Resolve Your Holiday Complaints – We Tell You How
When To Seek Legal AdviceWith holidays on the rise and holiday makers looking for their next two week break, it’s likely that the travel market will be flooded with a number of complaints. So whether your dream holiday was far from what you thought because your needs were not met, your holiday or flights were cancelled or you were unable to enjoy your holiday because you suffered from an illness or accident, be aware that you do not have to brush it under the carpet assuming that these things ‘just happen’.
In the event a claim is made to your tour operator it is highly likely that your claim will be sat on for a few months or you will be offered a small gesture of goodwill, which will always fall short of your entitlement. In this case you can bring a claim directly in the Small Claims Court if you wish to deal with the claim yourself. Alternatively, consumers are advised to seek direct legal advice so that they can be informed of their rights and to also maximise the compensation sum payable to them. This is because it is possible to not only claim back a refund of your holiday but also any expenses and an award for the loss of enjoyment suffered.
You will only be able to recover your full holiday cost if it is a package holiday as you will be covered under The Package Travel Regulations 1992. These holidays usually include full services i.e. accommodation flight and other services sold as a package.
So What Should You Do?
- Mitigate your losses – If a problem persists before or on your holiday you should bring any issues to the attention of the tour operator, airline, hotel supplier or your tour representative to allow them the opportunity to put it right. Also make sure you get a completed copy of your complaint form.
- Obtain Contact Details of other holidaymakers experiencing the same problems – It can substantially increase the chances of your claim being successful if a group action is brought, so ensure contact details of other guests/friends are taken who will be willing to support your claim.
- Keep a diary of events – Sometimes it is extremely difficult to remember all the problems that you encountered after returning from a disastrous holiday, as most people wish to put the experience behind them. However, a diary of events can help build the picture of what went wrong and what steps were taken, if any, to put it right.
- Keep all your booking documentation and receipts of expenses – It is very helpful to keep a copy of your booking confirmation, invoices, terms and conditions to help quantify your claim and recover all your losses.
- Take Photographs/Videos – Any evidence in support of your claim will be beneficial to your case as it will substantiate all the allegations you are making.
- If you suffer an accident or illness visit the doctor on holiday and after you return – It is unlikely you will be able to pursue a claim for personal injuries where you have not sought medical advice or treatment.
So What Should You Not Do?
- Do not agree to settle any amount of compensation directly from your tour operator without seeking independent legal advice – Many consumers fall into the trap of thinking that a few hundred pounds as compensation is sufficient as they may not otherwise recover anything. Although, this is a common tactic used to keep the customer reasonably happy without the tour operator having to suffer a loss by paying out a full refund.
- Do not forward original photographs and/or videos as these may not be returned if your claim is not settled through a tour operator – Once photographs and videos are sent in, these become the receiver’s property which they can then rely on should a claim be forwarded through a legal representative. If photographs are sent without legal advice, you may be disclosing evidence that may work against you.
- Do not agree to accept a part payment from your tour operator or hotel supplier and later seek to recover the remainder upon your return – When offers/part payments are made they are usually made in full and final settlement. Any offers made in full and final settlement means that you will not be able to recover anything further once you have accepted that payment.
If you have experienced a bad holiday you can contact our team of specialist lawyers at Simpson Millar Solicitors who are on hand to provide legal advice, inform you of your rights and guide you through your claim.