I was looking at our call volumes the other day and realised that in our 20 year history, we have never been so busy! Our recent Holiday Standards Report survey has revealed some interesting facts about what really gets under the skin of UK holidaymakers. So I thought I would share with you, some of the top 10 complaints and the real Consumer experiences that go with these complaints!
Our survey has shown that:
- 31% of holidaymakers complained about the overall standard or quality of their hotel room or cabin;
- One set of cruise passengers complained about the quality of their cruise ship; they told of furniture that was broken, old and falling apart, there was no entertainment for children/young people (they were told this was a child friendly/teen friendly cruise), a lack of wi-fi on the ship and when they complained they were told there was no tour company rep on-board and that if they didn't like the ship, they could get off at the next port! (EM - 18/8)
- 23% complained about the cleanliness of their hotel or cabin;
- One holidaymaker told of mould, hair, dirt and insects in their room and difficulty in getting anyone to deal with the lack of cleanliness (EM- 27/8)
- 21% told us that they complained about the inaccurate description given about their hotel or cabin;
- One holidaymaker told us about the hotel described to them had no pool, no lunch, no drinks, no entertainment, no beach or snack bar and above all, it was not 'All-Inclusive' - the tour company wanted to charge them to come back to the UK! (EM - 28/7)
- 21% complained about Flight Delays they had suffered with;
- A large number of holidaymakers have told us about their flight delays some ranging from 6 hours (EM - 28/7) to 23 hours (EM - 27/8) and very few have been offered any compensation or clear explanations for their delays!
- 16% complained about unhelpful staff in their hotels or cruise ships;
- On arrival at their holiday hotel, one family found that the hotel receptionist was disinterested and failed to help them check-in correctly or give them proper directions to their room. On finding that the facilities at the hotel were not as good as they were expecting, they also found disinterest in their complaints (EM - 14/9)
- 14% complained about their holiday company representative who they thought was unhelpful;
- One disabled couple had advised their travel company of their disabilities. They told us that when they arrived in the USA they had to fend for themselves at the airport and on the return, they were dropped off at an intersection and had to manage their mobility problems with 3 suitcases - the travel company have failed to deal with their complaints (EM - 30/9)
- 10% complained about holiday booking problems;
- One holidaymaker was about to go on holiday and was told that their hotel had to be changed because of overbooking! When they tried to find a holiday, they were told that because they did not have a package holiday and if they intended to cancel, they would lose most of their money because this was not a package holiday; the family had to take a holiday which was described as an 'absolute disaster'! (EM - 14/8)
- 5% complained that they had suffered illness whilst on holiday;
- We have received many reports of illness, for example - Norovirus on a cruise (EM - 5/8), Campylobacter from Morocco (EM - 26/8), Cyclospora from Mexico (EM - 3/9), Cryptosporidium from Barcelona (EM - 17/9), Giardia from Turkey - (EM - 28/9), Salmonella from Egypt (EM - 7/10), Legionnaires from Switzerland (EM - 7/10), Bacterial Pneumonia from Malta (EM - 13/10), Hepatitis A from Egypt (EM - 16/10), Giardia Lamblia from Cape Verde (EM - 21/10) and many more confirmed diagnoses and sickness and diarrhoea complaints!
- 5% complained about the lack of security or crime within their hotel complex or on-board a cruise ship;
- In 2015, we have received a growing number of complaints of Rape and Sexual Assault from holiday resorts from North Africa to the Caribbean. In many, Travel Companies failed to help holidaymakers toward UK Consulate assistance and we have detected in all crime cases that holidaymakers have been apparently 'dissuaded' from making complaints to the police primarily by hoteliers
- 2% complained about the poor standards in holiday resort kids clubs;
- One complaint we have received concerns a report of a young girl found at the bottom of a swimming pool when she should have been in the care of the hotel kids club! (EM - 20/10)
As we travel through the 2015 season, I would ask you to take with a huge pinch of salt those articles that suggest that holidaymakers complaints are petty and are of no value. Believe me, the results of our survey, backed up by real holidaymakers complaints demonstrate why so much is wrong with the holiday product!