Published Friday 3rd July 2020 15:10
To all customers and holiday homeowners.
I wanted to provide you with an update on the actions we have been taking since my last update.
I am pleased to say we are looking forward to supporting customers and owners over the next few weeks as the lockdown is lifted across the UK. As owners I know you have been preparing your property, ready in the way you always do but with enhanced cleaning and guidance around check in and facilities. Thank you for your support and I am sure I say this for all customers travelling, we can’t wait.
To customers travelling, thank you for your support and I know our owners are doing all they can to help you create positive holiday memories. I ask that you please respect local communities by holidaying in a responsible way. As a country, we are not free from the virus and more than ever we need to respect local environments and support each other.
For customers who have been impacted during the lockdown. We have been adapting our policies and have offered refunds with owner support since the 26th March or options to change your holiday. Since early June we have contacted thousands of customers to ensure they have an option for a full cash refund and are working hard to get in touch with all those who have been impacted as soon as possible.
Our actions are not as a result of any intervention from Government or as a result of any legal obligation that we have. We have adapted as we have learned more about the timeframe of lockdown and our ability as a business to help support refunds from additional funding we secured. As I am sure you can imagine it was impossible for us as a business and myself as the CEO to fully understand the extent of the impact and therefore timeframes and we have as a business always aimed to do the right thing, but it can take time.
Since early June and indeed 26th March we have refunded millions of pounds back to customers on behalf of our owners. We have also helped facilitate over 73,000 change of dates. I would also like to thank all the customers who have taken an enhanced credit instead of a cash refund in supporting our business and our owners.
Since the recent announcement of an ease to lockdown restrictions, I am pleased to see record numbers of holidaymakers now returning to Sykes; finally able to book a well-earned UK break. Such news is heartening not only for the team here at Sykes, but also for the thousands of property owners and the countless small communities who rely on tourism for their income. Again, I want to thank you for your support, especially to our loyal customers.
Since March our teams have dealt with an unprecedented volume of enquiries; all whilst working from home, and often juggling their own childcare and family commitments. For this I cannot thank them enough. Our service levels are not at our usual high standard, for which I apologise, however I know that with your support and the continued dedication of our staff, we will get there.
Please continue to check our onsite FAQs to seek answers to questions for bookings in the future. We will review these several times per week so you will always find the latest information.
Thank you all for your patience during the last 15 weeks. I am grateful for the support we have seen from the vast majority of customers and owners and for the dedication of our teams, who are always trying to do the very best to support all.