WIBU to complain about this holiday?

(32 Posts)
pyjamaramadrama Tue 30-Jul-13 10:44:12

I just want to know if I would be unreasonable to complain about this holiday/hotel and expect some kind of partial refund/compensation?

I booked a package holiday with a well known travel agent for ds age 5, dp and myself. It wasn't an expensive holiday but it also wasn't the cheapest, the hotel was supposed to be a 4 star.

The holiday was sold and recommended as a quiet family holiday. I was expecting the hotel to be basic but clean and safe.

First gripe with the travel agent was that I was sold a mosquito repellent band on the plane which I was assured was brilliant and 'absolutely worked' and essential. I came home with 13 mosquito bites.

When we arrived the room smelt horrible, dirty and musky. We must have been given the worst location in the hotel, ground floor directly opposite the communal toilets, pool tables and bar, with music blaring from 8am until the karaoke started which went on until 2am and could be heard even with the balcony doors closed. What made the noise worse was that there were literally only about 10 people outside at night for the 'entertainment', so I'm not sure whose benefit it was for.

Taps were all rusty wouldn't turn properly, 5 year old couldn't even turn them on they were so stiff and worn, and just felt mucky to touch, the water sprayed in every direction expect for downwards.

There was a stand up shower with a basin which stodd around 2 inches from the floor, and a shower curtain which was about 6 inches too short, the bathroom floor inevitebly flooded, but what made it worse was everytime you turned the shower on a horrible eggy stench came up from the plug hole and the water would not drain down so the little basin filled up within minutes and overflowed flooding the flood and even going under the door and flooding the room. It was impossible to mop it all up and on a tiled floor it was pretty hazardous so ds had to be supervised and I slipped and got a bruised bum.

There was no hot water after 8am or after 6pm in the evening and often there'd just be none at all.

Everything was grubby and mucky, I sat on a chair to find my legs got covered in sand from the previous guests which hadn't been cleaned off.

It was impossible to get a sunbed if you wern't outside at 8am as the sun workshippers were out catching the first rays. I'm not one for sitting out in the sun all day long as I stay out of the midday sunshine, but we just wanted somewhere to sit and plonk our towels and suncream while ds played in the pool but people just hogged all the spaces from first thing in the morning until the sun wernt down.

We spoke to the rep and reception staff who said that we could move rooms for the last two days of the holiday but that they couldn't promise any specific room, we were basically told tough luck about the shower as apparently 'Greek showers aren't ideal' and told to mop up the overflow with our towels. Funny I've never had this problem in Greece before in the many years I've been. I asked for perhaps a rubber bath matt but was told they 'don't do them'.

We did get to move to a quieter room for the last two days of the holiday which was bliss, but the new room stunk even worse than the last, we peeled back the sheets on dps side of the bed there was large yellow stains on the mattress protector, the bathroom was covered in mould, paintwork was patchy and socket covers were discoloured and not fixed to the wall properly. Taps were also all rusty in this room and mould around the kitchen sink. Drainage in the shower in this room was better but at night for some reason we got hot water out of the cold tap too and the shower would keep going from freezing cold to scalding hot.

We literally couldn't wait to get out of the place.

But on the way home just for good measure our flight was delayed by 9 hours. We were told that the reason was the cabin crew had gone out of hours and we had to wait for another cabin crew to be flown in. We were told we'd be given some food and drinks and we were. Ham sandwiches and bottle of coke, no other option just ham and coke.

It turned out once we boarded the plane that the reason for the delay was that there was a technical fault with our plane so we had to wait for the next flight to come in, we then took that flight back which was meant for another party, but they would then be delayed for a shorter time and have our original plane once it was fixed. Why we could not have just been told the truth in the first place as it would have saved a lot of upset for a lot of people who believed we couldn't go home simply because somebody hadn't organised the staff correctly.

Thank you if you're still with me. Dp is angry too but thinks we have to just make the best of it and doesn't think that there's any point complaining as they won't do anything.

I really don't know what to think but I just feel as though we've been completely shafted.

RedHelenB Tue 30-Jul-13 10:49:17

Well, if you took photos of the hotel & it was labelled 4* I think you have a point BUT nothing doing about the plane - flights do get delayed! If it's a package holiday you usually get a survey to fill in so make sure you do so they may stop using that hotel. Did you complain to the rep at the time?

TheFuzz Tue 30-Jul-13 10:51:29

Complain, but I doubt you'd get much back from the Travel Agent, do try though.

Did you take a look at Trip Adviser to check on the hotel before booking. You've still got to take some of the reviews as a pinch of salt, but they generally give you a good feel for the place.

I'd never book a hotel from a brochure picture without checking out Trip Adviser reviews.

pyjamaramadrama Tue 30-Jul-13 10:52:54

Flights do get delayed yes, but it was the fact that we were told it was because cabin crew had worked over their hours, when in actual fact it was becausde the plane was grounded. And the fact that we were in an airport with little facilities and given ham sandwiches!

I haver taken photos of the mould, flooded shower etc. We did complain to the rep but were basically told tough luck.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Tue 30-Jul-13 10:54:33

Did you take photos of the rooms?

You can't really complain about the plane or mossie cream, as the former is nothing to do with the holiday company, and the cream is such a minor gripe you risk making your whole claim seem petty - but I totally understand how they would have added insult to injury!

Definitely complain about the state of the rooms, and the bad service / attitude / communication from the holiday reps.

Make a list of the issues, and clearly explain how they effected you. Good luck!

I'm a travel agent so deal with plenty of complaints! I would complain but be specific and don't throw too much in. Eg - you won't get anywhere complaining about mosquitos and people logging sunbeds. Focus on poor hygiene and lack of resolution to issues raised in resort.

The delay is a separate issue and you will only be compensated if it was within the control of the airline.

Lastly, don't have high expectations of how much you are likely to be offered. The tour operators really don't offer much. Good luck!

If you have photos then I would complain although I would leave out about the mosquito repellant.

I would also write a review on Trip Advisor as this really doesn't sound like 4* accommodation.

We're going 3* in Greece in a few weeks. I'm a bit worried now!

HatieKokpins Tue 30-Jul-13 11:01:28

The travel agent won't do a thing, you need to complain to the holiday company itself - and if you didn't complain in resort, nothing doing.

Also, complaining to the travel agent about the mosquito band? REALLY?

pyjamaramadrama Tue 30-Jul-13 11:02:08

Yes read trip advisor reviews they were fantastic, gushing about how fanstastic and clean the hotel is, there were one or two bad review but overall really good.

I have looked back on trip advisor now and reading between the lines I think that people have different expectations.

For example a lot of people on TA were gushing about these fabulous pony rides for the kids and horse and cart rides, dp and I were pretty horrified at the site of these horses pulling people up and down all day and night in the baking heat and looking very unkempt.

People said the beach was lovely, it was apart from the litter and fags ends strewn all over it.

People were recommening English greasy spoons to eat at although obviously we didn't know that at the time, and saying bad things about some of the lovely Greek restaurants we ate in.

It has put me off listening to reviews ss I think it is down to personal expectations.

bridgetsmum Tue 30-Jul-13 11:09:03

I used to work in customer relations for a tour operator.

1. The mossie band thing. Forget it, waste of time complaining, I would say no product like that is 100pc successful for everyone. Put it down to experience.

2. The delayed flight. If the plane had a technical issue the crew could well have gone out of hours waiting for the issue to be resolved. Therefore, a new crew would have been required to operate the next sector. The delay was likely a combination of the two issues. Airlines are not in the habit of "lying" to their customers, sometimes issues are complex.

3. The hotel. Did you complain immediately? Did you make a report with the rep in resort? I see from your post that you were moved for the last 2 days but when did you raise the problems with hotel/rep?
If you have photos you could write to the tour operator, you will likely get an apology, a "this isn't the usual high standard we expect" etc and possibly a token gesture of some vouchers to use on a future holiday.

pyjamaramadrama Tue 30-Jul-13 11:09:41

Don't be worried, I've been to Greece many times and never had such a bad time.

I'm wondering if I'm misunderstanding how these packages work, the hotel is solely booked through the travel agent/holiday company, are they different things?

It was a package holiday with Thomas Cook so flights, hotel, transfer were all with them. The hotel is 'their' hotel as in solely booked through them and on their recommended list.

And yes I realise that the mosquito band and flight delay may seem petty but I was sold the band (not cream) on the inbound flight by Thomas Cook, I was skeptical but told by TC cabin crew that they are brilliant when it was clearly useless.

Regarding the flgith again this was a Thomas Cook flight, yes flights get delayed but it was the fact that we were lied to which left everyone seething when our plane was sat outside grounded which would have been a lot easier to bear for 9 hours.

But as someone said these things just added insult to injury on what was an overall horrible and crap holiday, not caused by the location but by a horrible, horrible hotel.

gerbilsarefun Tue 30-Jul-13 11:10:27

Doesn't sound like 4* to me. Accomodation shouldn't be dirty. We have been basic in greece and 2* in cyprus and both were clean and comfy. Yanbu to complain about the state of the room.

pyjamaramadrama Tue 30-Jul-13 11:13:11

bridgetsmum it's a bit long a complicated to explain with all of the times etc, but we were lied to. We were told in no uncertain terms that they hadn't realised that the cabin crew had gone out of hours. We were given a completely different version by the pilot once eventually boarding.

And yes we raised the issue of room the first day of arriving with the reception staff and the rep.

The rep literally said that Greek hotels and showers aren't ideal and perhaps we could mop the flood up with our towels.

maddy68 Tue 30-Jul-13 11:14:08

You can't complain about the mossie thing. (You can complain to the seller!) nor the delay. They have already 'compensated ' you with the free food. That's all they are obliged to do. You complained to the hotel and they offered to move you
You may be able to complain to the agent about that
Greek plumbing is crap. I've never seen a bath mat in Greece ever!

HatieKokpins Tue 30-Jul-13 11:15:29

A travel agent sells you the holiday. The holiday company TAKES you on holiday. If you have a problem with the package holiday you bought, then you complain to the package holiday provider (ie, Thomas Cook), not the shop you bought the holiday from.

HatieKokpins Tue 30-Jul-13 11:16:21

(also, as the company moved you for the last couple of days, you're highly unlikely to get anything now, I'm afraid)

If you go into the agent they will complete a complaint form and forward it to after travel services. They don't deal with it in the shop. If you booked online there will be a number to call in your paperwork.

Honestly you need to let the mozzie band go. I recommend travel sickness bands to my cruise customers because they work for me, others hate them. As its already been said, cabin crew could well have gone over their hours because of a technical difficulty causing delay.

You really will get much further if you focus on the issues you had at the hotel.

whois Tue 30-Jul-13 11:17:31

Some of your containers are valid - noisy room, dirty bed, non-draining shower.

Some aren't - the mossie repellant (it's not 100% effective!) the plane delay, not getting a lounger and there being sand on the chairs.

I would have created merry hell when I first arrived and got moved out of that room there and then.
Then kept moving until I was happy.
I did this last year in fact and had a much better room by the end of my complaints.
We put up with way too much.
Complain immediately next time and don't take no for an answer.
Often, he who shouts loudest - and all that. Not good I know but sometimes how it works in these sorts of places.
Sorry you had a crappy holiday.

pyjamaramadrama Tue 30-Jul-13 11:23:08

In my opinion saying 'Greek plumbing is crap' is a cop out. I've stayed in Greece plenty of times and not had this severe a problem.

The travel agent and holiday company and airline were all Thomas Cook which is why I said complain to the Travel Agent, obviously I'm not going to go into the shop and complain I am perhaps using the wrong terminology.

Yes they changed out rooms to another horrible filthy room.

Just feels as though they are happy to takes thousands of pounds of us but not deliver what they promised.

Surely a flooding bathroom floor is hazardous and not very hygienic, perhaps I am just being petty? I understand that abroad things are different, I have been travelling in europe for years, but this is why we booked with a reputable holiday company, as aren't they supposed to ensure that everything is fit for purpose?

DadfromUncle Tue 30-Jul-13 11:25:27

Definitely complain vigorously. We had a bad experience in Turkey with a tour company with a very similar name, although it wasn't as bad as yours - our main complaint was that although our room had aircon, it didn't work. This isn't the 1970s - standards should be high these days. We got a higher offer of vouchers than cash, but took the cash (about £180 form memory) as I have resolved I'm never going on a package with any of the top 2/3 operators again. YANBU complaining at all if a big company like that can't provide a decent standard then they aren't worth a carrot - to hear some people talk you'd think these operators were a charity and you should be grateful to them...

Scrounger Tue 30-Jul-13 11:26:12

About the flight delay, I think that they have changed the rules lately and tightened up on what the flight company can claim is outside their control. I think that they cannot claim crews going over time or maintenance issues are outside their control, I'm not a travel lawyer though so check out a consumer website. You can claim compensation for flight delays, a ham sandwich isn't sufficient.

I think that it is really difficult claiming for holidays that don't meet your expectations, it sounds awful and I would have hated those conditions. Claim, point out that it was raised with the rep, the response etc Often it isn't worth the hassle and the travel companies know this. Give it a go but don't get wound up about it.

HatieKokpins Tue 30-Jul-13 11:28:31

As Whois said, some of your complaints are valid - concentrate on those. But as an ex-rep who has worked on many Greek Islands, and on the Greek mainland too I can guarantee that Greek plumbing can be, and often is, unreliable. That's no excuse in a four-star hotel though.

If you do complain, concentrate on the hotel noise and dirt issues, not the delay, not the loungers, and not the sand - and very definitely not the mossie band, as they'll think you're a loon for that one, and will disregard the rest of your (actually very) legitimate complaints.

pyjamaramadrama Tue 30-Jul-13 11:29:21

Just to say, the sand on the chairs was in the hotel room!

I wasn't going on holiday expecting there not to be sand. The day we arrived a sat on a chair, in our hotel room after my shower only to find my arse and the back of my legs covered in sand, which had obviously not been cleaned off from the last guests.

It wouldn't have mattered how much hell we created because our second room was just as bad, quieter but worse in other ways sad The whole hotel just seemed to be falling apart.

And I KNOW that the mossie band, flights and sun loungers stuff seem petty but like with the sun loungers thing, there were reasons for this too, such as people were taking the sun loungers onto the beach or putting them on their balconys and the hotel staff didn't give a toss. I know it sounds terrible moaning about a bloody sun lounger but it's crap when you can't even use the facilities at the bloody hotel you've paid £££ for when all you want is a sest for an hour.

HatieKokpins Tue 30-Jul-13 11:31:02

Did you ask the HOTEL to sort out the loungers?

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