Written on: 19/02/2013
Having just found this review centre on the web, I decided I wanted to share my experience with those who are about to book a break / holiday with KPX Travel. Especially as we notice they are advertising Venice trips again with Groupon.
I can tell you in one simple word based on my experience DON’T.
Like a few other reviewers comments, I booked a GROUPON OFFER for a 3 night break, in Venice, in the 4 star Hotel Kette, including flights from Gatwick (Bristol was also available but places limited) to include breakfasts, and a Gondola ride, for the inclusive price of £458.
So impressed with this offer, I booked it more or less as soon as it went live, on 18th. October 2012, in fact I was the 4th person to purchase the deal.
This was booked as a surprise celebration for our 25th. Anniversary and I had planned to give this to my partner for a Christmas present.
She would have been delighted with this trip, and I couldn’t wait to see her face when she opened her present. But could I keep it a surprise till Christmas. Read on and you will see!!
After booking the trip and receiving the confirmation I had paid in full by MasterCard. Instructions followed as to the dates to travel, and links to their web site.
I opened the site to find what appeared to be a totally unrelated holiday site , making promises of ABTA protected, first class service they offered , but nothing regarding The Groupon Voucher I had just purchased for Venice, then I saw a form which I was asked to complete with preferred dates of travel ( nothing on the airport choices). I completed this form and added a foot note to say I could travel on other dates and was flexible.
I forwarded the form within 20 minutes of purchasing the deal in the hope that I would get my choice of dates? and being 4th. to purchase the deal, remember thinking I have got in quickly so should be absolutely fine.
After a hour or so, for some reason I started to get a bit concerned as I had not had a reply back, or telephone call acknowledging receipt of my booking the dates I had entered, or offered a choice of departure airport. (I had wanted Bristol as was offered in the original deal.)I went back onto the Groupon site and noticed the numbers who had purchased this deal increasing all the time , from memory over 50 people had bought the deal so far. I felt very optimistic, as I had sent my booking form back immediately, and as I was fourth person to buy, I was just waiting for the confirmation to follow.
I heard nothing at all, despite having left my email addresses, and two contact telephone numbers.
Becoming more concerned I decided to Call KPX TRAVEL, to make sure they had received my details.
I called 4 of the 5 telephone numbers on their website. All were dead. I decided then to send emails to their customer services dept, reservations dept, and Administration Dept, I also copied in Groupon.
I even sent an email to the Hotel in Venice to see if our room had been confirmed by KPX Travel.
That afternoon, I still had no reply from any of them , I called again but the lines were still all dead, apart from one where I left a message for them to call me regarding my booking, I provided two contact telephone numbers. I sent the emails again to KPX TRAVEL, who also seem to be linked with a company called “ifly holidays”, copying in GROUPON asking them to contact me.
On Saturday, October 20, 2012 2:35 PM I received the attached email from KPX
This is mail regarding the Deal that you have purchased online through Groupon getaway. We got the details here that you have provided us. But you date has not been confirmed till now. We tried to reach to you to confirm the dates. And we were unable to reach to you. Can you please give us call as soon as possible on direct line number ………………(Number removed) to confirm the holiday”.
Upon opening the email, I immediately called the number as shown; low and behold the line was dead with a continuous tone.
Becoming really quite anxious now, I sent emails to Groupon, asking what the problem was with this company and were they legitimate? I got an automated acknowledgement advice from them, saying it would be looked at.
I looked at the Groupon offer again, and saw even more people had signed up for this offer, and thought, good job I got in early with my dates, and felt hopeful, I would get what I had bought.
However, deep down I was becoming quite concerned as no one appeared to be answering emails or retuning my calls.
On Sunday 21 October , at 1700 hours (3 days after the deal was purchased) I recd a telephone call from someone at KPX Travel telling me that are no direct flights to Venice on any of the departure days I have requested, or on any date from the 1st to the 11th. February 2013. and in any case this holiday is now sold out and not available????????
Whilst it states, in the advertisement, there may be limited availability on certain dates, as I was the 4th. person to purchase this deal, I cannot believe all these dates have sold out.
But they could offer me a different holiday but not in Venice and offered me Spain?
He insisted that they had tried to contact me by telephone several times, at work and at my home, and has asked to speak to my partner , which I didn’t want to happen as this was meant to be a surprise.
No messages have been left, and I have had no missed calls .I believe he must have miss dialled.
I asked why he did not leave a message, and he replied "because it went into answer machine". (I thought that is the whole point of having an answering machine service).
At this point , my partner heard this conversation and asked what was going on , I had no choice than to reveal all and tell her of the surprise which was no more, then decided to write a letter to Groupon and sent this to their customer services manager for some explanation. It was some days before this would be answered, by their customer services manager who apologised, and gave me £20 worth of GROUPON VOUCHERS for the distress caused.
He asked me to make contact with KPX manager at my earliest convenience.
When I called KPX they also apologised and gave me several options, including a choice of dates and Bristol airport at a cost of another £85 each.
We responded to their offer immediately, and picked new dates they had suggested, agreed our holiday leave with our employers but decided to fly from Gatwick, instead of Bristol due to the convenience of flying into a closer airport.
We thought at last all confirmed. But alas no!
They then came back to us again several days later saying , this will incur a room upgrade at the Hotel (Even though they previously claimed that this Hotel was fully booked) which they were now offering to me at an extra £185 each ( £370 ) on top of the £458 I had already paid. I refused this.
They then offered a different choice of Hotel which they were unable to name and didn’t materialise.
I was then asked if there were any other dates we could go on, and they suggested some dates.
I accepted the alternative dates they offered flying on the 22nd March, and cancelled our holiday leave with our employers for the previous dates they were able to offer, and re booked these dates they informed us were available together with the flights we wanted via Gatwick.
We waited for our confirmation, and it just didn’t happen. I rang the same person and spoke to his colleague, who said this was available, but the person I wanted to speak to was off sick, but he would get him to call me upon his return.
I left it for a few days and called again, he was back at work and I left another message for him to either call me or send an email confirming my booking.
It just didn’t happen.
I am now at our wits end, and again I complained to Groupon who apologised again, and they made a gesture credit on my Groupon account for unacceptable unprofessional service that we had endured, let alone all the stress we went through.
I asked if they would investigate why KPX TRAVEL were doing this to us, and I told them I had absolutely no faith in this company what so ever and doubted their ability to organise any holiday.
At this point Groupon offered me my money back. Which they claimed would take 3-5 days to appear on my credit card.
This didn’t materialise either, and after complaining again, they ended up doing a manual credit.
All in all this has been the worst experience of purchasing a holiday I have ever had. It has taken from 18.October 2012- now to get our money back, and we still have no holiday booked to celebrate our 25th anniversary.
In Groupons defence, they promote and sell the vouchers and hopefully vet the company they are promoting. They have tried to secure this holiday for us with KPX, and they did credit our Groupon account for the unacceptable service we experienced.
It l surprised us even more, when we noticed that a similar deal was offered on Groupon, for the same dates we originally requested in Mid February, at the same Hotel only a few weeks ago, for less than the £458 we paid. This was the Hotel which KPX TRAVEL told us was fully booked for the whole of that period. If that was the case why couldn’t KPX have negotiated a room for us? As clearly there were rooms available, which I am sure they could have secured if they really wanted to.
As for KPX TRAVEL what can I say, they were a nightmare to deal with, even when they answered an email and gave us some hope this was going to happen ,by offering us different dates, which we accepted , either the price increased dramatically , or they couldn’t honour what they offered us.
A very disappointing frustrating experience that I wouldn’t wish on any one.
We would not even accept a holiday from this company even if it were provided free of charge.
Our advice- avoid KPX TRAVEL.
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