I would be grateful to you if you could help me by providing advices. Indeed, Belgian citizen living in Belgium, I am not aware of the UK procedures that would suite the problem I am currently facing.
At the beginning of 2011, I signed a contract with M. Michael ROBERTS (Countrysports), the agent representing AUCH ESTATE (close to Tyndrum – Scotland). According to this contract, some of my friends and I were entitled to spend one week, at the beginning of October, at AUCH ESTATE for red stag stalking – for 10 stags.
In agreement with this contract, at the end of our stay, the head guide and I have completed and countersigned the “hunting protocol”. It has been indicated that 7 stags have been killed, one has been missed. It means 8 stags have to be accounted, instead of the 10 stags that were indicated in the contract. Meanwhile, in agreement with the contract, we were supposed to obtain refund for stags not shot (i.e. £378/stag). Therefore, I have immediately requested from Michael ROBERTS and the Estate the refund for 2 stags not shot. After a long delay, I have been told by Michael ROBERTS that not all the clients were fit for the hill. Based upon such argument, the Estate has then refused to refund me for the 2 stags not shot.
The agent, Michael ROBERTS, said he was “very annoyed” by this situation; therefore, he decided to refund me for one stag out of his own pocket.
Since there has been no legal, contractual or whatsoever evidence / argument supporting the “not fit for the hill” argument (e.g. no mention in the “hunting protocol”), I decided to keep claiming the refund. I then wrote to the Estate’s owner to provide a detailed view of my arguments supporting such claim. One month later, I have had no answer from the Estate.
I can provide the contractual documents (contract, hunting protocol) and the letter I sent to the Estate’s owner to evidence the arguments supporting my claim.
It is worth noting that between the contract signature and my visit at AUCH ESTATE, the previous owner died and his wife became the new Estate’s owners. I understand she is not interested by red stag stalking, and she probably believes that my current claim (2 x £378 at the most) is low compared to justice costs, what might prevent me from going to Court. Nevertheless, whatever the amount of money, I feel that a contract has to be fully executed and I feel it is rather a matter of honesty. I have enjoyed being and stalking in Scotland. I would rather keep this positive image. I would like to forget this problem and the bad image it gives about hunting in Scotland.
I will really appreciate the help you might provide to solve this problem. In the meantime, I wish you a happy new year.