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Sunmaster Holiday Booking Racism & 23rd Birthday Ruined

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Last August it was my birthday and I turned the old age of 23 *embarrassed face*

Anyway..my mum knew that one of my life long things I've wanted to do but never had the money was go to Ibiza.

So she booked a holiday online through sunmaster for me and my 17 year old brother to go to Ibiza. It was advertised as a package deal with flights she could choose and the rest.

She paid for it two weeks before my birthday and about a week before travelling Sunmaster phoned her to tell her the hotel she had booked was oversubscribed (this hotel was 4 stars) but they would put me and my brother in another hotel of the same rating. She said that was fine as long as it was of the same rating and same area in Ibiza demographically.

 

Anyway the trip came and on arriving at Ibiza Airport, the coach organisation sunmaster had booked didn't speak any english, a very basic level (he understood yes no thats it) So when he was dropping everyone off at the hotel we had to keep asking him if we were there yet and we were.

In the end he dropped us off down an alley and we were left to try and figure out where our hotel was. Luckily we found it using a tom tom map on my phone. It was never described to us or my mother when she bought the holiday that we wouldn't be dropped of at the hotel and would have to walk 5-10 minutes to the hotel. But i put this down to language issues and let it go.

 

On the booking sheet sunmaster sent us, it said to ring someone in spain and book the return coach. So I did that. When I rang they told me I will recieve a text confirming my return coach. So I awaited the text.

 

When in resort, I discovered that 'Piscis Park' our hotel was not infact a 4 star hotel and on many sites 2 star. The room was dirty, scratched and had blood on the bedsheets.

I took photographs of it all as evidence.

The bathroom ceiling constantly kept leaking and I therefore reported all of this to the hotel. They told me a maintaince man would come but never did.

The hotel was also not maintained or cleanly generally in the lift and lobby and for 3 days there was vomit and drinks in the lift left.

I also had numerous people knocking on my door and one even knocked and said 'oh your a ***** you probs smoke weed right? You want some'' to which response he got a door closed on him. I therefore decided to go and tell the hotel that they have drug dealers and they did act on this. However by this time the gentlemen had left and the security guard who did not understand spanish was baffled by what I said.

 

Anyway on the 3rd of 7 days we were in the dining area and then told by a old gentlemen who was staff there that we had eaten too much food and half board which was what my mother had booked, was only half of 1 meal a day. So we went to reception of the hotel and dealt with a man who claimed he was the manager. Not only did he shout at us saying 'how dare you take more meals' and refused to give me a pen. But I explained to him and showed him our booking sheet and that it clearly indicated half board which was 2 meals from my belief. He said the tour operator had got it wrong and it was only 1 meal. When I rang the tour operators emergency number as we were being banned from the dining area, the woman said she'd pass my concern onto sunmaster. I then asked the manager if he would put in writing that due to the fact half board was only half of 1 meal that we had been thus banned for taking 2 meals a day. He refused and said 'i told yo already you !!!!ing nigga'. I was shocked and baffled as were other members of the hotel who were waiting for their taxis/coachs at reception. I asked them if they heard the comment and they told me they did, so I took down their details as evidence he had said this and ignored it. So I left the hotel.

On arriving back the manager and his staff gave me constant dirty looks and I was again told now that at any point I went to the dining area or attempted to I was banned and not even entitled to half a meal. Therefore I had to pay for my own food for myself and my brother and kept all the reciept of the costs.

 

On the day of leaving, the text from the return coach booking never arrived. So I rang them that morning. They insisted the text would arrive later that day. It got to 1 hour before our coach was meant to be here and due to the fact we had not got the text we had no idea where. I rang the emergency line sunmaster provided and they were based in 'majorca' and the gentlemen told me he had no record of my booking as his system was different but to take a taxi to the airport, keep his name and the reciept for the taxi and I'll be reimbursed as it is their fault. Luckily I had made friends with someone who booked the same coach company and when I went to his coach, my name was on the list so Sunmaster must have used the same coach back and booked it just never text me, so it worked out.

 

On arriving back in the UK i sent sunmaster all my photos and evidence. I got an email back replying saying 'thanks mrs ***** for your complaint again'. this customer they had sent me the reply to was not even my name or my mothers who made the booking. I awaited 3 months and no reply.

I then a month ago (almost 7 months later) sent them recorded delievery a explanation and my complaint number and the evidence again.

 

Yesterday I recieved a letter stating that the hotel had offered me meals, as far as they knew there was no problem. Their hotel is a star rating to them of 4 stars but it varies and they've never had any problems of what I've explained. Basically implying I'm lieing. They said that the hotel has always been polite and had good reviews, and only ever had bad reviews from people who were 'narrow minded' according to them. Therefore all they could do was apologise for sending me the wrong persons complaint response and the lack of time it had taken- as they hadn't mananged to contact the hotel. They then said however that the hotel has offered me a 'special deal on return' but have not stated what this deal is directly to them- Triton Rooms.

 

I really don't feel that this responded to my complaint and the state of the room (walls loose, water failing from ceiling, scratches, blood on the sheets, electric wires hanging off plugs which could shock people or children)

They then went onto say that they can't confirm any racist comment happened but they are unable to accept witness evidence as they cannot contact other people due to data confidentality! And they've never had any problems like this. Funny because Tripadvisor is full of people who have put negative reviews of the organisation and hotel!

 

What consumer rights do I have?

 

I am coincendentally going to Ibiza again this summer and to my dread have found out the same group who own piscis park- GPS I'm told theyre called own my hotel I've booked in this summer. I was hoping perhaps I could ask the hotel if they would allow me another room in the hotel ive booked in the summer as compensation as I'd accept this, but I wondered if its possible..

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My mother last august bought me a holiday to Ibiza with my brother for my 23rd birthday.

She booked it with sunmaster. Originally she booked a 3 star hotel, but they rang her and told her that hotel was fully booked so they would arrange 'the same' standard. This meant that the hotel weant from 3 star to 2 stars.

When I got to the hotel I realised it was not 2 stars and more half a star. However I just thought it was nothing major and probably the standard...however I started to get annonyed when the bedsheets had blood and staff refused to change it.

My mum paid for half board and on the 4th night I was told by the hotel staff that I was not allowed to eat lunch as half board was only for 1 meal a day (breakfast) nothing else. When I took this up with the hotel manager he said that it was 1 meal only and they refused to serve me or offer me meals again. I rang sunmaster and their emergency line told me i had to ask for it in writing and they'd get someone to contact me. The manager refused to put it in writing and even give me his name. I took it anyway and submitted my complaint to sunmaster over the phone. When sunmaster did rang me in spain, they said they could not file a full investigation until i returned to the UK.

I returned to the UK and filed a complaint. I did this via post, twitter, facebook, sunmaster's website of complaints and also recorded delievery. The only response I recieved to my complaint last year in August was one addresses to another customer with their name and address on. Which was worrying to say the least due to the fact in my eye's thats a breach of data confidentality.

Anyway I waited and waited and heard nothing. So again last month (almost 7 months later) i sent final letter with my complaint again special next day delievery to sunmasters head office.

I have recieved an email since stating that the hotel refuse there was any problems to their recall and sunmasters opinion is no one else has ever complained about any of the issues above, so all they will offer me is a 'special rate' to stay again at the hotel. they refuse to reimburse me for the costs I incurred because the hotel refused to serve me and go as far as to say i only told them that that evening I had not been allowed to eat. Obviosuly when they are not allowing me to eat 1 day it would be common knowledge and sense that they are not going to allow me to eat the next day, specifically when theyre saying i haven't bought this package.

Now i feel that the next stage is a letter of pre warning to sunmaster as it's now been 9 months and im no further in response with them. I wanted to know, I read that as I am on JSA that i can claim my court fees back for the small claims court online when i file everything? how does this get done and what do I do? do i have to pay the costs upfront and get reimbursed..or? Just the issue is am on jobseekers allowance contribution based not 'income' based...?

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Why have you left it so long to chase up?


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From the sounds of it, I think that you can be for more ambitious about the level of compensation.

 

Just like Assisted Blonde, I don't understand why you have been faffing about.

 

Take court action.

 

It is quick, easy, cheap, effective and pretty well risk free.

 

Assembe all of your evidence.

Send them a letter identifying al of the issues.

Tell them that you have lost patience and that if they don't make a sensible offer of compensation in 14 days , that you will sue.

 

then sue.

 

If you aren't prepared to do this then give up now.

 

How much did the holiday cost?


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Hi the reason I gave them time is because they stated they needed (1) 70 days to investigate and (2) i didn't want the judge saying i never contacted them.

 

The hotel was £950 in total. But all I want back is my expenses for the meals I had to pay for and phone call costs to them. I don't think this is unreasonable?

Do you? What exactly would you say in a letter of action thats my next move..and on JSA can I still sue them and reclaim the fees?

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As it has not been possible to resolve this matter amicably, and it is apparent that court action may be necessary, I write in compliance with the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct.

My mother purchased a holiday with you in August 2012. She paid for a 3 star all inclusive hotel. This hotel was not described or pictured as being dirty and having bedsheets beyond a hygienic human level as outlined in the pictures sent to you in my prior complaints. My mother also paid for half board and this was described as two meals a day. I was told by the hotel Sunmaster supplied this was not the case and this is only 1 meal (breakfast a day). Therefore I was banned from the dining area and not allowed to eat by the staff due to this miscommunication by Sunmaster

It was Sunmaster who informed my mother that this hotel was fully booked and they would change it to ‘the same standard’. However I was booked into a hotel which was not the same standard and was less standard.

From you I am claiming the costs incurred to telephone Sunmaster to report this matter and the cost of my meals I had to purchase for myself and my brother on the holiday due to the hotel refusing to serve me.

I have calculated this sum [state how you have calculated the amount being claimed to £200.00

Listed below are the documents on which I intend to rely in my claim against you:

- The original hotel booking

- The pictures of the hotel which are not clean neither as outlined or described on your website.

- The staff member’s name who refused to serve me food and manager I spoke to

- My telephone bill of calls to sunmaster

- The 24 emails sent to sunmaster

- The wrong response and 9 month late response letter sent by sunmaster with another customer’s details on

- The receipt of costs incurred (meals, bank charge to withdraw money to cover food costs and telephone calls.)

In accordance with the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct I would request that you provide me with copies of the following documents:

- The original telephone call of the booking which my mother placed with your organization.

I can confirm that I would be agreeable to mediation and would consider any other system of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in order to avoid the need for this matter to be resolved by the courts.

I would invite you to put forward any proposals in this regard.

In closing, I would draw your attention to section II (4) of the Practice Direction which gives the courts the power to impose sanctions on the parties if they fail to comply with the direction including failing to respond to this letter before claim.

I look forward to hearing from you within the next 8 days.

Should I not receive a response to my letter within this time frame, then I anticipate that court action will be commenced with no further reference to you.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

^^ is this letter ok??

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any update

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got a phonecall from triton rooms today..they want to dealwith this..should i let them?

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It would be a good idea to see what they say and see what their offer is. Make sur eyou get it in writing though and NOT a phone call.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

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I wouldn't deal with anyone other than the party which is ultimately responsible.

 

Deal with any kind of intermediary will delay and complicate matters.

 

It sounds as if you are making headway and people are feeling ruffled.

 

Keep control. Doi it your way and on your terms.

 

 

Don't even respond to Triton.

Write to Sunmaster and tell them that you have been approached by Triton but you are not prepared to deal with them as it is clear that Sunmaster are the responsible party.

 

Tell Sunmaster that the time to drawing on and that you will be seeking legal action very soon and it is up to them.

 

You have got to get into the culture of standing absolutely no nonsense from any of these people.

 

If you go to court, the court will support you all the way.

 

You want a full cash compensation and nothing else will do.


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Also, tell them that you aren't interested in pokey little phone calls.

You want it in writing


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If I may I'd like to update you all with my story which I summarised in my first point about Sunmaster..I am NOT defending them..but maybe this may help you all..maybe not..This is more detail into my case..and whats currently happening...

 

Last August in 2012 on the 16th August my mother booked me and my brother a surprise birthday trip to Ibiza for my 23rd birthday. My mother paid for a 3 star hotel with transfers+ flights+hotel on a half board basis. She knew that one of my life long dreams had been to go to Ibiza but I had never been able to afford it neither have friends who could.

A week before we were meant to fly 'sunmaster' who is the company who sold my mother the deal through their website told my mother the original hotel she booked was fully booked.

They could not do her that hotel so could either refund her minus a cancellation fee which would be applied to everything (cancellation fee for flight..then hotel..then holiday..etc)... or put her into a same star hotel

which they claimed would 'cost them more money' and was 'better'.

My mum thought that was a fair offer and accepted but did state she wanted it to be to the same standard/star rating, they assured her it was.

 

Firstly when I arrived at the airport the booking sheet for the transfers told us our 'transfer coach driver' would be waiting at the airport/coach area for us. He was not and it took us 15 minutes

of walking around and asking every coach there to find our transfer company.

When we did get on the coach, the coach driver spoke no english and because of this language

difference we almost got off at the wrong stop, but luckily as we kept asking and he read

our hotel booking on our sheet he realised it was our stop.

The transfer didn't drop us off outside our hotel and we ended up walking 10 minutes to our hotel.

 

When we arrived at the hotel it wasn't as advertised or the pictures. Their was vomit on the

stairs and lift. Cups and rubbish in hallways and when I arrived to my room it had names carved into the wall, electrical sockets hanging out of the wall and blood on the bedsheets.

I expected someone to change these but no one did. The toilet/bathroom roof also leaked with water. I took this up with the hotel who said someone would fix it within 48 hours.

No one ever did and i kept being told they would come out in 48 hours but one did.

 

On the 2nd day drug dealers kept knocking on our doors asking us if we wanted drugs or

party tickets. i reported this to the hotel and security who assured me they would do something but didn't.

 

On the 4th day I went to have my meal and was told by the catering staff they were refusing me access to the food area as 'half board' meant only 1 meal not 2, therefore I had over eaten by attempting to have 2 meals in one day.

When i went to reception a gentlemen who claimed he was the hotel manager ( I will not name this person for data confidentality purposes).. said that we had eaten 2 meals a day and half board was only 1 meal a day. I explained to him this was not what our booking said with sunmaster. He said that was the rules and we would be banned. i rang sunmaster from spain then on their emergency line and all the woman told me was tha it wasn't real a emergency I couldn't eat but she'd pass the info onto sunmaster UK and to ask the man to write down he was refusing to serve me/the hotel was on this basis.

the manager refused to do this or even give me a pen and starting swearing and making racist comments towards me and my brother who are black. My brother was getting worked up so I decided to leave and just took the managers name as i saw his ID badge.

 

The next day I got a call from sunmaster and explained everything to them. they told me they had taken notes but there was no point in them going through every single detail as they could not take an official complaint till i returned to the UK.

 

I got back to the UK and complained on August 30th, a complaint was done through Sunmaster's website and a reciept emailed to me and a copy sent through the post to Sunmaster too. A few days later i got a response, but it was addresses to a 'miss XXXXXX ' and not myself. This woman was not me and it was clear the wrong complaint response had been sent to the wrong person. I since emailed sunmaster back and had no response.I waited and waited and 7 months have gone bye and i've not heard anything about my complaint.

 

Mad about it all last month when I posted on these forums seeking advice, in April i decided i wouldn't let them get away with this and so I sent them letters certified post, emails and twitter/facebook messages. I finally got a response last month in April via email after sending them photographs of the room i stayed in via certified post.

 

Sunmaster said that they were sorry about the problems caused and my file had been mixed up with another customers file and that the hotel had denied all allegations and they had never had any problems with the hotel before. Therefore all they could offer me was a discount if i stayed at the hotel again, but they stated they could not guarantee me this or give me any contact information on how to contact the hotel or when. When I argued this they then told me, well i had only said/stated for 1 night i had been refused food.

 

To me this is the stupidest argument I have heard..The fact of the matter is if the hotel wasn't going to serve me food on 1 night they weren't going to the other days as they had felt I had 'over eaten' and obviously got wrong what half board was. This is common sense. I incurred food bills, bank charges and telephone costs because of sunmaster so I would like this back. I will never get my 23rd birthday experience back but Sunmaster don't care about this.

 

After 1 month of exchanging emails back and fourth now with Sunmaster I have had no luck in changing their mind about this matter abd the level of response has been the same.

 

I therefore have decided that I will take sunmaster to the small claims court for 'false advertising' and the costs I incurred at their errors and unreliability to fix/investigate my complaint.

So I went to see a solicitor on Monday. I showed the solicitor all the reciepts of costs I incurred and explained everything including postage proof, postage evidence and photographs from Sunmaster's website..to the real photographs I had. The solicitor stated that I did have a case and he infact felt I could claim more money that what i stated.

 

Therefore on Tuesday I sent Sunmaster a legal intention to sue in line with the UK Small Claims Court Pre Action Rules.

 

Funnily enough within 24 hours I had a phonecall from the 'emergency rep' who dealt with me in Ibiza last August in 2012. She told me that she infact worked for Triton and the emergency number was Triton's and it was Triton who called me the following day and not Sunmaster. She stated that Sunmaster booked the hotel through Triton and went as far as to say 'Sunmaster' was one of their best customers and they rarely have complaints about them! I told her I disagreed with this. She told me that the reason my complaint was not being taken seriously was because there was discrepancies in my complaint. I asked her to outline what these was and she couldn't state..as everything I had stated I informed her of exact dates Sunmaster were made aware of this from last year to now. When I asked this rep why Sunmaster felt they could even send me the wrong complaint letter and breach data confidentality (as i had this womans full name, date of birth, holiday details and full address) if it really showed..their discrepancy and she could not respond. The final response I got was that 'on this occassion Sunmaster have been bad and they have not been passing information onto Triton'. So I've been told now that they will speak to the hotel further and see if this year as am going to another hotel owned by the same hotel group..get me a upgrade/additional room in the hotel. Or secondly she said reimburse me £174 which was the costs I incurred. I was told this would all happen within 24 hours.But now 24 hours have passed and theres no email or phonecall back..it looks like Triton are also liars.

 

So what consumer rights do I have? Can anyone help me? Surely these companies should be regulated?

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I don't understand why you are laying this all out again?

 

I also don't undersatdn why you have nbeen tosee a solicitor. It just costs money and it seems that the advice is the same as we have given here


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I just thought I'd re outline everything so everyone understood.

 

I went to a FREE 30 mins with a solicitor to see if I had a case in their opinion.

Both 2 solicitors said YES. I'm not using the solicitor now, but taken their advice on what to do. They told me that on top of the £144 which was my costs, I could actually claim inconvience compensation apparently?!

Well they agreed to pay my costs on the phone but that was 48 hours ago now. And that was Triton not Sunmaster.

Basically I've been told by Sunmaster and Triton that I didn't give them enough time or tell them quick enough that I had problems with the hotel etc.

But I did because I informed Triton when they rang me and the hotel who should have passed this on.

Furthermore I sent letters and emails since August.

I've told Triton and Sunmaster now that yesterday they had 7 days..today they have 6 days remaining,

My Plan is to continue on informing them of the days remaining before legal action, therefore any judge cannot say I didn't warn them and give adequate time.

 

Do you think thats fair? Or I should go straight to small claims court?

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You want everything in writing. Don't believe anything they tell you on the phone. If they arent willing to put it in writing to you, then it's worthless.

 

Also, stop sending them silly messages with a countdown. Don't remind them. As bankfodder said earlier in the thread, once the time runs out, go straight for the court claim. Don't mess about, don't give them a countdown, don't give them notice.

 

You sent the LBA, it's up to them to comply. Non compliance = a court claim against them.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Agreed^ Going to do that. Next step is finding out where my local small claims court is

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Hi, I am also following up a complaint, similar to yours with sunmaster - we have agreed a settlement cheque that should have been here today (wasn't) and I am still having to contact this company regarding an absolute shambles of a holiday 4 months on. All throughout my complaint I have had to chase responses and answers - ringing and e-mailing daily. I advise that you look into the time limits within which all companies have to respond by law. I was given (by sunmaster) a cut off of 90 days! I patiently waited and still had to contact them myself regarding a response. Don't be fobbed off by them, just keep on! Have a look on the holiday watchdog / money saving expert wesites for advice etc. If the 4 star turned to a 2 star you have definitely been 'missold' something, look at consumer rights. My experience with Sunmaster is that they are only interested in taking money from holiday goers and have NO DUTY OF CARE whatsoever to the actual people booking (and paying) for the holiday. I have just received this e-mail after numerous calls / emails etc on my part - I am sorry that you have not received this cheque so following your communication today I have contacted our accounts department to cancel the previous cheque and ask them to issue another one.

As I said this is over 4 months on and I have been continuous in chasing up responses and still they haven't sent out the settlement they agreed to within 15 days - I will be looking into the legalities of this.

I also found it very difficult to speak to any one person when corresponding with them but did get one name - John Hinchliffe (complaints handler) which might be a point of reference for you. Please don't give up though, if nobody complains they are getting away with taking thousands of pounds off people everyday for awful holidays that in my opinion have no right to be selling in the first place.

Let us know how you get on - good luck, Bex

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Agreed^ Going to do that. Next step is finding out where my local small claims court is

No need.

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