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  1. #1
    Super Dooper Wammer
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    Legal advice need o/a holiday complaint

    Here is the short version of a long protracted story.

    My mum and step-dad went on a package holiday overseas, last month.

    He had a heart attack and died.

    The tour operator treated her appallingly.

    Basically, 12 hours after he died, the early flight home was organised, for the following day.
    So, she had 24 hours to wait, but I was pleased and relieved with this efficiency. Although much of this efficiency was prompted by my actions, at this end.

    But from that lunchtime onwards she WAS LEFT TOTALLY ON HER OWN for the rest of her time there. ie NO contact with anyone from the tour company. Zilch.

    So, on her own totally the rest of that day and night and the following morning. Having to manhandle on her own, 2 large suitcases, 1 large handluggage, 1 handbag. taxi on her own to airport. dumped at airport kerb side, find trolley, lift luggage herself, push trolley, on her own in airport. wait in queque. refused boarding on plane as no one new about her situation etc etc etc etc. Just disgusting.

    Did I mention she is 77.

    I complained and after an investigation, they came back with a completly different version of events from what actually happened. Their version was what should have happened. ie the caring version.

    All they are admitting is that the next day, the tour rep "slept in" and didnt take mum to the airport. All else ( there were a catalogue of errors) they are denying. Staff are obviously lying to protect themselves.

    They did offer to send a bunch of flowers to mum. I suggested that they didnt. Apart from the obvious grief, the anger and frustration at how she was treated is still making things a little "raw". In addition, although she is aware that I complained, I have for the moment kept my dealings with them from her.

    I have spent 3 weeks and got no where. I have had numerous phone calls and E mails, the most recent from me was an E Mail last thursday, which advised that I wasnt happy with their response and wanted to take it further. I asked if they could advise me of the procedure. I have this morning received a further E Mail saying;

    "Of course as a consumer you do have rights so should you still feel unhappy with our response, we would ask you to continue your pursuit by whichever avenue you deem appropriate. We are regulated by ABTA and you can seek further advice from a third party of your choice."

    ie we are going to wash our hands of this now. see you. Bye !!!

    Can anyone who knows about this, point me in the right direction. ie Who do I go to for help with my complaint.

    Im am not going to name names etc here, but would do so by Pm if needed.

    With respect, please dont post here if you just have a similar story to tell, or want to suggest something "Wammish" like castration etc etc. I dont want a clutter.

    I simply want advice from someone who knows what they are talking about.

    Any help would be very gratefully received. Here or by PM

    thanks

  2. #2
    Super Wammer alphatoner's Avatar
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    Brian,

    I'm sorry for your loss and the treatment your mother has received at what must have been a very difficult time for you all. But you haven't actually said what your objective is in complaining. Do you want an apology, do you want them to admit they got it wrong and will do better in the future or do you want money or is it something else you are after? Very difficult for anyone to advise without knowing specifically what you want to achieve as an outcome.

    You say the company have given a different version of events. From your grievances

    She was left alone from lunchtime onwards - have they said this was not true and a representative did spend time with her?
    Manhandling suitcases on her own - are they saying someone was there and did help her either at the hotel the airport or both?
    Refused boarding on plane - Have the company denied this? (I assume you mean check-in rather than boarding)

    Are these your only complaints or are there more?

    Most companies initial reaction (usually company policy) is to always deny any fault. I suspect this is true in your case and that they have probably assumed that all you're after is some sort of monetary compensation and adopted the no fault response.
    Last edited by alphatoner; 06-03-2012 at 02:09 PM.
    Today, I be mostly eating curried bratwust sandwiches.

  3. #3
    Wammer turning japanese's Avatar
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    Hi Brian

    sorry for your loss mate and what a dreadful story - sadly I doubt there is much you can do but hopefully someone else will come along with a suggestion, travel insurance ABTA ATOL and most private insurance deals are all about the holiday experience not moral responsibility to behave like decent human beings in a crisis

    I hope I am wrong and you can make them think twice about doing this again to someone else, but the best I can offer is to seek negative publicity through watchdog, press etc - not sure if that is wise given your mum, you and the family have a lot to deal with already though

    my honest best advice is that perhaps this is one to forget about and concentrate on your mum

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  4. #4
    In the trade Wammer BobC's Avatar
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    Brian

    If your purpose is to wipe their noses in their poor performance and hope they learn from it, then don't waste your time writing to them at all. Just put your experiences on one or two mainstream web based review sites and name and shame them. Get it over and done with Brian, don't let their treatment of your mum build up into some kind of major issue for you, that kind of anger at a time of sorrow and grief just isn't worth it in the long run. You will just end up embroilled in a load of letter swapping and you will never feel satisfied...it will linger and hurt for longer than it should.

  5. #5
    Owner Mr Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobC View Post
    Brian

    If your purpose is to wipe their noses in their poor performance and hope they learn from it, then don't waste your time writing to them at all. Just put your experiences on one or two mainstream web based review sites and name and shame them. Get it over and done with Brian, don't let their treatment of your mum build up into some kind of major issue for you, that kind of anger at a time of sorrow and grief just isn't worth it in the long run. You will just end up embroilled in a load of letter swapping and you will never feel satisfied...it will linger and hurt for longer than it should.
    yes, as a local touristy company near where I lived had an issue with a customer who said some nasty things about them on tripadvisor - and there was basically nothing they could do about it, except that tripadvisor have a premium account which allows companies to reply at a cost...
    maybe worth sticking something up on there too...
    this sig is intentionally blank...

  6. #6
    Super Dooper Wammer
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    Thanks for your comments guys, and your kind words.

    What do I want?
    I want blood, lots of it. I want a head on a stick. I want the corporate balls of this company, on a platter.

    This is a "biggy" in the travel world. The way they treated my mum at the time was just disgusting. It wasnt just the guy who slept in. She was let down by the whole team in the resort. If it had just been a mistake by one person I would have moved on. There is/was an attempt at the local level to cover up, by telling lies. The company have condoned it in there responses. it has been swept under their corporate carpet. Oh yes, they have said the right things "learn from this" etc etc.
    It isnt sufficient. I want more than the offer of a bunch of flowers. It isnt about money/compensation etc.
    I want revenge. Now that isnt normally me. In this case I am prepared to make an exception.
    I recognise that this is all emotional. I dont care. I do not feel like letting them lie to me and simply forgetting the whole affair.

    In their E mails latterly, they have written " without prejudice". At the end there is a load of blurb. prefaced with " CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE & DISCLAIMER "

    I dont know the law. Before I start revealing things on web sites etc etc, I need advice about what I cant or can do. It has been suggested that I get in touch with some newspapers. Again, I need advice.

    So, with respect. That is what I am looking for at the moment. Who do I go to to help and advise me?
    Last edited by take5; 06-03-2012 at 03:51 PM.

  7. #7
    Super Dooper Wammer
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    Quote Originally Posted by take5 View Post
    Thanks for your comments guys, and your kind words.

    What do I want?
    I want blood, lots of it. I want a head on a stick. I want the corporate balls of this company, on a platter.

    This is a "biggy" in the travel world. The way they treated my mum at the time was just disgusting. It wasnt just the guy who slept in. She was let down by the whole team in the resort. If it had just been a mistake by one person I would have moved on. There is/was an attempt at the local level to cover up, by telling lies. The company have condoned it in there responses. it has been swept under their corporate carpet. Oh yes, they have said the right things "learn from this" etc etc.
    It isnt sufficient. I want more than the offer of a bunch of flowers. It isnt about money/compensation etc.
    I want revenge. Now that isnt normally me. In this case I am prepared to make an exception.
    I recognise that this is all emotional. I dont care. I do not feel like letting them lie to me and simply forgetting the whole affair.

    In their E mails latterly, they have written " without prejudice". At the end there is a load of blurb. prefaced with " CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE & DISCLAIMER "

    I dont know the law. Before I start revealing things on web sites etc etc, I need advice about what I cant or can do. It has been suggested that I get in touch with some newspapers. Again, I need advice.

    So, with respect. That is what I am looking for at the moment. Who do I go to to help and advise me?
    Try a solicitor first-my mum has just said that the first session is usually free. They will advise the best way forward.

    Best wishes

    Ian

    p.s. she also said go for their gonads.

  8. #8
    Banhammer Time TheMinimalCriminal's Avatar
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    FWIW, they've clearly had someone with some legal background involved. Without prejudice in a letter means that the letter cannot be presented as evidence in a court of law or to an arbitrator in a case of arbitration. It is effectively a mechanism that allows someone to make an offer without that offer then queering their pitch if the case does go down the legal route.
    "RECYCLE suitably - including facial-hair onto garden." - Chumpy

  9. #9
    Super Dooper Wammer
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    Jon, thanks.

    Yes, I thought that myself.

    Initially I was dealing with folks further down the ladder and E mails didnt include that phrase, or the lengthy disclaimer at the end.

    I think I then got further up the ladder, and suddenly those phrases appeared. As I said, this is one of the " big" tour companies, so Im sure they will have legal folks involved now, although I havent threatened them in any way.

    Ian/alphatoner. To answer your query. They have admitted that the tour rep slept in. They have neither denied or confirmed anything else. They simply said that my version is different from theres.
    There version is so full of holes and contradictions, that Im sure it could be torn apart.

    I am going to have a look now at their terms and conditions and see if I can find anything in there about duty of care etc.

  10. #10
    Banhammer Time TheMinimalCriminal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by take5 View Post
    I am going to have a look now at their terms and conditions and see if I can find anything in there about duty of care etc.
    Check ABTA's T&Cs as well as they will need to comply with those as well if they are a member.
    "RECYCLE suitably - including facial-hair onto garden." - Chumpy

  11. #11
    Super Dooper Wammer def's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear of your loss.

    Why not contact ABTA and ask their advice? They should be able to tell you what the companies legal responsibilties were with regard to a vulnerable person
    Last edited by def; 07-03-2012 at 10:46 AM.

  12. #12
    Wammer Jason P's Avatar
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    it might also be worth trying the 'travel' pages of some of the more reputable papers - they often have 'travel clinic' style columns that deal with this kind of issue. Look in the Indy or Guardian and see if there's anything suitable. If no joy there, how about Watchdog?
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