Bad hotel service and sub-standard facilities can ruin a holiday or short break, but you could claim breach of contract if they don’t live up to reasonable expectations…
Which? Legal member Peter Pitham and his wife paid just under £1,000 to stay at a four-star hotel – only to discover the bed in their room was broken and promised spa facilities were closed.
The couple, from Kent, booked a four-day stay in August at a hotel on the South Coast. But when they got there the inside pool and jacuzzi, steam room and outdoor hot tub were closed.
The couple complained but, despite assurances from staff, the facilities were never available during their stay.
This meant that everywhere else was overcrowded. The hotel was also noisy.
Worse followed when they found that their bed was broken – Peter even caught his leg on a piece of wood that was sticking out from it. And the two mattresses on the bed were of different heights, which made for an uncomfortable night’s sleep.
When the couple got home, they wrote to complain, but were offered only one free night’s stay and dinner.
Peter rejected this, as the hotel was six hours from where they live.
Despite escalating his complaint, the hotel didn’t improve its offer, so Peter sought advice from Which? Legal.
Our advice on sub-standard hotel facilities
We advised that, under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the couple could argue breach of contract in two ways: for promised facilities that hadn’t been provided, and that the accommodation didn’t meet the reasonable expectations of a four-star hotel.
We advised Peter to request compensation to remedy the fact that he didn’t get what he had paid for and for the loss of enjoyment he suffered.
We provided Peter with a template letter to draft his response to the hotel.
He used this letter to ask for £500 compensation, which he received with an apology.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives you rights when you buy goods and services. Where services and facilities are to be provided at a hotel, these form part of the contract between you and the hotel. If they aren’t provided, this is a breach of contract and you would be entitled to a remedy.
Possible remedies for breach of a hotel service agreement would include a price reduction, a free stay at the hotel or damages.
This article by the Which? Legal team originally appeared in the January 2017 edition of Which? magazine.
Have you ever stayed in a hotel where the service was shocking and the facilities sub-standard? Did you complain or claim compensation?