A grieving daughter from Bath has been hit with a £1,200 hotel bill for a holiday in Devon that her late mother never took.
The Hotel Riviera in Sidmouth is attempting to reclaim the sum from the estate of the dead woman, but has agreed to waiver the fee if her daughter withdraws complaints from travel websites such as Trip Advisor, according to BBC News.
Anthea Shaw planned to visit Devon in June as a "final holiday" after she was diagnosed with cancer.
Her family picked the Hotel Riviera after a recommendation from a friend and paid a deposit of £150 for a five day booking.
Anthea, a retired florist, was due to visit from June 22 to 27, but when she died on May 31, her daughter Rebecca Wagstaffe contacted the hotel to let them know the room would not be needed.
According to the Sidmouth Herald, Mrs Wagstaffe said she was upfront about her mother's condition and did her utmost to keep the hotel up to date when she deteriorated. She expected the deposit to be returned without issue after her mother's death – but instead received an invoice for £1,266.67 from the hotel's solicitor this week.
The BBC reports that the letter ordered her to pay "full cancellation fees," stating they could proceed with recovery action if the money was not paid within 14 days.
They wrote that they would cancel the demand and refund the £150 deposit dependent on her "withdrawing entries and complaints such as to (travel review website) Trip Advisor".
Yet a hotel spokesman told the Sidmouth Herald: "The hotel has no intention of pursuing the matter in these very sad circumstances and is in fact offering a refund of the deposit paid."
Mrs Wagstaffe is now seeking an apology and compensation after she had to take time off work to deal with the issue. She told the BBC: ""In the memory of my mother I will continue to fight them until I get an apology because this is unacceptable."