Bookings for Cricklade hotel trigger a furore
CUSTOMERS of a Cricklade hotel have been left high and dry in a reported dispute over thousands of pounds worth of online bookings.
Around 200 packages for The Vale Hotel in Cricklade were sold earlier this year on the auction website eBay by the hotel’s previous manager Edward Adams.
But when the hotel changed hands at the end of June, scores of paid-for bookings had not yet been taken and new managers Christophe and Maria Landure said Mr Adams did not pass on any money or information to them.
Mr Adams, from South Cerney, strongly denies the claims and told the Standard he had left more than £5,000 worth of assets to cover the cost of bookings with Mr and Mrs Landure.
As a "goodwill gesture", Mr Landure said that they had initially tried to honour the room bookings where they could but could not continue as it was costing so much.
"It was horrendous and put an incredible pressure on us," Mr Landure said.
Ebay customers Mark and Debbie Douglas, from Solihull, said that they lost out on a wedding anniversary weekend away because of the dispute.
They booked a hotel room and breakfast for £56 from Edward Adams in March for the weekend of August 31. But when they contacted Mr Adams to confirm the booking, they said he washed his hands of the deal.
Mr Douglas, 44, said: "We lost the weekend because the hotel knew nothing about it. We were obviously very disappointed. I’ve complained to PAYPAL about it but I haven’t heard anything yet."
The Vale Hotel’s landlord Mark Ingle said he has taken more than one hundred complaints from disgruntled customers who have bought hotel packages from Mr Adams.
Mr Ingle said: "He’s caused Maria and Christophe so much hard work."
But Mr Adams dismissed the claims as "a pack of lies". He said: "They should have honoured the bookings. If they’ve got a problem they should take me to court and sue me."
Wiltshire Police confirmed that its fraud department had investigated the claims and decided it was a civil matter.
A spokesman said: "Mr Ingle was told that he needed to contact Ebay to have the advertisement set up by Mr Adams removed and that any customers who have purchased accommodation through Mr Adams should contact PAYPAL or their own bank accounts for refunds."