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Sunmaster Booking Fiasco

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Hi

I am looking help/advice regarding Sunmaster holiday company. I booked a holiday for my 18 year old son and five friends in January with the above company. The holiday was specifically booked for a named hotel in Magaluf; due to recommendations from others due to standards/ location etc arriving on 30th July to the 9th August. The final balance was paid on the 7th May, yesterday I received an email from Sunmaster saying the hotel was not available ( I have confirmation of the booking from Sunmaster through the OHG accommodation LTD). To cut a long story short Sunmaster wanted to send my son to Palma Nova to inferior accommodation, after I refused this they conveniently remembered they could only deal with my son. They are dragging their heels and have failed to offer an alternative accommodation so far. My son rang this morning after checking availability on their website and suggested four other hotels they would be willing to stay in, and still haven't resolved the issue(contact from them is appalling, we have to do all the ringing). I also rang the original hotel in Magaluf yesterday and have an email from the manager stating my son's party was never booked in on that date. Could someone please help as I feel as I booked this group of lads first holiday abroad I am some way responsible ( I know I'm not it is Sunmaster's fault). Could any one tell me what are the legal rights of my son and his friends.

Many Thanks

Kate

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Firstly make sure that you record all of your calls. Get a recorder - Olympus TP-7 and small digital recorder with a mic input if you can't afford anything more. This is extremely important.

 

Keep detailed notes and any communications - and best to print them out as well for security.

 

You are entitled to at least the equivalent holiday or to a full refund plus compensation.

Very useful that you have found out that they never made the booking in the first place.

 

They are completely wrong to the point of being dishonest that they can only deal with your son.

 

Your problem is that I suppose that the holiday is looming up. When is it?


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Hi

Thanks for the advice, the holiday is on the 30th July. I only booked with them as my daughter had previously stayed in the hotel and I knew it had a good reputation and Sunmaster said the hotel was available. They are dragging their heels regarding offering alternative/ acceptable accommodation and we are the people chasing them, no effort on their behalf I feel this is so eventually they think my son will accept anything( which he wont). They told my son when he challenged them regarding the original hotel never actually being booked, that the boking would not have been in his name anyway., which is funny as Sunmaster sent him a booking voucher with ref number and his name on it for the original hotel?. I feel they have been dishonest with us from the start and actually never made the booking as confirmed by the hotel, they just sent him a booking voucher obviously made up to confirm the hotel!

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I suggest that you get it all down in a letter. Keep the letter precise and bullet pointed but make it very clear to them that they have been found out.

 

Tell them that as they have clearly been less than honest, that if they don't get you the places you have booked or get you bookings in another hotel to be agreed with you in advance - plus a figure in compensation for all of the time and stress that they have caused you so far - I suggest £200 - that you will be going to the Small Claims court as well as complaining to Trading Standards.

 

Tell them that you want a response by Thursday or else in view of the short amount of time to go before the holiday starts, you will dispense the full pre-action protocol of 14 days and you will issue your claim on the Friday. Only make this threat if you are prepared to carry it through. A small claim is very quick and easy.


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Hi

Thank you for your helpful reply, is a small claim court an easy route to go? Do I need a solicitor? Do you know the approx. cost involved?

Sorry for all the questions but am a newbie to this kind of matter!

thanks

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No you don't need a solicitor. It is cheap - but will depend on the value of your claim.

 

A small claim begun at this stage won't resolve your immediate problem immediately - unless they cave in - and there is a great chance that they will.

 

If they won't see sense, then you may be obliged to take the holiday - under protest and then to continue the action when you get back.

 

However, given the short time left and given that they clearly are unhelpful, you should be prepared to start the claim and then continue it when you get back.

 

O'm afraid that with these kind of people, it is only the court papers which make them take you seriously. However it is no use bluffing. If you threaten the claim and they don't budge then if you fail to carry out your threat - there will be nothing else for you to do other than to get over it - not very satisfactory.

 

Stick to your guns. Follow the small claims link and see how easy it is.

You don't say how much the holidays have cost or anything about your circumstances, but if you end up taking the holiday, then you should think about suing for between £1000 and £2000 and this would cost probably about £200 - you'll have to look it up. you will get this back when you win - and from what you say here, you will win.


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Thank you for the information, I live in Northern Ireland and from what I can see the limit is £3000 the total holiday cost for the six lads came to £3100, will this prevent me from going to small claims court. I am so angry with this company I am prepared to follow this through I will compose a letter tomorrow to Sunmaster and send it recorded delivery as per your previous instructions. Thank you for your help If you don't mind I will keep you posted and will make a small donation through pay pal. As it is my son and his friends first holiday without parents, I feel Sunmaster think they will be a push over. They have definitely got that wrong!

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I don't know what the NI rules are. You will have to check.

 

You won't be able to claim the entire cost of the holiday. You will have to make some allowance for the enjoyment they get from the holiday that they do go on.

 

Of course you could cancel the whole thing and sue for all the money back + compensation.

 

The reason why holiday companies act like this so often is that they normally get away with it because it gets too complicated.


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Thanks for your reply I will contact my NI local small claims court on Monday regarding suing a company( sunmaster) based in England, to try and discover how this works or is it feasible, to sue from NI to England? I just want sunmaster to sort out the accommodation for my son and his friends! Thanks again!

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Are there any letter templates I could use for my letter to sunmaster re my complaint?

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