My family and I recently had a miserable experience with Mr. Stephen Drake-Jones of the Wellington Society. We engaged his services to provide us with a walking "Hemingway tour" of Madrid on the evening of January 3, 2015.
We paid him in advance, and he electronically replied that he had written down the engagement in his calendar book. Two of us were literature majors and particular Hemingway fans. We eagerly looked forward to this event as one of the highlights of our trip to Spain.
On Saturday night, January 3, 2015, we waited at the appointed place at the appointed time for Mr. Drake-Jones to appear. As the minutes ticked by and he did not, we emailed him, left a voice mail for him and attempted to text him. After nearly an hour, we realized we were being stood up, and we had to retool our last evening in Madrid.
When he finally contacted us, Mr. Drake-Jones blamed his rudeness on some sort of internet black-out and insisted on referring to the tour failure as a "mix-up." The phrase "mix-up" is defined as a combination of elements creating confusion. Argal, in this instance it implies that two or more parties contributed to a communication gap. Such simply was not what occurred. It was completely one-sided, because it was solely because of him that we were not the recipients of his service. He was the one who chose not to provide the outing.
Anyone can forget something, but I do not believe this to be the case here. The weight of the circumstantial evidence (a weak lack of internet pretext juxtaposed against his earlier email wherein he wrote, "the Society's January Calendar (is) in front of me and down for the 3rd is my singular Hemingway´s Madrid tour," his failure to either answer our email or return the voicemail on the night of 1/3 in Madrid, etc.) leads me to conclude something more intentional than a memory lapse, and, quite frankly, I am further infuriated by his apparent utter lack of repentance or even heartfelt and honest apology. To paraphrase Ernest, "Never confuse excuses with remorse."
To top it all off, while after a week he did return our base fee, he did not reimburse (or even acknowledge) us for the loss of significant money due to the exchange rate differential between when we paid him and the day he sent us the supposed "refund,"our expense in paying the entry fee into the Prado (rather than free entry a short time later) so we could make the appointed hour with him or give us any consideration for the time and trouble of waiting for him for almost an hour and then having to find a reservation for dinner on a Saturday night.
To again give a Wemedge précis, "It was not a good night in Madrid, and that was it."