April 11, 2018 at 12:41 pm #4314
There is a reason why Britannia Hotels is referred to as the Fawlty Towers of hotel chains and year after year comes bottom of the Which report tables.
I have just returned from court, where Britannia finally agreed to settle my claim for compensation for absolutely ruining a very important wedding anniversary at the Palace in Buxton with buffet self-service of lousy food in a restaurant like an army barracks or school canteen. A far cry from the ‘premium dining’ and ‘wide range of international cuisine’ with tables laid for silver service which is what their website says and shows.
In the course of this six month dispute they ignored a letter sent by recorded delivery, strung us along with an offer which was withdrawn on the eve of needing to submit the next form to continue the case, and accused us of lying about being in the hotel on the morning of the day we were booked.
Last Friday they made me an offer which was too low. They finally made another offer on Sunday to settle in full, £252*, which I accepted on condition the money was in my account yesterday, the case being listed for today.
I have had four or five messages between 3pm yesterday and 10am this morning telling me that the payment had been processed. We went into court at 11am, where they told the judge it had been processed, and he was about to close the case.
We pointed out that if he did that, and the money did not appear, that we would then have no way of ever forcing them to pay it. So he adjourned the case with an instruction for Britannia to pay, which would then put then in contempt of court if they didn’t come up with the money.
And guess what. Exactly on the dot of when they would have arrived back at their office to process it, the money came through.
Is it possible that it had been delayed overnight? Possible but unlikely. Do I believe that it hadn’t been done, and that they were calling our bluff thinking we might not go to Court if we thought the payment was on the way. Probably. Do I think they would ever have paid if we hadn’t gone to Court and the judge had not ordered them to? Probably not. I could be wrong, of course.
Trip advisor is full of complaints about this chain. My advice FWIW, is that the hotels are cheap and can be a bargain. But don’t book them for any special celebration. Don’t set any store by the four star ratings. Don’t use the restaurant, go elsewhere. And some hotels have some seriously bad rooms so book in early if you can, so that you can be transferred to another room if the one you’ve been allocated is no good.
I’m honestly gobsmacked any business can run this way. At the start, I only asked for low-season b&b night in another hotel that would only have cost them £25 tops to let us have. It really seemed more important to them not to let us win.
*£50 costs, £202 dinner b&b with house red.
April 11, 2018 at 12:42 pm #4315
Well done you for sticking at it and getting the result.
April 11, 2018 at 12:42 pm #4316
Very will done for not giving up, I’m sure plenty of people have, and for being smart in pointing out to the judge what would happen if he closed the case.
I will never use Britannia Hotels now you have shown their appalling attitude to customers.
April 11, 2018 at 12:43 pm #4317
Thanks for the heads up and well done for your tenacity.
April 11, 2018 at 12:44 pm #4318
crikey. What a palaver. Plenty of people would have given up for an easy life, I’m sure so I’m in awe of your tenacity. I’m useless at complaining
April 11, 2018 at 12:45 pm #4319
I was just so furious. We married on a Friday 13th for very special reasons, so every Friday 13th anniversary is really, really special, and of course we only get one about every eight or nine years. Their website is a total misrepresentation of the experience they are providing on a good night, and we struck unlucky with a bad night as well. It was unbelievably bad. Our local Toby Carvery does better food by far in a much better environment.
I was also prepared for a fight. Tripadvisor has loads of comments saying that customers were complaining and were ignored. The more they tried to ignore us or wear us down, the more determined I got !
I’ll give them something, though, this will be the wedding anniversary we remember above any other – for all the wrong reasons.
Tip: Don’t think the service you got fifteen years ago is going to be still there today, even if the price is top end, and check TripAdvisor before booking, not after you’ve stayed
April 11, 2018 at 12:46 pm #4320
I have stayed at several Britannia Hotels, for work, for reunions and once for leisure against my better judgement. They have been without exception shoddy, some dirty and all tired and slightly grubby. Glad you fought and won.
April 11, 2018 at 12:47 pm #4321
Well done on being tenacious.
However, I am surprised that you were surprised at how awful they were. Having looked at their website just now and seen rooms from £21 in Scarborough, there is no way I would even consider them for a special occasion. I’ve not heard of them before, and having looked at the site, I wouldn’t want to stay in them for any occasion, let alone a special one.
April 11, 2018 at 12:48 pm #4322
We had a wonderful time there fifteen years ago for my OHs 50th birthday. It’s a fabulous old house, really lovely, in a beautiful location just right for what we planned for the rest of the day.
It never occurred to me to look at the trip advisor ratings, I thought paying nearly £200 for dinner bed and breakfast was enough of a guarantee!
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