The Consumer Complaints Blog

Fighting the trained monkey in modern society.

November 20, 2010

County Holiday Homes, Prince Edward County

Filed under: Hotels — Editor @ 1:06 pm

Picton – ONTARIO

On August 22 my husband and I (world-wide well travelled seniors)) checked into a small rental cottage owned by Edna but run by Dave Theakston, 11494 Loyalist Parkway, Picton, Ontario and managed by County Holiday Homes (CHH) in Picton at 11682B Loyalist Parkway. (Prior to this, we had spent many great shorter holidays in The County over the past 20+ years – always a great experience.) Dave and Edna also own the Theakston B&B in Picton. This complaint concerns the rental unit only. We had rented this cottage for a week, as it listed all the amenities we were looking for : deck, air conditioning in bedroom , oscillating fan to move air from bedroom to main cottage, satellite TV, DVD, VCR ( all important because, due my husbands health problems, he sometimes can’t go outside when it gets hot and requires a cool environment), swimming, water cooler (this was in the cottage because CHH had recommended not drinking the water from the tap).

As it was important that these “amenities” were as advertised we began to check them as soon as we checked in at 3PM. While the cottage itself was quite nice, by 4 pm we had a long list of non-functioning “amenities” to ask Mr Theakston about, as a note he left asked us to call him with any problems. Guy sat on a chair on the deck and it broke. We couldn’t get the TV, DVD, VCR, Oscillating Fan to work and the water cooler took a lot of coaxing to dispense anything. Mr Theakstons’s response was that we must have done something wrong because when he had left the cottage earlier that day everything was working fine, and he’d meant to take away the deckchair. It was now 4pm Sunday night and he said he was busy at the B&B and this would also be the case the following morning, so we agreed that he’d be over before noon the next day to fix things. When he arrived, we immediately asked about swimming (his ad boasted that his waterfront cottage was “good for swimming, fishing, boating) but that day he informed us “no one wants to swim in Picton Bay” indicating that it was filled with weeds and junk. (Even if we’d wanted to brave it, there was literally no way to physically “get to” the water – there’s a steep drop off to the water, no access ladder..and a broken dock). As for the water cooler and the oscillating fan – he now claimed the previous tenants probably “ wrecked them. After over half an hour with the TV,DVD he also concluded that the previous tenants had done something there too. This, after during the course of that half hour blaming the remote which he planned to replace, and the satellite box which was “no good”. He did manage finally get the TV working…but only using “Guide” on the Bell Satellite. This meant no DVD or VCR., and we’d brought lots of “old classics” to watch in the evenings. Then, as he was leaving he added that he hoped everything was going to be okay, as he would be away until the following Saturday – 5 days! (We later learned from CHH once we were home, that this was not true – I can only assume that he just didn’t want to be bothered.)

We returned from lunch that day and settled in to watch TV as it was raining outside. Of course, it once again refused to work. Guy called the Dave and asked him point blank what he was going to do about the situation. The response…”I don’t know” followed by this pathetic, uncalled for and totally tasteless comment:

“I lost my daughter to cancer last year, and she never complained as much through her long suffering then you two have in the past day”

Guy informed him that we were merely trying to have access to the amenities that which were advertised and for which we had paid – $1200/week for a one bedroom cottage). Dave argued we should be out on the deck – not inside watching TV. Guy repeated the question and Dave said maybe he could get his techie son to come over and take a look. At this point Guy called CHH the first time to advise them on the entire situation (including Dave’s pending absence) , to ask them if any other rental units were available if this didn’t work out (our concern – what if the a/c failed and there was no one to contact). When Guy called back Dave said he hadn’t been able to reach his son, with no offer to try again or come over again himself. (This just before 5PM) At this point Guy advised the owner that we had no choice but to vacate the cottage the following morning, which we did. Guy then called back CHH to apprise them of this and were advised no other rentals were available. I made a third call to them the next morning to let them know we were gone so an inspection could be done. From this point a series of deteriorating e-mails between us and CHH resulted and they sent a $500 refund to us for our $1200 rental. We initially felt that a $857 (app 2/7 of the original rent) refund would be acceptable even though the promised amenities were not there. However the unprofessional actions of CHH ( who we contacted 3 times – never a mention that they provided a service to mediate and also effect repair ). Through e-mails first they said we hadn’t advised them when on the premises (wrong) and then they said we hadn’t given them enough time to fix things. (How could we? – we didn’t know they offered these services or we wouldn’t have left in the first place and nothing was mentioned to us by CHH in the 3 phone calls we made from this rental unit.) They said Dave had brought his son over the next morning and everything was now fine (?????) . On the Thursday afternoon they said we were free to come back to the cottage. Given the long distance involved and the very short time left when this offer was made, and given the way we’d been treated, this was not appealing in the least.

In conclusion, be wary of County Holiday Homes (who rent many, many cottages/homes throughout Prince Edward County and obviously defer to clients of the Theakson’s ilk), could cause you problems you don’t want or need. Many thanks to Joan (CHH) and Dave for making our special holiday so memorable!)

(PS – If you check the Theakston’s ad for the cottage now, please be advised that the “good for swimming” has been removed…CAN’T HAVE ANY FALSE ADVERTISING, CAN WE? )

This article was submitted by one of our readers. Penciltrick cannot make any claims as to its authenticity but the article was accepted on a good faith belief that it is an accurate and truthful account of the events listed.

4 Responses to “County Holiday Homes, Prince Edward County”

  1. County Holiday Homes Says:

    We apologize for the inconveniences that the Elliotts experienced during their stay at the PEC Sandbanks Getaway. They arrived on Sun afternoon and as indicated in their email, all of the issues that they reported were resolved by Tue at noon but unfortunately, the Elliotts had already chosen to leave. The owner was in the process of installing a dock at this property but the dock was not advertised when the Elliotts made their booking. The Elliotts were initially given a refund of $500 and a further refund of $357 as per their request.

  2. Dave Theakston Says:

    I recently discovered this letter on your web site and frankly I am very upset. I have fully paid the Elliot’s the monies that they requested and I in good faith I tried to help the Elliot’s with their problems. I made two trips to the cottage to try and solve the problems they were having. All Mr. Elliot had to do to get the TV and DVD working was to hit the input button but he must have missed that when I explained it to him. The dock he had mentioned was only purchased two days befor they arrived and I was waiting on a welder to secure it in place. The fan mention was working , but not moving from side to side and when I offered to bring another one down Mr Elliot said he would make due. I do appologize for the comment I made with respect to my late daughter, but she would be so disappointed the someone would leave her lovely cottage.There was no need for the Elliot’s to attack our B&B, nor County Holiday Homes either. We have been in this community for 45 years and have always been good citizens to this community.We have rented this cottage to many clients over the past 3 years and have had very good reviews.I would like you to remove this letter from your web page as it not only reflects poorly on us , but County Holiday Homes who provide a wonderful service to Prince Edward County. Once again I am sorry for my comments to the Elliot’s , but I think enough has been said and financial arrangements have been satisfactory to all. Thanks, Dave Theakston

  3. drzwi szklane Says:

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  4. Simone Says:

    I was looking for a rental around the area of Tweed and Thomasburg and maybe other surrounding villages. Our autistic son live in a group home in Thomasburg.
    This note is for Mr Dave Teakston.
    You have to understand that when you advertise certain amneties in your ad and charging for those amneties. They have to be available and in good working order. Otherwise, this is called false advertisement. If you have to take time to fix things you have to do them before tourists arrive. They have the right to expect what they paid for.
    I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your daughter.
    You are probably grieving right now which makes it difficult to deal with your business.
    Please take care of yourself. Take some time off, if you can. Find a grieving consellor or a group from church to help you with your grief because every facets of your life is affected right now.
    I know that you don’t know me and probably think I should mind my own business. Anger and sadness is part of Grief. A Stranger that cares. Simone

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