When HolidayTravelWatch was first formed, it was quickly realised that holidaymakers needed a checklist to guide them when they encountered problems. Over the years HolidayTravelWatch has gained invaluable experience which it has endeavoured to share with as many holidaymakers as possible. To underline the present need for holidaymakers to have an invaluable guide, you should read three items we have published - 20 holiday complaints written in the holidaymakers own words for the 2010 holiday season - 40 of the current holiday complaints received by us for the 2010 season - and - our latest full report to the EU Commission which again sets out, in the holidaymakers own words, the problems they experienced in the 2009 holiday season!
If you do nothing else to prepare for your trip then ensure that you print of this article and pack the rules! The rules provide the basis of an action plan should you encounter any difficulties whilst you are abroad, follow these rules and they will form the basis of how to deal with problems when you are abroad, or provide valuable information to try and resolve your holiday complaint when you return to the United Kingdom!
The 12 rules are:
- Stay Calm – Stay in Control - Complain immediately to the tour operators representative in resort. You must give the tour operator the chance to put things right!
- Fill out the Customer Services Report form. Make sure you receive a copy. This is not your official complaint (this is your resort complaint, if unresolved, you have to formally complain when you return back to the UK)!
- If you are refused the Customer Service Report form - make out your own (2 copies, one for yourself and one for the rep) and get the rep or someone to witness it!
- Do not accept compensation on the spot. Do not sign any document (in whatever language) which may affect your rights, without seeking independent advice! Reserve your position. If you are unsure about your position or how to deal with your problem, you can always call us from abroad on 00448450179229 or e mail us at email@example.com or message us via Twitter @HTWFrank - we will then guide you further!
- If others are affected, get the names, addresses and telephone numbers of other unhappy holidaymakers. Remember, mobilising as a group at the beginning will bond you and your group's complaint's together both in the resort and when you return to the UK.
- Take photographic evidence of complaints. Remember, do not break the law or go into areas without permission. Use your camera phone!
- Take video evidence of complaints! Get other holidaymakers to relate their experiences! Use your camera phone!
- On returning home - complain within 28 days (don't worry if you miss the 'deadline' - speak to us if you have concerns)! Make sure that you make your complaints in writing, keep a copy and send it to the tour operator by recorded or special delivery.
- If the tour operator is a member of ABTA, they must abide by the ABTA Code of Conduct and they must acknowledge your letter of complaint within 14 days and reply to you 14 days thereafter.
- If the tour operator fails to comply with the ABTA Code of Conduct, then you can write to ABTA and complain. If ABTA considers it appropriate, they can investigate the matter and possibly commence disciplinary proceedings against their member for breaching the Code of Conduct.
- Before you go to see or speak to any solicitor to get legal advice, ask whether they have relevant experience in travel law, alternatively you can contact HolidayTravelWatch. We can obtain FREE initial legal advice for you from experts in the field of Holiday and Travel Litigation. If you are not satisfied with the response or reply from the tour operator - then contact HolidayTravelWatch and we will guide and assist you.
- Never bank a cheque or money from the tour operator unless you are satisfied that you wish to accept it. It could prevent you from taking any legal action in the future. Always take expert legal advice on any offer made to you.
Remember, these are the basic rules and should help you to either resolve matters in resort, or help you to gather evidence to progress your claim when you return to the United Kingdom.
If you know of a relative or friend who is currently abroad and experiencing holiday problems, then send them the link to the guide, this should help them intially!
If you require assistance to help deal with you holiday complaints or problems, then please contact us.
For further information on our services, then please read our legal notice.