TONY HETHERINGTON: Gas scare cut short our break in the Cotswolds
Tony Hetherington is Financial Mail on Sunday’s ace investigator, fighting readers corners, revealing the truth that lies behind closed doors and winning victories for those who have been left out-of-pocket. Find out how to contact him below.
Ms L.H. writes: I booked a break in the Cotswolds through Sykes Cottages to celebrate my sister’s birthday.
We called the emergency gas number and an engineer arrived. He advised that it was unsafe to remain, so we had to pack and drive home at midnight.
I asked Sykes Cottages for a refund and it replied that the owner had refused this.
Tony Hetherington replies: This is a shocking tale. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Just over a week ago, an inquest heard how a Burnley couple died after its fumes turned their Egyptian hotel room into a lethal gas chamber.
So who would gamble with their life when an alarm goes off? You did the right thing in getting out of the cottage and cutting short your break in Chipping Campden.
You also did the right thing when you called the emergency number. An engineer from Wales & West Utilities arrived very quickly and carried out his own checks. He gave you a full report and left a ‘Danger’ sign at the property.
But when you contacted Chester-based Sykes Cottages, which acts as a middleman in renting out cottages on behalf of their owners, its response was startling.