Holidays companies that discriminate

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by vlw43, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. vlw43

    vlw43 New member

    Sep 24, 2019
    #1 vlw43, Sep 24, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2019
    I am the main carer for my mum who has recently been diagnosed with Alzhiemers Disease. She started a kind of 'bucket list' of things she wanted to do before it was too late to enjoy them and asked if we would take her to the Isle of Wight. She spent many a happy holiday here with her late husband. We booked at a resort in Yarmouth for a 3-night stay. It was possibly the worst experience of my life!

    My mum also has severe arthritis, which means her mobility is impaired and she is unable to walk distance or navigate slopes and stairs.

    When my sister booked the holiday, she spoke directly with the resort to explain these difficulties, as well as emphasis her own debilitating condition, Parkinson’s Disease. The resort was fully aware before our arrival the extent of and difficulties my family faced with these disabilities.

    On arrival the gentleman attending the car park offered to take our baggage, but explained he was unable to assist my mother with a lift to the apartment due to ‘health and safety’. After checking in, we walked, uphill, my mum using a 4 wheeled walker, to an apartment which was situated a huge distance from the main facilities. My mum struggled to the apartment and barely navigated three stairs, before arriving at the room, where our baggage was dumped outside. After settling my mum inside we also noted that the shower had a step into it which was about the depth of a foot, rendering it useless to her.

    My sister attended the reception to explain that the accommodation was unsuitable, to be told that there was nothing that could be done, and a manager would come and talk to us all. In the meantime my mum, who was tired and overwrought from the walk, suggested she spend the entire 3 days sat in the room without a shower.

    A manager attended the room, to tell us we could not be moved and there was nothing they could do to help. He suggested the only possibility was that my mother use the sloped ramp at the end of the walkway rather than the 3 stairs. I explained the problem with the distance and tried to come up with potential solutions to make the situation work. I suggested that if they leant us a wheelchair it was feasible we could push my mother back and forth. He said my mum could hire a mobility scooter or she could ‘borrow’ the wheelchair and would have to bring it back to its station after every journey, something I was not willing to do as there was no guarantee it would be available when we wanted it and my mum could be stuck anywhere on the resort for an unlimited amount of time. He also said I could hire a wheelchair from an external company and he would give me a phone number to call. I asked if it was possible that he organise this for us, and suggested that the extra expense was rather unfair as the resort were fully aware of the issues before we arrived. He replied that he would not be willing to do this and I had to call them myself. I asked for someone more senior to attend.

    Our next ‘manager’ was worse than the first one, and I have never met anyone in customer service quite as rude, unhelpful and unprofessional as this 'guest relations manager’. Not only did she also refuse to help and refuse to get us a wheelchair, but she insisted on suggesting, possibly on more than 3 occasions, that my mum could hire a mobility scooter? I already made it abundantly clear to the other manager that she does not have the mental capacity to ‘drive’ anything and this would be very dangerous. The 'guest relations manager' then suggested I was lying and my sister had not spoken to The Resort about my mum's disability, her exact words were ‘we record calls’. So I replied ‘good’ and suggested she ‘crack on’ and go listen to that call recording right now and confirm what had been said before she continued to suggest I was a liar.

    Her parting shot as she walked away, calling over her shoulder, was ‘and SHE will need to show ID’, talking about my daughter who was with us. I cannot find enough words to express how disgusting and inappropriate her behaviour was.

    In between all this ridiculous pantomime my family were trying desperately to find alternative accommodation that would cater for my mums disability short notice.

    Our next hideous interaction was with possibly the duty manager? I was incredibly frustrated by the time he attended the room, particularly when his first comment was that we should hire a mobility scooter! He was absolutely useless, had nothing to say and nothing to add of any value. We did not even get an apology – from anyone! The situation was the same, the resort were not willing to help us in any way whatsoever, their answer was to just keep sending people of ever-increasing seniority to tell us the same thing. I told him to go and see if there was anything at all that could be done. He left and never returned.

    Thankfully we were able to find a hotel that would take us all at short notice and left the resort. I would like to say this was the end of this hideous experience and we were able to enjoy our holiday with our mum, but unfortunately, the saga continued. On the Sunday my mum became unwell and we had to organise a ferry home 1 day earlier than expected. The ferry company would not deal with us directly as the ferry had been booked by the resort, and the company was closed. This left us no choice but to call the resort and ask them to change the booking. They refused. They refused point-blank to help us at all because we had left early on the Friday. This was despite the fact we still had a ferry booking for the Monday as of Sunday afternoon because I asked at the ferry terminal. They refused to help a sick woman get home out of sheer spite and for reasons of punitive punishment because we complained. Disgusting.

    We are now out of pocket for another 3 night stay at an alternate hotel and a return ferry trip with two cars on the Sunday. I have never seen such outright discrimination first hand.

    Be very careful when booking a holiday for your vulnerable relatives and never go to this resort on the Isle of Wight.
  2. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    Welcome to DTP, @vlw43. Sorry you had such a horrible time and your holiday was ruined.
    You will find this to be a friendly and helpful forum as we all know the frustrations and stress as well as the occasional happier moments that go with caring for a loved one with dementia. If you need help or advice with anything, sorry I can't comment on the resort in question, then please keep in touch.
  3. Havemercy

    Havemercy Registered User

    Oct 8, 2012
    Hi I did actually try to reply to your comment yesterday but the Forum wouldn't accept my post as I suspect it was being moderated as Company names were mentioned in your original post? There are no words to describe the terrible treatment your mother has had to endure. My advice would be to publicise this somewhere like Twitter. I do know from experience that these social media sites are monitored by the companies and they don't like bad publicity! Also Trip Advisor - helpful for others intending to take their vulnerable family members there - ie don't risk it. I do hope that the next holiday your mum has will be more enjoyable than this ghastly experience. Best wishes.

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