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Some of us can go on our Summer holiday..
Member Name: clumsy1974
Date: 21/06/01, updated on 21/06/01 (380 review reads)
Advantages: Great staff in most branches
Disadvantages: No communication between branches
Thomas Cook - The nations favorite travel agent, allegedly. Sadly, my first experience of this giant of the holiday business has not been very favorable.
Before I launch into a total whine, let me first say that the branch I booked my holiday in has been brilliant. Top marks to all the staff there, especially the customer service manager. The problems we have had with our booking are nothing to do with them, and they have in fact sorted out all of my woes. OK, so I'll begin..
Back in January, it was horrible and cold, and I really needed a holiday. Ibiza uncovered was re-running on Sky and my girlfriend and I decided we would have to go and see if it really is the hedonistic laugh, it seems. We called a few mates, they all agreed, and we were issued our orders to book at once. Off we went to the holiday hypermarket in Milton Keynes. It was hell! So we popped next door to good old Thomas Cook and booked a trip on the spot.
Here's where the fun began. We actually booked our holiday in Milton Keynes - Kingston. All our friends live in other parts of the country where there are, of course other branches of Thomas Cook. We asked the sales person if we could make payments in any branch and were told "of course!". Off we went documents in hand, happy that we had booked a holiday in the sun. Problems began when our friend in Aylesbury went to make a payment. She was told no, she could not pay her holiday there, and it had to be paid in the branch where it was booked. Oxford told the same story. However, we went back to the Oxford branch again and our payment was taken. This seemed to be the norm as we tried to make payments. This all culminated this week in a total panic as we realized they had lost track of £285! A few frantic calls to the Milton Keynes branch have sorted us out and my heart is beating normally again.
So why did this prove so traumatic? Well it seems that those adverts on television for Thomas Cook, w
here the actors are dressed in period clothes and the whole thing is set in the Jane Austin era actually represent the company today. They have no interlinking network, the booking systems are all separate and they have difficulty keeping track of multiple payments from different branches. This may have been the reason for staff turning us away when we tried to pay at various locations.
I have to say the TC are great overall. My parents have used them for every holiday we have ever been on, and have no complaints. If you are going on a nice simple holiday with your family and will be paying into the same branch etc, have no fear. However - if you want to do something a bit different, and have people spread across the country; nominate someone to take all the cash in and make one big payment (or run off to a tropical island on their own with your hard earned loot)
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