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cornishcottageholidays.co.uk

Newbury, United...
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cornishcottageholidays.co.uk

Has anyone had recent experience using this company? We stayed in one of their properties, Rose Cottage, Manaccan for a week in September 2011. Despite the 4* brochure description, the property was truly awful - filthy dirty, neglected and can only be described as a health hazard. We spoke to the general manager, Nigel Pickin and subsequently emailed a comprehensive condition report detailing all the problems yet we never received the courtesy of a response. Patently obvious this company are not interested in their customers and I would advise others to give them a wide berth. Definitely not recommended!!

21 replies to this topic
Exeter, UK
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886 posts
35 reviews
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1. Re: cornishcottageholidays.co.uk

Hope your misfortune serves as a further remainder to other to try - where possible - to steer clear of agencies. Thanks to the way the internet works more and more - especially the better cottage operators - realise that it is madness to part with 20% commission (or 20+ in some cases) taken out of their hard earned turnover, for what they can now effectively do themselves, or with the help of a handful of good and reliable portals (think www.sawdays.co.uk ).

That way not only are you likely to get access to the higher end of the market, you also deal with the owners direct. I am sure that no owner would have done what Mr. Pickin as described above, as it would equal to suicide.

Best way to check whether a website you are looking at is an agency or a portal is by seeing whether it provides direct contact details for you. If it does, follow these and contact the owners, if it doesn't, it is an agency!

england
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244 posts
6 reviews
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2. Re: cornishcottageholidays.co.uk

Hi Travel Happy Ex:

I think it is a bit unfair to throw them all in the same pot. I believe there has already been a lengthy discussion thread about this particular company on this forum though (5 October last entry-you also contributed there) and our friend from Newbury could have checked there. We have always used agencies to book cottages all over the UK and never had a problem. And: Who decides which company is promoted on a portal? They pay to be included.

Elfin

Exeter, UK
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886 posts
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3. Re: cornishcottageholidays.co.uk

Of course you are totally right Elf, there are lots of legitimate operators/agencies out there, and a cottage listed on a non-commission based portal is not by definition a good one.

But the main point I made was in response to Brewsters frustration to not only experience a raw deal with a bad cottage, but that the agent who (s)he booked through is not taking ownership. And the latter would not have happened had (s)he dealt with a responsible owner direct. And there are more and more of the latter, plus there is now so much feedback available online that weeding out the good ones from the less good ahead of your booking is no longer impossible. Checking out the quality of an agency is a lot harder!

And think about it this way: if you own some really good cottages in which you take pride, you will by definition have a lot of repeat business and direct referrals, so 'filling up the gaps' with the help of a good website, and traffic generated through a number of good portals becomes a real alternative to an agent who doesn't just charge a wopping %, but often also puts major restrictions on what the owner is allowed to do direct.

So a holiday business turning over, say, £100K a year, can save themselves £20K (!!!!) commission by spending just a fraction of that on the right listings. No mean feat, especially for those turning over in excess of £73K, as they already face a quarterly VAT bill representing about 16% of turnover.

Apologies for the longwinded response, but I truly believe that holidaymakers are generally oblivious to this issue, or indeed that VAT is taken from their payment, hence my repeated postings on this!

Lichfield
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4. Re: cornishcottageholidays.co.uk

I had a bad experience with CCH, however, the issue was resolved to my satisfaction albeit a while after the event. I do believe that I should have complained at the time I was there though but I did have the mistaken belief that nothing could have been sorted out at the time. Nigel Picken did explain what could have been done had I given them the opportunity to sort things out by complaining whilst still at the property. Did you get in touch whilst you were there? I have to be honest though and say that the last thing you want to do when you are on holiday is complain. It is a very tough decision really. Do you stick it out and try not to spoil your holiday or do you complain? From the response that I got from Mr Picken, I can only imagine that your complaint has been overlooked. Please email him again as I am sure he will try and deal with your complaint as he dealt with mine. I think you do have to give people the benefit of the doubt, at least once anyway.

I don't think it is fair to tar all agencies with the same brush though as there are some fantastic ones. The best ones that I have used are Carbis Bay Retreats and Aspect Holidays. Really helpful proprietors and friendly welcomes every time. I have used private holiday cottages too and had some great experiences, however, I booked one and, whilst all the pictures looked wonderful, it was not very well cleaned, uncomfortable and just not worth the money I paid. I am extremely meticulous in the information I request about holiday cottages from both private letters and holiday lettings agencies having come unstuck a few times. I don't doubt that, despite this, I will come unstuck again. I did come unstuck with the private letting I referred to above but, fortunately a holiday lettings company came to my rescue so it does pay to have a good relationship with companies too. The only reason I didn't use either of the said companies was that I was looking to stay in a different area. I know that Aspects Holidays are letting in other areas of Cornwall now and I would highly recommend them as a reputable company with friendly staff and accurate property descriptions.

Email CCH again and I hope you do get a response to your complaint.

Suzi

Newbury, United...
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3 posts
9 reviews
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5. Re: cornishcottageholidays.co.uk

"But the main point I made was in response to Brewsters frustration to not only experience a raw deal with a bad cottage, but that the agent who (s)he booked through is not taking ownership. "

Spot on!! Exactly my point.

There are a lot of agencies/operators competing for business which must be hard and I assume most will try and resolve any issues hoping for repeat business or to enhance their reputation by recommendation. I've emailed Nigel Pickin @ CCH three times and not had a response.

I appreciate all the comments so far - very useful to exchange views and help each other (and others!).

I don't know if it could be done but if these agencies/operators could be licensed or regulated by the relevant local tourist board or trading standards office this may weed out the less scrupulous amongst them.

Once again, thanks to all.

england
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244 posts
6 reviews
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6. Re: cornishcottageholidays.co.uk

Mmm, I always book with agencies where the properties are Tourist Board rated, 1-5 stars. That way I could always complain to the Board in case of problems. I noticed no such rating scheme on Cornish Cottage Holidays' web page.

Elfin

Lichfield
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1,262 posts
91 reviews
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7. Re: cornishcottageholidays.co.uk

Well, if you have emailed three times then I don't think it is worth bothering again. I hadn't realised this or I would not have suggested it. I agree that nobody there is taking ownership of this one and I'm very sorry to hear that.

I totally understand the point you have made though and it is horrid when things like this happen so you really do have my understanding.

Suzi

Newbury, United...
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3 posts
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8. Re: cornishcottageholidays.co.uk

CCH have now resolved this matter to my satisfaction

Gloucestershire
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177 posts
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9. Re: cornishcottageholidays.co.uk

That's good news!

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643 posts
1 review
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10. Re: cornishcottageholidays.co.uk

"Patently obvious this company are not interested in their customers"

"CCH have now resolved this matter to my satisfaction"

I assume given the latter the former is no longer true?

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