In October we were encouraged by the sales staff at our holiday home park to upgrade.  Our van is 12 years old and we were told that if we left it too long and the van became too old, then they wouldn’t give us much in part exchange.

So we bit the bullet and expressed an interest.  The manager showed us around 3 new vans and we picked the best one.  We were then given a choice of which pitch we wanted it sited on.  We chose a standard pitch, as the premium pitches had become too expensive.

On the last day of our holiday we took a walk to the new pitch and saw a row of vans all with front opening doors looking out onto a green area.  I had a nagging thought, and walked back to the van we had put a deposit on.  It didn’t have front opening doors, and Sam and I decided it would look decidedly odd with a door at the side when it was moved into position compared to the others.

The manager had by this time gone off on holiday, and his assistant gave us the keys of another van to look at with front opening doors that we hadn’t been shown before. This was much improved on the van we were going to buy, and we wanted it straight away.  We couldn’t work out why we hadn’t been shown it before, as it wasn’t much more expensive than the others we’d seen.

We went to Reception straight away and asked them to move our deposit over to the new van we wanted to buy.  We were told we’d have to pay a bit more due to improved ‘metal’ work that wasn’t there on the other vans.  We then came home and waited for the paperwork to be emailed over to us from Head Office.  They asked us to pay for the van in the meantime, and we did, as it is superior to anything else we’d seen for the price and we wanted to claim it before somebody else did.

Straight away we saw on the purchase agreement that we had been charged premium pitch fees which are nearly £2000 more than the standard ones.  The total price however came to exactly what we had paid.  I contacted Reception and told them the mistake and that we needed a refund.

Back came a new purchase agreement.  They had reduced the pitch fees, but had added on 3 items (alarm, outside light and fire extinguisher) that came to exactly the amount that we should have been refunded.  Emails then shot back and forth over a few days; Sam and I trying to get back the money that was rightly ours, and the holiday park/Head Office trying to dodge the fact that they didn’t want to refund any money.  Eventually we signed it and sent it off, after having been told that there would be no refund.

I am finding the ‘no refund’ policy more and more prevalent these days.  I bought Sam something he’d shown an interest in for a Christmas present, but the shop assistant told me straight away that no money would be refunded if he didn’t like it and that I’d get a credit note instead.

It seems these days that once you have bought something and the money has been taken from your bank account, then it’ll be the devil’s own job to try and get it back if you don’t like it.

We were eventually offered a £235 refund on the third purchase agreement when the manager came back from holiday, after being told the price of the van had been ‘wrong’ on the previous one and should have been £300 more.  The three extra items had been deleted.  I told them we’d stick with the previous agreement that we’d signed and keep hold of the alarm, outside light and fire extinguisher (which are worth more than £300).

Sam was ready to tell them to stick their van and refund the total amount instead if they wanted us to sign the third agreement, and that we’d go to one of the other holiday parks on the Island.  I hope he doesn’t, as I know we’d never find a better one.

Yes… you’ve guessed it… a fourth agreement arrived yesterday after Head Office had a re-think.  The price of the van had been increased by £300.  The three items were still deleted, but an email said they’d honour the previous agreement so that we could keep them.  They would also give us a £235 refund as well, and they hoped this would make us ‘very happy’.

Like the Brexit farce, I have become sick to death of caravan purchase agreements and just want it all to end.  We signed the new agreement and sent it off and eagerly await our refund.  However, when we move in to the new van on Sunday, Sam hopes there isn’t a horse’s head in the bed…