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To think that the YHA has let us down badly

(49 Posts)
AllDirections Thu 28-Mar-13 10:06:30

A large group of us, all single parent families, booked to stay at York YHA this weekend. It's been closed for months due to refurbishment so due to open tomorrow. We got a call on Mon/Tues to say that although the hostel would be open some of the communal areas wouldn't be ready, namely the bar and restuarant. I then spoke to the hostel directly and they said that they expected all areas to be open. Yesterday I got a phone call to say that the work isn't finished and they're not going to open at all shock That's less than 48 hours notice.

Some of our group didn't get their phone call till this morning and one person is already packed up ready to set off today due to the distance. People were coming from all over the country. The YHA can't offer alternative beds in other hostels and won't help us to find other accomodation. They just keep saying they're deeply apologetic, which isn't helping us to find accomodation for 60-70 people! I know these things happen but their attitude is appalling. Some parents have had to arrange to have their child for the weekend, some have paid for kennels and lots of people have booked and paid for the attractions in York. We've been saving for this for months, we all work hard and we were looking forward to seeing our friends and having some quality time with our children.

lottiegarbanzo Thu 28-Mar-13 16:16:21

I find it hard to belive there is not accommodation available in York that would suit this party. I do believe that the YHA would not be willing to pay what it would cost.

If all that is available to this party is a refund for actual costs, given the group's size and the cost or suitability of any alternative accommodation, I would expect a sigificant good will gesture in addition, such as a free weekend at a hostel to be offered to them. It's the least the YHA could do.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 28-Mar-13 15:56:27


The folks at the YHA have seen this thread and have asked us to post up the following statement on their behalf:

"We apologise for the disruption and disappointment we have caused to those people planning to travel to York this weekend. Despite our best efforts, the last few critical days of our £2million refurbishment have not gone to plan with the unprecedented weather we have had this week.

"Since this morning, difficulties with the fire alarm system at YHA York have forced us to close the site to all guests. At the final stage of commissioning the fire alarm we have discovered a fault and we have decided to close the hostel until Friday next week at the earliest.

"Customer safety is the first priority for YHA and we do not compromise on issues if there is any risk to our guests.

"We appreciate the impact on all of our guests this weekend and are trying everything we can to lessen this.

"YHA has a phone number for anyone affected to call 01629 592700 and our contact centre will be specially opened tomorrow.

"We will make full refunds for any accommodation booked with us, and do everything possible to make full amends for any additional costs incurred, such as travel or attractions that cannot be recovered. We will do this as quickly as possible.

"We have been trying to find alternative accommodation in or close to York. As you can imagine over a bank holiday weekend this has been difficult. If an alternative hostel anywhere within our network may be suitable for any of our guests we will be happy to welcome them there if rooms are available. Please contact us on 01629 592700 if this may be an option.

"Once again our sincere apologies for the distress caused. We do hope that we can welcome any of our guests affected into YHA York or any of our other hostels soon. If anyone booked this weekend has not yet been in touch with our team, please dont hesitate to call us on 01629 592700."

kim147 Thu 28-Mar-13 14:14:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PhyllisDoris Thu 28-Mar-13 14:12:48

It won't be at all the same, but if you don't mind roughing it, you may be able to hire a church hall, scout/guide hut or similar at short notice. We sleepover all the time in village halls with Brownies. Facilities will be basic, (airbeds, sleeping bags, basic bathroom etc) but cheap, and you're only there to sleep.
Most halls of that type would sleep a combination of 20-30 adults/kids.

AllDirections Thu 28-Mar-13 14:09:13

Some of the other families are going to book some caravans on a Haven site but it's not for me. I like to eat communally and to sit and have a glass of wine on an evening in the communal areas. I like the children to have space to move around without bothering people. I like the family atmosphere that we create by staying in YHAs because that's what's missing in my life.

I'm really upset and the children are not happy. DD1 was meeting up with her best friend and DD2 was looking forward to spending time with her boyfriend. We've been counting down the weeks. If only we'd known a couple of weeks ago as we could probably have found another YHA to stay in sad

LessMissAbs Thu 28-Mar-13 13:59:15

That's pathetic. Really pathetic. I have some holiday apartments I let through an agency, and its in my terms and conditions that I have to pay the cost of alternative accommodation once I have taken the booking. The YHA is a massive organisation compared to me, and if they had alternative accommodation usually used for schools, it should have been offered straight away. Alternatively, they shouldn't have taken your booking in the first place should building work have been likely to overrun.

The attitude is appalling as well.

kim147 Thu 28-Mar-13 13:54:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AllDirections Thu 28-Mar-13 13:50:18

I was one of the first to be informed and I was given 46 hours notice. Some of the others only got phone calls this morning! It's not acceptable.

We found one place that would open for us but the cost is nearly twice what we'd paid for the YHA and the location wasn't where we wanted to be. The location we could have managed with but since we won't get our refunds from the YHA for up to 4 weeks the cost is a problem.

ArseAche Thu 28-Mar-13 13:33:02

HopeFloats - that decision should have been made well before the 48 hours they were given.

lottiegarbanzo Thu 28-Mar-13 13:32:09

All problems that could have been anticipated more than 48 hours before opening, hopefloats. This is a major project with terrible project management.

hopefloats Thu 28-Mar-13 13:06:06

What if there is no water supply, or the work to the gas main hasn't been signed off? There may be a very serious reason why they can't open. They really aren't staying shut just to inconvenience 70 single parents.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 28-Mar-13 12:16:40

Don't get me wrong. I love Helvellyn, but preferably in the afternoon with a race to the bottom before night sets in and straight into a pub to warm up not leaving until the early hours and then oh so very quietly letting myself into the dorm.

AllDirections Thu 28-Mar-13 11:53:43

Actually I remember stifling the giggles all evening at everyone else. You know, a lone traveller strumming along on his guitar and singing to himself. Pissed myself as he hiked off into the morning mist with the guitar strapped to his back pack with a saucepan hanging off it.

I'm feeling all nostalgic now!

Where the uni is closed this weekend but we're trying to get the YHA to talk them into opening for us.

ArseAche Thu 28-Mar-13 11:47:45

We were always grateful that she never proceeded to put her handcrafted tie dye knitted pants on the radiator too.

Actually I remember stifling the giggles all evening at everyone else. You know, a lone traveller strumming along on his guitar and singing to himself. Pissed myself as he hiked off into the morning mist with the guitar strapped to his back pack with a saucepan hanging off it.

Whereisthesnow Thu 28-Mar-13 11:46:12

So sorry to hear this op.
Just to say try the university - they let out rooms in halls of residence during holiday time

lottiegarbanzo Thu 28-Mar-13 11:42:55

Ah, those bag rustlers! How else would you know how loud a plastic bag could be?

I'm of the walking Helvellyn and hanging up damp clothes persuasion (though most have drying rooms now) but only use YHs when we go away in large groups (so block book our rooms and annexe ourselves away from the more delicate occupants) as, as a couple, B+Bs offer better facilities at the same price and, as a smaller group, camping barns are the cheap basic option that YHs used to be. Large groups, especially with children, so unlikely to go out for their evening meal, are their new bread and butter.

Good luck OP!

AllDirections Thu 28-Mar-13 11:42:11

The apology;

We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience and upset caused by the delay to the opening of YHA York.

Our team have been working flat out, literally night and day, but over the last critical weeks events have conspired against us, most notably the weather and regrettably we have had to delay our full opening.

We would encourage any guests planning to stay with us in York this weekend to get in touch with us as soon as they can. We will of course be offering full refunds to anyone effected, and in addition we will extend an invitation to come and stay with us again, as our guests.

Our team are making every effort to contact everyone affected as quickly as possible.

We will post any updates here as soon as we have them.

ArseAche Thu 28-Mar-13 11:41:46

The socks were some sort of vegan hessian grin

ArseAche Thu 28-Mar-13 11:39:33

Yes, this must have been about 28 years ago, and I have to admit it was the biggest laugh. We still chuckle about it now, and I know things have changed alot since then, cos you had to have females in one area, males in another. Even married couples without kids had to be seperated! You could only be together if you had children. Twas brilliant though.

Viviennemary Thu 28-Mar-13 11:39:10

I've never stayed in a Youth Hostel in this country. But what bad management and customer care to give you such short notice. I think this should be exposed in the national press. The way it has been handled is a disgrace. Phone up Trading Standards for a start.+

AllDirections Thu 28-Mar-13 11:33:14

ArseAche I remember those days too. I hated having to do a chore before you could leave!

Youth hostels are soooo much better these days. We normally book private rooms though just to ensure we don't have random sweaty socks on our radiators grin

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 28-Mar-13 11:32:16

Some of the people that go are just rude though. I share too, and like to keep late nights.

I creep in, get changed in the dark and go to sleep quietly.

They let their alarm ring forever at 5am, then rustle bags and bang doors without even trying. I don't give a fig if they are trying to see sunrise at the top of Helvellyn, they can see I'm asleep. Have some bloody manners.

AllDirections Thu 28-Mar-13 11:28:05

To be fair I love youth hostels. They're nice, friendly places that are generally clean and have great facilities such as big self catering kitchens and large communal areas. We're all YHA members and we share rooms were possible which really keeps the cost down.

MNetBlackpoolLE We all met through either through local meet ups or by going on their trips/holidays. This wasn't an organised trip though, it was just a few of us booked to go away and then a few more and a few more until we ended up with 60-70 of us! Where do you live? I can honestly say that SingleWithKids has changed my life smile

ArseAche Thu 28-Mar-13 11:20:41

Last time I went YH, we shared a room with some real earthy hiking type woman. She strolled in, took her damp sweaty socks off and hung them on the radiator next to my pillow. That was my YH days over. (long time ago mind)

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 28-Mar-13 11:18:32

I think the YHA have let everyone down tbh.

They used to be about being cheap and affordable with few luxuries, now they're like 5 star hotels with the fee-structure to go with it.

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