Never again with lowcost holidays

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DDKing's review of Lowcostholidays.com - www.lowcostholidays.com

“Never again with lowcost holidays”

Written on: 07/10/2013 by DDKing (1 review written)

Booked our holiday with lowcost holidays and at the time of booking we opted to pay for late checkout as our departure from the hotel was 21:50 and did not want to be waiting in the hotel lobby from 12 noon which is the normal checkout time. Low and behold we was in our room at 14:30 and the phone rings. Why are you still in your room you should have been out at 12 noon, I replied we have paid for late check out, the reception asked us to bring down the holiday voucher so they could check. Thanks a bunch lowcost holidays you only sent it as a request and not a paid for option which we wanted. Second disaster was the transfer from the airport to the hotel. we asked inside the airport which coach to get on and they said coach 'G' which we got onto. sitting down waiting to go the travel rep comes on boad the coach to check our travel voucher and our names were not listed so off the coach we get, the coach was only quarter full anyway so we could of stayed on it really. we were told to wait over there for coach 19. which we did it turns out to be a beat up old van with 6 seats and our luggege had to go onto the back seats with two other peoples. the 50 minute transfer was crazy with the driver driving so close to the vehicles in front speeding along with doors and windows rattling. the worst ever we thought we were going to crash at on stage. then the fun starts I checked to find out what time our pick up was for our return transfer and to my amazement we had to download the shuttle hoppa app to our mobile input the travel voucher ref number to get the pick up time. Never again with lowcost holidays. Flight though was excellent as you would expect with Thompson and the Marhaba Palce hotel Port El Kantaoui was lovely. next time we go back it will be either with Thomas cook or Thompson holidays everything in one package and NOT as lowcost do it all over the place. I would finally like to add Tunisia is a wonderful place it was our second time there and we will be going back. Please just be careful who you book with and you'll have a fantastic holiday in Tunisia. If we could have booked with Thomas Cook we would have done but could not get the flights we wanted. Thomas Cook was who we used on our first holiday and can highly recommed them......

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Lowcostholidays.com's Response to DDKing's Review

Written on: 08/10/2013

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for your feedback. We welcome all forms of feedback to allow us to move forward and improve our service and experience for our customers.

I am sorry to hear of your negative experiences, as these are not conducive to a relaxing, well earned holiday. The best advice I can give you is to submit a formal complaint to our customer relations department. They can open a case and investigate all problems raised and offer a profressional and efficient solution for you.

I hope this is of help to you. If you require anything else please do not hesitate to contact us

Kind Regards
Marc

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Srjenkins's reply to Lowcostholidays.com's Comment

Written on: 23/10/2013

BUT will you reply to a formal complaint. I have sent 4 since August and you have not bothered!!!

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Lowcostholidays.com's reply to Srjenkins's Comment

Written on: 23/10/2013

Hello,

Can you please confirm where you sent the complaint? If this was an official complaint and to customer relations, there would be a standard response time involved.

kind regards
Marc

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Srjenkins's reply to Lowcostholidays.com's Comment

Written on: 23/10/2013

I believe the auto response said 6 weeks. It was sent early august originally.

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Lowcostholidays.com's reply to Srjenkins's Comment

Written on: 23/10/2013

Hello

If you could forward me the email - i will chase this up for you.

kind regards
marc

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Srjenkins's reply to Lowcostholidays.com's Comment

Written on: 23/10/2013

Sadly, although I am not surprised, you have responded within hours of this 'public' complaint yet I received nothing when writing directly as you suggest.

Here are the communications as requested above:

Sent: Thursday, 8 August 2013, 15:48
Subject: 6319092




I booked a holiday for myself and my family to Tunisia departing 19th August on the above booking reference.

The requested 50% payment was made on April 5th and the remaining 50% paid 27th May, 6 weeks prior to our departure.

I was starting to get things ready and week commencing July 27th I logged on to check our flight information. I noticed there was a change in our outward flight form 8.30 on Monday 19th to 17.10 on the Tuesday 20th. I double checked our booking information against your paperwork, which was as I expected a Monday flight so made a call to your offices.

I was put through to someone who assured me I must be mistaken. All the hotels and transfers etc were confirmed for the 19th but when she checked the flight information she too was surprised to discover the discrepancy. I was put on hold while she double checked.

When she returned she said there was in fact a change in the out going flight and advised me she would make some enquiries and come back to me the next day.

I had to make the initial call the next day where she advised me that in fact she had found that not only had the outward flight been changed but the return flight had in fact been cancelled. I was astounded to hear this. I asked if Low Cost Holidays (LCH) had been advised of this and she said no, British Airways (BA) had not advised LCH of any of the flight changes. She assured me that she would be able to secure alternative flights for my trip. I offered to change dates within a 2 week period, airport departure and even in the end hotel and destination, but the next day she confirmed no flights were available to anywhere in Tunisia.

You will appreciate I was in total shock that a holiday booked and paid for some months back could be changed and no one had advised me of the initial change to the outward flight, let alone the complete cancellation of my return flight. I repeatedly asked if anyone at BA had advised LCH and she said absolutely not. I asked her what reason had been given to the changes and cancellation but she could not give me one. She just repeatedly blamed BA for the issue and when pushed said BA are blaming us and we are blaming BA.

I was not happy to leave this issue and so logged on again to the flight information at BA and found that my family were listed against the flights and in fact the return flight was not cancelled as I had been advised. I spoke to BA direct as I wanted to understand the problems and was getting no where with LCH. BA advised the outward flight was changed in April as is common practice when they re organise flights schedules, and the return flight was not cancelled, just full. They explained that LCH had approached them to book us on (presumably when we booked our holiday), hence our names being held against the flights by BA, but not confirmed our tickets for them to be issued. The reserved tickets were cancelled on 5th April, 2 days after I had paid my required deposit. There was still room on the outward flight. I asked if BA would have advised LCH of the changes and he found that there were two phonecalls to LCH from BA with reference to capacity on July 10th and July 15th, and an email on 31st May also about trying to get capacity yet LCH still denied any contact from BA regards these flights.

I was extremely patient throughout the whole episode, having faith that LCH would get me a holiday. I was totally flexible on dates, hotels and even the country! I had booked early getting my perfect holiday for a good price, and felt I would have little chance to re book at the same price. I wanted a new holiday to be offered, and if that holiday was at a higher cost I felt LCH should cover this as my contract was with them, not BA. LCH had been let down by their chosen supplier not me!! Would Sainsbury send me to the dairy if I had returned them a sour pint of milk? I think not! I sent LCH the below email in an effort to try and sort the issue before the weekend.

Sent: Thursday, 25 July 2013, 23:15
Subject: Booking Refernece 6319092

Hi,

As per our numerous telephone conversations over the last two days I would like to confirm my understanding of the situation and my expectations for an acceptable resolution.

I called you on Wednesday 24th July as I wanted confirmation of the way the eticket system worked. I also queried why the checkmytrip website detailed my outgoing flight to be on the evening of Tuesday 20th August, rather than the morning of Monday 19th as expected and detailed on all my paperwork from you. After you confirmed that indeed there was a difference to our original booking you called BA and advised me that there had been a change to the out going flight but more importantly BA had in fact cancelled our return flight in April 2013.

You assured me this could be sorted and I offered to travel for our 8 night stay any time within Saturday 17th August and Thursday 29th August to help the situation. You asked if there were any alternative destinations that I may like as BA were likely to offer me alternative flights and you would then search out accommodation. We decided that at this time it would be better to try for Tunisia flights and address alternative destinations should it be necessary. I queried to you that I found it unbelievable that BA should cancel a flight in April and not advise you. You confirmed that no advice had been given to anyone in Low Cost Holidays about any of my flight changes or flight cancellation. At the end of Wednesday you still had not been able to offer a solution but promised you would call me the next day Thursday 25th (today).

I had received no call from you by 11am this morning so called the number detailed on your paperwork. It took two calls and speaking to four people before I spoke to you where you advised there were indeed no flights available to Tunisia on any of the date options I had given and it was likely I would have to have a refund. You advised that the error lay with BA and I would get my refund for my flights from them and the remainder from yourselves. I again asked that at no time had BA told you about the changes and you again confirmed this requesting that a relevant email from BA detailing the issue would be forwarded to me to assist in a claim for compensation that clearly would be due. You asked if I would like a refund and I said I would like an alternative holiday to be found. Although Tunisia was our first destination choice we were willing to accept the problem and for you to offer alternative destinations. You advised I would have to start the holiday booking process again which I know will be an impossible task at this late date. Our early booking ensured we could get the destination we wanted with the accommodation and board basis within our budget. That budget will not stretch to current prices and should not have to. I advised I would contact you later today.

After some research and taking advice I called you at 3pm today. I found that the outward flight was changed some time ago by BA and feel we should have been advised of this. It reduced our holiday by one night plus a day and a half and surely a refund should have been due? Our return flight was not as you led me to believe, 'cancelled', in fact it was just our unconfirmed seats that were cancelled. We made the requested payment on April 3rd and these seats (along with our originally booked flight on the Monday morning) were cancelled via an automated system at BA on 5th April as you did not carry out the necessary task to get the tickets generated. Despite you repeatedly saying Low Cost Holidays were unaware of the flight changes, I have been advised that an email about the effort to get capacity was sent on 31st May. Further telephone conversations were made on July 10th and July 15th again trying to sort capacity. I requested that I receive a phone call advising me of developments by 4.30pm today - this call was received at 5.20pm.

You told me this evening that you still believe BA to be in the wrong, and confirmed that they (BA) believe Low Cost Holidays are at fault. Where do I go from here? From the information you have given I feel any request for compensation will be a long and difficult fight but one I will take on should it become necessary. I am sadly finding the service provided to me by Low Cost Holidays to be poor and unprofessional yet booking the holiday was the total opposite. You have been very helpful, but somewhere in between my booking and the confirmation to the airline something has gone wrong?

I DO NOT wish to fight, and I DO NOT wish to get a refund - I just want my long awaited holiday and to take my girls on their first ever plane journey to a place that my husband and I last visited only months before starting our family some 12 years ago.

Other tour operators are still offering holidays to Tunisia at the time we wish to travel but at a price above our budget due to the short departure date. I ask that a 'like for like' holiday be sought by you, from an alternative operator if necessary should you be unable to produce a suitable alternative to our first choice destination. Thomas Cook offer flights from Bristol and I am willing to make this extra trip as long as travel costs and parking are included.

I believe you are in breach of contract. Our contract is with Low Cost Holidays not BA, and at no time should we be expected to have any dealings with one of your suppliers. We should also not be caught in a "who's to blame?" argument between you and your supplier. Totally unprofessional!

We have paid in full for holiday accommodation, flights, transfers and insurance and I have been more than flexible about the problems offering many alternative dates and, if absolutely necessary change of destination.

I expect confirmation of receipt of this email by 10am tomorrow Friday 26th July, and by midday tomorrow Friday 26th July an offer of a suitable replacement holiday, (to be approved by us).

Regards,

***

I am afraid the attitude and customer service deteriorated the more that contact was made.

As you can see I asked the agent to confirm receipt of the email which she did not. Thirty seconds work would have avoided my anger rising. When I again had to call her she apologised, confirmed she had got the email and then asked if I wanted her to still email the receipt. I was lost for words!! I demanded to speak to a manager but was told they were in a meeting and so I asked for a call back. In fact that meeting presumably lasted ALL DAY as I never got to speak to anyone in authority. In fact throughout the whole process no one from LCH managed to return any phone call I requested.

I was offered a refund which I refused. I did not want my money I wanted a holiday. I finally did lose my temper demanding to speak to someone who could sort the problem and she replied in a very unprofessional manner that I was not entitled to be able to get a new holiday, it was not their fault and they owed me nothing!! I was totally shocked and said I would phone back and swiftly put the phone down.

On my next call she did agree to transfer my refund to the new booking line to book a new holiday but again said LCH would not cover any higher priced holiday. I said I would speak to my husband and call back. I made several calls later that afternoon but was unable to get hold of anyone so at 17.41 on Friday 26th July I emailed and reluctantly offered to accept a refund. I was again totally shocked at the LCH actions finding that a refund had actually been processed against my wishes some hours earlier at 12.04 and 12.05 26th July.

I was very happy with the handling of the original booking, but can not believe the after care service, which was in fact was non existent. I should have been offered an alternative holiday at your expense if necessary. I am also rather surpirsed to receive an email from you advising I had 14 days to go till my holiday and was I excited? Was there anything you could do to help get my holiday started well? WHAT A JOKE!!!!! You failed to:

Honour your contract with me
Deal with changes to flights/arrange necessary partial refund
Address an issue with your supplier - you unprofessionally blamed one another
Contact me and reply to my requests and answer queries
Provide me with a holiday

I have had to re book through an alternative agent at a further cost to me of £400 and I demand this be paid to me in compensation for the problems you have caused.




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