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Wensum Valley Hotel, an unhappy tale.

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firstly i'm really grateful for the time my fellow Mod Kimbers put in

getting our group bookings at wensum valley, this is not something

he should feel bad about. Please.

Furthermore i waited before posting as i did not want a dark cloud

hanging over a joyful threads of the event, but now is time i think.

Here goes:

Monday morning...

I showered, then Vic showered. We were both in the bedroom when we heard

an almighty 'SMASH' from the bathroom, so we went to look and see what it was.

The round glass globe of the light fitting had fallen off, leaving hot smashed glass

all over the bathroom, obviously very scary, and had it happened just two minutes

earlier then Vicki (or myself) would have undoubtedly been cut to pieces.

I used the bath towel to sweep most of the glass to the corner of the room so we

could still get to the sink and toilet, then went to breakfast. I know we probably

mentioned it to the people we had breakfast with so some of you know this far.

When we went back to the room to get our stuff and check out, the last thing i did was

to sweep up the last few bits i could see with the towel, then i used the toilet, brushed teeth,

shook the towel to get the glass out of it and left the glass in a pile by the toilet. I did not

want a cleaner to walk in unaware and get cut so i swept it all in a pile then went to check

out, and to complain.

(I must point out there were several minor issues we had that pale

beside this so i choose to omit them as casually as the manager did)

We asked for the manager.

He came some time later. The girl said he was 'on the phone' but we could see him sat

behind a net curtain chatting to his staff for all the time we were waiting. We explained

what happened and right from the start there was no concern. He went to the room to

'see for himself' as he did not 'understand how the light could fall off'.

He came back with a bit of the light. 'if it fell then why is there not glass everywhere?'

I had already explained i'd used a towel to at least make it safe for us to use and to

get our bathroom stuff. This was very strange. I had told him i had swept it all up but

he was claiming as all the glass was in one corner that i did not match to my 'story' of

it having fallen. I could see from this point the guy had some problems.

'If you used the toilet, why is there glass all over it?'

Of course this was from me shaking the towel to empty the glass out into the corner,

the very last thing i did was pick up bits of glass from the carpet by the bathroom door

and toss them beside the toilet, i obviously left the bathroom looking nothing like it did

when the thing fell, he could not accept or understand this. I told him the i used the towel

to clear up as this was important to me (i did not want the maid to pick it up or put it in

the laundry).

'I don't believe what you are telling me'

Then he holds up the bit of glass.

'you've whipped this with a towel and broken it, and now you are making up this story'

I must point out from the start the was no concern whatsoever of the possible injury

either me or vic could have got, he simply did not give a shit and was rude right from

the outset. I guess if i was one of his weekly golf playing regulars then i'd have got an

ounce of respect, but here there was none.

He called me a liar to my face while i was telling the truth.

While vicki was talking to him he banged the bill on the desk, said to the girl 'This needs

paying in full' and walked away on us (something he now denies when bibs called him)

and went back to his office (to quickly re-appear once we left it would seem).

The girl at the desk was obviously very embarrassed by her boss's actions and said

'what do you want to do'. Vicki was crying by this point and said she was too upset but

did not want to pay in full. The girl said that was OK and she would phone us in the

evening to sort it out. The girl was really nice with us i must say, and very sympathetic

to Vicki, however she could obviously not overule her boss, which is a shame.

Despite a fantastic weekend, Vicki left wensum valley hotel very angry and in tears.

We did not pay. We waited for them to call.

All week.

On friday, Vicki found out why they had not called:

At 10.30 am, a few minutes after we had left wensum valley, they had charged vicki's

card for the full amount, despite being told she was not willing to pay.

Bibs has since called them and was told by the owner that i was indeed a liar and

that i was trying to scam them into getting some money off the room.

Of course, that weekend the money i spent on fuel getting there and back, the money

i spent in the hotel on drinks and meals would be about twenty times the token 10% off

the room i'd have thought polite to offer as a gesture (even without the concern), so the actual

amount is worth nothing to me, and no apology is required or valid for the damage done.

Neither Myself of Vicki will be staying there for the next factory event.


...Of course, to give this thread a balanced nature, you can all assume that on monday

morning before breakfast, Vicki and Myself stood underneath the glass bathroom fitting,

whipping it with bath towels, in the hope it would break and we could get money off.

Because we're that kind of people, right?

Sorry to post this guys, but had to share eventually. :thumbup:

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Just to re-affirm, I've spoken to the Manager (in fact he's the owner of the hotel) here and he can't understand any other reason for this dangerous happening other than the light being broken on purpose to effect a discount.

He told me that my friend is a liar, that's not exactly the best customer service I've ever heard and in fact I'm pretty disgusted by the owners treatment and attitude towards his guests!

We'll not be at the Wensum in the future, that's guaranteed.

To be fair, I've had a few chats with Kimbers about the hotel before this situation arose and personally I think it's overpriced and a bit shit so this is the icing on the cake. The bar staff are great and the car park is very handy but other than that we'll going to be better off elsewhere next time. :thumbup:

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We stayed at Dunston Hall for Tony's birthday. It cost about ten quid a night extra.

Sorry to hear about your experience Paul. Unfortunately I feel you shouldn't have bothered to clear up any of the mess, but let housekeeping sort it out. That's their job. Is the WV part of a chain/franchise? How much higher does the management go?

In the meantime contact Vicki's card supplier and get the payment stopped/chargedback - explain why and they'll be obliged to.

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This made an interesting read.

Graham and I had a few problems with our room when we checked in but the girls on reception were very good to sort this out for us.

I have a bit of a problem with the way some of the staff members talk to each other - tending to be of a belittling nature, very unprofessional but also incredibly unkind. It is also, although very convenient, pretty expensive.

I know somewhere that is pleasant to stay at, big car park, swimming pool etc (and golf), not sure Simon350 can set fire to his chest hair there though! :thumbup:

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erm.. not to add fuel to the fire but, my little bit of stomach problems .. well it came from the carvery, docs confirmed it friday i didnt want to post it because i thought everyone was ok with the hotel etc, i know my acute i.b.s makes me more prone but after speaking with the doc and going through what i ate the day prior, and that day it has to be down to the food i ate that night and to be honest .. that was one bloody big arse turkey!!!

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In the meantime contact Vicki's card supplier and get the payment stopped/chargedback - explain why and they'll be obliged to.

I have spoken to Mastercard and they said they are unable to help. I actually rang them on the Monday after leaving the hotel to ask them to block the payment (already too late as it happens). The guy said that was fine and he'd note it, but they'd already taken the money at this point (a fact he negelected to mention). I rang back yesterday after I'd checked my online banking and spoke to their disputes department. The woman there said that they couldn't help as once I'd given my card details (when paying the deposit) that counted as authorising them to use my card and there would have been no way to block a payment. She also said that as it was a service rather than goods, that I could not pursue a dispute/refund through them but must go through the courts.

However, I never authorised the bill on Monday so I would be interested to know if I have any legal standing with this. I'm not sure I fully trust the card people's advice. I obviously did stay at the hotel, but consider that my stay (and many others' from the sound of it) was less than 100% and I object to being made to pay the full charge, especially as they were supposed to call me to sort out the bill, but then just took the money 20 minutes after I had gone.

If anyone can advise, I would be very grateful. Backmarker has already given me some great advice on what I can do next (big thanks), but all advice from those in the know would be appreciated. I have no intention of letting this drop and allowing that idiot to think I am some kind of room-trashing, lying scammer on the make.

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My old man works as a maintenance manager and always gets shit off his boos, I've read some to the e-mails he sent to him and they quite frankly are full of spelling errors and all sorts of mistakes - so perhaps it runs in the business with this kinda work ?

Nice to hear the 'real' workeers were good about it, no suprise there really - the lady paid a pittence on the desk probably has 10x the common sense her boss has on the higher wage - but the fact they called you a liar was a step too far imo - you dont do that to paying customers !

I must amdit if it'd happened to me I wouldn't have asked for a discount - it could ahve been just one of those things, the lamp was replaced and the light not fitted back on just right - I understand it might have cut you and all but as I say one of those things and it didn't so alls well that ends well ?

Even so doesn't excuse the managers behavour - end of the day you could have just walkeded away and just left the thing boshed on the floor and not known a thing about it so imo there's no ppoint to even try and accuse you of anything.

fact they couldn't even sort it out afterwards sucks the big one too - sad, but not worth getting upset over (sorry to hear vic was upset), they're the twats, not you.

So I guess we're elsewhere next time around then ? haha cracks me up - the fact 2-3 key people wont use the place anymore now means the rest of us will follow thats how much business lost over the sake of a couple of quid ? pmsl, remember, the customer is always right !!

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Sorry to hear that Paul, but based on what I read about the Wensum at "diabolical, "Rude and arrogant staff" etc I'm really not surprised, and to be honest this was the reason we chose not to stay there. What you should all do is register at tripadvisor and fill out a review listing your issues and give it a rating warning others to go elsewhere and hit the Wensum where it hurts, against their balance sheet.

Reviews of Wensum Valley Hotel

FWIW we stayed at the Wayford Bridge Hotel ( about 30 miuntes out of Norwich, the staff couldn't have been more helpful even opening the kitchen for us at 10:30PM after they closed an hour prior. I know we've only meet once, but from that night I know you and Viki are good people and would never do anything like they accused you of.

Vote with your feet and stay elsewhere next time ....

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!
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I must amdit if it'd happened to me I wouldn't have asked for a discount

Discount or the amount is a token gesture, and had the guy been polite,

concerned and generally friendly then of course it would have been 'one

of those things'.

Had i damaged anything then i'd have the same approach, ask to see the

manager before paying and offer to pay for the damage.

Bizarrely, about a year ago the glass cover on our cloakroom smashed on

it's own and fell on the tiled floor, i can confirm that neither of us were towel

whipping it at the time, it was indeed 'one of those things'.

Nah, it's the 'I just can't see that happening how you describe' rudeness as

he went to inspect the damage thats the issue. For the record he's the owner

so thats where the buck stops. My room bill was over

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TBH It doesn't surprise me from the hotel. As some of you may know Carolyn and I wrote a side of A4 on the back of the comments sheet for the Hotel. Considering this is the second time we have used this hotel (and if the service had been decent we would likely use it again for factory events) I am disgusted by the attitude of the manager. It would seem they have a serious problem with handling customers.

I am sorry to here the distress that they have put you through on this.

It may very well be worth a chat with trading standards as I would have thought that what they have done with your card is not strictly legal. Also as you hadn't actually asked for any money off the room I can't see what his problem was. TBH it may also be worth a note to the AA/RAC and other people who provide a hotel guide (where they get there stars from anyway) as I am sure they would be interested in the comments we could all come up with regarding the service (read lack of) that was provided.

I'm also sorry for the organisers of the event as well as you guys did excently on the weekend to make things go as smoothly as possible.

You have our backing!!!!!!!!!!!

grrrrrrrrrr Mr angry!


Alan Croft

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87 Turbo Esprit HC

2000 Elise Sport 160

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I stayed at the Quality hotel when we went on a stag doo and it was not bad, (the one in Birmingham is shite) Nothing flash, but large car park, not bad priced rooms. swimming pool etc. and the night porter does not mind opening the bar at 4 in the morning :thumbup: No Golf. but its cheap. (Ok if you just want somewhere to get your head down)

Dunston hall is nice but pricey. (Ok if you want a romantic weekend)

Regarding your problem I always understood it to be that if you paid a small amount then any problems become a Civil matter etc.. whilst it is sorted. Also if they are AA/RAC rated might be worth contacting them.

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This is an appalling unthought out response from the manager/owner. He should be counting himself lucky that neither of you were in the bathroom when the glass fell. But then again, by the sound of things, that would suggest he was capable of more rational thinking and clearly he is not.

I hope Vicki, that there can be some recourse to the charges on your credit card. I am also wondering if there is an official vehicle of complaint to deal with issues such as these. Should Health and Safety be informed of the light fittings? Do they conform to BSS? When you are throwing over

Just because you can, does'nt mean you should.

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Sorry to hear that Paul, but based on what I read about the Wensum at "diabolical, "Rude and arrogant staff" etc I'm really not surprised, and to be honest this was the reason we chose not to stay there. What you should all do is register at tripadvisor and fill out a review listing your issues and give it a rating warning others to go elsewhere and hit the Wensum where it hurts, against their balance sheet.

Reviews of Wensum Valley Hotel

Thanks for that Paul, i will do that in a few days (something tells me this is not over

as Vic's getting all legal and angry and is not ready to stop!). I ask PLEASE for anyone

else unhappy (or happy, lets be fair) to add to this review page, it won't cost a penny

and it was enough to put Paul off! so it does have some clout. Just keep it down to your

own truthful experience and not mine and Vics. Despite what this guy thinks i'm fair

and honest, and i don't want a hate campaign.

One thing i deeply regret was not hooking up with you again Paul,

hope to do so again mate.


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you'd think he'd know that?

No, that's why he's the (bad) manager :thumbup:

Paul I dunno if I got the chain of events right - I did read that after a bottle of red :thumbup:

All I as saying is that I would have just told them one of the lights just smashed, but then again he sounds like he would have gone on the same rampage anyways. He still had minus rights to talk to you like that considering you had a pretty good story vs whipping the light with a towel lol (you youngsters, I dunno, would you act like that I your own home ?)

TBH I have no time for people like that who treat the paying customer like shit, I've had mroe than my share of run ins with idiots in my time - all I can suggest is getting discounts from them is usualy like trying to suck blood from a stone (and I've tried), best way to get your own back is to complain as you've done.

I remember when we were at the last Hethel meet some porter peen-arse (then again it could have been some plonker playing a prank) called my room at 4am to tell me my car had no number plate...ummm thanks for that what do you think I am going to do at 4am about it !!! Fancy waking me up at that time to tell me that....prick. I was tempted to have a grumble about it, pinch a towel or something but it's just more hassle than it's worth esp when you run into some customer un-orientated knob like that !

I've been in better places & worse places tbh.

I hope you told them why we wont be going back Bibs and that Simon wont be laying on the entertainment there agian for anything less that his usual fee !!!

Sorry to hear you had a bad time, dont get upset about it - just get even, if we're all staying elsewhere next time then job done.

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Hi Everyone

Shirley and I had a great time on the weekend. The hotel is average but expensive, the staff were nice (no dealings with the manager) but hotel had its advantages parking for cars and a bit more than your average travel inn (golf, leisure centre ,bar.) We left home on the Friday and stayed over night in an Innkeepers lodge at York which had a deal of

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Wensum overpriced and overated, I wont be staying again.

Edited by esprit350

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Paul, I'm disgusted your card company said they couldn't help.

You may want to check with the local citizen's advice burea, or trading standars as metioned earlier, but also look at the below.

AFAIR. If I remmeber correctly then the point of law is. The amount was over

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Paul & Vic, as discussed very sorry to hear what went wrong. I had tried calling Basil several times after I found out what happened and, he knows me too well and avoided me.

We have recently had a problem there with our Business Network meetings and have moved to another hotel. This happened after we were all booked in so it was too late for me to tell everyone and I just got on with having a good time. Our problem was also with basil, the owner. He wanted to increase our breakfast charges from

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I am so sorry that this seems to have tarnished everyones enjoyment.

It really was the best place to fit in so many of us.

Don't you DARE apologise, you pinkily-clad-chopper-riding-esprit-driving top guy!



Tarnished? Nah!

Would not let it (him)! See the good threads and the fun chat of my unphotogenic

mug. Hell we had a great weekend, as did everyone else. You have nothing to feel

bad about (hence the disclaimer at the very start), fact is, you bought this guy a LOT

of business at what seemed a quiet time (did we not fill the bar, were we not over half

those dining on the sunday, and more so on the saturday). He let you down mate, but

as you mention he has before i feel 100% less embarrassed about posting this in the

members area (folks, we discussed this in the Mod room first), as i worried this would

blight what i assumed was a flawless relationship between yourself and wensum.

Want to echo this to everyone, me and Vic had a great weekend away with nice

people, nothing takes anything away from that at all.


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Not to make light of the situation, but a bad hotel run by someone called Basil! Say it aint so!!

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!
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I thought it was a joke too but it's true! :no

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For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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Basil :no figures

Is he really the owner, or is that what HE says he is, and is really a manager. these kind of places are usually run by consortiums and the owners only ever inspect occasionally when there is a problem.

but if no-one can report problems , they never know...

can you see an owner turning up to work and sitting in an office by reception.

anyway, i can remember Paul and Vicky saying about the light at brekky (about the only thing i can)

the rooms are overpriced but clean.

i asked for a double, and got a twin

the floorboards were so creaky in the hall ways which seems to transmit straight into the rooms.

breakfast was not organised unless you loved toast.

on the plus side, the bar lad was great and the evenings entertainment was tearfully funny (thanks Si :))

and the company of fellow lotus drivers cannot be topped :)

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