When Mark and Tricia Tovey (pictured left) came to me via Sell My Story website Featureworld , they were in despair. Shortly after deciding to marry, Mark was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 18 months to live. For the devastated couple it meant moving their forthcoming wedding nuptials from February 2012 to June.
But if that wasn’t bad enough, when on doctor’s advice the couple went to cancel their planned luxury honeymoon to Mexico – they do not know if Mark will be fit enough to travel then or even be alive – they were stunned to be shocked by cancellation fees of £2K. They expected to lose their deposit of £500 but were upset about the cancellation fee of £1285.15. Incredibly, when they queried the charge they were told they would have to pay another £199 fee for not paying it fast enough.
It was then Tricia contacted me via Featureworld. She felt the firm was being incredibly cruel. I managed to place their story in the Sunday Mirror and the next day with the couple’s consent I also placed their story with the Daily Mail.
At the same time I contacted the travel company to see what they had to say and they agreed as a ‘gesture of goodwill’ to refund the cancellation fee of £1285.15. As Tricia says, when I told her the company was to give back this money, she and Mark were over the moon. And I am pleased to report that the travel company have stuck by their word and that cancellation charge has already been refunded to the Tovey’s.
MORE GOOD NEWS …
But there was even more good news to come.
After the feature appeared on Mailonline I received an offer from the five star Chewton Glen hotel. The owners of this luxury country house hotel and spa, which is set in 130 acres of Hampshire countryside on the edge of the New Forest National Park and just a few minutes walk from the sea, were so moved by Tricia and Mark’s story that they have offered them a free honeymoon.
The Toveys are now organising a date in the next few weeks to visit the hotel – listed as one of the ‘world’s best hotels’ by Conde Nast Traveller readers 2011. To see the delights Mark and Tricia will enjoy click here: Welcome to Chewton Glen.
Tricia told me: “Mark and I are so glad we contacted you. We just want to thank you so much for everything you have done.”
Read more about Mark and Tricia’s story: The Toveys.
Have you experienced an injustice? Contact me here: Sell your story
Tricia Tovey contacted me at Featureworld to gain justice. When her husband Mark was diagnosed with terminal cancer, that was devastating enough. But when on his consultant’s advice they decided to cancel their honeymoon – because he might not be well enough to go and in fact he might not be alive then – the couple were stunned to be slapped with a cancellation charge of £1250.15. This was on top of £500 deposit they’d already paid when they originally booked the trip last November. And it isn’t as if they were cancelling at short notice. As well as providing the consultant’s letter, they were not due to go on their £6,500 luxury holiday to Mexico until February 2012.
Naturally the couple, who expected to lose their deposit, queried the charge. They also asked if there was another holiday they could go on while Mark was well enough to travel – but claim this was ignored. And because they took too long to pay, they were then threatened with legal action.
By the time Tricia contacted me they’d already paid over the money – because, as Tricia said, they didn’t want the stress of legal action hanging over them.
Having seen letters from The Holiday Collection Group I placed the story with the Sunday Mirror newspaper. A spokesman for the Global Travel Group trading as The Holiday Collection Group later told me at the time of booking Tricia agreed to take out travel insurance but did not. They also claim they tried to assist the couple with another holiday. However, despite this, as a gesture of goodwill they will reimburse the cancellation fee of £1250.15.
I was delighted to have got this fee back for this lovely couple. Sadly following the diagnosis, in March Mark was given 18 months to live and the couple who met on a dating website, moved their wedding forward from next February – they since married in June.
Tricia says: “Thank you so much. I cannot believe the amount of stress all this caused us as such a difficult time. Thank you again for all your help – you’ve been fab.”
Do you have a consumer issue to highlight? Maybe you feel you have been treated unfairly by an organisation and are seeking justice. If so you can contact me here: Story in the press for justice.