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holiday gems travel agents

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PostPosted: Feb 7th, '12, 10:16 
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TERRIBLE company!!!!! worse customer service i have EVER had DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!!!!!

Started by phoning and saying flights had been put up...i see a pattern here?
Then they booked the wrong holiday!!!
Then they over charged me!!!
Then i emailed about 6 times to get it sorted out with NO REPLY.
Phoned the company but could not get through...was on hold for 35min twice!! and hung up on twice when i started to complaine!! it costs 10p a min.
Then i asked to be called back but no one has done- AT ALL- even though i had emails saying they would call me.
I have had email communication with someone called XXXX XXXXX who has been completly useless. I have no idea if we will be going on holiday on monday as every question i have asked has been ignored!
ONCE AGAIN I WARN YOU DO NOT USE HOLIDAY GEMS!!!!


Last edited by David on Feb 7th, '12, 10:49, edited 1 time in total.
Personal names removed



PostPosted: Feb 7th, '12, 19:53 
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My experience with holiday gems is very similar to your own. It is the way they conduct their business by :swear people.
I think they should be taught a lesson.
I WARN ANYBODY WHO READS THIS.
DO NOT BOOK WITH HOLIDAY GEMS.



PostPosted: Feb 8th, '12, 10:43 
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Has anyone else found they are over charging for baggage to? and where do we stand on adding the baggage ourselves as they are telling me i can't? this is becoming so stressful ill need another holiday to get over it!!



PostPosted: Feb 8th, '12, 11:33 
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emu, adding your own baggage on an airline that doesn't include it is a common problem when using agents like this. To add bags you'd have to go into something like "My Account" on the airline website using your username and password. But you haven't got one, because it was booked by the agent and they clearly aren't going to give you their details as it would give you access to all the other flights they have booked for other customers. Have you given holiday gems your passport details so they can enter the API because that has the same access problem.

Charging is something else, some airlines have clear table of fees for bags but others vary it by route. So if you can find a clear price on the airline website and the agent has charged more then you have reason to be unhappy. But if the airline has variable charges it's harder to prove.

Some of these agents just automatically include one bag in their quote which is easier all round, as long as you don't want to take two!



PostPosted: Feb 9th, '12, 17:31 
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Thank you for this info it is very helpful. I can add my passport details myself but no bag :( i am not happy about having to give this company more money. Is there ANY way around it?
Thanks



PostPosted: Feb 10th, '12, 11:08 
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which airline is this? how can you be allowed to alter API info but not baggage details????



PostPosted: Feb 10th, '12, 18:07 
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It is easy jet. I don't know but i have added my own passport details and printed off my own boarding pass as HOLIDAY GEMS did not send me anything!! i thought i had better do it as i am going on monday. They are trying to tell me it is £48 for baggage?!? I am sick of this company they are utter rubbish



PostPosted: Feb 10th, '12, 18:32 
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Now I'm confused. I've got an EZY flight and the only way place I can see API is in the section that needs a password and also has luggage - this also confirms that if you booked through an agent you need to contact them. So are you saying there is unprotected access to API details via the equally unprotected checkin option???

What does the £48 bag fee cover? 1 person single would be a rip off but sounds right for 2 people return.



PostPosted: Feb 20th, '12, 14:11 
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I've just received my accommodation voucher which is for a Promo terrace/twin room.
I booked and paid for a Suite/seaview. Is this an oversight or am I being ripped off?



PostPosted: Feb 23rd, '12, 18:51 
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that would all depend on what exactly "Promo terrace/twin room" means. Sounds like a hotel offer description, what do they say?



PostPosted: Feb 23rd, '12, 19:51 
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After emailing them about the error they have now sent me an updated accommodatin voucher.
I hope I don't get messed around when I present it at the hotel.



PostPosted: Feb 23rd, '12, 20:44 
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Just to add to my previous message.
I've never had so much trouble over a booking, they really are the pits.
The small print on their Web Site refers to extra costs that 'may' apply but you can guarantee will apply when they contact you.
By this time however you have entered you credit card details and thought you had just paid for the total cost your holiday.
Boy are you in for a shock, even down to the unauthorised use of your credit card as happened to me, which borders on *****.
If their Web Site contained true factual information that did not hide extra costs, and it does, you could make a fair and balanced judgement of the all up price compaired to other sites, they still might come out on top and get a good reputation to boot.
Why do they have to resort to these underhanded tactics which only gains them grief and a lousy reputation.
They even send you an email asking you how they are doing. The very cheek of it.
I would like to know how many times they have been litigated against and the outcome, because they blatently disregard their own Terms and Conditions and when you compain they are totaly intransagent. They have your money so what can you do without resorting to litigation and in England this meens the person with the bigest stick usually wins. It takes a lot of time and money with no guarentee of sucess. When your holiday is only weeks away you could end up loosing more than just your money. I think they bank on knowing this and are able to get away with it

I will never ever consider booking with these people ever again.



PostPosted: Feb 24th, '12, 11:42 
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They aren't very big so if you had a case to put to a court it would be worth a try. Look at it this way, if they organise their defence as well as they organised your holiday the odds will be in your favour!!

But next time either use a big name tour operator or proper DIY - most of the businesses in this corner of the market work the same way.



PostPosted: Feb 24th, '12, 18:56 
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Thanks for the advise Steve8482. You seem a like knowledgeable chap judging by the number of your posts, you must have a giant axe to grind against HG and there like?.



PostPosted: Feb 24th, '12, 20:27 
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I don't think that any of us here on HT have any axes to grind. We are however very much against companies that fail to deliver what they promise.
If they are as good as they claim why have websites that mislead? Why when someone has a query can they not give it the same priority as when they are taking your money.
There are a lot of small companies out there delivering first class service. There are also a number that regularly seem to feature here on the pages of HT and other websites that would not be missed if they shut up shop.

The answer for anyone who believes they have been mislead by the wording on their websites or in their ads is to complain to the Advertising Standards Authority. http://www.asa.org.uk/ - Another port of call is Trading Standards - http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/

They are not toothless organisations. They can and do take action against these rogue companies. Providing people bother to tell them.
One of the biggest problems - and no offence is intended in this comment - people would rather go down the pub and moan or come on sites such as HT and moan. We always try to assist those with problems and regularly advise people to contact such bodies. They have the power to make these companies toe the line. I myself have used Consumer Direct which is part of the Trading Standards system on several occasions and can report 100% success in achieving satisfaction.

By all means come on here and ask for help and advice, which is freely given - but having done so act on it. Come back and tell us how you went on and add to the pool of knowledge here on HT and so help others.


fwh



PostPosted: Feb 25th, '12, 19:26 
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I've no axe to grind, I did have a run in with their MD when he tried to stop us discussing his company but he calmed down a bit after that. To be fair to him, most complaints about HG are about communication and unclear pricing (partly because they work in a dynamic market so can't advertise accurate prices in advance). I don't think we've had many about truly awful holidays once the actual price has been decided and the paperwork delivered.

like fwh says I just wish people with problems would do something and then let us know how it went. There are loads of companies that work in the same way, look at the ones that appear in icelolly. It's possible that HG get more comments because of the snow ball effect of seaching on Google, others beat that by changing their name (or going bust!).



PostPosted: Feb 26th, '12, 14:41 
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Because it is a last minute holiday there isn't time to make a complaint to Trading Standards which I suspect could be a long drawn out affair. The amount of money involved was small, however there is the principle of it, nobody likes to being taken for a ride, but on this occasion it looks like HG have gotten away with it again.
Please note Mr E you may not be so lucky next time.

I hope to report in the near future I've had a good holiday,



PostPosted: Mar 9th, '12, 14:01 
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We go on holiday 2 - 3 times a year and this was our first booking with the cowboys that are Holiday Gems! We have always used On The Beach who have been fantastic but they weren't advertising the particular hotel we wanted this time.

Their website has a 'Lowest Price Guarantee' stamped all over it, ignore this, our holiday cost us 20% (£600) more than their webiste stated after all their little add ons and charges, plus we also found the same holiday cheaper on a couple of other sites - when we complained about this to holiday gems they basically said 'Touch - you should have checked'.

Their phones take forever to be answered, 30 - 40 minutes on average on a premium rate number, they dont reply to emails.

Their receipts do NOT display the ATOL logo and number, your receipt MUST have this for you to be covered, otherwise you are not. They supposedly are covered by the Global travel group ATOL number but are not listed on the ATOL website.

Avoid them like the plague, we have put in a complaint to ATOL as I don't want some other poor sucker to be hoodwinked by this lot.



PostPosted: Mar 9th, '12, 16:32 
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Just a quick update on the nightmare we are having with Holiday Gems!

We were told by ATOL that we should have an ATOL endorsed receipt, so I called them for it. I also mentioned that quite a few of their customers had complained on Holiday Truths and other such forums.

She said......We don't take any notice of what our customers say on Holiday Truths!

Deep Joy!



PostPosted: Mar 12th, '12, 13:56 
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The reason you don't have an Atol receipt maybe because what you have booked isn't protected? If you've booked a component holiday with a no frills/low cost carrier flight, there will be no Atol involved.



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