Holiday Complaints

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Toothless ABTA
12 Posts
Not much different from my experience when I had trouble with MYT. The woman on the phone said send in copies of all the paperwork which I did. Some weeks and no acknowledgement later I emailed them asking if there had been any progress and next day got a letter saying very sorry but the issue I had raised was not covered by their code of conduct.

However, it's not a total waste of time. If they give you one of these "would like to help but can't" type of replies it will come in useful later if you go to the small claims court. The Court Service expects you to show that you have tried other methods before you go to them and such a letter would do the job.
ABTA has a set of rules and unfortunately in you case your complaint fell outside them.

You did follow the procedure and it did not work out. As Steve has said it is not the end of the road. If your complaint is of sufficient worth then you can take it to the small claims court.

If the evidence is that you have tried to resolve yet fallen foul of a gap in their rules then, in my personal opinion that could work in your favour. The court will consider if it is fair in arriving at its judgement.

If they consider that you are being unfairly treated because of this they would I think rule in your favour.

Thanks guys for the replies...and the info. re. the small claims court route. I'll look into it over the next day or so.

Just one point to consider.

You booked with Travel Republic a UK based company/branch. The fact they then passed it to a third party who is not covered by the ABTA code is irrelevant.

Under English law there was a contract between yourself and TR.

They are responsible for the actions/failures of the third party to whom they sub contracted your booking.

I suggest that you could possibly claim that they were in breach of contract.

Should you consider taking legal advice then I suggest you read the First Item here -

Ros Fernihough has helped many members of HT

Absolutely right, fwh. The contract is between the buyer and the seller, if the seller chooses to sub-contract all or part of their arrangement, that is still their problem.
I thought i read somewhere that if they are only acting as agents for another party, then that wouldnt apply
In UK law there is a requirement for duty of care. You cannot simply say that you contracted someone else to provide goods or services and you are not responsible is not enough.

Case law already exists and there are many examples here on HT where members have taken action against TOs for failings in resort.

In all of them regarding accommodation the TO sub contracts with a third party. The TO is still responsible.

Thanks fwh, fisherman and cricketwatcher for your contributions. I've taken all the info on board and shall pursue accordingly. I'll post whatever news I have or progress I make.

On 10th February 2008 at 08:30pm, goldenbrown said:
Am I the only one who didn't realise just how toothless ABTA is in helping consumers with their grievances? To cut to the chase, we had a really bad experience with a hotel booking we made via (tread very warily with this site, people) in Turkey. On returning to the UK, we followed ABTA's Code of Conduct and exhausted the process of complaint with Travelrepublic. as required. At which point we turned to ABTA for support in our claim for redress. We were advised that, although Travelrepublic is a full member of ABTA, the logo for which it displays prominently on it's website, the agency which Travelrepublic used to book our hotel in Turkey wasn't (what a surprise!). Consequently, in spite of all the problems we experienced, ABTA would not be able to intervene on this occasion. What a cosy arrangement/get out clause for Travelrepublic, and ABTA itself for that matter.

What does this make the ABTA endorsement worth? Not the paper it's written on, that's what.
HhUnfortunately, Abta appear to have allowed the Travel industry to degenerate into a Wild West where a travel company is allowed more or less free rein to do what it wants as long as it is clearly stated in its small print T&C's.
What is desperately required are some real standards set across the industry instead of a little bit of firefighting here and there with a few glasses of water!
ABTA = Associon of British Travel Agents - what do you expect from them? Their job is to represent their members interests and your complaint actually proves that. So called Trade Bodies are just a marketing ploy.
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