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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47363
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I've made a booking online to stay in a hotel payed in full

Resolved Question:

Hi I've made a booking online to stay in a hotel payed in full but a month later have noticed they've booked me in on the wrong date .I have tickets for a show on the dates I wanted and have explained this to both the hotel and booking.com and they are refusing to change the dates even though I've offered to pay any extra charges .They just keep saying its a non refundable booking.I don't want a refund just a change of date and day it's so annoying over a silly error I can't afford to loose £450 their answer was sell it on eBay .Have I got any legal rights please ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello how did you pay for the booking?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
With my credit card or pay pal
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you help me please
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Are you 100% positive that you entered the correct dates on the website?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes because I have tickets for fawlty towers show for the same dates that I requested but even if it was an error I can't prove it surely something can be done about it especially as I've even offered to pay the extra to the hotel and theytold me they have the 3 rooms available for the dates I require .
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks leave it with me please I will respond on here fully today
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you I'm desperate I can't afford to loose £450 over a silly mistake there must be some justice surely !
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
First of all it is important to try and find out whose mistake this was. You are adamant that you put in the right details but unless you have received confirmation to back that up at the time or maybe a print out to confirm it, that may not necessarily be easy to prove. Only yesterday I found myself at an airport with a ticket for the next day’s flight, when I was completely sure I had booked the correct dates. So mistakes do happen. As far as the booking changes are concerned, the terms state that this as a non-refundable booking. The hotel could initially try and rely on this clause to state that they will not refund you for cancellations. However, you could try and argue that this is an unfair contractual term and retaining the full amount is a penalty clause as it goes beyond what the reasonable costs they may have incurred are. By booking the room and paying in full you have reserved it for these dates. If you wish to cancel when no cancellation policy exists you should be liable for any losses suffered by the hotel in lost business. So if they cannot re-let the room they could keep the full payment. If they manage to re-let it for part of the original booking dates then you could expect a full refund, or if they find someone for the exact dates then you could expect a large proportion of the payment back. By keeping the full payment and not making attempts to minimise their losses they could be acting unfairly under consumer legislation. You could put pressure on them this way and if needed your final option is the small claim court, which is generally relatively risk-free. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the next steps you should follow to take this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've emailed both the hotel and booking .com to see if they will change my dates as a gesture of good will and I will pay the difference not heard back yet !
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
ok do you need to know the further steps you should follow in the event they refuse to budge, which would include going to the small claims court if necessary?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes please
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ok will do, please leave your rating for the response so far and then I can provide the additional information in relation to the procedure you must follow, many thanks
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks. Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due. 2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action. 3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.

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