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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47417
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My wife and I booked into a hotel last weekend for a weekend

Customer Question

My wife and I booked into a hotel last weekend for a weekend break for our wedding anniversary. Everything was OK until around 2:55am when whilst we were asleep, the large mirror in our bedroom fell off the wall crashing to the floor and breaking. This obviously woke us both with a fright and we were very traumatised and shocked by the incident. We got no further sleep that night.
This was reported in the morning, but in brief due to the experience ruining the whole weekend for us we decided to check out. The hotel would allow us to cancel the second nights stay but insisted that we pay for the first night. The waived our food bill from the previous night.
We have been refunded by the travel company for the second night without penalty. After an Email requesting a refund of the first nights accommodation, this has been refused. I would now like to take this further and additionally seek compensation for the trauma and stress. The hotel are showing no remorse and do not seen to accept the fact that a catastrophic failure of the equipment in their premises caused this incident.
How can we proceed with this.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Based on your experience and what you have described, what would be the ideal outcome for you so that I can advise you of your options please?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
If the hotel had simply agreed to refund the money for the first nights stay, I would have settled. As they do not deem further compensation is necessary, we will seek compensation based upon the trauma and stress caused by the incident.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. Whilst you wish to seek compensation for the first night, you did after all enjoy the facilities and had a proportion of your stay there trouble free so legally you may not be able to demand a full refund, even of part of your holiday was ruined because of this incident. When it comes to traumatic and stress compensation you cannot generally claim that unless you have actually suffered personal injury, a psychiatric illness or some actual losses, none of which apply here. Saying that, when it comes to cancellation of holidays due to bach of contract or negligence, the courts are allowed to award damages for loss of enjoyment, although only a court can decide what is appropriate in the circumstances. Usually this would only be relevant if you had to remain in the proper for the rest of the holiday and your enjoyment the was spoilt because of these issues, however in your case you remained for a very short time afterwards and stayed no further. In addition you did get compensation in the form of refund for the food at a time when no issues were being experienced so this will be taken into account.

Based on the above, you cannot demand a refund for the initial night but can potentially get some nominal compensation for loss of enjoyment. Whether that is more or less than the night’s stay is only something a court can decide so you have to consider whether you wish to take this further to court, as that is the only option you have in the circumstances.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to take to pursue the matter 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, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. Whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. 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 party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably 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 pursue the compensation due. 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 other side 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.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you Ben.
I have sent an initial letter of complaint to the hotel, to which they replied deeming that they did not consider further compensation was necessary. I have replied that I am not satisfied with their reply.
I have attached the text of all said Emails to this message for your review.
I understand this is not a limitless source of advice, however if you would review the correspondence so far and comment, I would be grateful.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** reviewed it. I have already mentioned some of this but you cannot really be seeking further compensation for what could have happened, or for trauma and stress in these circumstances. Yes, it was an unfortunate situation but not one where you have suffered personal injuries or some serious psychological issues as a result. So the only thing you can consider pursuing them for would be loss of enjoyment and as you have already been given some compensation in the form of free food and drinks, this would offset any potential return you may get, which in the circumstances would not be that great anyway. So bear all this in mind before deciding on how to proceed.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks again Ben.
I will await their reply top my 2nd Email then consider my next move.
from your answers, I do now not consider this a legal argument with them but more of a moral standpoint.
How would they feel if this had happened to them personally.
I will most certainly be pursuing other avenues, Health & Safety, Tourist boards complaints, Travel company complaints and social media (without being slanderous).
Thank you for your assistance.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

No problem, of course you can go as far as you can, stopping short of issuing a claim and hoping that they change their minds in the process