Compliments, comments and concerns
Visitor feedback is always welcomed at Cumbria Tourism to help us recognise and praise good service and experiences or improve the product or service that Cumbria offers.
Accolades are an important way to identify what is being done well and are as important as less satisfactory comments. Occasionally, however, your experience may not meet your expectations and, if this happens, we would like to hear from you.
Cumbria Tourism's Quality Policy
Cumbria Tourism is the Official Tourist Board for the Lake District, Cumbria and we only promote businesses who have a recognised quality accreditation (please see below) or have signed up to our Accommodation Quality Charter.
Quality Assessed Accommodation
When accommodation has been inspected, the likelihood of a complaint is reduced because the business has met a specified standard associated with good quality accommodation. There are three recognised accommodation Quality Assurance Schemes within Cumbria:
If you have a complaint
What you need to do
In the first instance we encourage you to make any comments about the product or service you receive to the business at the time of your visit. This will enable them to rectify the problem immediately and ensure you enjoy your visit.
If the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved, find out whether the property belongs to a Quality Assurance Scheme, for example VisitEngland, the AA or Quality Cumbria. Then write to us, by letter, email or using our complaint form, quoting the name of the property and the nature of the complaint. It is important that you give your express, written permission to forward details of the complaint to the named establishment or an appropriate body who will be able to investigate the complaint further.
Cumbria Tourism complaint form view PDF
What Cumbria Tourism will do
VisitEngland or AA Quality Assessed Accommodation
If you have a complaint relating to either a VisitEngland or AA assessed property it is the responsibility of the relevant awarding body to investigate any complaint. In the event that you contact Cumbria Tourism about an accommodation business, we will forward your complaint to the awarding body. You may prefer to send your complaint directly to them to ensure your concerns are addressed more speedily. We are happy to receive a copy of your letter or form so that we can monitor such complaints.
Contact details for VisitEngland and AA:
Quality Cumbria Assessed Accommodation
Quality Cumbria properties are assessed, as seen, to a specified local standard, as approved by Visit Britain; the assessment is carried out annually. Quality Cumbria accreditation is awarded when certain standards are met. Where necessary, we do make recommendations to proprietors and these usually fall into two categories: - urgent and essential recommendations and advisory suggestions to raise quality further. Owners are given a length of time to implement requirements, depending on the severity. Failure to meet these requirements can result in disqualification from the scheme if actions are not completed within the specified time.
If you have a complaint about a Quality Cumbria assessed accommodation, please send it directly to Cumbria Tourism. We can only investigate complaints for properties assessed through this scheme.
Once we receive a complaint, including written permission to forward the details to the proprietor of the business, we will do so, asking the proprietor to respond to you directly, whilst keeping us informed of any progress. Depending upon the severity of the complaint, and the number of other complaints received, we may arrange for a special visit to the property by one of our assessors. Advice will be given, where appropriate, on best practice and improvements to help ensure the areas that have given rise to complaint can be addressed.
Where a proprietor fails to meet Quality Cumbria criteria on a consistent basis, Cumbria Tourism may take steps to remove the Quality Cumbria grading.
Participation in Cumbria's Quality Assurance Scheme is voluntary and if the business is not currently participating in Quality Cumbria, we are unable to take the complaint any further.
Contact details for Quality Cumbria
Quality Assurance Executive
Tel: 01539 825069
Cumbria Tourism Membership/Code of Conduct
All members of Cumbria Tourism sign an agreement to abide by certain Terms and Conditions. If the business concerned is a member of Cumbria Tourism, the Commercial Members' Committee may exercise its right to apply the terms laid out in the Members' Code of Conduct. In the event of a serious breach (gross misconduct), this could lead to membership being withdrawn.
We cannot become involved in any dispute over compensation and an individual may therefore decide whether or not to pursue the matter further themselves. Advice may be sought from Citizen's Advice Bureau, Consumer Direct (delivered in partnership with the Office of Fair Trading & Local Authority Trading Standards Services) or alternatively a Solicitor. Unfortunately we cannot do this on behalf of individuals; neither can we give legal advice on an individual basis.
We cannot become involved in any dispute of a contractual nature such as refunds, or cancellation charges. In such cases we can only record the complaint and wait to see whether other similar complaints are received. In the first instance, individuals should contact the business directly to see if an amicable agreement can be reached. If this is not possible, the complainant may need to get advice from a solicitor or seek resolution through a small claims procedure in the County Court.
We have no control over the content of any third party internet web site or brochure and individuals will need to decide if they wish to take this matter further. It may be appropriate to pursue the complaint with Consumer Direct.
Entries on the GoLakes website and in the Lake District, Cumbria Holiday Guide have been paid for by the establishments concerned and have been compiled by Cumbria Tourism from information supplied by the advertisers. Whilst every effort was made to ensure that the information was correct at the time of publication, Cumbria Tourism can accept no responsibility for any changes, errors or omissions, or for any inconvenience arising there from.
Misrepresentation is taken very seriously when an accommodation business is displaying any kind of Quality Assurance Scheme signage inappropriately. The quality assessment bodies will take steps to ensure the matter is investigated and appropriate action is taken. Consumer Direct may also be able to offer advice about incorrect signage.
Useful Contact Information
Citizens Advice Bureau - www.adviceguide.org.uk or 03454 04 05 06
Rudeness / Attitude
Amongst the most difficult complaints to resolve are those alleging rudeness or poor attitude on the part of the proprietor or staff. If this is denied, we have no means of determining the truth. In such cases, the assessing body can only assess as seen and it is sometimes very difficult to address these issues if not experienced at first hand.
We do not have statutory powers and cannot become involved in legal disputes where Police, Consumer Direct, Environmental Health or solicitors are involved. We cannot give legal advice on individual cases.
What if the complaint is not related to accommodation?
A small number of complaints may relate to an attraction, restaurant or public service for example toilets or car parking.
Some attraction providers are members of the VisitEngland Quality Assurance Scheme VAQAS (Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme) or operate under the VisitBritain Visitor Attractions Code of Practice. In the unlikely event you have a complaint regarding an attraction that is assessed to either VAQAS or the Visitor Attractions Code of Conduct, it is recommended that the complaint is put in writing to both Visit Britain (contact details below) and the attraction.
Allerdale Borough Council
Tel: 01900 702702
Barrow Borough Council
Tel: 01229 876300
Carlisle City Council
Tel: 01228 817200
Copeland Borough Council
The Copeland Centre
Tel: 0845 054 8600
Tel: 01768 817817
South Lakeland District Council
Tel: 0845 0504434
The Lake District National Park Authority
Tel: 01539 724555
Cumbria County Council
Tel: 01228 606060