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National Trust entrance policy

(22 Posts)
Linbow Wed 12-Aug-20 13:28:20

This is my first time on gransnet so for give me if I have posted this to the wrong forum. My husband (who has Parkinson’s)and I have been members of the NT for well over ten years and have enjoyed visiting the gardens etc when Mike’s condition allows. It is not an option to book in advance as the NT are demanding, and it goes against the grain to book and then not turn up. I emailed them to see if they had a solution to my problem and had a very terse reply, that’s how it is book on line or not come I realise these are difficult times but surely there could be a way round the problem. We will not be renewing our membership. Sorry to have gone on a bit but l feel better having got it of my chest.

Cabbie21 Wed 12-Aug-20 13:43:39

I am not sure why you say it is not an option for you to book in advance.
That is the only way they can manage numbers at the moment.
My DH has good and bad days but we have booked a couple of NT visits. If on the day he was not well enough, we would not have gone. As members there is no financial effect. I know it might deprive two other people of entry, but so far there have been plenty of slots available to book in the week.

Nortsat Wed 12-Aug-20 13:47:47

Linbow, I am so sorry to hear this. It seems extremely unreasonable and how disappointing for both of you, as long standing members.

I think the law (the Disability Discrimination Act) requires service providers to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled people. This sounds like the NT are not doing so. You could write again, as a member and request a copy of their Equality Policy and warn them that you feel they are not making their facilities accessible to your husband, by their inflexible approach to booking.

Conversely, perhaps you should book and then not turn up, if your DH is not up to it. I accept this ‘goes against the grain’, but I think their intransigence might provoke such a reaction in me.

Hope things get sorted out for you both. Best wishes 💐

SueDonim Wed 12-Aug-20 13:48:24

I think I’d book in advance and if, on the day, your Dh isn’t well enough, you could just call them to cancel. I suspect the system might mean your places can’t be reallocated but if that’s the system they’ve given you to use, so be it.

Pittcity Wed 12-Aug-20 13:53:27

It is easy to cancel pre booked times if you are an NT member, either online or on the phone.
All attractions are doing it this way. We even have to book to go to our local pub.

SpringyChicken Wed 12-Aug-20 15:14:10

I don't think the NT booking policy is unreasonable. No one is penalised for booking and then not turning up.

Daisymae Wed 12-Aug-20 15:18:25

Yes, just book in advance that way you get to go if your DH is well enough and if not then so be it. You support them by your membership so it's perfectly ok. There's no problem here.

lemongrove Wed 12-Aug-20 15:18:41

A good reply from Nortsat ( saves me from typing it all)😃
The NT should be better than that.
We didn’t renew our membership this year ( due in April)
But hope to in the future.

V3ra Wed 12-Aug-20 15:26:20

The National Trust aren't bothered if you book but can't go, so don't worry about it.
Book, go if Mike's well enough, let them know on the day if you're not coming if it makes you feel better.
If his condition is likely to deteriorate in future don't waste the opportunity to go now. Keep your membership and go while you can!

ginny Wed 12-Aug-20 15:31:37

I don’t think NT is unreasonable.
Book tickets and on if on the day you can’t go , contact them and explain if it makes you feel better. I would imagine there is always someone who can’t go in the end for one reason or another.

OurKid1 Wed 12-Aug-20 15:31:54

There's no excuse for them being "terse" in their reply, but I can't see anything wrong in booking, then cancelling (rather than not turning up). I expect they thought the same, especially as there probably isn't room in their policy to make exceptions (that would open the floodgates!). Given that, I suspect it was probably an automatic reply to your query - they probably get loads of similar ones. It's just the way life is at the moment - spontaneity has gone for the foreseeable unfortunately. What did they actually say, I wonder ...

Greeneyedgirl Wed 12-Aug-20 15:37:22

I don’t think NT would be bothered if you don’t turn up after booking. When I went to our local NT last week it was really busy in the car park, but the timed booking was to facilitate spaced entrance.
(This was for an outdoor venue).

suziewoozie Wed 12-Aug-20 17:43:27

The first time I booked, we didn’t go because of the weather. I expect we weren’t the only ones. I really don’t think it matters at all. I don’t see how they could give priority to certain people - they’d need proof for one thing because sadly some people would play the system. And tbh there are lots of people who benefit from going - not just disabled people. And I say that as a disabled person.

PamelaJ1 Wed 12-Aug-20 19:41:27

I am presuming that if her husband is well enough to go there wouldn’t be any slots left at short notice.
Therefore, unless Linbow books a lot of slots and cancels most of them, her husband won’t get a chance to go at all.
Should she just book lots of slots and stop others from enjoying a day out? What a dilemma.
Have you tried booking at the last minute Linbow?

vegansrock Wed 12-Aug-20 19:56:43

Agree book then email to cancel at last minute. You won’t be the only one. I have booked for Wisley 3 times. but each time couldn’t go So cancelled the day before. No problem. I’ve rebooked - fingers crossed.

Nandalot Wed 12-Aug-20 20:25:10

There is an option to cancel. I had to do that to one of our bookings. I can’t remember how I did it. I think there might have been an option in the confirmation email. It must have been quite easy to find if I managed it. I felt better cancelling rather than just not turning up.

NfkDumpling Wed 12-Aug-20 21:38:05

I have a similar problem with DH having good and bad days. About four weeks ago I booked two dates for a NT garden. The Tuesday and Thursday. I booked them on the Monday. He was fine on the Tuesday so we went then, had a lovely time and had thought of returning on the Thursday. This wasn't possible, so I cancelled it early on the day. I could easily have cancelled the Tuesday slot on that morning had it have been necessary. All done on line, on my phone. No problem. Things may have been difficult to start with, but now more places are opening up the demand is dropping so its becoming easier.

Everywhere is taking entries by booking now as it not only controls the numbers, it also provides contact details for the Track and Trace system. An essential these days.

suziewoozie Wed 12-Aug-20 22:06:36

I hope OP now feels fine about booking and then cancelling if necessary. There really isn’t another solution is there? The NT can’t reserve places for last minute use by certain disabled people - if they did that, they could easily not be used so no better than current system. As a disabled person I’m absolutely delighted with the NT system - knowing a place won’t be crowded and is well organised has been wonderful.

welbeck Wed 12-Aug-20 23:07:29

i think it was the terse reply that bothered the OP ratther than the actual limitations of the system.
they could have suggested what others here have,to book and then cancel if necessary.
OP felt NT were not treating her and by extension her husband with courtesy and consideration.

Linbow Thu 13-Aug-20 09:03:11

Thanks for all your replies, they were most helpful, perhaps I was being a bit thick but I thought booking a slot had to be done on the Friday for the following week. The good new is I have managed to book a slot for Calke Abbey this afternoon, taking a picnic and will have a lovely walk (fingers crossed)

suziewoozie Thu 13-Aug-20 10:25:41

That’s good news Linbow have a good time. I think Friday got fixed in peoples minds as for some very popular properties, they would all be booked up by Friday lunchtime. However, cancellations could be added at any time.

biba70 Thu 13-Aug-20 14:16:37

as others have said, just plan, book and if necessary, cancel.