‘If you book something which looks like the Sheraton, you shouldn’t end up in a shed’
IN A survey by Gocompare.com travel insurance – of more than 1,400 people who’ve been on holiday abroad in the last five years, 39% said their hotel fell a long way short of the travel brochure or website description.
50% said the facilities provided by the hotel didn’t match the description
43% said the rooms were nothing like the photographs
40% disagreed with the star rating given to the hotel
28% felt the location of the hotel was not as it was described
17% found the hotel had undeclared building work going on
14% said that the hotel surroundings were awful but were cropped out of the brochure photographs
23% felt let down by the whole experience
Many of the disgruntled tourists weren’t prepared to take their disappointing accommodation lying down: 11% complained at the hotel, getting a free room upgrade, and 8% complained direct to the holiday company and received a partial refund. But 12% found the resort travel rep unhelpful and 17% said that they would not use the same holiday company again. Eighteen percent didn’t complain to anyone.
Alex Edwards, travel insurance spokesperson at Gocompare.com, commented: ‘It’s shameful that so many holidaymakers have felt utterly misled by travel companies’ brochures and websites. When you’ve spent several hundred if not thousands of pounds to get away for a few weeks abroad, you should be confident that what you see in the brochure is what you get at the resort. Unfortunately for many holidaymakers, what they hope will be the highlight of the summer is the let-down of the year.
‘However, although it may not rescue your holiday you might be able to get some recompense if you take up your complaint with the travel company. If they’re an ATOL or Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) member, they should be operating to certain standards in the first place and will have set guidelines for dealing with complaints. If you booked with an ABTA member you’ll also be able to use their independent complaints hub and arbitration service if you don’t feel you’ve been treated fairly by the travel company.
‘You are also afforded some protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if you paid for your holiday with your credit card and something goes wrong. This covers items costing over £100 and not more than £30,000. As a last resort, you can consider taking your case to the small claims court for breach of contract. In England and Wales the maximum you can claim is £10,000 and in Scotland and Northern Ireland it’s £3,000. However, all consumers really want is the holiday hotel they were expecting. If you book something which looks like the Sheraton, you shouldn’t end up in a shed.’
Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk
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