cottage at a total of £x.


    In the absence of T&C's, it would fall to the ordinary position of law - which is that you are liable for actual losses incurred due to your breach of contract. There is no statutory right to cancel contracts like this so by doing so, OP is in breach of contract.

    If they manage to resell then by all means argue the T&C's dont apply as they weren't provided (I would have expected a booking confirmation though which usually have T&C's attached). But until its resold, I'd advise you not to make that argument in case it comes back to bite you in the behind!
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • foolofbeans
    • By foolofbeans 12th Mar 18, 10:38 AM
    • 323 Posts
    • 404 Thanks
    foolofbeans
    I had this same issue many years ago. I booked a holiday with a low deposit and didn't realise that the low deposit was a special offer and the normal deposit was actually 4 times as much.
    When I cancelled my holiday I was told that the full deposit amount was due. I argued this but they proceeded to a county court claim. I responded to the claim, detailing my objections and the court was moved to one closer to my home.
    The company cancelled the claim as I think it would have cost them more to attend the court hearing than they could claim back but it is a risky option.
    All holidays should be covered by insurance but sadly, many people who book a holiday in the UK do not feel that insurance is necessary. I know of some small B & B's that now state you should obtain travel insurance before you book as full payment is due once the room is reserved.
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