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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My daughter was to go on holiday with another family in

Customer Question

My daughter was to go on holiday with another family in september, due to the friend she was going with falling out with my daughter she decided she didnt want to go on the holiday, this happened in March and I thought it woud just blow over as it usually does and didnt worry. At the begining of April we started getting text messages from other girls asking to pay the balance of the holiday, which I was not very pleased about, we were also informed another girl had been asked to go on the holiday instead. I approched the parents and asked why they were asking for money that was not due yet, and to clarify that another child had been asked to go on the holiday.
Firstly the father lied and said he knew nothing of this and that no other had been asked to go, he appologgised about the texts and said he would sort things out. On the 12th April I had minor surgery for which I was sedated, that evening ten minutes after I returned home from hospital I recieved a phone call from the father asking if my daughter was going on holiday or not. I told him no she didnt feel comfortable going as his daughter was causing problems at school and generally not being very pleasant, he then put the wife on the phone who did nothing but scream at me, and be realy unpleasant, I tried to explain I wasnt feeling well and not up for a heated discussion she eventually hung up. Ten minutes the father rang back and said not to worry he would return the money I had paid. I heard nothing for approx three weeks. I decided to call at the families home to see what was happening with the return of my money, as we had been told the other child was taking the place of my daughter. I decided to record the conversation on my phone because of the abusive nature of the mother on the phone. They told me the other child was now going and it had cost £140 to change the name over, and that the other parent was paying no money untill the week before the holiday, again the mother became very angry and started shouting at me.
I decided to ask the parent of the other child if this was correct that she would not be paying for the holiday untill september, she informed me she had handed over £100 and was planning to give another £200 in a couple of days time as arranged with the parents. She then asked me to go with her to ask them why they had not told her anything about me already paying them £300 towards the holiday and why thhey had lied regarding her already paying money to them with the intention of fully paying for the holiday by the end of june total of £589. They denined they had said this, although I told them that I had recorded the conversation.
A couple of days later I had a visit from the Police, they said the family had reported something I had put on Facebook (totally untrue and no one else saw this comment including the Police) and that not to go to their home again. I told the Police I had no itentions of returning but would try solve the matter through Civil Court which the Police said was the correct way to go.
I wrote to the family asking for proof from the travel agent that my initial payment of £300 had been lost. Had they provided this I would have left the matter and taken the loss. The reply letter again ranted on and the enclosed documents were :-
The initial booking showing a total for all six people and a deposit of £297.
A letter supposedly from the travel company, no letterhead or logo, no date, not addressed to anyone, no name or signature, full of spelling mistakes and bad grammar and to top it of different figures as shown on the initial booking form.
I wrote back saying I was not happy with thiis piece of paper it could have been written by anyone. The reply was take us to court and that the police officers will be going to court to support them, as they have contacted the police again asking them to explain what happened(which I dont believe for a minute).
It now turns out the second child is no longer going on this holiday and have had their £100 returned.
My question is, as they say they have paid for a name change on the holiday to the other giirl, is my contract with them over and is it worth taking this to Civil Court.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 3 months ago.

The police will certainly not be going to a civil court. I don’t know where they get that idea from.

If they have found another child to go on the trip and the name was changed to that child, you are responsible for the cost of the name change provided they can prove it cost that much on some kind of credible piece of paper.

If it was £140 and who had already paid £300, you are entitled to £170 back.

If the name has now changed to the other child’s name, the situation would be that there would presumably be another £140 to change the name back! The second child would be responsible for that cost. However you are no longer liable for the balance and they are liable to you to return the balance to you provided the name was changed to the second child. If the name was actually never changed but they had the money from the other child, to my mind, the problem then rests with the new child family as there was an agreement for you to relinquish and the other child to take over.

Beware of exchanging lots of correspondence asking for the money back because then, they can allege that you are harassing them. Send no more than a couple of letters and then either let it lie for issue Small Claims Court proceedings.

However, it works the other way also, if they are continually writing and texting you, asking you for this money or whatever, you can then complain to the police that they are harassing you.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.


F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
F E Smith and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you for reply.My problem is I only have their word that they changed the name to the new girl, as they refuse to supply any credible proof.
They now say its my fault the other girll is not going, because I asked her parents if they had paid any money. The new girls parents say she is not going because have lost trust in them because of the lies they told and hold no grievence with me at all.
The 2nd letter states that they will counter claim from me £140 name change and the balance of £289 still owing on the holiday plus £1000 for harrassment.I have been to their home twice and written two letters I have no intention of contacting them again.I really need to know were I stand legally and wether its worth taking them to court, I know it does not sound a lot of money but it is to me I'm a single parent and do not earn large amount. Its also the principle, why should I leave them with £300 when they refuse to be civil and show proof from the travel agent.As far as I'm aware no one is taking the place for the holiday so anoher name change is not required.How would the Judge see this, if they did change the name to the other child as you say that should relinquish me and I would have been quite happy to pay the £140 name change. If its all lies and they didnt change the name, am I still liable for the balance even though they lied. Also remember they have given the other family their £100 back.Its all so frustrating, if they had acted like normal people and we had worked it out with the other family and the travel agents none of this would be happening.Regards Joanne
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 3 months ago.

I feel you have requested a telephone call. I’m happy to do that. I will submit a proposal for you and although it’s late now, I can speak any time tomorrow afternoon or evening but I have clients in the afternoon.

They cannot have the money for the change of name and also the balance of the holiday. Either the name has been changed or it’s not.

The fact that they have refused to supply credible proof of the change the name actually helps them and not you. If they don’t supply proof, then the presumption is that it wasn’t changed!

I agree with you, why should you leave them with £300?

However you then say that no one is taking the place for the holiday and if no one is taking the place, even though they have tried, you are actually liable for the full cost of the holiday but, and this is very important, only if they are having to pay. That you should be asking for proof.

At the moment, I would go along the avenue whereby they said that they had been changed and I’m push that, I would just take that on face value hence what the balance of my money back over and above £140.

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