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Lowcostholidays/Htop hotels


jbenmore
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Hi,

 

We have just returned from a stay in Costa Brava where we booked our accomodation on an allocation on arrival basis, a 4 star Htop resort being the given, there are about 5 of these over Costa Brava. It says on the website before booking that they will let you know where exactly you will be staying at least 4 days before you leave so that there is time to book transfers.

 

Exactly 4 days before we were emailed with allocation at Htop Royal Beach in Lloret de Mar. We then booked return transfers to/from this hotel.

 

We arrived very late (after 11pm) at the hotel and were told by the surly man behind reception that we were not booked into this hotel but another Htop half an hours cab ride away. There were 6 of us (4 adults and 2 young children) so it needed 2 cabs to get us there. This cost over 70 euros. I have also since found out that I spent £15+ on phonecalls to lowcostholidays and the transfer company, on hold etc trying to sort it out.

 

The boy I spoke to at Lowcostholidays wasnt much use and just said to keep receipts but they havent responded to my email I sent last week and so I am now considering sending a letter threatening legal action to try to recover the money spent and also hopefully some compensation for the trouble we had and distress caused on arrival.

 

Has anyone dealt with lowcostholidays before? Are Htop at fault? They said it was up to me to contact my agent and refused to accept any blame.

 

Funny thing is that a bunch of girls from Wales arrived a day later than us and had exactly the same problem but booked through a different company, which makes me think its Htop at fault. Maybe they use up their rooms at the more expensive hotels to get more money and then late arrivers get shipped off to a cheaper hotel?

 

Are there any templates or suggestions as to what I should write? Is compensation an option?

 

Any advice is much appreciated

 

James

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Hi James

We contacted the CAG admin and they invited us to join the forum and to make a response to you.

We apologise that there was a change to your accommodation arrangements upon arrival and that you have had trouble contacting us. The feedback we receive is of the utmost importance and paramount to the quality control of our operation.

There are unfortunately some hoteliers who deliberately accept more bookings than they can possibly accommodate, even when the normal cancellation ratio is taken into account. We would however like to establish how this situation arose and assure you that once this is identified any appropriate action deemed necessary will be taken to prevent a recurrence.

Therefore if you could forward your lowcostholidays.com booking reference number to info[at]lowcostholidays.com we will be able to investigate into this matter and respond accordingly.

Please accept our most sincere apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.

lowcostholidays.com

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lowcostholidays you are very welcome to this forum.

 

It is very encouraging when companies are prepared to engage on an open forum with people who complain about them.

 

Mistakes can happen with any organisation. It is how that organisation deals with it afterwards which is often the real test of good customer service.

 

jbenmore, I hope that you will be able to resolve this problem and that you will report back here as to how things are going.

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Hi,

 

I must admit I am encouraged by the fact that lowcostholidays are looking at these forums and have made the effort to respond to my issues. I will send my holiday reference number to the above email address and keep you all up to date on here with any progress made. Thanks to consumer action group I might get somewhere!!

 

cheers!

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  • 1 month later...

Hi I thought I ought to update about the very disappointing progress of this situation. After the very encouraging reply above I am afraid that I didnt get much joy from the above email address and have sent various other reminders, all that have not been graced with a response. I did write a letter in response to a letter I received asking for taxi receipts and saying that they would refund these, so I sent off a letter with the taxi receipts also requesting refunds for phone charges and general compensation for distress caused. It has been over 28 days since this letter was sent by me in response but I havent received a reply, so I am sending another letter tomorrow explaining that I will be taking this through the small claims court. Can anyone give me some advice on how I might proceed now through the claims courts? I am very confident of winning as obviously taxi fares, phone charges and some compensation for distress ( for instance, our young daughter wet herself due to crying at midnight due to being sent away from the original hotel) were clearly no fault of our own and it is veryu clear to see where the blame lies. Any advice is greatly received.

 

I am sure that these holiday companies join these forums just to temporarily placate disgruntled customers and make themselves look better! Be sure that I will give updates to let people know the actual way that lowcostholidays behaves!

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  • 9 months later...

Just wondering how you got on with this. As i too am thinking of small claims court as feel like my emaisl are just getting ignored now with lowcostholidays.

My case is a little different from yours i booked 10 days all inclusive with lowcostholidays to find out on arrival that we were not booked into the hotel they choose. We spent 6 hours calling the uk to try to sort this out and then they gave us a hotel. One we got to that hotel there was no room so they sent us to another hotel. So yeah we had a hotel but it was a none english hotel ok i can deal with that. But what i couldnt deal with was the other guests (germans) smoking weed. The dining room was beside the pool and it just stunk full stop. We complained to the manager who did nothing and told us in our face he wasnt going to do any thing. We had already had to eat out due to having to w ait for a hotel and then had to eat out for a further 3 days untill lowcostmoved us into another hotel. I collected 300 euros of reciepts (partyof 5) and phone calls worth 41.00. I spoken to some one from lowcost whom told me 3 weeks ago that they will refund me the phone call costs only and no cover for the reciepts costs. and forward a cheque. But the address show on the email was not my address. I sent a email stating that i wasnt happy with their reply and that i paid for all in so at least give me 50% of my reciepts copst back or the differencebetween self catering and all inclusive. Also the address they had for me on their letter was wrong. But no reply not even a email to state they had the email. I have sent a email to state that i will take this to small claims as they cant get away with it. Shame as they were reccomaded to me but just ignoring my mail now

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Don't email, only write directly and send recorded. I eventually got all my money back, but you have to stick to it and it will take ages. Photocopy receipts before you send them. They will refund whatever you can send them. Phone bills etc. Food bills everything. Stick to it but responses will be slow.

 

 

 

Just wondering how you got on with this. As i too am thinking of small claims court as feel like my emaisl are just getting ignored now with lowcostholidays.

My case is a little different from yours i booked 10 days all inclusive with lowcostholidays to find out on arrival that we were not booked into the hotel they choose. We spent 6 hours calling the uk to try to sort this out and then they gave us a hotel. One we got to that hotel there was no room so they sent us to another hotel. So yeah we had a hotel but it was a none english hotel ok i can deal with that. But what i couldnt deal with was the other guests (germans) smoking weed. The dining room was beside the pool and it just stunk full stop. We complained to the manager who did nothing and told us in our face he wasnt going to do any thing. We had already had to eat out due to having to w ait for a hotel and then had to eat out for a further 3 days untill lowcostmoved us into another hotel. I collected 300 euros of reciepts (partyof 5) and phone calls worth 41.00. I spoken to some one from lowcost whom told me 3 weeks ago that they will refund me the phone call costs only and no cover for the reciepts costs. and forward a cheque. But the address show on the email was not my address. I sent a email stating that i wasnt happy with their reply and that i paid for all in so at least give me 50% of my reciepts copst back or the differencebetween self catering and all inclusive. Also the address they had for me on their letter was wrong. But no reply not even a email to state they had the email. I have sent a email to state that i will take this to small claims as they cant get away with it. Shame as they were reccomaded to me but just ignoring my mail now

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I did send the first complaint by recorded post. Then they answered with a rubbish reply with nothing that was the complaint was about. So i emailed them after a phone call as they advised me to email and mark it urgent. Which i did and got a reply asking me for my telephone number so they could call me. I had a half hour on the phone to them as it was very confusing even for them. They still had us down at staying at the hotel which we werent in. I explained that there was no booking for us there and had to move to the crappy hotel which i wasnt happy about. But they must of know as lowcost moved us to another hotel 5 days later. Anyhow the reply came back saying they contacted the hotel and the manage is saying it was tobbacco not drugs. They would say that wouldnt they! but i got a witness report from another family that came the second day we were there their company moved them straight away due to the fumes.

 

They dont even have my details for them to say there is a cheque in the post! doh! They answered all my emails (3) with in 2 days now been 3 weeks and nothing.

 

Did you go to small claims for your refund then?

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  • 10 months later...

BEWARE ****

The hotel Club Portinax in Ibiza is advertised on low cost holidays web site twice. One saysits three stars (which it just about is) and one says its FOUR stars. The costsare different as well , despite it being the same hotel.

 

The rooms areterrible. Very small, some have no front doors, you enter via a patio windowthat cant be locked securely from the inside, becuase the door frame has beenforced. NOT secure if you have children with you.

 

The bathroom doorsdont close propoerly, they jam against the floor. The bathroom windows dontshut securely so insects come in of a night time. The silver has come off thebathroom mirrors as they are that old.

 

The room was so badwe had no chocie but to pay for an upgrade and were charged an addtional £200for ten nights and the upgraded room was infested with ants that came and wentall day long across the middle of the inside wall like a motorway. From thedoor frame to the plug sockets and into the bathroom - ant highway!

 

If you arrive after9.30pm at night then forget getting any food as there isnt any, unless you wantbread rolls! The staff understand this is a three star hotel at best, so theymake no effrot to hide this, but its much more like a 2 star.

 

The hotel does havegreat views and two pools that look good on the photos. But in reality arebadly kept and in need of maintenance.

 

This was withoutdoubt the worst holiday my family and I have ever had, all becasue we thoughtwe had paid to stay in a four star hotel as advertised on the low cost holidayweb site and it turned out to be a three star hotel that was closer to twostars.

 

A total rip off andI would warn everyone else NOT to book through low cost holidays as theymislead you and overcharge you for the pleasure of being disatisfied.

 

Want to trycomplaining to their custoemr service team whislt your abroad? Dont bother.They dont call you back. When you call them for the fourth time they haventlistedned to your complaint and try to fob you off. When a supervisor doesspeak to you they take the attitude that, well your there and we have had yourmoney so theres nothing Im going to do about it.

 

In life younormally get what you pay for. Well trust me, you DONT when you book this hotelthrough low cost holidays. You pay well over the expected price for this levelof hotel.

 

As you can tell -we are totaly disalusioned with the experience from Low Cost Holidays, thehotel standards, the price we paid and the lack of customer support to addressthe situation.

 

BEWARE. THINK HARDBEFORE BOOKING WITH THIS COMPANY FOR THIS HOTEL AS THEY MISLEAD YOU ANDOVERCHARGE YOU.

 

 

 

The CEO is Paul Evans

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  • 1 year later...

PLEASE READ!!! I wrote this mail to lowcostholidays and I've never recieved an answer!

It describes my experience with this incompetent agency:

 

Dear Lowcostholidays,

 

Me and my boyfriend wanted to enjoy some days together in a beautiful island. As we are a student and a young worker, we were searching for cheap holidays. Through the internet, we found your agency and were very pleased in the great proposals you offer. We booked a hotel together with a flight on the 21st of July (see attached PDF file). We introduced the credit card data (VISA Credit Card) and everything seemed to work out fine.

 

The day after, on the 22nd of July, we received an email saying that something went wrong with the reservations. We were firstly surprised to see that what was supposed to be a "customised" email contained sentences like: "Thank you for choosing lowcostholidays for your next holidays to xxxxxxxxxxx". It is not nice to receive generic emails from the agency in which you have relied giving nearly half of the salary of the month, but we thought it was not so important. Following this sentence, it came another one saying "After having left a voice message in your voice mailbox, we contact you to make you aware that the flights that you have chosen have not completed their booking process". There comes the second surprise, as there was no voice message at all in our inbox. In fact, there was no sign that you had tried to contact us - not even a missed call. But OK, we were so excited about the great plans that you offered that we decided to carry on and contact you in order to get everything solved as soon as possible. So we did it.

 

At 9:14 CET we try to reach you for the first time through your 902 telephone service, which was the one indicated in your email. Let us highlight that 902 calls are not covered by flat rates and have their own special tariff. After 3 minutes on hold, we decided to hang up the call and try again later on. At 9:20 CET we tried again on the same line with a 6 minutes call. Your agent Margarita kindly responded us and informed us that the flight booking had not successfully finished as the prices had increased in the last minute by 74 €. There comes the first disappointment: how can this happen? We supposed that when we clicked the "Buy" button and providing our credit card data we were accepting to buy something at certain conditions. It looked that it was not like that - but it was definitely not our fault!

 

As we needed to think about it, we said to Margarita that we would call later to confirm that we wanted to go ahead with the reservation with the extra-cost.

 

At 11:01 CET we receive a call from an English phone number (+44 prefix) from a spanish speaking man who does not identify himself with his name (afterwards we would realize that his name was likely Peter). Let us highlight again that receiving phone calls from England implies an extra cost when these calls are received by a spanish phone provider. We thought "let's try to get this solved as quickly as possible as these calls are going to be really expensive". During this 10 minutes call, your colleague informs us that the flights price has increased by something over 100 €. We kindly explain to him that this was not possible as his colleague Margarita had previously informed that the total price of the reservation had increased by 74 €. He put our call on hold and after some minutes he confirmed to us that the total amount had "only" increased 74 € as lowcostholidays would assume the rest of the cost as it had not been our fault. After receiving this "nice message" we were decided to pay this extra amount and then be relaxed as we would have our holiday plans perfectly fixed. We indicated to your colleague that we wanted to assume these extra 74 € so he could call us later to give to him our credit card details again (we did not have our credit card in hands at that moment).

 

This call was never received. At approximately 12 CET, we called from an office number to the english phone number that had previously contacted us (as the 902 calls were getting expensive). This call lasted around 10 minutes (apologies, of the exact duration of this call, we do not have records). This call was responded by an english speaking lady, whose name we did not write down and to whom we requested to pass our call to Margarita or any other spanish speaking colleague. She said they were all busy but she would send a desk email to let them know that they had to call us as soon as they were free. This call was never received - again!

 

So at 13:57 CET we call again to the 902 number for a 14 minutes duration call. This call, attented by Margarita starts with a conversation in which we provided our credit card details again - let us higlight that this credit card was the one used for the payment of the apartment the day before.

As she was having some trouble when introducing the credit card data she put us on hold for something like 10 minutes (!!!) - 10 minutes in the 902 line we were paying!

As we have other things to do apart from resolving problems that we have not created, we had to give up and hang up the phone and call again later.

 

That is the reason why at 15:27 CET we contact again Margarita (through your 902 service) and confirm whether this hour and a half had been enough to resolve the problem with our payment. This call lasted 12 minutes and again the problem was not solved!

 

At 15:49 CET we tried to reach Margarita again through the 902 line, but after 4 minutes of listening to really nice music we thought it was better to hang up and try to call later again.

Exactly the same happened at 15:59 CET with a 52 seconds duration call (we were already a bit tired of trying to contact you with no success).

 

Finally at 16:54 we called you again, not excited at all about the plans, service and customer care you offered, we decided to call for the last time. As your colleague Margarita kept saying that the credit card was not valid (again - the same credit card was used paying the apartment the day before and I can assure you that it was covered), we decided to cancel all the plans we had previously contracted with you! This call lasted 4 minutes.

 

That was the end of the nightmare.

Margarita was nice and kind at all the time, but for some reason she was not able to solve our problems.

We can tell you that we are really disappointed and we have lost any confidence we may had in your agency!

But this is not the only thing we have lost, apart from our plans we have wasted approx. more than ONE HOUR of working time trying to solve a problem that was not caused by us!

 

We are really excited to see what is the translation of these, more than ONE HOUR, calls to the 902 service line into minutes will be.

 

If you have time, we encourage you to listen to any of these conversations as they are all recorded.

As you will realise that you have not properly dealt with this issue, causing a cost to us for something we have not provoked, we request you to reimburse these associated expenses.

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