Misldeading advertising & a proper rip off!

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Guest's review of Viva - www.viva-holidays.co.uk

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“Misldeading advertising and a proper rip off!”

Written on: 20/08/2012

I booked a 3 night trip to Poland through Groupon 3 months in advance. When I booked it there were "11 groupons bought" for a period of 2 months (ie there couldn't have been full occupancy at any hotel, even if all 11 people booked the same date in those two months).
I was told that I have to pay £20 more per person to get a morning flight from Gatwick (when the promotion didn't actually say that or that it was based on an evening flight). Understandably, we took the morning flight option - on a 3 day break you don't want to arrive at 10pm. Then they said that the hotel on the promotion (city centre) was not available and booked us in one 2 miles out. The overall deal cost £190 per person "discounted from £255".

I checked online after booking through them (should have smelled a rat earlier, but a good lesson for the future) and actually the total cost for 2 flights and the same hotel on the same dates was in the region of £240 for 2 people. I queried with them how the "discount from £255" was calculated down to £190pp (which was still more expensive) and the response was that Groupon actually set the £255 price (which is very hard to believe). All in all, I felt robbed and learned my lesson. When I queried the availability of hotels and dates (based on which they changed the hotel to the one far from the centre) they said there were only 2-3 rooms available to them to begin with (!!!). So basically the deal offered was not available to be booked by more than 2-3 people in the first place.

Our friends who are joining us for the same weekend - after we warned them - booked the same flights and a better hotel for a cheaper price on their own - and without the feeling that they were robbed.

Summary:
- Expensive
- The deal we booked doesn't look anything like the one that was advertised in terms of price, hotel or original dates
- Misleading advertising (the £170 - later £190 - was based on an evening flight, and that £190 was never a discounted price from a fictitious £255 to begin with)

PS: The fact that the reviews are only 1 star and 4-5 star really IS a giveaway.

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