To want my holiday admin fee waived?

(53 Posts)

I am so angry right now. I booked and paid, in full, for a family holiday in April. At the time of booking the resort was getting 5* reviews and had lots of positive feedback. Since booking the hotel services have gone downhill, to the extent that armed security now patrols the pool area to stop fights from breaking out between the local customers and holiday makers. Issues that have been reported are:

1.The pool being used as a toilet for both wee and poo.
2.Buffet queues being jumped with children being pushed over.
3.Fights breaking out between locals and holiday makers about sun loungers and access to services.

I am not happy with having my DCs in such an environment and have changed my booking. I contacted the company arguing that as far as I am concerned this is definitely not a 5* resort and I would hope that they could therefore waive the admin charge of £200 to change us. Basically they have got back to me and told me its tough luck. They are denying any issues at the hotel and are still marketing it at the same rating. sad

AIBU to want this charge waived? DH thinks just leave it but I am so angry to be using our spending money on admin fees when its clearly not the holiday I booked. I wouldn’t mind if this was just a one off but I keep reading more and more reviews from holiday makers who are all suffering the same and feel angry that the problems are persisting and that this company are not dealing with it. angry

Staryyeyedsurprise Tue 22-Jul-14 14:15:40

I don't know really.

Are the reviews reliable and not malicious?

I don't think YABU.

The reviews are from all over the world. They don't appear to be connected and do not seem malicious. I am happy to ignore the usual 'my hairdryer wasn't working' etc reviews but these do seem to be a warning.

Freckletoes Tue 22-Jul-14 14:31:59

The problem is-you haven't been there to experience the holiday destination to be able to say it's not a five star resort. So I can see where the company are coming from not waiving the charges. If you went, had a ghastly experience and then complained-fair enough to expect money back, but you are basing your opinion on comments of other people. You have my sympathy but I can understand why they aren't letting you off the extra fees.

BellaVita Tue 22-Jul-14 14:32:38

Some people do like to moan.

It might have just been a toddler/baby accident in the pool. I am sure these do happen from time to time. Whilst not great and ideal I would perhaps put yourself in the shoes of the other parent.

With regards to fights and sun loungers.. DH stuck up for a girl who wanted one lounger on holiday. The five loungers next to us had been reserved since 6.30am we were now at 1.00pm with still just towels on them. The towel guy removed one of the towels and put it on the bed next to it and gave the girl a towel from the hotel. 30 mins later the five people arrived and were not happy and gave the girl a mouthful. She tried to tell them that the hotel gave her the lounger and that she didn't just take it but they wouldn't listen. DH stepped in and one of the party said "yeah that's right you are probably sticking up for her because she is your mistress". I saw red and jumped up and told them how rude they were. So you see not everything is clear cut..

The buffet queue I think brings out the worst in people. They will all get fed. Perhaps the parents were not watching the children and the were larking about and knocked into other residents?

One complaint on Trip Advisor for where we stayed last year (for the second time running) was... The beach was too far to walk to. Now this was a hotel that was right in the flaming beach. There was a small path of about 10 yards to go on and the beach was right there.

Which resort is it?

You want to change, so I would expect an admin fee.

londonrach Tue 22-Jul-14 14:34:41

Difficult one as you need been and changing your mind based on hearsay. Can see the companies point of view. Not sure how this fits legally...

TurboWithAKick Tue 22-Jul-14 14:37:59

It's not even something the company can do much about....

Snowfedup Tue 22-Jul-14 14:38:59

Is this the dominican republic by any chance - if so there is a class action suit (think thats what its called) being brought against a certain holiday company.

My friends experienced this first hand, literally no food left in a very short space of time as locals had arrived 16 to a room and piled their plates high. People defecating in and around the poolside etc...
Holiday makers were moved eventually but are now sueing 1

angelos02 Tue 22-Jul-14 14:40:10

If everyone could cancel their holiday based on what it says on Tripadvisor or some such there'd be chaos.

I understand that I have not experienced the resort but we are going at Christmas and I don't want to risk turning up and there being no other resorts to change to if the reviews are accurate.

Here are example reviews: taken from TripAdvisor

"People were scrambling for food, grabbing whatever was available in the Buffet, skipping lines and the workers were overwhelmed with so many people. The AC did not work properly. Bottom line is, this is not a resort, its more like a public area where everybody come in for free. way too many people for my type of resort vacation"

"We stayed at this place last year and again this place was over run with locals running amok and causing havoc. We were told before we went that measures had been put in place to sort things out and they hadn't we had a dreadful time here and once again I see the same thing happening a year later. People should boycott this place as the holiday company is not looking after the holiday makers and they do not care. This place should be taken out of all brochures"

Snowfedup it is the Dominican Republic. sad

I agree that changing based on reviews is not a good idea but this place seems to have considerably changed and I do not want my children to have to experience it. Especially as the hotel and holiday company seem to be aware of the ongoing issues.

Snowfedup Tue 22-Jul-14 15:08:10

Is there any way you can find out details of the lawsuit and present it as a reason you should not have been sold this holiday in the first place ?

I don't know how I'd go about doing that. As I said I'm happy to ignore small complaints but this is certainly not that sort of thing.

turbowithakick The company can ensure decent procedures are put in place to stop reoccurrences. The company seem to be aware of said issues so they can remove the words "hand picked" and "perfect for families" from their current advertising. Men with guns patrolling pools doesn't feel hand picked to me.

Primadonnagirl Tue 22-Jul-14 15:18:54

Well if you are so worried just cancel then. Surely the lost money is better than throwing good money after bad or you all having a terrible experience? You will probably get yourself so worked up you will be looking for problems when you get there. TBH the Dominican Republic has had a bad rep for a very long time about its resorts so I'm surprised you didn't have concerns beforehand. I also think some of the talk in reviews about " locals" can be very snobbish. You are clearly not looking forward to it so cancel and chalk it up to experience..you have effectively lost the money anyway.

Chattymummyhere Tue 22-Jul-14 15:19:21

Oh the Dominican it sounds like it could be a hotel I visited before as although they had security locals still tried to get, was not anywhere near as bad as this place sounds but I went years ago.

You made them quite Googleable, so I did. The bad reviews are a few compared to good TBF. I would be worried, though. Maybe chalk the 200 quid up to experience and pop there for a swim to see if it's all true.

askyfullofstars Tue 22-Jul-14 15:22:45

Are there any photos of the 'armed guards' cos tbh that sounds like an exaggeration (not from you from the reviewer), or a misrepresentation of something that was happening (again, not from you).
I have worked in a a LOT of resorts and never heard anything like any of that (and some have been right shitholes).

The 'scrambling for food' is a common phrase used on most AI resort reviews as some people just dont want to queue, others do and it can get a bit crazy.

I dont think you yabu for wanting to change if it makes you uneasy, but you should pay the fee, after all, you are basing your decision what a load of strangers on the internet say, and that always isnt that reliable (cedar falls trip advisor reviews anyone? grin)

Coconutty Tue 22-Jul-14 15:24:10

I knew this would be the Dominican republic. Complain again, get your complaint escalated to a manager.

Have you booked again with the same company?

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Tue 22-Jul-14 15:25:21

YANBU. If another poster can come on to the thread and identify the resort from the description in your OP alone, then it is very clearly a 'known problem'.

You are right, they should not be selling holidays to this resort at all until the problems are resolved IMHO. At the very least, they should be downgrading it considerably from 5* & taking away the "perfect for families" tag!

Have you tried taking your complaint to the CEO of the company? If you send an e-mail, chances are someone from the CEO's office will get back to you (I have had problems with Asda & Next sorted out this way in the past!).

Hersetta427 Tue 22-Jul-14 15:27:17

The only thing I would say is I know the hotel you are talking about (in fact have been there twice with no issues) but they now sell off any free rooms they have very cheaply to locals for the weekend. At Xmas, there may be very few (if any) free rooms available so you may not have an issue at all.

I think if I wanted to change I would pay the admin fee....this issue with this particular hotel seems to have been well know and documented for quite a while (well before you booked) so would have raised alarms bells with me even before booking. We went 10 years ago so didn't have the same issues.

As an aside, why did you pay in full for a Xmas holiday back in April when you only usually pay 12 weeks before departure.

ChickenFajitaAndNachos Tue 22-Jul-14 15:34:59

Is it the Rui merengue and it's sister hotel? If so they are not new problems?

Panzee Tue 22-Jul-14 15:39:47

The DomRep has always had armed guards at the hotels. It's the way they do things. I suspect that crapping in the pool is not supposed to happen though. grin I went once (not to this resort though), won't go again. I couldn't cope with the rich/poor gap.

Primafacie Tue 22-Jul-14 15:45:25

YABU. It's very easy to identify the resort given you've cut and pasted from TA. By the looks of it, the resort also had mixed reviews at the time you booked, so you must have known this wasn't going to be the Amanpuri. It seems to me you have got yourself all worked out because the 3 most recent reviews are bad, but three bad reviews doesn't mean the place is going downhill. Besides, there is loads of time between now and Xmas for the hotel to address issues (if there are really any).

Personally I would pay the £200 and change my booking. (But then again I would never have booked there in the first place, just not my cup of tea).

Primafacie Tue 22-Jul-14 15:47:03

*worked up, even

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