Have you been turned away ! Not nice

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Briarose, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Briarose

    Briarose

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    hi everyone....hope you are all well ? As some of you already know sadly I lost my Husband of 40 years last July. I have tried to rebuild my life and move forward ... Bought a smaller motorhome, and drove it.

    A couple of weeks ago I along with some Friends (who many of you know) went to Sandringham C&CC had a lovely weekend and met up with some Friends. On the Sunday not wanting to head home we looked for somewhere else in the area....and my Friend Sue came up with Searles. Now I know there is a topic in Solo motorhomers...but I wanted to explain a little further what happened and how it made me feel.....I did indeed start a topic on the FB motorhome forum...which some of you may have already seen, and have had over 200 posts of support. It seems Widows ....and indeed any other single motorhomer (and toured owner) is a risk to society...which is laughable as anyone could simply walk on to the site from three entrances that I know of, plus any single local could join their leisure club. Initially we thought this just applied to their own accomadation...but I can confirm this is touring units too, I know we could have gone somewhere else...but it was 3pm ish on a Sunday afternoon in winter. I wanted to bring this to your attention....as a lady on FB (single with MH) had booked for Xmas, she was due to arrive on the 22/12 and having seen my posts on FB rang them...they have told her she isn't allowed on being single....and would have been turned away on the 22/12 ! Leaving her with nothing else booked for Xmas. I find this appalling .... And only yesterday they phoned her to confirm this was a directors decision...she is the same age as me and no threat etc, all she wanted to do was spend Xmas somewhere. They told her she would get a cheque as a refund, she asked for the money to be refunded to her card as she had paid that way...and was told it was company policy to send a cheque.
    She rang them back after a couple of posts in the FB forums....and insisted they refund the money immediately back to her.....not sure if she is a member here to tell her story.

    However to not go on....I will post now the email to them regarding myself sent by my Friend, along with my email to them too....I know others have sent emails and I know some our members here too. But it seems Searles feel that any 'single motorhomer' isn't welcome on site.....and it just doesn't seem right to me, in this day and age of discrimination it is appalling. Thanks for reading Nette

    Quote.

    Dear Sir,

    Recently my best friend, myself and my husband decided to book 2 motorhome pitches on your touring park. We chose Searles because it had some excellent reviews on the internet, plus it had an indoor swimming pool. Because my best friend Annette and I have recently started a healthy exercise routine and go swimming and attend water fitness classes at our local gym most days, we were looking to stay on a campsite that offered such facilities for us and Searles fitted the bill perfectly.

    We called your office to check availability and subsequently booked 2 fully serviced pitches over the phone before we arrived. I explained that my friend wanted an adjoining pitch to ours if possible as she was only recently widowed and would feel happier being pitched next to us. The person taking the call did not ask how many persons would be staying in each motorhome and she confirmed that 2 pitches had been reserved for us both.

    When we arrived at the site, your arrivals area was busy and consequently there was not a great deal of parking space in the arrivals lane for 2 motorhomes to check in, so my friend Annette remained in her vehicle and my husband went into the reception alone to pay for both bookings. He came out after only a few mins and explained to me that Annette was not going to be allowed to stay on the Searles touring site!!!!! I thought he must be mistaken but he assured me that is exactly what the receptionist had said and because Annette was a single person, she was prohibited from staying on Searles!!! I was convinced my husband must have got it wrong somehow and had misheard the receptionist, so I went into the reception to clarify the situation myself!!!

    The young lady on reception confirmed what my husband had told me and verified that she could not let my friend stay on their site because no single persons were permitted! I was flabbergasted and said my friend was a respectable 57 year old lady, who'd recently lost her husband and what on earth did they think she was going to do? I said I'd never heard anything so ridiculous in all of my life and just couldn't believe why a single lady in her own motorhome accommodation was seen as a problem?
    The receptionist to be fair was very polite and did seem very sympathetic and apologetic but she repeated several times that unfortunately, she did not make the site rules. There was another receptionist on duty too at the same time and she remained silent throughout, so that immediately quelled any doubts in my mind that the young lady dealing with me must have somehow got her company's booking terms and conditions wrong!

    I really did not want to have to go out and announce to Annette that she wasn't welcome on to your site because being a lone female meant she was for some reason not welcome. Losing her husband Phil 4 months previously after 40 happy years of married life and having to suddenly face life on her own without him was already a very sensitive and painful situation for her to come to terms with and the last thing she needed was to be singled out as being different to others in any way! She'd had 18 months of nursing her husband through cancer and I knew she would be greatly upset if I'd said we had to leave!
    Annette had never driven the motorhome whist her husband was alive, so driving and looking after her motorhome alone is still a very new and slightly daunting experience for her and therefore, being with friends who can guide, help and support her is immensely important to her. She did not want to give up motorhoming after losing her husband and so she sold the motorhome they shared, bought a smaller, more manageable sized one and plucked up the courage to try and carry on enjoying the motorhome lifestyle as best as she could on her own! She is trying hard to be brave and I knew that if I announced to her that she could not stay on your touring pitch it would be deeply upsetting and was not something I felt she could have handled! So rather naughtily - I ended up telling the receptionist a bit of a "porkie pie" and I told her that Annette's son was coming down that evening to join her and he would be staying with his mum in her motorhome for the next 3 nights! Now whether she saw through my "white lie" I do not honestly know but she proceeded with the booking and Annette was then allowed onto your site.

    We all ended up having an enjoyable few days at Searles and we all spent money in your restaurant and bar - in fact, for Annette personally, your park is a perfect and safe retreat for whenever she wants to get away for a few days or longer and I know she would have happily returned back again and again in the future. Everything she needs for an enjoyable break is located onsite, plus the town, beach and shops are all close by for a female on her own to enjoy safely. What a pity that because Searles has this prejudice towards ladies and gentleman on their own, she cannot return to your complex!

    Sadly, the check in drama has left a very nasty taste in our mouths and even your entertainment staff (whom I must stress were extremely pleasant and sociable, when they mingled and interacted with your guests) seemed genuinely shocked when Annette told them about the Searle's absurd campsite single persons rules! They were very apologetic but of course this was not their department and understandably could offer no solution or explanation.

    In my opinion this rule is absolute discrimination and for the life of me I cannot understand why any single person (male or female) who is using their own caravan or motorhome accommodation on your touring pitches and paying the same price as a couple or family, is viewed so negatively by your company!

    Once we returned home I have since told Annette what happened when we checked in at Searles and she was both hurt and angry about the situation, especially as she thought she'd found an ideal place to try on her own sometime. She was even considering attending this weeks turkey and tinsel themed break!

    Annette and myself belong to many internet based motorhome websites and forums and yesterday Annette submitted a post informing the hundreds of members who frequent these popular websites about your no single persons rule and everyone is absolutely outraged by such obvious and unfair discrimination towards solo guests. We certainly intend to take this matter further including the media and if the response we have experienced from the forums we are members of is anything to go by I should imagine Searles will have a lot questions to answer!

    Just for the record - motorhomes are by and large owned and enjoyed by the more mature age group amongst us, and consequently such people have reached the time in their lives where not only can they afford such a luxury item but they also have the leisure time and the freedom to use them. Most of us have taken early retirement from successful and professional careers or have reached full retirement age and have money in our pockets to spend. Therefore, it stands to reason that many motorhome owners, will because of their ages, be or will become widows and widowers and to penalise such a huge target market, is not only grossly unjust but I would add is also a ridiculously stupid move financially for any sensible and forward thinking touring site business. Why are Searles turning away such valuable customers and revenue - especially during the winter months when business is slow?

    I'll eagerly await your reply and explanation

    Unquote and now my own email to them...so far no replies to these

    Dear Mr Searles

    I would like to make known my sheer confusion and disappointment at your ruling of no single people in touring units. I understand that my Friend has already contacted you as she knows how upset I have been.

    My Husband and Family visited Searles in March 2012 and had a lovely time..it was a place we always planned to go back to, but unfortunately circumstances developed that prevented us using our lovely motorhome and the life we had loved .. It travel around the UK in it.

    I have tried to be positive and move forward with the help of Friends and Family after losing my Husband after a very traumatic time. And I bought a smaller motorhome and decided to carry on with the life we had loved...even though a daunting thought. So far all the places I have visited have welcomed me with open arms...told me how brave I am etc etc. wardens have cheered me on when I have reversed on to a pitch etc boosting my confidence and self worth.

    I now find that Searles does now and will not welcome me....as a single Widow WHY ! What am I going to do ? Yet local people apparently can join your facilities as single people ie pool etc ...could you please explain to me what the difference is as I believe this is discrimination ! I read of a reply from your Staff on one of the forums, and it seems I am a threat ! Unless I am part of a rally ! Or with Family staying in another unit...could you also explain to me what I might do if not part of a rally or with Family. This is outrageous ! Especially reading more into it....if this means I might be a threat to families and children etc etc please look at History and married/couples ie Fred West, Ian Huntley, The Yorkshire Ripper, Harold Shipmen, Ian Brady....the list could go on and all part of couples .....yet some of the loveliest people in the world have been single and raised money for charities, done wonderful work etc etc.

    I have to say on my return home last week, I felt very very down...and cried a lot for three days...as now I feel a freak, unattached and unworthy to be tarred with a new brush, single not allowed....a bit like the days of 'No coloureds...No Irish'.

    I am so so disappointed to be banned from your lovely site like a dangerous breed of dog...I believe the media will be interested in this along with your comments too. I along with another lady on a motorhome forum fully intend to contact the media.....BUT I will await your reply first.
     
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  2. Briarose

    Briarose

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    Ps the email back one friend has recieved when querying this ...and is very upset at the last paragraph.

    Here it is word for word.
    Quote. Thank you for your email.

    I am afraid on we not accept booking for single occupancy on the park, as our terms and conditions. To confirm, it is stated in our terms and conditions that ‘Single Occupancy is not allowed’. Please refer to number 5 in our T&Cs on our website here: www.searles.co.uk/contact-and-directions/terms-and-conditions/

    There are often two situations where we are flexible with this rule. Firstly, when a large family group stays, often part of the family with stay in a motorhome/tent by themselves as a ‘single occupant’ but part of a larger group. In addition to this, we welcome several rally groups throughout the year. There are of course ‘single occupants’ as part of these rally groups. Please contact Emma Milsom for more details on rallies at Searles: emilsom@searles.co.uk.

    These rules and guidelines are in place for the safety and protection of all of our guests. We regret if they cause any inconvenience. We hope this clears up any confusion.
    Kind Regards Unqute.
     
  3. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    Not up to reading all this but I think I get the gist of it. Single person rule apply in many venues, individual vetting is never possible as the rule would soon become abused. I can understand the site standing by their terms and conditions in refusing entry. If this had been made clear on the telephone then I'm sure the site would have explained their policy at that time. Just saying that you are a widow doesn't say you will be traveling alone.
    The cheque thing I agree is a con. Any card payment should be able to refund by the same method.
     
  4. Armytwowheels

    Armytwowheels Funster Life Member

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    A pathetic response from Searles.

    I have been following the support and responses you have been getting on Facebook and say good on you girl.

    Take them on and fight their stupid policy. I am sure a local newspaper to two would be very interested in your experience. It would also be worth speaking to CAB to see if any discrimination laws have been broken. I am not aware of any laws relating to single folk but there should be.
     
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  5. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    Thats shocking! Hope the place now gets boycotted then they will get the message.
    Please dont let this site put you off enjoying the MH.
     
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  6. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    It is a stupid ruling, let's hope they review it soon. As for the cheque, insist on a return to the card. Banking a cheque will cost you more money, if they insist on paying by cheque send them an invoice to cover your costs. They probably won't pay but it will keep the story and negative publicity going (y)
     
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  7. Briarose

    Briarose

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    Thankyou...must admit I was on a downer last week. Fighting back again now.
     
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  8. Briarose

    Briarose

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    I just don't get what a threat a single person is....and thanks for supporting me it means alot
     
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  9. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    Are you recommending boycotting all sites with a no singles policy or just picking on this one.
     
  10. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    You know of others?
     
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  11. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    In what way?

    ...and it costs almost as much to camp as a couple or family............



    .
     
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  12. Lofty1

    Lofty1 Funster

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    Very sad that your friend is treated this way what next , this is a form of discrimination pity is that they can legally get away with it, I would publish this on all caravan /motorhome sites (just for the guidance of others) and include an e-mail address so we can voice our opinions to the site
     
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  13. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    no discrimination laws have been broken.. it may be silly, but not illegal .. I looked into this about banning kids from sites..

    a private site can set whatever rules it wants.. including .. 'adults only' , 'no dogs' etc etc .
    some have no 'single sex' parties .. or only families allowed..

    another I know has a 'no alcohol' policy.. and I'm thinking it won't be long before we see 'no smoking' sites

    If a site advertises itself as a 'family site' then allow singles in, they could have complaints from 'families'

    silly or not.. it's not illegal .
     
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  14. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    I would d recommend any that waited until you turned up then be refused to stay.
    It should be made clear at time of booking solos are not allowed.
    Very distasteful.in my mind.
     
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  15. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    This rule is in place for a reason being people on their own can be a nuisance to other users. I'm sure you would be the first to complain if your next door motorhome was having parties until the early hours. Not in this case I'm sure but rules are rules for a reason.
     
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  16. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    Raise an issue with the credit card company used, say that an payment has been taken and the service withdrawn and a refund refused.

    Searles will have a hard time explaining to the credit card company that the payment was taken on a card but a cheque was used for the refund,

    A "credit card" is payment by credit, any refund must be used to reduce/cancel the debt. Which is why a refund in a shop for example has to be back onto the original card.
     
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  17. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    Watched the programme about Jimmy Savile last night

    He traveled in his MH with a 'minder'........... a 'couple'.............


    ...
     
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  18. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    Was it made clear to the site that a single party was booking, as said earlier being a widow doesn't state that you are traveling alone.
    Perhaps in future it would save upset if you first ask if the site has a no single policy when booking.
     
  19. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Reading their T&Cs makes their stance quite clear to me. It says they are site for families with young children and do not accept bookings from all male or all female groups or singles. Of course to hide this in the T&Cs is a bit sneaky but it is their site and I guess they can make up their own rules - unless someone wants to challenge them in the courts.

    Just go somewhere else, as I would even if I had young children. :) There are friendly sites out there. I'm on one at the moment and there are two ladies in our group who are single and each has their own MH.
     
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  20. Briarose

    Briarose

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    Whilst I sort of see where you are coming from.....if two males book on together that is ok...so I can't see the difference to be honest, or two single ladies for that matter. Not sure someone on their own would be stood outside partying and drinking. I can however see a large group of singles say on a hen night might. Certainly not a single motorhomer.
     
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