FAQ's - Your Questions Answered
- Q.Standards - what can we expect and how are they maintained?
A.We work tirelessly to provide the best customer experience by working closely with our Home Owners, both on the quality of their properties, the cleanliness and maintenance but also in supporting them making the most out of their Holiday home. It can be a farmhouse, a lakeside apartment and we love quirky and different with our shepherd huts and our yurts.
Customer feedback sits at the heart of our business and our post-holiday surveys are read by all. All comments, positive and negative are shared live with our Home Owners and our customer relations teams talk daily to our holidaymakers around their on holiday experience and how best to improve.
- Q.How are complaints dealt with?
A.Please refer to the complaints procedure that’s contained in the Booking Terms and Conditions that you agreed to when making your booking (see https://www.character-cottages.co.uk/terms/booking). In brief, if your complaint is about:
- the property you’re staying at, contact the owner of the Property (Owner) (or the Owner’s representative locally) as soon as possible in the hope they can resolve it during your holiday. If you can’t get hold of them or you’re not happy with their response, call us as soon as possible to let us know, and we’ll contact the Owner to see if we can facilitate a resolution during your holiday;
- a property you’ve booked but haven’t stayed at yet, call us and let us know about it. We will speak to the Owner to see if we can facilitate a resolution;
- a property you’ve stayed at, but despite trying the complaint wasn’t resolved during your holiday, contact us within 7 days. We will speak to the Owner to see if we can facilitate a resolution;
- our booking services, services Sykes provides to you itself – contact us and we’ll consider your complaint;
- third party services (e.g. insurance) – follow the complaints procedure of the third party or contact us for assistance about how to go about making your complaint.
In all instances, please provide full details of your complaint and keep any evidence of your complaint, in order for us to share this with the the Owner. In relation to who’s liable/responsible to you;
- if it relates to a breach of the rental contract between you and an Owner, the Owner would be liable;
- if it relates to a breach of the booking contract between you and Sykes, Sykes would be liable;
- if it relates a breach of a contract between you and a third party, it’s the third party.
We hope this enables all parties to progress complaints, which no one wants to arise, effectively.
- Q.Pets - can we take our pet with us?
A.Many of our properties are dog friendly. Please check the amenities section of the property description and please feel free to use our search box and select pets in the drop down.
Registered assistance dogs are allowed in every single one of our properties. Please just let us know in advance then we can inform our Home Owners.
Dogs are required to be well behaved, they are to be kept off all furniture and remain downstairs at all times. Please remember that they cannot be left in your holiday home unattended at any time. Please refer to our property descriptions to understand about enclosed gardens as we know this is also an important part of your decision making process. Some of our properties charge for taking pets, please check our amenities section of the website for any relevant charges.
- Q.Price - how much will our holiday cottage cost?
A.For each cottage on the website, prices are displayed below the availability calendar. A Tiered Booking Fee is included in the price for the service that we offer, per week or per short break.
For some cottages, there may also be other charges over and above the basic rental price, e.g. linen, heating, taking your pet etc. The 'Amenities' section of the relevant cottage description will provide full details. We accept payment by debit cards (Switch/Maestro or Delta) and credit cards (Visa or Mastercard).
When you are booking well in advance we require a deposit of 30% of the rental, and a tiered booking fee, plus any 'extras'. The balance of the rental is due 6 weeks before the start of the holiday.
When you are booking within six weeks of the start date of the holiday we require full payment at the time of booking.
- Q. What time can I check in and when am I required to depart?
A.Most of our Holiday homes are available from 3pm on the first day of your holiday and require you to check out by 10am on the day of departure. We do have a few that are 4pm. This ensures the Home Owner or Housekeeper has sufficient time to prepare the Holiday home for incoming guests. Please ensure you check your key collection email for further details.
- Q.Hot Tubs / Saunas - what are the guidelines?
A.Hot Tubs and Saunas are a wonderful way to relax and unwind, if your property includes the use of a hot tub or sauna then please ensure all guests read the important user guidelines before use. Owners take great care to ensure the hot tub is ready for you to use on arrival, although, whilst every attempt is made on some occasions due to the strict cleaning and disinfection procedure they follow, the hot tub may not have reached the required temperature and there could be a short delay before you can use it. If you have a serious illness or have a heart condition, high or low blood pressure, or any other medical condition which may affect your reaction to heat, then you should consult with your doctor first. The body temperature of young children will rise much quicker than that of older children or adults using the hot tub/sauna due to their undeveloped thermo-regulatory mechanisms. Children under the age of 4 should not use the hot tub and additionally, children aged over 4 should be supervised closely at all times by a responsible adult. Pregnant women are advised not to use hot tubs/saunas or to seek medical advice before doing so. We politely remind all users wearing "fake tan" lotions or similar creams that they shower and remove these from your skin BEFORE entering the hot tub. Failure to do so will require a full clean and drainage of the hot tub and will result in you losing your security deposit. ALL activities during your holiday are undertaken at your own risk.
- Q.Problems - what do we do if something unexpected occurs?
A. At Character Cottages we do everything possible to ensure you have an enjoyable stay, but occasionally things go wrong. If a problem occurs you should, in the first instance, contact the owner/caretaker who is responsible for the management and maintenance of the property. Any assistance provided by Character Cottages in resolving a complaint in relation to your booking is provided on a goodwill basis and in our capacity as an Agent. Any problem must be reported immediately, as you will appreciate that complaints made after your occupancy cannot be entertained.
- Q.Changing the Holiday - what happens if we want to make changes to our holiday?
A.In the first instance please call us to discuss the changes. If it's possible to accommodate them, we'll be happy to help. Please note that, once confirmed, bookings can only be moved to an earlier date. We are not able to change a booking to a later date.
Changes to an already booked holiday involve extra administration and require us to contact the owner of the holiday property. To cover these additional costs we ask the holidaymaker to pay an administration fee of £30.
- Q.Cancellation - what happens if I need to cancel my holiday?
A.Details of our Cancellation Policy are available in Section 10 of our Booking Conditions.
- Q.Booking Conditions - what are they?
A.When you make a booking you enter into a legal contract with the owner of the holiday property. To read our booking conditions, please click here.
- Q.Linen - What is provided in my Holiday Home?
A.Most of our Holiday Homes provide linen as part of the rental price. There are a few exceptions to this. Please check the amenities section of the property description to ensure you have the correct information.Please remember to bring along your tea towels and beach towels. Please also note cot linen is not provided.
- Q.Fuel and Power - are they included in the holiday price?
A.Most of the properties we represent include fuel and power in the rental price. However, some may charge a supplement, have a coin meter or make a charge based on a meter reading at the end of your stay and some may charge extra for logs/coal provided for open fires and wood burning stoves. Where there is a charge for fuel, this will be made clear in the 'Amenities' section of the cottage description.
- Q.Electricity and Heating - What's included?
A.All our properties include Electricity and heating in the holiday price, unless otherwise stated in the amenities section of the property description. Wood burners and open fires may require additional fuel. This may be required to purchase separately.
- Q.Furnishings & Utensils in my holiday home.
A.All our properties are individual and each one offers something . Standards are key to our success. Regardless of size, age and location, all will have the standard amenities you expect. Kitchens will be well stocked with utensils and you can expect to have sufficient seating for the maximum number accommodated, along with the dining table. Please refer to the amenities section of the property description where we will list all that the property contains. Please also take the time to view the internal photography included with each properties website entry which will give you an indication of the standards to be found.
- Q.Can we charge our electric car at the property?
A.Properties with dedicated charging points are advertised as having them and each property description will contain further information on whether any additional charges will apply.
If a property does not have a dedicated charging point it should not be assumed that you can charge your car at the property and we recommend that you use charging stations.