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Warning for parents booking with Thomson Holidays (or First Choice)

(28 Posts)
Minsmummy Tue 07-Jun-16 19:20:44

We booked our first holiday with Thomson this year, as now we are parents, we thought a package holiday would meet our needs better than trying to do it all ourselves. We booked a hotel in Menorca in January and upgraded our accommodation as we will be spending every evening in the room, while our daughter sleeps.

However, today, under a week before we are due to fly, we have received an email to say that due to over booking rooms we've been DOWNGRADED. That's right, a holiday we booked in January. No explanation. No compensation.

I phoned Thomson (and held for 30 minutes to get through to someone) who were really unhelpful and explained that when they give the bookings to the hotel a week before the holidays, 'this sometimes happens'. So basically, even when you think you've booked a holiday with Thomson, and during all the confirmation emails they send you, you actually don't book anything until ONE WEEK BEFORE YOU GO.

We'll never book another holiday with Thomson (or First Direct its sister company) and wanted to warn other parents of this too.

Gizlotsmum Tue 07-Jun-16 19:22:08

So what are they offering in terms of compensation? I assume the downgrade is cheaper?

2snugglets Tue 07-Jun-16 19:22:55

That's crap! winewine I hope you still have a great holiday - for what it's worth, it won't make any difference to your DD

RumAppleGinger Tue 07-Jun-16 19:26:59

How did the conversation go?

Did you tell them it wasn't acceptable? Have you been offered a partial refund etc?

Forgot the phone, you need to go into a shop. They really don't like people pointing out loudly that they have fucked up in front of a shop full of customers.

10percentbattery Tue 07-Jun-16 19:27:41

I discovered this is a fairly common occurrence when looking at package holidays last summer. In the end it's a faff, but is safer (and can be cheaper) to do it all yourself.

ChippyMinton Tue 07-Jun-16 19:29:08

Unfortunately it's probably hidden in the Ts&Cs.
Thomas Cook changed our flight time, irritating but nothing we could do, they reserve the right etc etc.

Minsmummy Tue 07-Jun-16 19:44:37

They have said they will refund the difference (but we have no idea what the difference would be, so I'm assuming they'll give us the least amount possible). No compensation or explanation really. But we don't really want any money back, we want the holiday we booked.

It's the first package holiday we've booked and definitely the last. I've always booked separately, but thought as we are taking our DD it would make more sense to book something all together (coach transfer, rather than sorting car seats etc etc). HUGE MISTAKE.

Minsmummy Tue 07-Jun-16 19:46:14

10percentbattery - I'm not surprised it's so common, now I know what the system is for them booking. Next time I'll go directly to the hotel/apartment. I just wanted to warn others. We had no idea as we've not booked anything like this before!

bloodyteenagers Tue 07-Jun-16 19:54:48

It's ridiculous they can still get away with it.
Have they at least told you what the downgraded accommodation is?

Minsmummy Tue 07-Jun-16 20:03:01

It's in the same resort group, so we didn't get specifics, just 'you won't get what you booked, you'll only get this'. I'm fuming. But getting through to anyone at Thomson, especially with authority, is almost impossible. They use lots of delay tactics...

puckingfixies Tue 07-Jun-16 20:07:22

Do they have a social media page you could post on, might get a response then.

Minsmummy Tue 07-Jun-16 20:25:40

I've tweeted and Facebooked them and they just give you email addresses to contact. Delay tactics to shut you up. No one actually replies to emails.

I've also contacted the hotel myself and they have said that all the rooms we booked are now gone, so we can't even try and sort this out ourselves.

bloodyteenagers Tue 07-Jun-16 20:28:22

Tweet them. Just make sure it's the UK site.

Ask them what is the point of the booking system. Paying in full months before. Only for them to downgrade a week before. No explanation. No idea if it's a little or
Major downgrade.

bloodyteenagers Tue 07-Jun-16 20:33:37

Cross posts
Tell them stop fobbing
You off giving u an email no one ever replies
To. If ur company cared you could deal with it rather than fobbing me off..
Them spam them.

I did this with a company. Every 30 minutes I asked the same question.. When you going to answer my questions.. Or when you going to deal with me... Or you realize I am not going away.

After several hours others also started asking why I was being ignored.

Minsmummy Tue 07-Jun-16 20:40:05

Oooooh good idea! Will do that now! thanks

pinkmagic1 Tue 07-Jun-16 20:45:29

I am a travel agent and have never known the tour operators to downgrade customers. In an overlooking situation which is actually quite rare, they normally upgrade or offer something of the same standard in the same resort. That's really rubbish and they certainly should be offering compensation.

lifesuckssometimes Tue 07-Jun-16 20:52:02

Pinkmagic, if you book early for day flights, then are told you have night flights can you ask for compensation? Everybody knows night flights at cheaper. My daughter booked last year and has now been told she has night flights. I know flight times are not guaranteed, but think this is wrong.

CooeeOnlyMe Tue 07-Jun-16 20:56:50

You need to start dropping 'regulation 13 of the package travel regulations' into every conversation, OP. You are entitled to a similar package or superior one. If you decide to accept the change you can not only be repaid the difference in cost but also compensation, if appropriate.

I would post link but I'm on my phone. Google it!

Minsmummy Tue 07-Jun-16 21:05:53

Coenzyme - Oh wow - this is great. Thank you!

Bolograph Tue 07-Jun-16 21:15:17

In an overlooking situation which is actually quite rare, they normally upgrade or offer something of the same standard in the same resort.

I suspect they try it on with customers they think that they can get away with it with, and then move to upgrades when things get stickier.

rookiemere Tue 07-Jun-16 21:47:25

That sounds really disappointing Minsmummy - I really hope some of these options work for you. Complaints via social media seem to be the way to go these days so Twitter seems like good option.

pinkmagic1 Wed 08-Jun-16 06:43:37

Sorry, life sucks, only just seen your post. With flight time changes they normally follow a 12 hour rule and cover themselves in the booking conditions, meaning they only compensate if your flight times alter by more than 12 hours.

ukgirlatheart Wed 08-Jun-16 10:02:13

OP - Why not copy in the CEO and also drop his name into every conversation.

concertplayer Tue 14-Jun-16 22:24:08

I am guessing but if you are downgraded and do not like it you could still
make a complaint? After all a holiday is supposed to be a holiday and if you
do not feel it was a hol then breach of contract etc

leccybill Wed 15-Jun-16 19:10:12

How awful of them. You have just reminded me to check our Thomson booking as I had an email from them last week while I was away about a change to our flight. It's been put back an hour. I hope they don't mess about with it any more - we already paid over the odds for a decent day flight.

Yes deffo to spamming their social media page.

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