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Consumer - Tina Tackles!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Now we are taking it a step further. Every Tuesday Tina will be taking on one viewer's consumer query. The viewer's will be chosen on the basis that they have tried everything except the small claims court and still haven't received a satisfactory conclusion to their consumer dilemma.

Tina will step in on behalf of the viewer and make contact with the company/business to try to resolve the dispute.

Tina Leonard, Our Consumer Expert

So if you would like Tina to take on a consumer query, complaint or puzzling question please contact us.

You can send your letters to:

The Afternoon Show
Dublin 4


Send an email to

With every New Year comes a flood of consumer complaints.

Tina Tackles - Main Consumer Dispute

The Complaint:

Susan Trehy was staying in the Marriott Hotel in Ashbourne on the weekend on 26th May 09. While changing her 16 week old son the changing unit in the changing room in the Leisure Centre collapsed and he collapsed into it on his neck. The Manager called an ambulance and they went to the A&E.

Fortunately he had no injuries, but he had an A&E bill for €100. The following day on checking out of the hotel she filled in an accident report and gave them the bill but they said they would have to file a claim with their insurers.
Susan then went to her own solicitor who said that as there were no injuries, she would have no claim on the hotel's insurance.

Susan thinks the hotel should repay her the €100 and maybe some other gesture for the lost day of their weekend holiday as they spent 6 hrs in A&E.

The Advice

Personal injury does not come under consumer legislation so for the consumer you have to claim under an insurance policy or take legal action in the courts for compensation. You cannot claim for personal injury or consequential losses in the small claims court.

All businesses have public liability insurance to cover claims relating to accidents involving customers and Susan and her husband already tried to claim. However, their solicitor said they had no case as the baby was not actually injured.

I feel that as the baby, and parents, still suffered due to equipment in the hotel, that some compensation should be given, so I asked the hotel.

Response from Ashbourne Marriott Hotel:

"The Ashbourne Marriott Hotel obviously regrets any inconvenience caused to their guests. Also The Ashbourne Marriott takes very seriously its position in the community and the safety of their customers; this is always the hotels utmost priority. All reasonable measures are taken in the hotel to ensure all procedures and installations are fully compliant with the highest health and safety norms.

We would like to welcome back Susan to The Ashbourne Marriott and as a gesture of goodwill we would like to offer her a complimentary Dinner Bed and Breakfast."

Susan's reaction to this:

Susan is delighted that the hotel is offering her this complimentary stay. Susan said that this was an accident and she never wanted to take it any further however she just thought it would be nice for them to be compensated in some way from the hotel as a result of their €100 A&E bill. Her son Darragh is now 1 and had no injuries at all from the accident.

Tina Tackles Consumer Dispute

The Complaint:

Bridie parked her car in a disabled parking spot in a large supermarket as she has a disabled ticket in her car. Somebody backed into her car and drove away without leaving details. She spoke to someone in the supermarket who told her they were not responsible for the damage to her car. Bridie wants to know is this the case even though it happened in their car park?

Tina's Response:

Yes, the information Bridie received is correct. Once outside the premises, even in the car park provided, Bridie is responsible for her car.

One thing Bridie can do is to ask the supermarket to view the CCTV footage in case they can find the reg number of the car that went into hers. This would allow her to trace the owner of that vehicle and to claim on their insurance. So we want Bridie to get in touch with the show so we can get the date and time of the incident so the supermarket can check the CCTV footage. Bridie didn't leave a number.