They say to err is human; to forgive, divine! At various times in our lives, we all make mistakes or errors and most accept that they have done so and seek to repair any damage or loss of confidence created; that is natural human behaviour. Companies behave in the same way because they are staffed by humans and therefore errors will arise! Sometimes those errors or failures can be fixed quite easily; other times it takes a great deal of effort, particularly if their failure in the holiday contract has happened before you were affected. I was struck by a recent report on how not to deal with complaints raised by a holidaymaker, where the travel advisor for a large tour operator apparently wrote to a holidaymaker:
“[NAME] do u really think we give a **** Because we dont so shut the **** up with ur moaning and book with Thomas Cook coz we dont want ur custom lol and the hotel have said u r one MOANING bitch”
We suspect that this is not what this particular holidaymaker expected to receive! Whilst holiday complaints will raise passions and temperatures, as in any dispute, anger and a lack of respect will often not help you to win your argument. In the event that you have to deal with an unhelpful tour operator, then you should consider the following points:
- Use our Free Holiday Complaints Letters; these will help you get kick started or will help you confront an on-going problem;
- If your holiday complaints are pre-holiday, always make sure that they confirm any agreement with you in writing;
- If you have just come back from a holiday, and the tour representative did not resolve your complaints, write out all the complaints you suffered with and then add more detail to each complaint – the more information you supply, the greater the opportunity you will have to resolve matters;
- Always keep a copy of any letter you send to a tour operator;
- Always send letters to a tour operator by recorded or special delivery;
- Never send original documents, only send copies;
- If they reject your complaint, examine the reasons why they are doing so, make notes against each response you receive and challenge their response with your thoughts and further information;
- If they do not respond to a particular point or points you have raised, challenge them to do so;
- If they fail to respond or are slow to do so, advise them that you will report them to their trade body for a breach of their Code of Conduct;
- Take care if you receive letters or proposals from the tour operator or their legal department; always make sure that you do not agree to substantially settle a claim or give access to medical records without seeking independent guidance first.
Always remain calm in a dispute situation, if you feel pressured, just tell them you want to consider a proposal before you take the matter further; visit our section on the Package Travel Regulations for further help or call us directly for further guidance.