Holiday, price has gone up after deposit, before receiving written confirmation
Trying to confirm where I stand here, it feels like the agents are taking the proverbial…
Background is local agent (no name and shame, yet, don’t ask) we’ve used 2 of last three years for large family holidays. Approached them for a quote for October half term, great hotel, good price, all good. Popped in following lunchtime to pay deposit. First off, flights have gone up £20pp, not too fussed at this stage, these things can happen. So we rattle through rest of the details, I hand over the credit card for a deposit, ~15% and leave with the promise “we’ll get all that confirmed and send you the details”. That was Friday.
Yesterday afternoon I get a phone call, “sorry sir, the hotel won’t sell us the room at the contract price as they’re very busy, your holiday has just gone up ~5% – these things happen you’ll have to pay”
Phone call today with the owner/manager where I suggested that the issue is for them and the operator to sort out with the hotel, not for me to fork out. They’ve offered to come half way, which smells like trying to reduce the loss.
I’m torn between telling them to jog on and getting my money back and forcing the issue to get the holiday. Whilst it’s a good holiday I wouldn’t cry if we ended up somewhere else.
Thoughts?Posted 3 months ago
Yeah, there’s the difficulty, the paperwork has never been sent. My fault, running late and dealing with agents we’ve used before so paid a deposit and walked out with a promise they’d get the paperwork complete and send it through. They’re the kind of place that send things by post so wasn’t unduly worried when it wasn’t in my inbox 30 minutes later.
That being said, I’ve got some dim understanding that there’s a defacto contract once I pay the deposit?Posted 3 months ago
Yeah, there’s the difficulty, the paperwork has never been sent.
They will have a standard contract/template that they use for deposit taking purposes.
Ask them what it says on that. If they struggle and avoid showing you it then you know you’re on a winner 👍
Ask them also, what is the deposit actually for, if it’s not to secure a holiday at an agreed price?
Seems pointless if that’s not what it does?Posted 3 months agoSandwichSubscriber
Check their T&C’s. Ours specifically state that once we tell you it’s happening the price is fixed. We get to suck up any increases if it’s our mistake, our partners/hotels take the pain if it’s theirs.
I work for a ‘my word is my bond’ boss, there’s not many of them left. We don’t tend to leave work feeling dirty though, which is nice.Posted 3 months agowwaswasSubscriber
Are they acting as a travel agent or a tour operator?
Travel Agent: they’re booking a package with another company then they should have credit terms and the operator will have held the booking at the quoted price.they recieve a fixed commission.
Tour operator: If they’re building a package by booking hotels/flights/etc separately for you and making individual bookings for each element with the hotel/airline/etc then they should have secured the booking at the prices they were quoted by paying a deposit themsleves (or having credit terms if they regularly book that hotel).If they’d blamed currency fluctuations for the latter I could understand it – they’re paying in Euro’s (or whatever) but I’d be asking further questions about why they hadn’t agreed fixed prices on this stuff if it were me.Posted 3 months ago
They’re acting as a travel agent. The story is that the hotel is refusing to honour the fixed price arrangements they have with the operator, which is the bit that’s fishy. Although the hotel is outside the EU so I guess they can pull all kinds of stunts
My suspicion is that the operator and/or agent are trying to avoid swallowing a big loss on the deal. I also suspect they’re not really allowed to do this. As said elsewhere, what’s the point of a deposit if it doesn’t lock things in?
TBH I’m thinking if the agent and operator are telling the truth I don’t really want to give the hotel my money if they’re going to pull stunts like that on their guests. If the fault is with agent/operator I feel it’s more a case of making them to the right thing.Posted 3 months ago
but I’d be asking further questions about why they hadn’t agreed fixed prices on this stuff if it were me.
Thats the thing though, they have agreed prices…. with their client, by accepting a deposit
They just seem to have forgotten to do the same with their supplier (or not done it in time at least)
Which is why they should take the loss, rather than trying to pass it on to their customer.Posted 3 months agobruneepSubscriber
Do people still use travel agents?
Bored shopping with wife looked a trip to NYC for end of year with other friends . wandered into TA discussed my needs dates etc etc said he’d email me prices. 3 days later email arrived, by then I’d looked at usual places expedia, booking direct other online operator’s. TA price was over £2k dearer than I could get with expedia.
emailed them back with price I had, said they couldn’t match or get near it.
Shop around I’m sure you’ll get a deal elsewherePosted 3 months agosillysillyMember
Make sure they have actually booked it in the background with the operator. If they have not while you are negotiating over 2.5-5% the holiday price can go up by 20%, especially if it’s in the middle of Aug.
They should have had it held on the screen, entered your details with the operator, taken a deposit while holding, then confirmed with the operator.
If it timed out, they took your deposit, then they renetered your details to confirm a few mins later the price can genuinely go up. They shouldn’t have confirmed with you until having the confirmation with the operator that they can send on.
They could be trying to screw you, but I can also imagaine this happening to a friendly local / indie agent / junior staff member, while chatting away trying to be nice, and it may not be intentional. Personally I’d accept a minor increase if there are no viable alternatives to shop / purchase elsewhere for the same price that you like, and it is the middle of school hols to a popular resort.Posted 3 months agoP-JayMember
TBH I’d walk, 5% of a Tenner isn’t worth worrying about, but Holidays are a big ticket purchase.
As someone else said, Holidays are one of those things were you can end up paying a lot of middle-men to do a bit of finding for you – unless you know nothing of the destination and it’s a place full of Bandits and Wrong ‘uns I’d go direct.Posted 3 months agomartinhutchSubscriber
The only advantage of using an agent is to avoid hassles like this. I’d probably have a quick squint at similar flights/hotels online, and see how much a virtually identical package would cost before committing to the extra cost.
2.5% of the cost of a family holiday is a fair chunk.Posted 3 months agosillysillyMember
You can get good prices at agents If they are smart and find random pricing anomalies that you may miss online. I spent a summer at work once doing price analysis between operators, agents and online flight / hotel booking co’s. Interesting what can pop up if you have time on your hands and are curious. Rarely found any great deals booking in May for Aug to popular destinations for U.K. families.Posted 3 months agow00dsterSubscriber
My tuppence worth…I personally wouldn’t pay the additional money. I also would trust the Travel Agent though and try and book another deal with them. I’ve had similar happen to me with Tui last year, I paid for a family swim up room, brand new hotel in Mexico – there was nothing in the T&C’s about under 16’s not being able to stay in the room. 3 months before hand the hotel introduced a policy for no 16’s to use swim up rooms. Tui sorted this out for us – we lost that room, but Tui gave us upgraded flights and an executive suite – all of this was an additional £2k on top of our holiday that Tui did as a good will gesture. (I did have to complain about my 2 daughters hopes have been dashed and they haven’t stopped crying since we told them they had no swim up pool….but Tui did the right thing in the end)
Straying off topic again, family holidays I always use a Travel Agent, generally Tui.This just gives us a bit of security that the hotels are going to be a good standard and we know how to deal with complaints or issues should they arise. When I go for trips just with Mrs W, we book via Expedia or the likes. Easy enough to sort out or go to different hotel if there are problems.Posted 3 months ago
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