New owners cancel family vacation in St Ives, raise price by forty percent
One family expressed devastation after having their vacation “gazumped”, saying they “were not the first and will not be the last.”
Shelley Keeble and husband James Keeble have booked their idyllic Cornwall vacation for the start of the summer break with their youngest son Myles, 10.
The family, who live in Cheshire, visited around the same time last year and “absolutely fell in love” with the place, wishing to revisit St Ives in particular.
It was then that they dared to book a vacation for the following year at a property on the city’s waterfront. They secured the booking for £ 1,625 for the week through Airbnb.
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They were eagerly awaiting the stay until the beginning of the month when their vacation dreams were compromised by a change of ownership.
“We received a message earlier this month from [the owner] saying he unfortunately had to sell the property but the new owners would be in touch as they had agreed to honor all reservations, ”said Shelley, 48.
“He also explained that the company he was using couldn’t exchange reservation contracts, so we would receive a full refund and the new owners would be in contact to reorganize.”
Days passed and the family had no news of the reservation, so with just a few weeks to go, they contacted the new owners.
“We made contact last week to find out there would be an astronomical increase of almost 700 pounds,” she explained.
“You don’t just do that,” she said. “They didn’t even contact us. My husband started to panic and emailed them when we hadn’t heard anything.
“We were just left in limbo so my husband sent such a nice email asking if we still had it because [the new owners] had already started advertising it on Instagram saying it was available on the exact dates we booked. “
She said people were commenting on the beauty of the property and whether they could book for a specific week, shocking Shelley who thought those dates had been reserved and secured by them.
“I’m here thinking ‘oh my god this is our vacation’. It was these beautiful pictures and people were talking about booking. our holiday. I just wanted to tell them ‘yes it’s beautiful, but it’s mine’. “
“We were absolutely devastated,” she said. “I can’t even tell you. I was at work when we found out and just felt sick.”
She says they were then told to pay an additional £ 650 – a 40% increase – or the holiday would be sold to someone else [via another holiday home letting agency] as they would not honor previous bookings at these prices.
“As far as we knew, we were told they would honor the reservation. You took time off, started to prepare, but how do you explain something like that to your kids? How was I going to tell my son ‘sorry you can’t take your vacation’.
She continued, “We had booked it for a year. How many people are looking forward to this, like we did, for twelve months for someone out of ignorance, but the price goes up and tells us it was our choice. It was not our choice at all because we did not have that extra money. “
Fortunately, after sharing their woes online, they were able to secure replacement leave for the same period.
“It made us more determined to come forward but the sad thing is that I am not the only one,” she said. “We are not the first and we will not be the last”.
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