I’d like some advice please, if any one has prior experience with resolving disputes with tour operators.
In a nutshell - went on a cruise, suffered a catastrophic flood in our cabin. Everything soaked, so all electrics etc ruined. The TO then took our clothes away to launder them, but simply chucked everything into a big tumble drier and ruined/shrunk/bled all the clothes (dry clean only dresses and for some reason shoes were also tumble dried).
We were asked to total all our losses which were considerably more than £300.
TO offered us £300 comp, which since has been doubled to £600 since Which travel magazine got involved and wrote a story about it. That offer was to cover our travel insurance excess and a gesture of goodwill. The same offer (£300) was made to all the other cabins who were affected, but we were the only cabin with damaged possessions, the others just had wet floors for a few hours. We were subsequently moved to a different cabin due to the extensive damage. The TO won’t increase There offer as its ‘unfair’ to others (who incurred no damage).
Our travel insurance will only cover replacing half the damaged goods and includes no ‘loss of enjoyment’ over the’ ruined rest of the holiday (as we literally had the clothes on our backs and nothing else).
A slight side note - during this process, Which? Magazine got in touch and asked to write a story, and BBC RIP off Britain have filmed us for an episode to be filmed next year, so I assume we have a half decent story. As part of the bbc filming, an expert has recommended certain areas of law we should mention notably the Athens convention article 8 which says if your luggage is damaged the shipping company has to pay up to a certain amount.
The TO have refused all engagement regarding complaining since our return and we have been given the choice, by ABTA, to either use their arbitration scheme or take the company to small claims court.
I’ve done some research as to both and am unsure which route to take. I’d like to hear from people who have experienced either route and to hear if they had good or bad experiences, do they think they made the right choice with the option they chose and would they do anything differently if it happened again (don’t worry, I won’t be travelling with this TO again!)
Thank you for your help!
I would get some legal advice before going any further. Contact Citizens Advice costs nothing does your insurance home or travel cover for legal ADVICE?
Thr BBC abd which got in touch after we complained publicly on twitter to the company. The BBC haven’t given the advice, they’ve contacted an expert (I’m told) in the travel industry as part of the programme to give advice to others who may experience similar issues to us. This wasn’t mentioned in the interview, but advised afterwards.
Mourning dispute is with TUI.
I will post full details when I return.
Ref ABTA Arbitration Scheme. You need to be aware of and consider the following points.
If you lose your case you will be liable for the costs of the tour operator, and you will be bound by the arbitrator’s decision and will
not be able to take your case into a court or other forum.
You should also be aware of the fact that if you disagree with the decision, you are bound by Arbitration and cannot progress it elsewhere
except through an appeal through the scheme or if you believe that the
Arbitration was flawed, through the High Court on a Judicial Review.
The only cost via Resolveris a fee of £25.00 should the arbitrator not find in your favour, should that happen you are still able to persue your claim through the small claims court unlike ABTA.
Before you progress this any further you really do need to consider just how much the claim is worth. If your insurer has reimbursed you (less any excess) just how much are you out of pocket? If you are/were claiming for a designer wardrobe worth many thousands then perhaps you might have a case but sometimes you need to draw a line under the whole thing. As I have pointed out going via the ABTA scheme you could be liable for the TOs costs and they do tend to employ rather expensive legal council - can you afford or are prepared for that aventuality?
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