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I booked a room at a hotel in the Austrian Alps (I hadn't paid for the room, nor did I give them any credit card details at the time of booking). However 2 days after making the booking I informed them I no longer require the room. They told me that because it is less than 21 days until the booking I must transfer them a cancellation fee of 40% of the original hotel amount.

I live in the UK. The cancellation fee policy was disclosed on the confirmation the hotel sent me once I booked the room over the telephone.

What are the likely scenarios if I ignore the hotel's request for a cancellation payment?

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    Where do you live? How did you make the reservation (booking site, phone, e-mail, etc.)? Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 15:40
  • Was the cancellation fee policy disclosed when you made the booking? Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 16:08
  • i live in the UK. The cancellation fee policy was disclosed on the confirmation the hotel sent me once i booked the room over the telephone. Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 16:19
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    @shawnmichaels Please add the details you describe to your question.
    – Roy
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 17:05
  • @RichardBeasley live in the UK. The cancellation fee policy was disclosed on the confirmation the hotel sent me once i booked the room over the telephone Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 17:36

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If, as your comment implies, the hotel only mentioned a cancellation fee in a subsequent e-mail then you owe nothing. The hotel cannot force you to pay a fee that was not agreed at the time the contract was made (i.e. during the telephone conversation). However, if you were made aware of the cancellation fee during the phone call then you are probably liable to pay.

The hotel could bring a claim against you through the European Small Claims Procedure. Details of the procedure can be found here: https://europa.eu/youreurope/business/sell-abroad/resolving-disputes/small-claims/index_en.htm

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    It would be hard to prove that cancellation fee was agreed during the phone call.
    – Neusser
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 8:05

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