National Trust ignored our health problems over refund

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We were forced to cancel our National Trust cottage holiday due to be taken the first week in May. The site is closed but National Trust is refusing a refund and will only offer a credit note which is good for up to two years.

The problem is my husband is 82, and suffers from chronic health conditions. The chances of him being able to take a deferred holiday are not promising. If we want a cash refund the National Trust is insisting on a 50% cancellation charge. Its position seems totally unreasonable. For the record, we have been members for many years.
NF, by email

The National Trust’s cottage booking T&Cs are explicitly clear that it will not offer refunds if the property cannot be supplied due to events “outside our control”. I assume that the previous shutdown caused by the foot and mouth outbreak led to the clause’s inclusion.

The NT’s offer of a credit note to rebook within two years seems reasonable for most customers – but only if there is a good chance they will be able to use it. We asked the NT to take a second look at this given your husband’s medical position, and it has agreed to refund you the £929 charge.

“These guests should have been refunded without question due to their health concerns and we can only apologise for the delay in doing so. We’re now reviewing our support centre guidance to make sure this situation doesn’t arise again and that the individual circumstances of our guests are always considered,” it says.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions:

The Guardian

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