A New Forest hotelier has slammed the offer of a £75 goodwill gesture from an energy company in respect of more than £30,000 in lost business and damage following the Christmas Eve storms as "an insult".
Nina Basset, who runs the 11-bedroom Hotel TerraVina with her award winning sommelier husband Gerard, in Netley Marsh, Hampshire, waited almost eight weeks to receive a response from Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSE) after she had contacted the company regarding the losses incurred by the business.
The hotel's insurance company had also failed to receive a response to requests for confirmation that the hotel had lost power for a total of 38 hours on 24 and 25 December and then again on 25 and 26 January.
Following the storm-induced power cuts, TerraVina had to cancel 181 people booked in for lunches, dinners and stays on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
"As a business we have lost over £30,000 of lost revenue/damage to electrical equipment/loss of foods from the freezers and fridges," Basset wrote in a letter to the customer relations department at SSE.
"A pledge to offer 10/10 service to your customers on your website is farcical - SSE couldn't even score minus10/minus10," she continued. "Your website should state instead that SSE holds all of its customers in complete contempt, as clearly shown in your response to the Xmas power losses."
In a statement to Caterer and Hotelkeeper, a spokesperson for SSE, said: "Following extreme weather conditions over the festive period we have received a large number of claims for compensation and have been making payments of £75 to customers who were without power for any period of time on Christmas Day. The payment made to the owners of TerraVina is a goodwill gesture and is not designed to cover any loss of business resulting from the interruption to their power. Any consequential loss of business would be dealt with as a claim to their insurance company."
Basset said she would be donating the £75 received from SSE to Hotel TerraVina'sadoped charity, the Rose Red Association.