Pensioner finally gets refund for anniversary party after wife died

Daily Echo: Eric Clifton and his late wife Joyce Eric Clifton and his late wife Joyce

A HAMPSHIRE hotel has today agreed to refund a deposit for a golden wedding anniversary to a local army veteran who cancelled the event after his wife died.

Eric Clifton, 78, of Swanmore, had paid an initial deposit of £160 with a further payment of £535 to the Lysses House Hotel in Fareham for the golden wedding anniversary of his marriage to Joyce.

Eight weeks before the event, Mrs Clifton, 72, died from cancer and he was initially furious after the hotel said it would not give him a refund.

But hotel manager Colin Mercer reversed that decision after meeting Mr Clifton today, refunding his deposit and agreeing to make a donation to a charity of his choice.

Mr Clifton said: “We have reached an amicable solution and I'm very pleased to be able to say that. After the meeting I even stopped there for some lunch which Mr Mercer kindly paid for and I'm happy to go back to the hotel in the future.”

The former warrant officer in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, who has two children and five grandchildren, added: “Mr Mercer also promised to make a donation to Myeloma UK, which was my nominated charity because it was the cancer my wife suffered from.”

Mr Mercer said the hotel was unaware of the reason for the cancellation for months and recognised a refund was appropriate in the exceptional circumstances.

He said: “We have the same policy as everybody else that you pay so much before an event and when we get a cancellation we follow procedure. We didn't enquire as to why Mr Clifton cancelled because I don't like staff enquiring about that as it is not up to us to find that out.

“Five months after the cancellation we had a news reporter approach us and my front-of-house manager Nicky said we had not heard about the reason and we had a policy. We had absolutely no contact from Mr Clifton so it hit us out of the blue.“But this is clearly an exception case and when I came in this morning I immediately made efforts to contact Mr Clifton and he agreed to come in for a chat and we have reached a solution.”

He added: “My staff have been extremely upset about this. They are all 'people' people and it was they who suggested making the donation.”

Comments (16)

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5:15pm Fri 3 Jan 14

SotonGreen says...

Good to hear the other side of the very judgmental story. Also good to hear the final outcome. Good on you folk !
Good to hear the other side of the very judgmental story. Also good to hear the final outcome. Good on you folk ! SotonGreen
  • Score: 11

5:17pm Fri 3 Jan 14

menotyou says...

WOW! amazing what a bit of bad publicity can do! I just hope the charity donation is a large one although nothing would make me want to stay in this hotel again it was a dive anyway but i could have overlooked it. Any establishment willing to treat it's customers like this deserves to be boycotted imo
WOW! amazing what a bit of bad publicity can do! I just hope the charity donation is a large one although nothing would make me want to stay in this hotel again it was a dive anyway but i could have overlooked it. Any establishment willing to treat it's customers like this deserves to be boycotted imo menotyou
  • Score: 3

5:17pm Fri 3 Jan 14

sotonbusdriver says...

Probably changed his mind after a bombardment of Emails and an endless list of poor ratings on TRIP ADVISOR.
But it will not help them, the damage is done....
Trip Advisor don't remove postings.....
And because of the media attention it will have harmed the hotels reputation for years to come..
Probably changed his mind after a bombardment of Emails and an endless list of poor ratings on TRIP ADVISOR. But it will not help them, the damage is done.... Trip Advisor don't remove postings..... And because of the media attention it will have harmed the hotels reputation for years to come.. sotonbusdriver
  • Score: 12

5:18pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Sir Ad E Noid says...

SotonGreen wrote:
Good to hear the other side of the very judgmental story. Also good to hear the final outcome. Good on you folk !
Agreed, there is always the other side of the story. Everybody is happy, a good result.
[quote][p][bold]SotonGreen[/bold] wrote: Good to hear the other side of the very judgmental story. Also good to hear the final outcome. Good on you folk ![/p][/quote]Agreed, there is always the other side of the story. Everybody is happy, a good result. Sir Ad E Noid
  • Score: 13

5:18pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Sir Ad E Noid says...

SotonGreen wrote:
Good to hear the other side of the very judgmental story. Also good to hear the final outcome. Good on you folk !
Agreed, there is always the other side of the story. Everybody is happy, a good result.
[quote][p][bold]SotonGreen[/bold] wrote: Good to hear the other side of the very judgmental story. Also good to hear the final outcome. Good on you folk ![/p][/quote]Agreed, there is always the other side of the story. Everybody is happy, a good result. Sir Ad E Noid
  • Score: 3

5:37pm Fri 3 Jan 14

lozgordon says...

Excellent news, and eventually the correct decision, however someone at the hotel is still telling porkies, They did know at the time and also very soon after the cancellations, A member of the family posted on Trip Advisor in July last Year the events leading to the cancellation and their disgust at the way the gentleman had been treated.
The Hotel management had read this post as replies to other posts on Trip Advisor had been answered about the hotel. I see that the post regarding this matter has now been removed on Trip Advisor.
Strange how once the force of Media local national papers and Facebook changed the minds, Business will need to consider their customers service side of business the internet is proving a such a powerful tool.
Excellent news, and eventually the correct decision, however someone at the hotel is still telling porkies, They did know at the time and also very soon after the cancellations, A member of the family posted on Trip Advisor in July last Year the events leading to the cancellation and their disgust at the way the gentleman had been treated. The Hotel management had read this post as replies to other posts on Trip Advisor had been answered about the hotel. I see that the post regarding this matter has now been removed on Trip Advisor. Strange how once the force of Media local national papers and Facebook changed the minds, Business will need to consider their customers service side of business the internet is proving a such a powerful tool. lozgordon
  • Score: 12

5:54pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Alhaurino says...

Colin Mercer obviously had his hand forced by the power social network. It is however to late to correct this insensitive mistake, he has followed Gerald Ratner and pressed the self destruct button.
Colin Mercer obviously had his hand forced by the power social network. It is however to late to correct this insensitive mistake, he has followed Gerald Ratner and pressed the self destruct button. Alhaurino
  • Score: 6

5:54pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Frank28 says...

It will cost them more in lost business; people don't forget such bad publicity quickly.
It will cost them more in lost business; people don't forget such bad publicity quickly. Frank28
  • Score: 7

6:17pm Fri 3 Jan 14

chimneysweep 1234 says...

I do not believe the manager or hotel didn't know ..just that bad publicity made the cough up
I do not believe the manager or hotel didn't know ..just that bad publicity made the cough up chimneysweep 1234
  • Score: 8

6:26pm Fri 3 Jan 14

solomum says...

I was disgusted by the refusal to return the gentleman's deposit and subsequent monies paid, so am really pleased to see the hotel has now reconsidered and done the right thing by refunding the gentleman in full and in addition, are making a donation to charity. Ok, so it probably was the bad publicity that got this moving, but in all fairness, it may be that the hotel management had not actually been made aware of this prior to the news reports. Whatever the reason though, the main thing is that Mr Clifton is happy with the outcome.
I was disgusted by the refusal to return the gentleman's deposit and subsequent monies paid, so am really pleased to see the hotel has now reconsidered and done the right thing by refunding the gentleman in full and in addition, are making a donation to charity. Ok, so it probably was the bad publicity that got this moving, but in all fairness, it may be that the hotel management had not actually been made aware of this prior to the news reports. Whatever the reason though, the main thing is that Mr Clifton is happy with the outcome. solomum
  • Score: 2

6:42pm Fri 3 Jan 14

chimneysweep 1234 says...

chimneysweep 1234 wrote:
I do not believe the manager or hotel didn't know ..just that bad publicity made the cough up
Ok just seen the news and totaly believe they didn't know the reasons ..well done the hotel
[quote][p][bold]chimneysweep 1234[/bold] wrote: I do not believe the manager or hotel didn't know ..just that bad publicity made the cough up[/p][/quote]Ok just seen the news and totaly believe they didn't know the reasons ..well done the hotel chimneysweep 1234
  • Score: 0

7:29pm Fri 3 Jan 14

annoyedme says...

I'm glad they have returned the deposit, and maybe they should review their policy when they receive cancellations - like a little question of "would you mind if I ask why you are cancelling?", if they refuse then in situations like this may promp the person to say and save additional heartache.
I'm glad they have returned the deposit, and maybe they should review their policy when they receive cancellations - like a little question of "would you mind if I ask why you are cancelling?", if they refuse then in situations like this may promp the person to say and save additional heartache. annoyedme
  • Score: 6

9:36pm Fri 3 Jan 14

thesouth says...

They only did this because of the publicity
They only did this because of the publicity thesouth
  • Score: 6

10:50am Sat 4 Jan 14

SPIKEISLANDTRADER says...

EXCELLENT RESULT , even if the publicity pushed the REFUND.
EXCELLENT RESULT , even if the publicity pushed the REFUND. SPIKEISLANDTRADER
  • Score: 3

11:56am Sat 4 Jan 14

thesouth says...

It's rubbish that they didn't know the reason because on the previous article they commented on it!
It's rubbish that they didn't know the reason because on the previous article they commented on it! thesouth
  • Score: 2

10:49pm Sat 4 Jan 14

elvisimo says...

sotonbusdriver wrote:
Probably changed his mind after a bombardment of Emails and an endless list of poor ratings on TRIP ADVISOR.
But it will not help them, the damage is done....
Trip Advisor don't remove postings.....
And because of the media attention it will have harmed the hotels reputation for years to come..
Don't believe everything you read.
[quote][p][bold]sotonbusdriver[/bold] wrote: Probably changed his mind after a bombardment of Emails and an endless list of poor ratings on TRIP ADVISOR. But it will not help them, the damage is done.... Trip Advisor don't remove postings..... And because of the media attention it will have harmed the hotels reputation for years to come..[/p][/quote]Don't believe everything you read. elvisimo
  • Score: 0

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