I take your point
Think i was trying to find out if anyone had gone down the small claim route with a holiday company and try to find out what time scale and costs were involved.
Anyway, for anyone who is intrested here's a copy of initial letter of complaint:
We would like to make our complaint about the above booking reference number. This
holiday was booked in February 2008 and was for 7 nights stay (10.05.08 - 17.05.08) for 2adults in the Club Praia Da Oura in the Algarve. The total cost of the holiday was £940.80.On Friday 09.05.08 we left our home at 4.30pm to stay with friends who live close to Manchester Airport which was were our flight was from.We flew into Faro on 10.05.08, as scheduled, to be met by a Thomas Cook rep for coach transfer to our accommodation. It was at this point that we were told that there had been an"over booking" and we could not stay at the Club Praia Da Oura but we would now be stayingat the Cerro Malpique. We were shocked to say the least and explained to the rep that we had not booked an "accommodation on arrival" so therefore felt that this treatment was unfairand unreasonable. The rep advised us to go to the accommodation and a supervisor wouldvisit us that day at 5pm. This we did. The "Cerro Malpique" was barely open and there was a total lack of facilities that we had paid for.At 5pm the Thomas Cook Supervisor (a lady called Kim) arrived to speak to us. She admittedthat this was a Thomas Cook error and she was apologetic. She told us that she was "not goingto insult our intelligence and tell us that the Cerro Malpique was of the same standard as theClub Praia Da Oura as it clearly was not, it was totally substandard but they had nothing elsethat they could offer us".We were totally devastated by this, we had paid a lot of money for 1 weeks holiday in accommodation that was situated on the beach at the the bottom of the "strip" in the Praia DaOura Resort in the Algarve. On arrival in Portugal we were put in a hotel that was in a different resort - The Old Town in Alberfura - it was a good 15 minute walk to a beach and the hotel was situated at the top of a steep hill in the middle of a residential area.The Cerro Malpique had no bars or anywhere that we could get snacks, it had no restaurantand offered no activities or entertainment. All of these facilities were offered at the ClubPraia Da Oura which is what we paid for.We asked Kim if we could fly home and she told us that there were no flights available.The next time that we met Kim was on the Tuesday when she brought a customer servicesform to complete and leave at reception for her to collect, check and sign before giving us acopy. She had also completed a report of which she would also leave us a copy. We completedthe form and left it at reception.On the Wednesday 14.05.08 we finally decided enough is enough, the accommodation that wehad been put in had such a detrimental effect on our holiday that it meant that it was "not fitfor the purpose for which it was purchased". We wanted a relaxing holiday on the beach and we had not got that. We arranged our own flights home, the soonest being the Monarch flight at7pm that night so we booked it at a cost of 426,88€ ( £350.85 debited our account) we took ataxi to the airport at a cost of 40,45€ (approx £32.24).On the morning of Wednesday 14.05.08 we telephoned a Thomas cook number that thehotel manager gave to us which was 289 890 260 and spoke to a lady called Marlene. We explained the situation and requested that the copies of the customer services forms were brought to us before we left the resort. We told her that we were being picked up at 3pm. By 2pmnobody had brought the forms and nobody had contacted us. We telephoned again to be told thatMarlene was out until 2.30pm and that Kim was off on that day. They would have to try and track the forms and get them to us. They took our room number and said they would phone usback. At 3pm when our taxi arrived we had received no phone call and nobody had brought the forms. We left without them and to our knowledge they are still in the Algarve.We would record that the hotel manager was most helpful and sympathetic to our cause. He offered us more help and assistance than anyone. He even gave us a brief guide to "gettingaround the resort" which was a big help as Thomas Cook reps dumped us at the hotel withno welcome package and no "whats on welcome meeting". Kim did give us a mobile numberwhich was unobtainable when we tried it.We feel that we have been let down drastically by Thomas Cook. Not only having been dumpedin an inadequate accommodation in a different resort but the day of arrival being the first weknew of it. Had we been informed before departing Britain we would have requested that ourholiday be changed to a different date when the Club Praia Da Oura was available.We would respectfully request that you acknowledge receipt of this complaint and confirm ASAPwhen we can expect to receive recompense. We would note that the minimum that we are willing to accept by way of a refund is £1,323.89. This is made up as follows :-Full refund of holiday (which had to be cut short by 3 nights) cost £940.80Full refund of flights home 426,88€£350.85Full refund of taxi to Faro Airport 40,45€£32.24£1,323.89We would also consider accepting any amount of compensation that you feel appropriate aftercausing your paying customer so much stress and anguish.We would also record that on returning to our home in the UK we had a message on our answer phone from Thomas Cook informing us of this change and this was received at 16.55pmon Friday 09.05.08 i.e. after we had left our home for our holiday.We are sending this letter by email to email@example.com will also post by registered post to your address in Bradford.