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Major dispute with our guests.


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What a terrible situation.  I can't imagine having to live under these circumstances day in and day out.  I'm so glad we don't do this anymore.  I don't like confrontation, but I don't think I would have the patience to tolerate these folks.

As an American, I am well aware that if I sign a contract, I am legally bound to its contents.  I am sure these American guests are too.  Perhaps they don't fully understand the contract, but I suspect they do and are simply trying to make trouble to get their money back.  Some people believe that threats work.  In reality all they really do is make life miserable for all involved.  Which, as someone else here pointed out, is exactly why we have contracts - to state the facts and rules of a transaction.  If one signer of a contract decides to break it, the other must stand his/her ground and stick to the written contract.  Considering the "guests" still have a couple of weeks (is that right?) left to stay with the Grays, I would have thought they wouldn't want to spend it under such unpleasant circumstances (created by themselves).  Sounds like a terrible way to "enjoy" their last two weeks (or more really) of their French vacation.

If they are disallusioned with France, that is not the fault of the Grays.  In fact, it sounds like the Grays have gone way out of their way to make the stay pleasant. 

Stick to the rules of your contract.   Stash a nice bottle of your favorite drink in the fridge to celebrate their departure !

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Well, just to update on this episode,

I had a long chat with the father this morning and took a copy of the contract and pre-translated sections that were relevant, plus the original e-mails booking the apartment and agreeing to the terms and conditions.

I started by reminding him that back in early March they had contacted us and asked to book a 4 month let at our apartment from 1st June to 30 Sept 2006.

Having agreed the monthly price, they asked for a contract...in order to gain Visa's...and they happily paid the 4 months in advance.

I pointed out that they had possesion of the contract two months before they arrived on 1st June and no one had hurried them into signing it, and as it was a fairly straight forward contract it was not in any way unfair to be held to it if one of the parties tried to get out of it.

I asked him had they understood it or had it translated before signing, the mother and son had enough french to understand it and had thought it ok.

What makes you think you should be refunded then, if you can see our contract is fair and states no refund upon early departure...i said

We certainly had honoured it, and yet they were behaving as if we had been caught taking money out of their pockets.

SO far so good, and perhaps even some embarassment from the man, as I placed the evidence of their e-mails and the english translation in front of him.

Well of course the only response i got was that " it is unfair to pay for something we are not getting"


" my wife says you haven't tried hard enough to re-let the apartment"

but it was certainly not said with half the force or spite that it had been two days ago,

in fact it was almost a whisper in comparison, and had no conviction any more. Probably because they were his wife's words ..not his, and if he were honest I don't think he really believed them himself.

Thank heavens one of this family was reasonable and prepared to listen.

ANyway, without boring you too much, an hour and a half of talk took place, I rubbished the idea that I would make little attempt to re-book an empty gite, and (once again) explained that as a business we cannot refund because someone doesn't want to stay in France as long as they thought they would.

We have parted amicably for now,

but I asked that the Mother & son be warned to respect our privacy for the rest of their stay...ie if they can't shut up, don't come near us.

One bit of good news...seems they are leaving next Tuesday, 3 days earlier than originally planned.

Beer in hand now it all seems so ridiculous,

my Other half and I will be very pleased to put this little episode behind us.....but....one week to go at least for that.

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Oh Well Done You - I'm glad you didn't wave the white flag !!!

Here's a thought to make you smile !!! This family love their consipiracy theories; isn't it a shame they probably won't be flying back to the good ol'  USA from Heathrow....!!! - does anyone know what the security precautions are like at CDG - anything as tight as Heathrow ? This happy little family might think think the whole world's 'out to get 'em' if they have to use Heathrow !!!!!!!!!!

Gram - you can relax in a few days time...enjoy the feeling of 'light at the end of the tunnel' !!!!!!!!

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To the Grays.

I would like to congratulate you both on sticking to your guns and not paying the americans anything back. They signed the contract, they decided to move out early, their fault and loss. F%^%$ em........

When they do go though, if you have a gite in one piece and ready to let again when they leave, i would be surprised. The whimp of a mother and the sad son will trash it........ Take some measures just incase they do.....

If i knew where you lived i would buy you a beer for standing up to these pathetic american bullies. Please let me know how they leave your place.

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Crikey......................for early departures, say before

07h00,  we simply leave hot water in a flask and the normal

breakfast goodies on the table but if they want coffee, instead of filter, we leave a

jar of instant and also tea bags, or whatever they want to drink.

Up at that hour for guests brekkers, goodness me, get a grip man, you'll spoil it for the rest of us  [;-)]

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very generous of you.  I have bookmarked your website so we can book with you when we visit Normandy (ish).  We have never been to your part of France.  Hubby is not often here, so travel is limited.  However, I promise you we will not ask for breakfast at 6 am !


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If you don't want breakfast at 6.00am you'll be doubly welcome. [:)]

I couldn't convince them that it takes less than 4 hours to Calais - their crossing was at 1.30.  They were afraid of getting lost around Rouen as they did on the way down.

By my calculation, allowing for stops for fuel and a munch, then if they did not get lost they would get to the port at about 10.30am.  Hope they had a nice time on the quayside! [:)]

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Just to finish this little saga, as its 6 days since our American friends vacated our gite.

Last Tuesday they emerged, after several days holed up in the apartment with only the occasional sighting of one of them on the way to the laundry room.

The Father loaded their car, and came and spoke to us.....actually apologising and shaking our hands repeatedly.

meanwhile the mother and son sulkily climbed into the car without a single glance our way.

The gite had been cleaned to a very good standard and all was in order....so at least some principles still in order.

In fact they had even left us behind a 6 compact disc learn to speak french pack....snigger !!

So ends that little saga for us.

once again thanks to everyone for the comments and support

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Grays - not a very unpleasant epsiode for you.

However, look on the bright side. It would seem that the mother is the real tyrant and, whilst you will not be troubled by them any more the father is probably still being troubled.

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