Mum furious after company charges £20 to return daughter's teddy bear

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Donna Nevill, from Norfolk, decided to take her family on a trip to Slough, Berkshire, so they could take in the nearby London sights. The mum booked their accommodation through the Nottinghamshire-based business, Onpoint Apartments.

However, the family chose to leave a day early on July 1, as they were not happy with the condition of where they were staying.

It was not until they returned home that they realised their daughter Summer had left her teddy bear behind, reports Nottinghamshire Live.

Summer, aged nine, is autistic and heavily reliant on the comforter, which she struggles to sleep without.

When the family contacted the company to let them know what happened, they say that they were told they had to pay a one-off charge of £20 for it to be sent back.

Onpoint Apartments, based in Kimberley, Nottinghamshire, said they do not make a profit from the £20 fee and as a small business they cannot absorb such a cost.

Ms Nevill, 34, said: “We put Summer to bed and realised we didn’t have her comforter with her – she sleeps with it every night.

“I messaged the apartments who said they were sending the cleaners in. The cleaners found it and I was told that if I paid postage they would send it back.

“I told them that they should really send it back for free as a gesture of goodwill as the apartment was shocking – we complained straight away and nothing was done about it.

“It took me over a week of phoning them everyday asking ‘what are you going to do about it?’ I had an autistic, distressed child who was crying all the time because of it.

“They eventually sent me the invoice and it was £20. It’s just a teddy bear – it does not cost that much to send it back.

“I am prepared to pay a fiver, maybe a tenner, but not £20.

“We are going abroad next week and so we need it back as my daughter needs it for the airplane.

“The attitude has just been ‘we don’t care, you’re not getting it back unless you pay’. It is absolutely shocking.”

She added that she would struggle to even afford to pay £20 for the return, as the family have been hit by the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Donna and Summer had been on holiday with Summer’s dad Richard Nevill, 35, along with her sister Lilly, aged six, and four-year-old brother Aarlo.

In an email seen by Nottinghamshire Live, the company has told the family that it takes no responsibility for personal belongings left behind and that the returning of such items does come at a cost. They also state that they must pay the cleaners to go to the post office to return it via post.

In a statement, the company said: “We are aware of this matter and would like to emphasize that we appreciate the situation and the importance of the item.

“We detail in our terms of conditions of stay that any items left behind after check out is solely down to the responsibility of the guest.

“With this particular matter, the guest contacted us to advise that she left behind her child’s teddy and needed this item back.

“We worked with the guest, located the teddy and offered a collection of the item, this was rejected due to the guest living too far away from the property.

“We then offered to send the item at a total cost of £20, payable by the guest.

“We would like to stress that we are by no means taking any profit from this scenario.

“As a small business, we employ individuals that charge a call out fee; this includes packaging the item, labelling the item, travelling to and from the post office and the cost to post the item (first class, recorded delivery for tracking purposes). Being a small business, this is not something we can absorb.

“We have offered solutions for this guest to ensure they receive the item, however, neither option has been accepted.

“We evidently would prefer this matter to be resolved and to have the item back with the owner.

“We hope with the above explanation, it can appreciated why a fee of £20 has been requested as there are more costs involved than just simply posting an item.

“The item was left behind by the guest and this is their responsibility.

“As the item has a significant importance for her daughter, along with the understanding that this is the guests’ error and the factors involved that determine the £20 cost, we would have hoped for a solution from the guest instead of the need to approach a newspaper.

“We are still awaiting the guest to accept the postage fee so as we can ship this back out to her first class, recorded delivery.”



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