Jonathan and Denise >
Arriving at Carrick, recently, for a ‘turnaround’ after a short-notice 3-night booking, this is what we found :
Note the fresh tyre tracks!
The clothes line pole is a heavy duty dip-galvanized model – to cope with the severe conditions here. J installed the pole (there are three in all) with a deep and very solid concrete footing – which pinned down to the bedrock below. But never did it occur to either of us to allow for someone driving their vehicle into the clothes pole : if you could see the layout, you would – like us, puzzle as to how on earth anyone could manage to drive their vehicle into this pole!
When we first started letting cottages – we welcomed our first guest to Eight Askernish in May 2006, guests were friendly – and left gifts to express appreciation for our efforts ; and damage to the property or contents was rare, and the guests extremely apologetic.
How things have changed! These days, it seems as if the majority of bookings result in damage from carelessness or indifference, or misuse of the property – wilful disregard of not only the information or instructions in the household manual, but also simple common sense. The reality is, though that guests we don’t want to come back never do – we suspect they never stay at any self-catering property more than once. Guests who come back to us time and again are almost without exception guests that we’re glad to have back – which is of course why we reward trusted guests with discounts.
The replacement clothes line pole will cost about £70. Three or four bags of ‘Post-Fix’ concrete adds nearly £30. J will do the work himself – but if we were paying someone to do it, that would probably be £60-£75. That’s around £150 in total. The damages deposit will cover this – only just, but what is so frustrating is that we have enough to do without random additional work from our guests – which eats into our scarce and very precious leisure time.
Three days passed : still no explanation or apology from our guest. No response whatsoever to our communications.
And another three days :
Making a start on the repairs, we found that we could re-use the pole, reducing the costs to about £75 – labour and materials. That’s still a lot of money lost from a 3-day booking at the cheap winter price, and with a discount for last-minute booking.
Still not having heard from the guest, we closed the booking and generated the email stating that money from the damages deposit would be withheld. Now that provoked an email response – denial that it had anything to do with them, and the threat to take us to court and to use every possible media channel to make public complaints about the house, and about us.
We don’t give way to extorsion ; and we have evidence to justify the actions we have taken. So, we haven’t yielded.