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Help please: problem/complaint On the Beach holidays

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PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '09, 15:43 
Joined:28th Jul 2008
I have just booked a holiday with OTB after shopping around for the best deal.
I had browsed several dates and then went ahead with an online booking for the cheapest dates at a cost of £963.84.

There was no opportunity on the website booking process to check the final amount and go ahead with booking, as soon as my oh clicked to pay, the screen changed to an order confirmation and receipt is for the same holiday but different dates, which costs £1417.60! As we had booked to go withing 12 weeks they've taken the full amount too :(

As soon as this came up we realised it was wrong so took screen shots as proof (which I have emailed them). We then called OTB immediately to try to cancel the booking before it went through, which they said they couldn't do.

I spent an hour on the phone to them and they have told me that my screen shots don't prove anything...and that the receipt is proof that I booked the wrong holiday! The only way around it seems like I have to pay extra to change dates, which I am not happy about!

I think this maybe a cookie problem as I had browsed different dates before booking the cheaper option and this somehow affected my booking, but apparently this has never happened before so it must be my fault!

Any advice please...could ABTA help? Has this happenede to anyone else?

PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '09, 19:29 
Joined:20th Apr 2008
Location:Reading, and Vera Playa, Costa Almeria
Hi Li-sa

Thats appalling! I would get on to anyone and everyone you can about this. I would certainly contact the Citizens Advice Bureau maybe Trading Standards. Even if they cant help they may be able to point you in the right direction. My first port of call would be ABTA though! Hope it all works out for you and let us know how it goes. :(

PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '09, 23:29 
Joined:15th Dec 2008

I don't wish to cause you any more grief that you already have to deal with but there is a huge thread regarding OTB on another well know forums, nothing that great to say about them regarding the online bookings.

Abta, you can try but they are as much use as a chocolate teapot lately.

I hope you can get something sorted and let us know the outcome please.


PostPosted: Mar 4th, '09, 09:23 
User avatar
Joined:18th May 2005
Location:Doha Qatar
If you payed with credit card try your company see if they can help.

PostPosted: Mar 4th, '09, 10:15 
Joined:28th Jul 2008
Thanks for the replies.

Qatarman - no, we payed by debit card and the payment was taken immediately.

Leisurelad...guess what? After I posted here, I googled for "otbeach complaint" and found the thread you refer to :(
Although I haven't read every post on it, i have found people there have had similar problems with the supposedly perfect otb booking system, although I haven't found anyone with exactly the same problem.

If anyone else has had the same problem I'd love to know as that would back up my complaint.

Anyway, I tried emailing ABTA who I have also since read are rubbish at dealing with complaints and they take 14-21 days to respond anyway!

I think I will try Trading Standards, but to be honest as I have no documentary proof that OTB will accept, I think I will do as Karen says and spread the word about OTB and never book with them again.

The sad thing is, it's people who are looking for a budget holiday and therefore probably have less money to start with, who are being stung by this company's shoddy practices.

PostPosted: Mar 4th, '09, 18:30 
Joined:20th Apr 2008
Location:Reading, and Vera Playa, Costa Almeria

You do have documentary evidence - didnt you say you sent screen dumps to OTB, print them off, copy them and send them with any letters you write.

I do hope this gets sorted quickly for you. ;)

PostPosted: Mar 4th, '09, 19:17 
Joined:17th May 2004
we had a problem with this co about 2 yrs ago, when i booked some flights online, i paid dep for them, and next day they rang me & told me the price was incorrect and wanted £50 each more, so i told them where to go and got my dep back,they seem to make a habit of changing prices, i hope you get some joy

PostPosted: Mar 5th, '09, 03:26 
User avatar
Joined:2nd May 2004
My friend booked with otb to malta end of last year. When they got to what they thought was their hotel, they found out it was a different hotel and that the original one was over booked. Onb never told them of a change of hotel and took the whole coach to a students hotel with them all drunk and banging on doors all night, it was more like a two star hostel ! Next day they were moved to the original hotel and that was worse, a building site. They did complain to the rep as did everyone else, the rep then disappeared for the rest of the holiday as tempers started to get frail. My friend did complain in writing but nothing was ever done about it, so in turn she wrote a rather lengthy portrail of the events that happened and warned people.

I do hope you get this sorted, have you thought of Ros ? She maybe able to help

Michelle x

PostPosted: Mar 5th, '09, 03:28 
User avatar
Joined:2nd May 2004
Ros Fernihough, Travel Law Solicitor, to provide the best information available.

Ros has offered our members free impartial legal advice. Please note that Ros does not read or post on this board any contact to her must be made via :-

The direct number to Ros's PA Pam is 01922 705134

Or try the switchboard number 01922 633214 and ask for Travel Dept.

PostPosted: Mar 7th, '09, 08:25 
Joined:13th Jun 2006
I have read those threads now aswell :think

To be fair although people do have problems I do feel that some complaints are down to people not reading the T&C properly as it clearly states that they're not using a live system and also a lot of the adds ons are due to the individual airlines.

To the OP though you do have a genuine complaint and I hope that you do manage to get sorted out sooner rather than later.

PostPosted: Mar 7th, '09, 10:51 
Joined:1st Jan 1970
Location:South Dorset
Worth getting Consumer Advice on the case as well. If there is a general problem with the OTB website then they should take it up, apart from your case.

Unfortunately, due to the low standards and capabilities of the majority of today's programmers there are many such problems lurking around the web and the automated testing they mostly pursue (if any testing at all) does not take into account the vaguaries of human users.

One classic cookie case was the first choice sitting together option. If you looked at different holidays with different numbers of people and different dates, ie nothing similar, on adding the sitting together option, the price and settings would return to the first use of that option regardless. I spotted it as £800 was a bit cheap for 7 people 2 weeks AI in the caribbean, although originally not too unreasonable for 1 week for 2 AI in Sharm, but if you are sticking with the same party and different locations all close to the price it would not have been instantly noticable.

If I find a problem, I report it to the webmasters with enough information to replicate and resolve the issues, but they hardly ever do.

Whatever you do don't just accept the wrong holiday, get Ros involved first.

PostPosted: Mar 7th, '09, 11:04 
Joined:19th Oct 2005
What I dont understand is why some companys offering the same service as On the Beach have cracked this problem but OTB havent. I know on their site it says they do not use 'live' flight prices but most people aren't going to notice this and jsut assume what they have been offered is what they are going to pay.

What also worries me is OTB much know its a problem as presummably everybody who gets the call the next day to say the cost has gone up cant be happy. Why cant they just get programmers in who know what they are doing.

Travel Republic offer a similar service to OTB and whilst by no means perfect, they seem to have cracked this particular problem which causes OTB customers a load of grief. Don't they care about their image and reputation ?

Good Luck to Li-sa in getting it sorted. Give Ros a call. You shouldn't have to accept the wrong holiday.

PostPosted: Apr 23rd, '09, 17:16 
New Member
Joined:23rd Apr 2009
I booked with OTB paid in full
YET FIVE days before I am due to go I have no TICKETS
they say IF the can get some they will send them by post

It looks like I have paid Over a thousand pound yet I am not getting my holliday

I have never been as stressed as this over my holidays

Not through them I booked my over night on route hotel my airport car parking and my hire car at the destination

If i dont get there I will have lost another £500 on top as well as loosing all the money I will have lost my holiday too

PostPosted: Apr 23rd, '09, 21:29 
Joined:5th Mar 2007
Location:East Anglia
Any chance you can pick up your tickets at the carriers desk in your departure airport, thats what most airlines do with last bookings, and evening if tickets dont turn up they can still print off another set for you !!

Find out who your flying with and phone them to see if you can coolect on departure !!

hope this helps


PostPosted: Apr 23rd, '09, 22:28 
Joined:8th Oct 2008
Definately sounds like a Ticket on Departure. Ring OTB and ask them if this is the case. If so, they should let you have a TOD confirmation. The airline or tour op desk prints your tickets off when you get to the airport.

PostPosted: Apr 24th, '09, 00:00 
Joined:18th Mar 2009
Location:Central Scotland
Who are you flying with - maybe it's with one of the ticketless airlines and you just need to show your booking reference number. Did you get all your other paperwork from them okay- ie booking confirmation, receipt. What does it say on there about issuing tickets? It seems to be a bit vague what they've told you - I agree with the previous posters, get them to confirm by email what exactly is happening about the tickets ( ie if you've to pick up at the airport). I'm sure it will all be sorted out okay and you can enjoy your holiday

PostPosted: Apr 24th, '09, 07:19 
User avatar
Joined:1st Jan 1970
Location:Huddersfield,West Yorkshire
We went with Cosmos last year without tickets. All we had was a slip of paper with a reference number. No problems, although I do agree that either tickets or a document of some kind takes away the worry.


PostPosted: Apr 24th, '09, 20:53 
Joined:26th Jul 2004
Location:Mid Wales
Reading all this made me very worried as I have booked with OTB. However, my ticket arrived this morning and all is well. Phew! I hope you will get everything sorted and get a lovely holiday in the end Ivor.

PostPosted: May 22nd, '09, 08:00 
User avatar
Joined:12th May 2009
Location:Didsbury, Manchester
Dear Li-sa,

We are sorry to learn of your disappointment. At On the Beach we take all complaints related to our website seriously. Once an order is placed and we have confirmed the booking with the hotel and flight suppliers we are unable to cancel the order without incurring charges from them. Unfortunately this is the case immediately after the booking has been made. This is the case with all the suppliers we make bookings with and their booking conditions are very clear in regards to this.

However If you would like us to look again at your cancellation charges we will happily do so.

Li-sa please can you drop us an e-mail at with your OTB or MYB reference so that we can investigate further.

Should any of our customers need assistance prior to travel we would ask that they log into the Manage your Booking where you can find contact details for all our After Sales departments. We welcome customer feedback and will always act where possible to improve the service we offer to our customers.

On The Beach

On The Beach Employee - Verified by Admin of HT

PostPosted: May 25th, '09, 21:14 
New Member
Joined:25th May 2009
Make sure you get something sorted before you go because they were so poor at trying to resolve my problem with the me booking the wrong area (which was a fault on their part) I had to eventually book with someone else and lost all of my money.

Since November 08 when I went on holiday I have been writing to them, I have had now four response letters from them and have had no luck, They leave you waiting and waiting and they have written to the wrong address twice now, They are poor, They provide bad customer service and they have no interest in helping their customers before they go and even worse after, I tried writing the the press office to get some answers however they sent my letter to the complaints department and guess what I had the same answer and no luck. If you thinking of booking a holiday through them the PLEASE DON'T. the reason they provide quite cheap prices is that they provide a bad and poor customer experience and even worse customer service.

I do hope that you get this sorted, fingers crossed for you. PLEASE PLEASE ANYONE READING THIS DO NOT BOOK THROUGH ON THE BEACH.

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