We've already stated elsewhere on this blog that we subsidise guest stays in the cottage. We're looking to cover costs whilst keeping the property occupied without the longer term risks of tenancy agreements. Bringing holiday guests into the locality also injects cash in the local businesses. As a consequence our rental fees one of the lowest in the area when compared to the facilities provided. However we still get some guests paying the low rent and then expecting Ritz facilities. They will then approach Sykes to get a discount on the subsidised prices.
We had one pair of guests stay over a year ago who demanded a partial refund from Sykes which they didn't receive even after they sent "photographs" to Sykes. Their main complaint was that the accommodation smelt musty. I guess that is difficult to (dis)prove with photographs. We didn't get involved in this until their bad review was received by Sykes. Either side of their bad review on the Sykes website are complimentary good reviews from other guests.
Contractually the guests are supposed to contact the owners first during the holiday stay to seek some form of remediation. The "guests" didn't attempt to contact us. There were the other vague issues added to their complaint list, such as cleaning etc,. All this could have been resolved if they'd contacted us during their stay.
In fact we'd just finished redecorating the entire interior of the cottage about a month before their stay. We'd cleaned the whole cottage after the decoration process. All of the carpets in the house had been professionally cleaned, prior to their arrival. We also undertaken a Covid-19 sterilisation clean in every room, at short notice, prior to their arrival. This included wiping down surfaces, UV-c light exposure and steam sterilisation
One of the guests has publicly stated in bold type on the Internet, for all to see, that their objective of their holiday was: "...a cheap few nights..." I guess that sums up the whole event. I'm sure a discount would have made it cheaper. As it was they were able bring their two dogs to the cottage for no fee, which saved them £240 in kennel boarding fees.
However not content with a bad review via Sykes, they posted a similar review about the cottage on TripAdvisor some 14 months after their stay. That is plain vindictive. We're now considering legal action against this couple for damages. I've made sure to take full archival copies of their reports.
They also failed to comply with Covid-19 regulations during their stay and also did not follow the departure procedures with the consequence that we were unable to check the security/state of the cottage when they left.