Thursday 29th August
As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column we focus on problems with holiday bookings.
I booked a luxury hotel room for my Summer holiday, but arrived to find it wasn’t available. I spent the week in a standard room instead. I reported this to my travel agent. Am I entitled to any compensation?
Your holiday was lower in value than what you booked. This means you should be able to get compensation for your inconvenience and any extra costs incurred.
Contact the customer services department of the company you booked your holiday with by email, letter or via the company website. Make sure to keep a copy of what you send.
Explain fully what went wrong and how much compensation you want. This should be the difference in cost between the luxury room and the standard room, any costs incurred from staying in the standard room, and what you feel is reasonable compensation for your inconvenience. Make sure you keep receipts for any extra expenses.
If the company refuses to pay compensation, or you don’t think its offer is good enough, check whether the company is a member of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). ABTA should be able to mediate between you and the company.
If the company is not a member of ABTA, look for an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). This is an independent third party who can help you reach a resolution without going to court. Alternatively, if you paid by credit or debit card, contact the Financial Ombudsman (www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk) who can mediate.
If you need any more information, or are unsure of your next steps, contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06, or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Look out for our column next week when we focus on product compensation.