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Holiday Complaints

On The Beach, NIGHTMARE !!!!!

I booked and paid for a last minute holiday and flight using my Debit Card as I wanted to avoid the extra % handling costs. My thoughts where that these guys have been around for a while so really, there is no need to cover myself by using a credit card and pay the extra.

For peace of mind, I now wished I had.

I booked and paid for everything on the Friday evening, £746.16. I then received a call at OTB the next morning saying that the Ryan Air flights had gone up and that I would need to stump up another £40. I told her to call back in 30 minutes whilst I did a bit of research into where I stood. As this site shows, this experience with OTB is nothing new. I checked Ryan Air's website and the flights where more expensive that what OTB where charging so my dilemma was either to stamp my feet and cancel or to pay up and have a holiday. In the end I chose to pay the extra £40 made a pack with myself not to use this lot ever again.

The agent called 30 minutes later. I missed her call but she did leave a voicemail and sent me an email with a number to call, the 10 per minute number. I called her back and she answered immediately. I told her I'd pay the extra and thought no more of it. Until I checked my bank account two days later.

OTB had charged me twice for the same holiday, £746.16 and £801.50. I was fuming.

I called them immediately on the number I was given and surprisingly *name removed* wasn't in work that day. I explained what had happened and was passed through to the Admin department. 20 Minutes later, that's £2 in call charges, I eventually got through to another agent who told me that only the accounts department could handle this and the only communication she had with them was via email. I was calm and contained and left the query with her.

As I was due to be flying out 48 hours later, I decided to contact them again the next day to get an update. Again, after another 30 minutes ,£3, I was talking to an agent who said that there was no response from accounts and that he would pursue this as a priority for me.

I also decided to call the hotel I was going to in Spain to see if there was a booking for me and there was. I had 2 rooms booked under my name. They obviously hadn't cancelled one of the bookings and I was worried that I would not get my money back had the room not been cancelled.

I called OTB again, £4 this time, and spoke to an agent,*name removed*. I explained that the money they had was my spends for the holiday and he was sympathetic and agreed to look into it. He said he would ‘walk' over to the accounts department and have it looked into. I emailed him my bank statement showing quite clearly the two payment made to OTB.

Eventually I received a call from OTB saying that a refund had been arranged to the My Bookings section on their website. He was right, it was there. All £746.16, £14.56 short.

In the end OTB have caused me a lot of stress and time. Including calls to their customer care number (care?) the cost of the holiday is roughly £80 more than what I paid for on their website.

I CAN NOT STRESS ENOUGH, DO NOT USE THESE GUYS!!!! Particularly any last minute deal. I DO NOT have any confidence in the fact that I would have received my refund had I tried to chase it down after I returned from my holiday.

There are too many BAD experiences with this company which have been posted and I would hate for someone to go through a repeat of my ‘OTB' experience.

Can you imagine the impact if was double charged on a £3,000 holiday?
  • Edited by Fiona 2010-06-04 11:39:47
    to remove names
I booked with theses last year, i to was contacted the day after saying that the flights had gone up by about £40.

Unfortunitley i did not experiance a double booking, but it does make you wonder how many more people recieve that same phone call??

Please comment if this has happened to you.
It is not unfortunate that you didn't experience the 'Double Booking' I am glad you didn't for your sake...
Yes Iam glad it wasnt me.

I always book via Credit card, because you are always covered.
You can not claim anything back otherwise unless you have a package deal, a friend had problems a couple of years ago so from then on i vowed i would pay by cedit card.
The flight prices going up can be explained by OTB not using a live system, it happened to my friends aswell but OTB do clearly state on their website that their system and prices are not live.
I don't know what website you are looking at mate, but there is nothing obvious at all that they do not operate a live system.

I am quite sure that if people knew that OTB operated a ‘Pay and Hope' policy with regards to booking flights and that this was obvious on their website, less people would use them.

The point I am stressing is with regards to the double booking that I experienced. It is an absolute disgrace that this company was :

a) Able to charge my card twice without any come back what so ever.
b) Deduct banking charges so that the returned amount is less than what they had taken
  • Edited by Glynis HT Admin 2010-06-10 09:50:00
    edit to replace libelous word.
can you send me a link to this page??? (OTB do clearly state on their website that their system and prices are not live.)
I don't know what website you are looking at mate, but there is nothing obvious at all that they do not operate a live system.

It's very clearly stated in the terms of business at

and you have to 'tick' to say that you have read and agree to accepting these before you can proceed to the final stages of making a booking. This is why it's so important that you do read the T&Cs/Terms of Business very carefully before confirming that you accept them.

Well I can see a pattern emerging here with a £40.00 price increase.

Back in 2007 I booked a holiday for a week to Puerto Pollensa for two adults. It was a bargain and worked out at about £140 each.

Two days later I noticed the money still had not gone out of my bank (I paid by debit card). I then got a phone call from them stating that the cost of the holiday had increased by £40 due to the flight prices increasing and this was the fault of Thomas Cook not them.

So I went onto the Thomas Cook website which was still advertising the flights for the same price that I had booked and said that the flight prices were still the same with Thomas cook. At this point the guy on the phone became quite defensive and said are you suggesting that I am lying to you?

When I realised that I was dealing with a bunch of sharks, I just told them to cancell the holliday and I'd book elsewhere. I was advised that this would not be possible and would incurr a cancellation charge as per their t&c's.

I stood my ground and asked to speak to a manager who was extremely polite and then said that they would honour the original price of the booking and that a mistake had been made regarding the increase in the price.

I refused to accept any of it and told them to cancell the booking, I in turn cancelled my debit card with the bank so that they could not take the money and informed trading standards. They had blatantly tried to con me out an extra £40 per adult and backed down very quicly when they realised their game was up.

I would never book with this scam outfit again, I reported them to trading standards, and then booked everything seperately online. I think I saved about an extra £20 each per person doing it this way.
My daughter that same year as me also was told to pay £40 each (party of 12) due to a price increase, i also telephoned trading standards but didnt here anything back, i to will not book with these again.
a cynic would assume that the net increase in flights would also be the agents remuneration in commission
July 28th 2010
I phoned OTB about a complaint today. Got through to a staff member who was working from home and unable to help me with my particular query ! Thankfully though, she did give me something that was like gold dust ! It is the free phone number for 'onthebeach' ! so no more costly calls to them ! I AHVE ALSO SENT ROLLING FAXES TO THEM ! Loving it ! I agree they are not very good at respondng to emails . . .
Their free phone number is is: 08000 858 859
I have just returned from a holiday booked with OTB which uses You Travel and had similar experiences to a number of complaints. My question is, if everyone is getting in touch with Trading Standards, why is nothing happening? What is it that Trading Standards can actually do?
Familygirl, have you contacted trading standards and what was their reply?
No I haven't yet. I don't know if it's worth doing because it seems that for many similar complaints (taking money twice, not providing the goods booked, continually booking people into hotels that are already full and moving them to cheaper alternatives etc) people are told (historically) to contact trading standards. If everyone has, and the complaints are still happening then obviously complaining to trading standards isn't proving very useful. It may be that they help in individual cases, but if this is the case, then who do you go to to stop the 'practise' itself from happening to other people? I'm not specifically interested in just changing things or getting redress for myself...I am interested in stopping what seems to be systematic exploitation of loopholes which leave customers like myself frustrated, angry or out of pocket.
Familygirl, maybe everybody thinks that others are contacting Trading Standards when infact very few if not nobody is actually contacting them ref. the ongoing problems with OTB.

Apparently they are not allowed to use this price increase practise and Trading Standards should be informed. Or better still inform OTB that you are contacting TS. OTB could get a hefty fine.
ON THE BEACH. or OTB have just informed me that there is no ‘Cooling-off period' for travel agents when booking on-line, apparently because the service provided e.g. flight, could be on the same day as purchase. Is this true? This I find surprising and a problem for all of us. My accommodation has been booked almost a year in advance (July 2011), but OTB took my booking and money, then I discovered by chance that it wasn't yet on the market - dates and prices not yet available from the hotel. I thought this odd and decided to cancel my booking until I knew the actual price! I did this within 24 hours but now discover to my cost that all travel agents can use the no cooling off deal. I wondered how many others fall into this money-making trap.
It's not a money-making trap. The Distance Selling Regulations do not apply to travel, whether book online or at a travel agents.

The T&C's you accepted when you booked would have stated the penalties for cancellation.

luci :wave
Thank you Luci, but unless the customer is told that there is no cooling off period, and no Travel agent will, because it is not in their interest; then the customer is trapped, and because they are forced to pay a cancellation fee or whatever the TA demands, it is money-making. Hence Money-Making Trap! Customers must be made aware of that fact. Travel agents seem to be able to avoid reasonable consumer rights.

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