Hotel criticised over widower treatment agrees to refund

A hotel that refused to refund a widower who booked an anniversary party despite his wife's death has now agreed to reimburse Eric Clifton. The Lysses House Hotel in Fareham also agreed to make a donation to a cancer charity nominated by Mr Clifton.

Widower 'shall be glad when it's all done and dusted'

A widower said he "shall be glad when it's all done and dusted" after a hotel reimbursed him for his 50th wedding anniversary party following his wife's death.

Eric Clifton booked a party at the Lysses House Hotel in Fareham to celebrate his golden wedding anniversary but the venue initially refused to return a £700 upfront payment when he had to cancel the event.

Colin Mercer, the owner of the hotel, reimbursed Mr Clifton today and agreed to make a donation to a cancer charity.

Nina Nannar reports:

Hotel owner shakes hands with widower

Colin Mercer (right), the owner of The Lysses House Hotel in Fareham, shakes hands with Eric Clifton. Credit: ITV News

Colin Mercer, the owner of The Lysses House Hotel in Fareham, shook hands with Eric Clifton after he agreed to reimburse the widower for an anniversary party after he was forced to cancel it because his wife died.

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Widower 'will return to hotel' after reimbursement

by Nina Nannar - ITV News Correspondent
The entrance to Lysses House Hotel in Hampshire. Credit: Lysses House/Facebook

Bereaved widower Eric Clifton says he never thought he would ever set foot again in the hotel which refused him a refund on the deposit he paid for his Golden wedding anniversary party, cancelled after his wife died from cancer.

But now after the owner reimbursed him he says he will come back as it's a hotel with many happy memories for him and his late wife. Owner Patrick Mercer says sorry.

Hotel criticised over widower treatment agrees to refund

A hotel that refused to refund a widower who booked an anniversary party despite his wife's death has now agreed to reimburse Eric Clifton.

The Lysses House Hotel in Fareham also agreed to make a donation to a cancer charity nominated by Mr Clifton, who said he was happy the issue had been resolved.

Colin Mercer, the owner of the hotel, told ITV News he was "gutted" the disagreement had got out of hand.

Meridian

Widower criticises 'hard-hearted' hotel over refund

A Hampshire Army veteran, who was refused a refund for an anniversary party at a hotel after his wife died from cancer, said the owner was "hard-hearted."

Eric Clifton told ITV Meridian that he was "so cross" when he discovered that he would not be getting a refund from the hotel.

The 78-year-old from Swanmore paid the initial deposit of £160 with a further payment of £535 to the Lysses House Hotel in Fareham.

However, eight weeks before the event, Mrs Clifton, 72, died from cancer and Eric was forced to cancel the party.

Read: Hotel owner urges widower to contact him

Hotel owner says he will agree deal with widower

The owner of a hotel that refused to refund an Army veteran for an anniversary party after his wife died has told ITV News they will "come to some sort of agreement" with him or that he "will make a charitable donation."

The entrance to Lysses House Hotel in Hampshire. Credit: Lysses House / Facebook

Colin Mercer said his staff had not been made aware of the reasons behind the cancellation of the July event and only became aware of the circumstances after a bad review on a hotel review website.

He said: "This happened in June for an event in July, five months later there was a bad review on TripAdvisor. In all those months no one approached us."

Mr Mercer added: "I do feel I haven't been able to put our points across. I'm upset about it, I wouldn't want this to happen to anybody.

"If Mr Clifton wants to contact us we can come to some sort of agreement, if he doesn't we will make some charitable donation."

Mr Clifton booked the hotel for his 50th wedding anniversary but eight weeks before the party his wife, Joyce, died from cancer.

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Hotel advises customers to insure against death

Nicola Stafford, front-of-house manager at Lysses House Hotel, said that Mr Clifton had read and signed the hotel's terms and conditions when he had booked the venue and they were unable to refund the deposit as they had been unable to re-let the function room.

She said:

It's unfortunate and we understand he is upset and angry but we cannot give him preferential treatment.

Our terms and conditions are standard across the industry and we would advise anybody booking a function to take out insurance for any such eventuality very much as if you had booked a holiday.

More: Widower refused anniversary refund despite wife's death

Hotel's Facebook page flooded with negative reviews

The Lysses House Hotel Facebook page has been flooded with negative reviews.

Internet users angry with Lysses House Hotel's treatment of widower Eric Clifton have flooded the venue's Facebook page with one star reviews and negative comments.

"Your treatment of an OAP veteran who has just lost his wife is sickening," wrote one user.

"Heartless and cruel. Ashamed you are in my town," wrote another.

More: Widower refused anniversary refund despite wife's death

Hotel owner on cancellation: 'Frankly, it's not our fault'

The entrance to Lysses House Hotel in Hampshire. Credit: Lysses House / Facebook

Hotel owner Colin Mercer told the Daily Mail that he could not give refunds for cancellations that were not his fault.

"We were very upset that Mrs Clifton died," he said. "It's standard practice in the whole of the hotel business.

"We’ve committed the money - we’ve allocated resources, everything else... We have a wedding booking and sometimes the couple break up. Frankly, it’s not our fault.

"The Cliftons were booking the entire downstairs facility. If we manage to re-let, which we weren’t able to, then we refund."

More: Widower refused anniversary refund despite wife's death

Widower refused hotel party refund after wife's death

An Army veteran who booked a party at a hotel for his 50th wedding anniversary has spoken of his bitterness after the venue refused to return a £700 upfront payment when he had to cancel the event when his wife died.

Eric Clifton, 78, of Swanmore, Hampshire, had paid an initial deposit of £160 with a further payment of £535 to the Lysses House Hotel in Fareham.

But eight weeks before the event, Joyce Clifton, 72, died from cancer and her widower was forced to cancel the party.

When he contacted the hotel, he was told that both sums that he had paid were a deposit and he could not receive any refund.

The former warrant officer in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, who has two children and five grandchildren, said:

I feel rather bitter about it.

They said that all of the amount paid was deposit, it couldn't be refunded and we were told at the time.

I am pretty cross. We had been there several times before - I won't be going back there again.

– Eric Clifton