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I've booked a holiday with a travel agent online based in the uk. Unfortunately I did not read the reviews beforehand and they are horrendous.

I got through initially to a lady who quoted me for the holiday. It sounded reasonable and so I agreed to go ahead. She asked for my bank details and I thought she was going to book it for me. She then told me she was putting me through to someone else who would confirm everything. Once through to this man he then proceeded to tell me that there was going to be an additional £24 for the airline and £15 for the accommodation per person. I was only informed of this at this point as this was not included in the initial quote. I then proceeded to tell him that this was not acceptable that client should be told in advance about this additional charge and he agreed and said in future he would let people know.

As they already had my bank details, as for as I was concerned they had already taken £1000 from my account for the deposit. They insisted on having the balance in 24 hours. I should have sensed the desperation at that point. Before paying the balance I wanted to cancel but was told this was not possible. With these people it is impossible to have a conversation as they shout over you plus they are really hard to understand. I had forgotten to ask about luggage allowance and was told that we would have 15 kg X 2. There were four of us travelling. When my friend spoke to them they had assured her it was going to be 23 kg.p.p After a lot of debating they added on another 15 kg the woman saying that she was paying for this out of her own pocket!

I felt very uneasy about this booking and so phoned easyJet to make sure that indeed our flights have been booked. Thankfully this is the case.

I have been trying to get through to the third-party UTravel.com who booked the accommodation. Once getting through to them they refused to give me confirmation of the hotel booking saying that they can only give this information to the travel agent. I just wanted the confirmation number to put my mind at rest. I think these people are in cahoots with this so-called travel agent. I have now had to contact the hotel directly and I am waiting for an answer.

I phoned The Agent back and he started shouting at me and saying I should not have booked with them in that case and to take them to court if I felt it necessary! I have a feeling that they have been threatened several times with going to court. This company should get closed down immediately. They are dishonest and will carry on with impunity unless they are stopped. This has put a black cloud over the holiday and quite honestly has caused me so much stress that I am worried to go.

Is there anything I can do ?

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  • 2
    Most of this "question" is only a rant and it is very difficult to understand what you are actually asking about. It would be easier to understand if you would redact out all unnecessary information and then ask a specific question. yesterday
  • Hi @marie and welcome! :) That's one big wall of text. I would simplify the question to: "we had a bad experience with a travel agency that lied about costs." To answer your question: isn't there a sort of organisation that combines travel agencies where you can send your complaint to? yesterday
  • What makes you think UTravel.com is based in the UK? Why would you give your bank details over the phone to a stranger from a company you knew nothing about? The adage ‘if it seems too good to be true, it probably is’ springs to mind
    – Traveller
    yesterday
  • Did you get a written quote? What kind of bank details did you give? Directly your bank account, or a card? Did you use a debit or credit card?
    – jcaron
    3 hours ago

2 Answers 2

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Is there anything I can do ?

  1. Leave negative reviews on sites like tripadvisor, trustpilot, etc
  2. Next time do your homework and read the reviews that other people have written
  3. If any possible book flights directly with the airlines to avoid "finger pointing" when something goes wrong (cancellations, changes, rebooking, seats, meals, etc.)

These days you can easily book everything online yourself. A travel agent often just adds cost and complexity, so I would only use one if I have travel needs that require extra skills.

Sorry, I think the best you can do here is to treat it as a learning experience for your next trip.

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  • One advantage of booking via a travel agent is that packaged travel (flight+hotel and other such combinations) is better protected (so you don’t get stuck with a hotel booking you can’t get a refund for if the flight is cancelled for instance). If the agent is correctly certified of course. Still I personally book separately and directly.
    – jcaron
    8 hours ago
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Is there anything I can do ?

I would ...

Collect evidence. Write down exactly each occasion when I contacted them (phone email etc), the date and time, who I spoke to and what I said and what they said. Be factual and brief - leave aside my feelings, dont include my interpretation, dont comment on the facts.

Think carefully about what I want out of this - a refund? Don't overcomplicate.

Write to the agent by recorded delivery, keeping a copy of the letter. The letter would set out the facts in a few lines and state what I want them to do and when I want it done (e.g. refund specified amount by specified date 2 weeks away). List what I intend to do if they do not respond or if their response is unsatisfactory:

  • Go to your local Citizen's Advice Bureau.
  • Raise a complaint with ABTA.
  • File a case with your local small-claims court (no solicitor needed).
  • Contact your MP (name?).
  • Contact your local newspaper (name?).

I would make the letter factual, calm and avoid threatening or insulting language.

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