A message from our CEO

Published Friday 17th April 09:57

I hope you are all safe and well. 

Covid-19 continues to change all our lives, and once again I want to thank you all for your support during such a challenging time. 

My team have been working non-stop adapting processes and dealing with unprecedented volumes of customer and owner requests – all are at home safe, but adjusting to a very different work environment. This all takes time and I am sorry that a number of you may feel frustrated if you are waiting to hear from us. 

I wanted to give you an update on the progress we have been making:

- We have been able to reopen our contact centre, which now has more than 250 of our staff working tirelessly to support our customers and owners

- We continue to answer thousands of calls each day, and at peak we were presented with over 10,000 calls

- We are replying to over 3,000 emails each day 

- Over 2,000 cash refunds have been actioned for amounts transferred back to us from owners with account credits being added for our fees, when we gain approval from property owners  

- Over 48,000 customers have amended their holiday dates with no admin fees 

- We have built several new tools to aid the online amendments process, quick return of funds and application of ex-gratia credit notes

- We are in constant contact with our owner community and have updated our FAQ’s in line with the latest government advice. We are also working on providing our owners with updates on the various government schemes via the portal. More to follow on this over the next few days

We are proud to be working with over 2,000 of our amazing owners to support the Homes for NHS initiative, which provides accommodation for NHS staff, particularly in rural communities at a time when they are most needed. We are also working on other initiatives to help recognise the incredible support of all hero key workers. A huge thank you to all involved. 

I recognise just how disappointed many of you were to be unable to have your break with us as a result of the government’s stay at home measures, which have been extended for at least three more weeks.

We have always wanted to offer as much flexibility as possible; the option to amend holiday dates with no admin fee or to take a refund, once gaining the property owner’s approval. We intend to maintain this approach going forward, to provide reassurance for those of you that wish to plan ahead.

As a team we are working hard, I know we are not getting it right first time for all of you and I apologise. As an agent we are working to facilitate options between customers and owners as quickly as we can. Unfortunately given the volume of bookings we have as a large agent this takes time, but we are working as fast as we can. 

The impact of Covid-19 has been felt far and wide and has already had a devastating impact to many. Tourism has been hit hard but I am confident when the time is right UK staycations are likely to rebound positively. At this point we do not know exactly when this will be, however we will continually review the government’s advice, and seek guidance from our owners and our customers. 

Everyone I speak to is looking forward to getting back together again, reconnecting with family and friends, spending precious time together and making memories.

Once again thank you for your support, we will continue to adapt as we learn more and we look forward to serving you all. 

Stay safe,

Graham Donoghue