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While on hols in Fuertuventura last May we booked a trip to the main zoo on the island.

Needless to say this wasnt cheap for a party of eight.

 

started off with the coach being an hour late.

then when we did get there, cos we didnt get there in time for our pre arranged visitor slot we were pushed to the back.

the whole trip was a rush with no time to stop and enjoy the sights, the food was the leftovers with only water to drink. [oh and following an accident with my 3yr old daughter falling from a bench and nearly splitting her head open there was no-one willing to assist, I had to threaten the bar staff to get some ice for the swelling]

 

anyhoo we complained to the rep, who did the necessary paperwork and agreed with the WHOLE party [that is the WHOLE coach load] that we would recieve a refund of 25% for the hassle.

We were told to collect the money at the airport from the Thomson rep.

The rep at the airport told us we shouls have got it from the resort.

 

We have since complained to Thomson direct but just being fobbed off, the last being they havent yet received the report back from the resort..

 

Now, finally, my question is, can a goodwill gesture or promised refund be claimed for if taken to the courts?

.

http://www.findmadeleine.com/

http://news.sky.com/skynews/madeleine

 

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hi Buzby,

I have sent something similar via email,

saying not happy that we still havent had any kind of answer and gave them 14 days to reply with their intentions to resolve the matter.

 

like you say, I will threaten with Small claims.

 

also found out, we were charged for 2 groups of 2 adults & 2 child.

I went on the web site for the zoo, to remind my eldest daughter of it and found out that the youngest [aged 2 then] should have got in free.

They stung us £16 for her alone.

 

but my concern is, can a gesture of goodwill be taken to court?

.

http://www.findmadeleine.com/

http://news.sky.com/skynews/madeleine

 

If I dont reply to a direct question please feel free to PM me.

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What the Zoo actually charges is immaterial - your contract is with the tour operator and if they set the tariff and you agreed to it, that's an end to the matter. (They could argue they don't split fares/admission).

 

It's not a case of goodwill going to court. If they make you an offer and you accept it, it could be deemed to be an end to the matter unless you explained it was to be a part settlement and you still require the balance. You can then sue for the difference between the two.

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Buzby's advice is sound.

 

I went on the web site for the zoo, to remind my eldest daughter of it and found out that the youngest [aged 2 then] should have got in free.

They stung us £16 for her alone.

 

Selling excursions are one of the main ways in which tour operator's reps make money - the tour operator will also take a cut. Reps also make commission from recommending bars and restaurants. In some cases they earn commission when their clients are ill, sending customers to particular doctors or private clinics, when in (for example) in Spain the health service provides a much better standard of care, and is free. Some reps even make money when holidaymakers die (which happens quite regularly on 'oldies' holidays), by informing a local undertaker who pays when they know that the insurers use a different undertaker.

 

Who pays in the end? You do, through increased travel insurance premiums.

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20/04/07: Letter received saying "sorry to hear youre unhappy........will look into it"

 

they did state that from Oct last year they have been waiting for the complaint form from us, this was in fact sent to them twice.

 

anyhoo, sent another letter asking what they are going to do in relation to honouring the offer of goodwill.

 

Also asked for contact details of their Litigation Dept for my future reference.

 

And 'respectfully' asked for a reply within 14 days from the date of the letter.

 

lets see what happens.

.

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http://news.sky.com/skynews/madeleine

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

09/05/07: LBA

 

I am very disappointed that you have failed to respond to my letter of the 24th April 2007

 

I feel the level of communications you have shown in respect of this complaint is below an acceptable level for a company of your reputation.

 

Once again I write to request a written reply to my complaint clearly outlining what has been done and what your intentions are to resolve the matter.

 

As suggested in the ABTA Arbitration Scheme, I am allowing a period of no more than 28 days for you to respond to this letter.

 

Failure to do so will result in a formal complaint being made to:

Consumer Affairs Department

Association of British Travel Agents Ltd

68-71 Newman Street, London W1T 3AH

 

ABTA takes the issue of Code breaches very seriously and may take disciplinary action against Members found to have breached it and its decision could result in companies being reprimanded, fined or even expelled from ABTA.

 

Also, I will pursue action through the Small Claims Court in order to recover the following:

a) Loss of value: the difference between the value of the excursion I paid for and the one I actually received

b) Out-of-pocket expenses: refund of any reasonable expenses I incurred as a result of the breach of contract this including refreshments for my party due to sufficient refreshments not being made available at the time

c) Loss of enjoyment: something to compensate for the disappointment and distress caused by things going wrong.

 

As in my previous letter, I once again respectfully request you forward the address of your Litigation Department.

 

Yours Sincerely

.

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http://news.sky.com/skynews/madeleine

 

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Letter from TUI UK dated 4th May.

 

Trying to say I cant pursue this matter as Ive accepted the offer of compensation. and to bring it on with a third party cos they wont change their minds.

 

I accepted the offer of compensation at the resort at the time of complaint but as yet to receive anything.

 

Amended Letter before Action sent by return.

also more determined to be claiming for the extras now.

.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Letter from TUI 25/05/07.

 

..It is disappointing that we appear unable to resolve this matter for you without recourse to further action. but I am sure you will understand that we feel confident of our position on this matter and reserve the right to defend the decisions taken on your complaint.

 

Oh well, theyve had the LBA, Ive just emailed a final chance to settle with notification that court action will commence on Monday 28th.

 

They dont seem to be able to grasp the fact that they havent ACTUALLY paid the amount offered in the first place.

 

Lets see if court action rattles their cage a bit

.

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I think you need to make it clear that you've received NO compensation whatsoever, and the action you contemplate taking is in light of this. Therefore, unless you receive the promised compensation within (say, 21 days), you will withdraw your agreement to settle in this way, and pursue the matter formally.

 

That might get things moving, and help clarify your position.

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29/05/07 telephoned customer services in an attempt to clarify the position.

 

i asked if TUI were aware that the offer of compensation HAD NOT been paid.

 

This was confirmed.

 

I asked if they would reconsider to prevent further action.

Reply, you have stated that you wish to take further action against the company.

 

I said thats correct but im willing to settle before filing.

Reply, you have our response

 

I said So you are saying that TUI are NOT open to negotiations

Reply that is correct

 

I said, so you leave me with no option but to file for court action

Reply, Okay goodbye.

 

Good customer services there then eh?

.

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http://news.sky.com/skynews/madeleine

 

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Unfortunately NOT!, i was not impressed either, kept my cool, and politely asked the questions trying to explain that i was trying my best to keep the matter out of the courtroom by giving them yet another chance to settle.

 

It seems they are SO SO confident of winning theyre just saying 'Bring it on!'

 

However, it does say on a pre recorded message at the beginning that 'this telephone call may be recorded for training purposes' So I may be able to use it under 'disclosure' for MY defence

.

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They cant say I didnt try to settle.

Following my recent communications with your Customer Services Dept I would like a full transcript of the conversation with operator 'INNA' at approx 0935hrs on 29/05/07 for my disclosure in court.

 

You should note that the amount being claimed will be no less than £241.86 as you will be advised when the court serves the claim.

I will expect your defence to be entered no later than 28 days following this or I will not hesitate to enter judgement against TUI UK.

 

Please note that this email will be included in my court bundle to support my claim.

 

Once again, I wish to inform you that I am open to negotiations to settle this matter out of court.

Your failure to acknowledge this will again be highlighted on the day of the hearing.

 

I look forward to your comments

.

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However, it does say on a pre recorded message at the beginning that 'this telephone call may be recorded for training purposes' So I may be able to use it under 'disclosure' for MY defence

 

I think they will just say that that call wasn't recorded.

 

Wouldn't a SAR request be better to obtain your information, as they aren't going to help you claim against them if they have the info?

 

Paul

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Ouch kick in the nads time......

 

got a reply stating..

Tough pooh, our system shows you have been paid the amount and you have signed the agreement to say you have received the amount.........
.......and yes, after checking again, the missus signed the complaint form, but signed it to say she had received the refund...

.

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Yes no problem,

 

In the resort we had to complete a complaint form.

We were told to sign the form to get the payment authorised.

As we were due to leave within the next two days.

Payment would be ready for collection at the airport.

My OH signed the complaint form not realising she had actually signed saying that she had received the money.

When we got to the airport, they knew nothing about it and told us we should have collected at the resort.

 

My argument now is 'show us the transaction for the transfer of the money'.

Tell you what, TUI UK are horrible to deal with in their aftercare dept.

.

http://www.findmadeleine.com/

http://news.sky.com/skynews/madeleine

 

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Oh. Not good. :-(

 

However, I would have thought that unless they can show where the payment was actually made, (and that should be trackable through their accounts), you will be able to argue that what your wife signed for was not the correct form, genuine mistake, etc... I think you need to prepare your case accordingly, as you'll have to convince the judge that the signed form is not the be all and end all of the case.

The problem of course, is that they must have a fair amount of creative accountancy/petty cash going in at the resorts, and that could make things difficult. It's certainly not going to be as clear cut as it seemed at first, I'm sorry to say. :-(

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Unfortunately, I share your opinion, and with them being extremely stubborn I have decided to try one more letter.

 

Final Request to Settle

 

Again I am very disappointed to read in your letter dated 30th May stating that you are not willing to resolve this matter.

 

You state that your system is showing payment made regarding the excursion.

I now request that you provide me with evidence of this transaction from your bank account with a signed receipt with my signature.

 

I agree I signed the Initial claim form at the resort but this was under the instructions of Miss Blake, who stated it must be signed in order for them to authorise payment at the airport. Once we arrived at the airport we were told that we should have collected it at the resort.

 

I am fully prepared to take this matter to the Small Claim Court out of a matter of principle as clearly my word is not good enough for you.

 

I respectfully ask you one more time that you reconsider the refund and I realise that you do not agree with my complaint and that the payment was not handed over at the time the complaint was made. I do however recognise the fact that the sum at issue between us is relatively modest and as such, it is not cost effect for either party to take the matter to trial. Therefore in order to avoid the inevitable time and cost associated with pursuing the claim to trial I am willing to settle the claim upon payment of the compensation totalling £25.80 or a voucher to the same value.

 

Only once in receipt of funds or voucher to the equivalent will I then discontinue all action against TUI UK in connection with this claim.

 

I truly hope we can resolve this issue at this opportunity.

.

http://www.findmadeleine.com/

http://news.sky.com/skynews/madeleine

 

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08/06/07:

Letter received

I regret that we have been unable to resolve this matter to a mutual satisfaction.

We do not record our calls and therefore I am afraid that we cannot provide a transcript of a conversation with our operator as requested.

Well thats it folks, final chapter in this story, destined to go nowhere.

was going to file at court but missus decided she didnt want to pursue it.

.

http://www.findmadeleine.com/

http://news.sky.com/skynews/madeleine

 

If I dont reply to a direct question please feel free to PM me.

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