RWC B&B shock quote - $1600 a night

By Susie Nordqvist

English woman Jacqui Marsden was quoted $1600 a night to stay at the Eden Park Bed and Breakfast (pictured) during next year's Rugby World Cup.
English woman Jacqui Marsden was quoted $1600 a night to stay at the Eden Park Bed and Breakfast (pictured) during next year's Rugby World Cup.

A Yorkshire woman was horrified to discover she had been quoted NZ$1600 for a one-night stay in a Mt Eden bed and breakfast during next year's Rugby World Cup.

Jacqui Marsden said she was shocked at the quote, which she was given following an email enquiry to Eden Park Bed and Breakfast last month.

The email from host Anthony McAnulty says: "we are trying for a total reservation for the entire property but have to be prepared that it may not happen.

"For the semis, bronze plate and final over the two weeks our price is NZ$1600.00 per night for the room (min 10 nights)."

McAnulty initially denied quoting a customer that price when contacted by, before viewing the email and stating he must have put in the wrong number.

He would not say what the correct price was, but said it was far less than the amount quoted.

"This is a commercial pricing arrangement between myself and a client," he said.

"If the client did not want to take the package or discuss that with us that's a choice by the client," he said.

McAnulty said he imagined Marsden would have also been sent "full data information" in relation to room rates as an email attachment which could have been "more self-explanatory".

He said he had already taken bookings for the cup.
"For the finals we are going to be a full house," said McAnulty.

Marsden said she believed she had given McAnulty every opportunity to correct himself, after she sent a follow-up email to him.

"Surely if he had put the wrong figure in he would have corrected it. I would have thought out of sheer embarrassment if nothing else."

In the follow-up email Marsden calls the figure "extreme" and wishes McAnulty luck.

"I am grateful that the other cities where we have booked are not doing the same," she said in the email.

In October 2007, McAnulty told the New Zealand Herald that tariffs at his bed and breakfast would increase during the cup, but "not to unrealistic levels".

"You could really get carried away and charge top dollar, and probably get it," he said at the time.

"But there is no point blowing your own campaign out of the water by charging ridiculously high prices."

The tariff for a double room as listed on Eden Park Bed and Breakfast's website ranges from $200 and $235 with a complimentary breakfast.

The rooms include Egyptian cotton bed linen, flowers, chests and racks for luggage and a private bathroom with underfloor heating and a heated mirror.

Some of the rooms also have an LCD flatscreen TV with access to HBO.

The rates quoted on the website are not the rates for the Rugby World Cup.

McAnulty said he was selling package deals during the Rugby World Cup and those deals were subject to a commission from a wholesaler, which could be up to 25 per cent.

The five-day package deal included airport transfers, sightseeing, a ghost tour, breakfast, and a barbecue before the game, he said.

Marsden who, with her husband, will be in New Zealand for the duration of the cup, said accommodation providers needed to be mindful of not exploiting tourists who were already paying thousands of pounds to travel to New Zealand.

Marsden said most bed and breakfasts she had contacted were charging between $200 and $400 for one room on a per night basis.

"From a personal point of view I'm happy to pay and accept I'm going to pay a premium because it's a business opportunity, but I think businesses need be mindful of what that premium is and be realistic."

"You have a wonderful opportunity to show the rugby world your country and I would hate for somebody to be left with a nasty taste in their mouth because they felt they were being ripped off because the country does not deserve that," she said.

This follows an earlier warning from industry groups telling accommodation providers to treat the Rugby World Cup like a peak season or face being priced out of the market.

The Rugby World Cup runs from September 10 to the weekend beginning October 22 next year, with nine games scheduled to be played at Eden Park, including the semi-finals and finals.

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