Half of people who made a complaint about their holiday in the last three years were left feeling disgruntled about the outcome, finds new research* from consumer champion Which? Legal Service.
Experts from the legal telephone advice line found that one in ten holidaymakers made a complaint about a trip in the last three years. Of these, a third found it difficult to complain while half felt fobbed off by the company or person they complained to.
Eight per cent even considered starting legal proceedings in order to get their complaint heard.
To coincide with National Complaints Day**, Which? Legal Service offers the following advice to people who have a problem with their holiday accommodation or resort:
* Raise your problem and the affect it’s having on your holiday as soon as possible with the holiday company’s representative
* Explain the problem and give them the opportunity to move you or put things right
* Get a complaint form from the representative, fill it in, get the rep to sign it and keep a copy
* Take photographs or make notes of the problems in case you need evidence later
* Get names and addresses of other holidaymakers who can support you and act as independent witnesses
* Write to your holiday company when you get home if the problems are not resolved satisfactorily while you are on holiday
* Ask for compensation to cover your loss of enjoyment and any other losses
* Consider seeking legal help if you’re still not happy with the response. A lawyer can give you advice on taking your claim further, including how to send a ‘final letter before action’ or how to take your case to the small claims court or to arbitration if things aren’t resolved
Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith says:
“We all look forward to our holidays, and the last thing anyone wants is to have to deal with problems when they’re supposed to be relaxing and having fun. Unfortunately our members tell us that they’re often made to jump through hoops when trying to complain to holiday companies, having to write multiple letters and struggling to get a response.
“If you do find yourself in the position of having to make a complaint, then do so as soon as the issue arises, always putting the complaint in writing. Don’t be fobbed off by your holiday company - a bit of persistence can get you the compensation you deserve.”