First of all I would like to express my sincerest apologies for the cancellation of the tour. We rarely cancel tours but when we do so it is always with great reluctance and regret.
We operate guided tours for small groups in small buses where the driver of the bus is also the tour guide. This enables us to deliver a personal and informative tour which differentiates us from other tour companies. But this means we cannot simply employ a driver to conduct the tour.
Our tour programme is compiled six months in advance and driver-guides are allocated to each tour at that time. Unfortunately, cancellations do happen for unforeseen circumstances, such as vehicle breakdown, sickness, or, on this occasion, urgent family matters for the allocated driver-guide. We are a small company and have a limited pool of driver-guides that we can fall back on but on this rare occasion none of our usual driver-guides were available to step in to conduct the tour. In 10 days it would be impossible to employ someone else, train them up and expect them to deliver the quality of tour that we guarantee from our usual driver-guides in that time frame.
Since being listed on TripAdvisor four years ago we have worked hard to deliver a high quality tour each and every time, as reflected in the positive reviews we have received, so we would never offer a tour that we know would not be commensurate with the high standards we have set. For this reason we thought the most appropriate course of action was to cancel the tour giving our passengers as much notice as possible to reschedule their tour with us and to rearrange their weekend. We certainly do not cancel tours due to low passenger numbers 10 days in advance of a tour since, at this time of year, the majority of our passengers book within a week of travel anyway.
Our terms and conditions state that in the event of cancellation by us passengers are, of course, entitled to a full refund of the monies they have paid for the tour but they are not entitled to any compensation to cover any expenses or losses brought about by the cancellation. We recommend that passengers have their own insurance to cover themselves in such an event. These terms and conditions are in line with industry standards in the UK and elsewhere.
However, these booking terms and conditions are laid down as general rules but we consider each claim on its merits. Unfortunately, by your cutting short the telephone call to us we had no chance to work out a solution. As a gesture of goodwill I immediately sent you an email to offer a refund of the train fare that your friend had purchased if he was to postpone joining the tour until a later date. Since then I have offered him a refund of his train fare unconditionally. As I write I have yet to receive an acknowledgement from you of my offer or any evidence from your travelling companion of the train ticket purchased. You, your husband and your travelling companion were all refunded in full for the cost of the tour as soon as you informed us you wanted a refund rather than move your booking to another tour date.
As a final point, your claim that I was rude to you is inaccurate. I would never speak to our clients in such a way. I simply told you what the booking terms and conditions stated.