We arrived at around 5pm on the Saturday before Xmas. First off the main door was swollen and couldn't shut properly. We were told that sometimes the shower wouldn't flow properly so to lower the shower head and then raise it again. We were also told that the internet shut down and to reset that.
On the 23rd December, one of the owners knocked on to say that they were leaving, At this point we were told that the boiler "may" shut down and "in the unlikely event it did to reset it at switch in their garage"
They were going to be away for their family Christmas....!
We were NOT given any point of contact should an emergency except for their mobile number.
Christmas Eve - Boiler Broke Down, so we waited and then reset it as instructed
Christmas Day - Boiler Shut down 3 more times, We reset it once this day.
The times it had restarted it did not do so for over an hour, and by then the rads were stone cold and so was the cottage..
4th time we rang owners to inform them we would be leaving early on Boxing day as boiler was constantly shutting down and we were freezing..
This is when we were subjected to a torrent of abuse, Stating we should not be resetting the boiler. We could not explain anything as at this point, the owner was busily inferring that we were drunk and were clearly to blame for boiler shutting down.
When I suggested that we really should have had a physical point of contact, she then said sarcastically.. ......
"oh I see, you need someone to hold your hand. You can't stay in the cottage without having someone's hand to hold..."
She informed us she would be back on Boxing Day due to us being a problem.
Late that night when I went downstairs in my bare feet to get a glass of water, I stood in a puddle of water (or so it seemed) .Turned out the radiator was leaking all over the floor. I took pictures of everything to show the problem, we were dealing with. We had to shut off the boiler completely now via a switch in the kitchen, as it would damage itself pumping water around the system, as it leaked across the floor. When looking at the photos I had taken I noticed an older stain across the carpet where the water was congregating, showing this had happened before. I had not noticed it before as a rug had been carefully placed over it. I also noticed rush and corrosion on the leaking pipe and valve. I photographed everything.
That was the last straw, and we just packed up and left at midnight. I was utterly distraught. It was cold, dark and foggy, but we had no option but to leave, and make the 5 hour drive home! When we had rang, at 7pm earlier that evening, the owners had not even suggested that they get out a plumber , they were utterly rude and ignorant towards us. I have stayed with Sykes cottages before but never have I been subjected to such behaviour, nor unlucky enough to have my Christmas ruined. Be careful if you are holidaying here. Oh and we also found that the triple light switch behind the door had black tape over one of the switches... we figured that the light was dodgy, and the inglenook fireplace does not seem to be sealed off properly with fireproof plaster. Instead it is covered with what seems to be a sort of wood/chipboard..that in my view cannot be right
Be warned. Check all the radiators are not leaking and if you are told to reset the boiler "in the unlikely event it shuts off", pack and leave straight away.