I feel like we are a pretty honest couple. We don't try to be deceitful and we would certainly never make up lies to get out of paying for a weekend tour.
Let me start from the beginning...maybe I'm over reacting but right now I'm so upset, confused and hurt! Jason's grandpa is really big into family history and has been corresponding back and forth with a lady from Wales. Wales is where Jason's paternal side is from and after a few years of working with this lady, his grandpa has made a family tree and gotten a lot of family history dated back to the 1700s.
When we told everyone we would be heading to England for a few weeks, we knew a trip to Wales was a must! Grandpa gave us all the contact information of the lady that was helping him and we started communicating when we got here. She gave us suggestions on train passes, where to stay and things to do. We just thought she was being so friendly and helpful because she had built a friendship with Jason's grandpa. Finally, last weekend after we've booked everything we get an email. An email that says we owe her $650 for a weekend tour of Southern Wales. WHAT?! That's a lot of money from a couple that isn't employed, that won't be working until July and that wasn't expecting for a weekend get-a-way to Wales. We were at a Starbucks by the Tower of London when we opened the email and we about freaked. We immediately responded (Thank goodness for WIFI) and politely told her that we had no idea that she was charging us to show us around the southern part of Wales. We also told her that we couldn't afford $650 on top of the money that we already spent to get there, stay there and explore the area. We apologized, felt horrible for having to decline and anxiously awaited her response. We felt horrible because Jason's grandpa and her have been friends for such a long time.
Well, days went by and we still hadn't heard anything so I emailed her again. I apologized again and asked for a response since our Wales trip is next weekend. I just wanted to make sure that we are all on the same page before heading to a new country. Shortly after, we got a response. Not the response we were hoping for, but we got a response.
" I run a commercial organization conducting genealogical research and tours. I was happy to reschedule work during the busy Easter period to accommodate you at the last minute and to do the planning for the North Wales section of your tour free of charge as a favor to your grandfather .
I don't know what you'd think was reasonable for two dedicated days of someone's time, if you had used a standard guide with no knowledge of your family it would have cost between £300 - 400. Wales is not a third world country.
We're not accustomed to clients pulling out after we've invested time in planning but we operate on trust, not contracts, so you are entitled to do so. We live and learn."
We honestly had no idea she had a business where she conducted genealogical research and tours. We just thought she was a friend of the family that was helping gather some history because of where she lived in Wales. I hate the fact that she said "we operate on trust, not contracts". We weren't trying to be deceitful. We were just taking the suggestions and help from someone who knew the area and the transportation a little bit better.
Our trip to Wales is still happening. We leave on Thursday and we'll get back late Sunday evening. We'll be our own tour guides and we'll enjoy ourselves. Just knowing that Jason's ancestry started in Wales is fascinating.