I booked the venue for a tea party for 60 people. This is the third time my family have booked this venue this year for a tea party and have not had any problems prior but I was informed they are under new management.
Generally speaking the tea party is a great deal for a get together, it’s a nice venue and good for people to catch up and talk.
Unfortunately my most recent experience had a host of issues which I can only put down to new management. I will mention a few.
1. Extra charge: I booked the venue for 60 adults but had some under 5’s (which are free) so I asked the venue if they could set some extra seats, I explained it was for under 5’s and that there should be no extra charge under their terms. The day before my event (Saturday) I got an email which I didn’t read until the event (Sunday) which said I had been charged for the additional 5 seats at £7.50 per head. I tried explaining it was for children and not for adults as mentioned in the phone conversation. They said I had confirmed this but they had nothing in writing to say I confirmed this all they had was there email charging me the additional amount the day before, all other emails were very clear and have the agreed amount of £248. They were not willing to listen to reason even after I said you can remove the seats if this is causing a problem but they said it was too late. I was on the verge of cancelling the whole thing and telling all of my 60 guests that we would have to go somewhere else when they finally backed down when they realised I was not going
to be swindled.
2. Free for under 5’s: Children under 5 are free for the tea party. What best western mean by this is that children will not be provided for in anyway which means no additional seating, no food or anything. In my view this is false advertising saying children are free to come to the tea party but not have any food or seating for them.
3. Manager not available: The manager was not able to be contacted as it was Saturday, which I understand as everyone needs a day off. But when the staff wanted to call the manager (in front of me) they did and were able to relay what the manager said but when I wanted to talk to the manager personally it was not possible. This caused many problems as they had double standards saying the manager has confirmed the policy and I would be charged even if I cancel the event but I would not be able to resolve this until Monday when the manager was back.
4. Tables: as we have used this venue before we know the layout and how it looks, but when we arrived this time it was laid out differently. The round tables were upstairs and rectangle tables downstairs laid out in a U shape like a business meeting. We asked for this to be changed but they said we had confirmed this layout prior (which we didn’t). This issue was not resolved but I was fed up at this point and let it go. less