Contractual terms relating to countryside holidays
These accepted contractual terms dated 14.6.2011 have been agreed by YTR, the tourism group of the rural policy committee and the consumer ombudsman.
1. Scope of application
These terms are applied to a contract which relates to a countryside holiday when a rural tourism operator offers a private customer or a group of two or more customer rural tourism services. The terms will also be applied in the relevant parts when rural tourism services are offered to other companies or associations.
In these terms, a rural tourism service means
b) accommodation and other such holiday services which are not a fundamental part of the overall package; or
c) one or more of the following arranged services: provision of dining, catering, party or meeting arrangements; organising leisure pursuit possibilities, such as fishing, skiing, trekking, riding, canoe and forest trips and the direction, guidance and training relating to the services (holiday packages which fall under the law on package holidays will be subject to the law on package holidays and the general package holiday terms drafted on the basis of that law).
3. Creation of the contract
The contract is created and these terms become binding to the contractual parties when the customer has had access to the terms and they have thereafter carried out at least the payment of a retainer.
4. Payment terms
If the service is booked at least 28 days before its commencement, a retainer of 25% of the total price of the service shall be paid within 7 days of the booking, however so that the whole price of the service shall always be paid at least 28 days before the commencement of the service. If the booking is done later, the whole fee for the service shall be paid in full upon booking. If the booking is done by telephone, the payment (the retainer, or if, as stated above, the consumer has to pay the whole fee for the service when making the booking, the full fee) is to be made within two banking days to the account specified by the service provider. The payment order must also include details relating to the service (the duration of the service, the object of the service, the name of the product package) and any booking number the service provider may have supplied. Before using the service, the customer must present a receipt or other proof of the payment that has been made.
If the customer does not respect the payment terms, the service provider has the right to regard the booking as having been cancelled and consider the contract to have been dissolved. The service provider must inform the customer without delay of the dissolution of the contract and repay any possible payments made, deducting cancellation fees as specified in clause 5.
5. The right of the customer to dissolve the contract
If the customer or any close person residing with them in the same household falls seriously ill, is involved in a serious accident or dies, or suffers any other serious incident, for example substantial damage to their property such as the burning down of their house (force majeure), through which it would be unreasonable to demand them to make use of the product/trip, the customer has a right to dissolve the contract and recoup the price paid for the service, once handling fees, the amount of which have been specified in advance to the customer, have been deducted. The payments will however not be refunded if use of the service has already begun.
The handling fee of Loikansaari Holiday Cottages is €50.
Notification of any such impediment must be made without delay. An illness, accident or other incident that prevents the customer from using the service must be indicated with reliable evidence. The right of the customer to dissolve the contract without any particular reason:
a) at least 28 days before the commencement of the service by paying the handling fees which have been provided in advance;
b) less than 28 days but at least 14 days before the commencement of the service by paying 25% of the full price of the service;
c) less than 14 days but at least 48 hours before the commencement of the service by paying 50% of the full price of the service.
If the contract is dissolved later than that or the customer does not inform the service provider before the service begins that they will not use the service, the service provider has the right to demand full payment for the service. The customer must always serve notification of the fact that they will not use the service or will use it substantially less than agreed, for example if the number of people in their party or period of duration change from that agreed. Notification must be made in writing or in some other practical way, taking circumstances into account, to the address supplied by the service provider. The contract will be considered dissolved at the moment that the customer’s notification is received by the service provider. If the customer shows that the notification has been supplied to the correct address at the correct time, the notification will be considered to have been received at the time when it should have been received by the service provider even if the notification is delayed or does not arrive. If the service provider is able to sell the cancelled service to a third party, the service provider is responsible for refunding the customer the price paid in advance to the extent that it has been recouped from the third party. The service provider however retains the right to deduct the previously stated handling fees from the amount refunded. The handling fee of Loikansaari Holiday Cottages is 50 euros.
6. The right of the service provider to dissolve the contract
The service provider has the right to dissolve the contract or break off provision of the service in the event that force majeure, such as a fire, natural disaster, action by the authorities, strike, or other comparable event which cannot be foreseen and is outside the service provider’s control, prevents or substantially hinders provision of the service. If the contract is dissolved, the customer is to be repaid the whole price paid, or if provision of the service is interrupted, a price in line with the part which has not been provided. The service provider is to notify the customer without delay of any impediment which results in the service not being provided.
7. Responsibility for carrying out the contract
The service provider assumes responsibility for ensuring that the customer receives the services stipulated in the contract as they have been marketed or as has been separately agreed in the case of each booking.
8. The liability and indemnity of the parties
The customer has the right to compensation for losses which have been caused to them by a mistake through the actions of the service provider, if the mistake or loss is due to the negligence of the service provider or another trader used by the service provider to assist them. Examples of losses to be compensated are additional or unnecessary expenses incurred by the customer because of an error. The service provider is not liable for any damage or loss which is the result of force majeure or some other unforeseen reason, which the service provider or another trader used by the service provider to help them could not have prevented even by acting as carefully as possible. The service provider is to notify the customer without delay about the impediment and seek to act in such a manner that the damage suffered by the customer remains as small as possible.
The customer is to comply with the understood instructions, warnings and directives provided by the service provider for use of the service and use the safety equipment specified by the instructions. The customer is liable for any damages which they, or any minor that they are the guardian of, cause intentionally or through negligence to the service provider or to third parties. The customer is responsible for ensuring that they have the valid documents required for use of the service, such as a passport, visa, driving licence, gun licence and a receipt of a fishing fee. The service provider is not responsible for any voluntary insurance required by the customer on their trip, but the customer will instead take care of their own insurance cover and its scope, e.g. in relation to cancellation cover. If the customer does not use all the agreed services or only uses them in part, they do not have the right on this basis to a reduction in the price or a refund.
9. Complaints and dispute resolution
The customer is responsible, without delay, for making a complaint to the service provider or its representative about any possible deficiencies which can be fixed even during the course of the use of the service. Any other possible complaints which could not have been addressed during the use of the service and demands for compensation must be done in writing to the service provider within a reasonable period of time from when the deficiency was observed or it should have been observed. If the customer and service provider do not reach a mutual agreement, the customer may pass the disputed matter on to be handled by the Consumer Disputes Board.