This is not exactly a complaint, more that I'd like some advice.
My mum and her partner (both aged 71) booked a coach holiday to the Isle of Wight for April this year costing £340. National Holidays canceled it due to poor bookings and rescheduled for May - again National Holidays canceled it and rescheduled it for the last week in September.
Unfortunately my mum had a bad fall last week, broke and dislocated her shoulder requiring 6 days in hospital and an op to insert 'nuts and bolts'. Obviously she's not in a fit state to go so they asked if they could re-book for next April. National Holidays refused to do this, they said they can only re-book for later this season or have a refund of £70 between them.
As she doesn't yet know how successful the op has been they felt they had to accept the £70 refund. Did they do the right thing? Also if they claim the rest back on their annual travel insurance, will this put the cost of next year's insurance up dramatically (due to their ages - its quite expensive anyway)?
It may all be perfectly legal but it doesn't seem good business practice to me as they are regular travellers with National Holidays (or were)!
Thanks for your advice.
Your parents could, indeed have claimed on their holiday insurance as it was an accident and nothing to do with any medical condition either of them may have. I just wish they hadn't accepted the £70 which I think is atrocious of National Express. They may still be able to claim but they'd need to speak to their insurance company.
We have a group of solicitors Simpson Millar - their contact details are at the top of this forum. Get in touch with them and say you were sent by Holidaytruths and would like some free advice on what, if anything (because your parents have accepted the refund) they can do next.
Good luck and I hope your mam recovers soon.
Unfortunately, I would have warned them not to accept anything but I thought a company like National Holidays, who get a lot of more mature holidaymakers, would be pretty decent and I really don't think my mum has it in her to kick up a 'fuss' now. I think I'm more angry than her at the moment, especially as my mum never complained when they canceled and just accepted their alternative arrangements.
Do you know if it will effect her insurance premiums next year if she claims for this as it might not be worth claiming their annual cover next year goes sky high (they usually go abroad a few times a year).
Thanks again Glynis, if it was me and not my mum I would certainly contact the solicitors you mention.
I'd definitely write a letter to their head office
The Travel Centre
Hull HU10 6RJ
Send it recorded delivery and mark it for the Chief Executive. Or ring 0844 477 9990 and ask for his name so you can mark it for his attention.
I have made a couple of large claims on my annual policy but it has never affected the following years premium but each company probably works differently so couldn't say definately.
I would just add that it is surprising how many people who book coach holidays don't bother with travel insurance for UK travel. We always offered insurance to cover the cancellation to be told many times, 'no thanks, I'm not going to cancel'!!!!!!!!!!
I can understand the coach company (in a way)- it is very close to the departure date and my mum is insured. I think what made it seem unfair was the fact the holiday had been cancelled twice by them previously and the National Holidays have had the money in their bank account since before their original travel date!
Why we're worried about the insurance is that she takes annual cover but being a pensioner - it is quite 'loaded' anyway. Anyway she is going to make enquiries about that and she's going to write a letter to head office - she's nothing to lose doing that.
Answer to first question. They can probably do whatever they want the night before - what matters is their blood alcohol level when they get back on the coach. Then it gets interesting, obviously they would have to be legal for that country but if the other country had a slacker limit than the UK (not many do) and there was a crash and the driver passed the local limit but failed UK (assuming you found out) the operator may have a UK liablity to the passengers for failing to properly supervise. If he failed the local limit he would be liable under their laws, the operator might be as well and the operator could still be liable under UK law.
Resales of alcohol on the coach would be subject to local licensing laws (if there were any), I've seen German coaches where it was done in Italy.
did your parents have sort of insurance with the coach company?
reason i ask is, my parents had booked a week away in england, and then my mum broke her leg and spent a week in hospital and needed 3 operations....
when i looked into the small print to cancel there holiday, i found out they had paid a small amount for insurance with the comapny, this was included in the price of the holiday....
as there was only 10 days until they should have gone away, i contacted the holiday company who were excellent, they sent a form for the hospital doctor to fill in, and then they repaid all the money minus £50....
please check to see if they had paid for any additional insurance with the company.....
K&R wrote:reason i ask is, my parents had booked a week away in england, and then my mum broke her leg and spent a week in hospital and needed 3 operations....
Karen each time I've booked insurance has been separate ie you have a choice. I booked over the phone, & I remember being asked as one of our party has annual insurance. Still worth checking though as Tippi's parents may have accepted.
Allan if you mean them selling the beer on the coach I've no idea if it's legal or not - sorry
French and Italian law on alcohol sales is generally a lot softer than UK so selling it may not be illegal. It would be illegal in the UK unless they had a licence, there are also laws about having open alcohol on coaches in England (and Wales) wherever it was bought. There is the small issue of the tax - if they bought it duty free on the boat it's supposed to be for personal use by the purchaser so the French/ Italian authorities might have a claim!
I would just like to thank everyone who replied to my original post. I am happy to say that my mum simply sent a polite letter to National Holidays and they have responded immediately and offered them a full refund.
It shows it does pay to follow things up. I think in this case the staff in the local National Holidays office simply didn't have the power to bend the rules in extenuating circumstances and the refund needed to come from higher up.
So good news for my mum and more importantly her faith has been restored in National Holidays.
Glynis HT Admin
Edit to change to holidays and not express
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