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Sunmaster - Big problems!

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Good Morning All,

 

I'm just looking for a bit of advice. Myself and my partner booked our honeymoon in Marrakech from Sunmaster.co.uk, found a really good deal in a nice little Riad, a suite over two floors, adults only, perfect.

 

I logged onto my e-mails yesterday and had an e-mail from Sunmaster. "Unfortunately the Riad has been closed until further notice" and giving us alternative accommodation. The alternative is terrible, big complex of apartments, small pokey apartment, and the first 5 reviews I read on it were far from good - complaints about bed bugs, debris falling through ceiling etc. So not how we imagined spending our honeymoon.

 

I spent the whole day arguing with them that this is not an "alternative" as it is not comparable to where we were staying, and the said that was the only option available. I asked for a refund and was told we would not qualify for one as this isn't a substantial change to booking terms.

 

Out of interest I contacted the Riad direct to see whether they were in fact closed, and couldn't believe I had a reply from them within a few hours saying they have rooms available on the dates we wanted (one of which is the suite which should be booked in our name).

 

Does anybody have any ideas what I should do? Getting v.stressful as we are getting married on 6th April and due to fly on honeymoon on the 7th April.

 

Thanks,

 

Adam

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Hi and welcome to CAG.

 

My initial thoughts are to call their bluff. Forward a copy of the email to Sunmaster and see what other guff they come back with.

 

I will try and find something on their website that may assist but don't hold your breath


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Based on what you have posted and the bad reviews of the alternative accommodation (just how recent are the reviews?) this 'may' amount to a significant change and if so, you are entitled to a full refund or accommodation of an equal or better quality.


If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Thank you for your help! The reviews are the 2 most recent, one from 2 weeks ago and one from November. The alternative offered is called Riad Dar Ftouma (sorry i'm unable to post the tripadvisor links).

 

This is the original accommodation we were going to, Riad Alkaderi.

 

Really appreciate you taking the time to look at this for me.

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Just been looking at the Budget Places website (which I think you looked at too) and prior to September last year, all looked fine but then two bad results in November and December. This suggests (to me) that standards may have slipped. Also the fact that the costs are cheaper than the other Riad is 'possibly' why you have been offered this place.

 

If you were to attempt a 'pretend' booking at the alternative and see what prices are offered may show just what profit Sunmaster are getting (although they are just the agent)


If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Just been looking at the Budget Places website (which I think you looked at too) and prior to September last year, all looked fine but then two bad results in November and December. This suggests (to me) that standards may have slipped. Also the fact that the costs are cheaper than the other Riad is 'possibly' why you have been offered this place.

 

If you were to attempt a 'pretend' booking at the alternative and see what prices are offered may show just what profit Sunmaster are getting (although they are just the agent)

 

That is a good idea - I just checked on booking.com as bizarrely sunmaster do not list the alternative accommodation on their site - the price on booking.com came up as £480 for the 11 days, so it looks like they are making around an extra £3-400 from us.

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don't forget if you paid by card

that has refund protection

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Just an update. Finally they admitted they were wrong and the hotel IS open, and our booking is confirmed. Thanks for everyones help.

 

I'll definitely be taking this further with them. Looks like they messed up the price and rather than admit it they made out that the place was closed! Not good.

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Make sure you've got that in writing, and I would also confirm with the place directly (again in writing) that your booking is there and confirmed.

Don't take anybody's word for it over the phone.

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Hi Adam.

 

Sorry to hear about your problems with Sunmaster. Time is of the esscence and my advice based on the information given it is obvious that the alternative offered is not comparable my advice would be to immediatly contact your Trading Standards Office and ask for their assistance. I am in the process of taking Sunmaster / Global Travel to the small claims court and prior to taking this action I found Trading Standards to be very helpfull and effective.

 

Hope this helps

 

Cheers and good luck

 

John

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How did you get on with the claim if you don't mind me asking ? We are also pursuing a claim, but they deny they sold us a package holiday so "substantial changes to a holiday" clause of the package holiday regulations are not applying in their opinion. However, I rang Which? Solicitors service and they say that if its sounds like a package and smells like a package, it is a package no matter what their T&C's say. They are also withholding payment of the difference in accommodation costs as they are considering it compensation. Can you believe that ! Ill see them in court !!!

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Re Sunmaster.

 

Sunmaster /Global Travel will defend any action right up to the last minute. I took them to small claims court and won my case.

 

Sunmaster will always argue thet they act as agent and the tour operator is Global Travel but when you present all the documentation in court the Judge will conclude that they, Sunmaster are in fact the Holiday Company. You booked with them, you paid them and the only mention of Global Travel is when they say they are there agent.

 

One thing to present to the Court is that no one can book a holiday through Global Travel Group. Google Globel Travel Group and you will see that they are infact a Franchise operator.

 

Take them the whole way if you have a genuine complaint it only costs a few quid and the results are well worth the effort.

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Thanks for the reply inkingskin. I'd seen that name on the ATOL receipt and also in the T&C's and come to the same conclusion as you, so when they tried that in one of their letters I was ready. Thanks for the tip :-) Cheers Wet n Windy

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