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★☆☆☆☆

“Refuse to comply with UK trading legislation. Avoid.”

Written on: 11/01/2021 by zpHernandez353 (1 review written)

The true test of what an organisation is REALLY like is how they react when something goes wrong.

If you read reviews on other sites, you will see a lot of positive reviews, but these generally relate to the cottage itself, rather than Sykes Cottages per se, for example "lovely cottage, we had a nice holiday" etc.

The consumer rights act 2015 makes it clear that in the event of a customer cancelling a service, a business is entitled to retain only an amount sufficient to cover their actual losses that result from the cancellation. They are not permitted to retain the entire deposit (or full payment for that matter) as of right.

On government Covid-19 advice a friend cancelled her cottage booking several weeks in advance, and Sykes Cottages let the cottage to a replacement customer within a few days of the cancellation, and therefore suffered no financial loss.

Despite admitting taking a replacement booking, Sykes have refused to refund her deposit, and have kept both her deposit (of several hundred pounds) and the full fee (almost £1000) from the replacement customer.

This is a breach of the consumer rights act. More specifically it is an unfair contract term, which is in violation of the consumer rights act. Sykes Cottages refuse to acknowledge this, and when challenged simply parrot their (unfair and illegal) terms and conditions. The consumer rights act takes priority over any terms and conditions a business might include in their contract document.

Schedule 2 Part 1 paragraph 5 of the consumer rights act 2015 states that the following term would be considered to be unfair:

"A term which has the object or effect of requiring that, where the consumer decides not to conclude or perform the contract, the consumer must pay the trader a disproportionately high sum in compensation or for services which have not been supplied".


"Which" magazine's web site states the following:

"Typically, the business has no entitlement to keep any amount that can be saved by finding another customer, or cancelling any other suppliers they’ve employed. That would likely constitute an unfair contract term under the consumer rights act.
For example, if you booked a holiday and then cancel, and the company finds another customer to take your place it’s likely the only amount it can legitimately withhold from your deposit will be administrative costs."

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