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Having recently had a holiday with Thomsons we are shocked with the poor customer service they provide. After looking online it seems they are renowned for poor service, it is for this reason, and also to help people not make the same mistakes we have we decided to create a blog to document our progress with Thomsons. We have certainly learned a lot during this progress and would approach booking any future holidays with a lot more care and never rely on travel agents supposed expertise.
The problems which we encountered with Thomsons were throughout our holiday, whilst booking the holiday and the after sales service is also shocking. We are still waiting for a response from Thomsons as the first reply we received was nothing short of insulting.
Thanks for looking, below you will find a link to our blog which details some of our problems we have encountered.
My husband and I stayed a week in January, it looked good on the surface, but we have never been so ill before, and it was not only us , t his hotel has a problem which nobody takes any notice of we were told the bug was all over the island , After 3 days of tonic water and dry crackers we ate out and were fine.. V @ R
We booked our wedding to Malta for 2014 with Thomson in Jersey Channel Islands, our guests also booked with Thomsons in Jersey to attend our wedding. What a mistake! We have had nothing but trouble since booking, with our guests being over-charged, being asked to pay the whole sum of the holiday upfront as Thomsons did not have enough rooms to book our 8 guests into the hotel that our wedding was being hosted in, even though when we booked our wedding we advised Thomsons that we would have around 50 guests attending and were assured that they would have plenty of space to accommodate everyone!
We were also advised that the hotel only provided twin rooms and that even though it was our wedding and honeymoon the hotel did not have any double rooms. This was incorrect as having liaised with the hotel directly they informed us that there was a variety of double rooms available.
We then had further problems when a family member had booked 3 rooms and paid in full upfront and was then contacted by the Jersey Thomson branch to say that even though the holiday had been paid in full there had been a problem with the booking and none of his rooms were booked and therefore he could not stay in the same hotel as all the other wedding guests!
Having complained in person on 3 separate occasions to the manager at the Jersey branch and having no real response, we then decided to email our complaint to the main Thomson site, this was also overlooked. We also called the Thomsons complaint line and were told that as we booked in Jersey they could not help us!
Finally we visited the local branch again and advised that we would cancel our entire wedding booking together with all of our guest bookings should all of these mistakes not be rectified within the next 2 days. The staff assured us that they would call us within this time frame to confirm that the family members would have rooms.
Funnily enough we had no phone call, we then sent in a letter to advise of our cancelling the entire wedding and holiday to which we were merely sent a cancellation invoice, no written apology, no attempt to make us change our minds!
And finally for all of the above stress we then lost our total deposit of £750!
This only other time that we traveled with Thomsons, we arrived at our holiday destination to be told that our hotel had closed for the season and that we were being transferred to another hotel!
In all terrible service, we and our families will never book with Thomson again!
I approached Ruislip Thomson travel for 1 week in Alcudia Majorca.
What I was sold was 1 week in Sa coma a day before travel which is the other side of Majorca.
the travel agent told me just hop on a bus to alcudia leading us to believe this was the town/resort.
when we arrived our rooms weren't ready the receptionist told us 5 mins which turned into 20 mins and insisted she take out luggage and put it beside reception and the managers office my expensive new cardigan was stolen the rep bamboozled us for the rest of the week ringing airports as the coma grand hotel refused to accept it was stolen, as this was a theft it should have been reported to the police I spent the week in fear my our other belongings were to be stolen.
the hotel was run down, the resort not nice and the beach was not swimmable due to large amounts of seaweed being washed up stinking and rough choppy seas.
Thomson travel Ruislip would not hear my side they are right customer services were no better, axa insurance refuse to allow me to claim for my loss, a pretty miserable holiday.
what a con. they grab your money are misers and refuse to provide after care for customers they don't recognise you as a customer let alone a loyal customer.
I would think twice they have no honour to the customers masochists as someone else described them.
We are on vacation with Thomson at Riveria Maya. Azul Beach Hotel has been great. However, Thomson lost my wife's suitcase with all her clothes and important medicine. We have now waited 3 days for the suitcase to show up. Spent most of the time speaking with the 24/7 service and the local representatives. The suitcase was found shortly after we arrived but Thomson has three times failed to get the suitcase on a flight from England to Cancun. We have repeatedly advised the importance of getting the medicine but doesn't seem to matter. Hotel is great but is in the middle of nowhere and it has been a real struggle to get replacement essentials. No support from Thomson whatsoever. Just a long chain of broken promises and extremely poor customer service. The 7 days vacation has been totally spoiled by the failure of Thomson to provide a minimum level of customer support. We will never travel with Thomson again and warn others too that their promise to "make your holiday perfect and hassle free" seems to mean nothing after the Holiday is paid for.
When the shop sells you a holiday don't believe what they say.
They argue that they can change what you've bought as they send you terms and conditions AFTER you've bought it. So they can do what they want.
Thomson should realise its not some sort of game where they score points off you and take your money.
Its your holiday..... and that they should keep to the promises of the salespeople.
This is what happened to us....
If players book this Platinum hotel, Thomson offers a choice of seat 'chosen by you' ( see brochure) on the flight.
Players may pay £90 for extra for legroom ..and be offered Row 12 seats , to which they agree..... as there was no other choice. So not 'chosen by you' at all...
Players may check this with the Thomson travel agent twice....once on the phone and once when they go to collect the tickets.
When players get to the airport, they might find that they have been unaccountably bumped out of Row 12 , which they assured was the case, and put in Row 32, with a partial-view ...and scent ...of an open toilet.
The return flight-desk attendant may inform players that the people in Row 12 'booked the seats before they did' ... therefore Thomson must of sold the same seats twice.
The Thomson rep may inform players that even though they have a screen shot of the contract, it means nothing - and laugh.... hahaha!.... Thomson can do what they like on seating... 'Read the small print'.
( It is remiss of Thomson not to issue moustaches for male staff to wear at this point, so that they may twirl them.) Thomson win - you lose.
Game: To make the Thomson rep, show some sympathy after your room experience and being bumped off your nice 'chosen - by - you- booked - seats at the front.
Warning: This may take up your entire holiday. Not to be played by non-masochists as implacable Rep will imply its all your fault for being so inept for booking with Thomson, and then foolishly expecting any help from him. He may grudgingly state that he will look into the matter.
Players may arrive at the airport ...to find that he did no such thing. Heated argument ensues, as queue waiting to go home snakes round the hall.. This game cannot be won by players ...as the mighty Thomson wins hand down on this one, as the company seemingly doesn't give a hoot.
Players might counter with :
'We are off to EasyJet next year, as at least we can really book our seats...and so avoid paying £90 to view the open door of the toilet view for over half the journey....In fact, we'd probably even travel Ryan Air'.
Win for holidaymakers, who won't be travelling with Thomson's again.
we booked and paid for in full a holiday to the U.S.A.we stayed in the first hotel and on leaving they would not let us go because Thomson Travel had not paid the hotel for our 9 day stay,we intended to make an early start at 6am,we made loads of calls back to England but still Thomson did not sort this out it took more than 4 hours of phone calls,but still no joy so we had to pay ourselves again for this stay as we wanted to head for our next hotel,we returned home and after 6 weeks we still have not received our money back,what a shambles of a travel company Thomson Travel never ever would I trust them or recommend them to any one,steer clear of this rubbish company Thomson cowboys it should be
My wife and I recently travelled to Cuba with Thompsons, the hotel we stayed at, the Laguna Azul in Varadero was first class as were all the staff, unfortunately I cannot say the same for the Thompson rep,(Ernesto) we booked an excursion called the Havanna special at a cost of approx £180.00.When we returned there were some aspects of the trip my wife and I were unhappy about, for example we were told by the rep that after a full day touring the city, we would have the facility of a hotel room to shower change and freshen up before our evening at the "Club Tropicana, what he did not tell us was that we would be sharing this room with several other couples, leaving us both approx 20 minutes each to change and freshen up.On our return the next day I approached the rep to complain about this and other aspects of the trip, the response I received from him was not what I expected.When I tried to explain my concerns he was rude and dismissive, repeatedly telling me I should have read the brochure, when he could see I was unhappy with his response and told him I would be making an official complaint on my return to the UK he waved me good bye and told me to have a good day.I emailed Thompsons with my concerns on Monday 24th September , I am still waiting for a response, if this is what they call customer service I will in future be using other tour operators
This company have hijacked the Thomson respected name and have trashed it. There is no number available for customer service, complaints are responded to by way of a 28 day lead time minimum, and the whole company is in arrogant mode with regard to customer service and response to customer concerns? Do not deal with these people you will regret it !!
Fantastic holiday, food was great,ship was clean and crew were really friendly .Day trips from ship well organised. Only problem I found were people hogging sunbeds and chairs with towels not just for a short time but towels were left on sunbeds and chairs for hours on end needs looking at . Other than that a fantastic holiday.Thomson Travel agents shop were really helpful on any questions we had about the cruise also good a getting any info to me on the internet no problems at all this is the second time I have cruised with Island Cruise and Thomsons will be using again for my next holiday
Will never use Thomson holidays again. Punitive excess luggage charges (it wasn't made clear at the time of booking that ski boots are apparently supposed to go in the hold), reps that lie and tell you Thomson will refund the charges just to get rid of you and 'customer services' that will continuously fob you off, taking 30 days to send a reply to any requestDreadful company that we will never use again and I suggest you don't either
Took, what should have been a 60th celebration holiday with Thomson at the beginning of May to Croatia. It was shambles at the aiport on arrival, eventually found the coach, still did not meet rep until welcome meeting the following day. Some trips were not running, even though they showed us film slides on the different locations, as we were told most of the entertainment and trips did not start until June, we were not told this when we booked. Absolutely no entertainment in the hotel, the daytime activities were a young girl trying to show us how to do archery, but unfortunately the equipment was broken!! We sat in the hotel foyer in the evening with other guests, in pure silence, unless you were lucky enough to meet up with other couples. The hotel was a disaster from start to finish. Even on the day of departure the coach arrived later to take us back to the airport, and yes you guessed it, no rep either. NEVER AGAIN WITH THOMSON
To celebrate my birthday I had a holiday in Samana, Dominican Republic during January 2011. The company I used to book my holiday was Thomson Holidays, a well known travel agent in the UK.
Brief information about Thomson Holidays:
Thomson Holidays was originally named Thomson Tour Operations and founded as part of the Thomson Travel Group in 1965. In 1997 it renamed as the current name. Thomson Holidays, Thomson Ski, Thomson Lakes and Thomson Airways are now subsidiaries of that group, part of TUI Travel PLC.
Thomson UK is a UK based travel operator selling holidays around the world. It's headquartered in Luton, England and is now taking more of its business to the web but still hold a big stake in the high street.
Searching Samana holiday on Swagbucks website I was navigated to Thomson Holidays website: www.thomson.co.uk. The first impression was it is a very comprehensive site where you can find almost all popular tourist destinations across the world. Inputting the place and date I was given a brief outline of the area I was interested in along with five recommended hotels and dates. Clicking any hotels I can see the hotel's pictures, location details, map, official rating and the guest rating, etc. Further I can see the details of the products Thomson Holidays can provide. Mainly the complete All-Inclusive in Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado included: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner; Three times a la Carte dinners; Unlimited snacks, domestic and select international beverages; 24-Hour Room Service; Boat Shuttle to Mainland; etc.
It was not difficult to follow the instruction to book a holiday. The only problem I came across was how to input my address in the format the system can accept. If Thomson Holidays just requested post code and flat number it would be a lot easier.
Sometimes the website speed is a little slow so you need to be patient. The product prices change regularly and can be varied significantly, better to investigate for a few weeks before booking.
After booking I have received a few emails from Thomson Holidays. They were a confirmation email, reminder of flight seat booking, car parking suggestion for Gatwick airport, etc.
One week before my holiday I received my flight booklet which included some information about Samana and the flight details. I was very impressed.
Because in Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado, the hotel I stayed during my holiday, US Dollars was the only acceptable currency and I needed to buy some US Dollars to pay tips, I visited a Thomson Holidays branch. One staff member served me professionally. However they didn't have enough $1 notes I needed I didn't buy from them at last.
It was easy to find Thomson Holidays check in counter at Gatwick airport. One staff member served me. When he saw my passport he suddenly asked me about Dominican Republic visa. That really made me nervous and unhappy. Then he phoned someone who told him there was no visa in need for my situation. I do think Thomson Holidays staff should know more their jobs before they ask their customers any question.
I was on aboard of Thomson Airways airplane on time, but due the minor technical problem the plane was 20 minutes late to fly. The plane model was Boeing 767 and the seating layout was 2-4-2. Although I was in the middle among other 3 passengers, I didn't feel uncomfortable.
The entertainment programmes were not bad; however you needed to pay for some latest movies. The earphone was in a poor quality and you should take it with you for your return flight. Otherwise you will have to pay £2 to get a new one.
I was given two meals that didn't have any difference from other commercial airlines. So I was not impressed. The only difference was you needed to pay for your beverage or snack except water and the tea or coffee after a meal.
The crew was busy, but mostly for selling their duty free products and drinks. I bought two cans of beer that was double price than I can get in a pub in the UK.
When we arrived on Samana airport, two Thomson Holidays staff member were already outside. One was with us going to our hotel, Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado. Next day at 10am we met them in a lobby room for a brief meeting that took about 1 hour. We were told about Dominican Republic, Samana and suggested a few tourist sites, etc. Their price for humpback whale watching was $30 per person higher than the company I wanted to use, so I didn't take their offer.
Two days before the end of my holiday I saw a letter from Thomson Holidays at my room that explained the schedule for leaving. The leaving morning arrived I was ready to go, but suddenly was told my flight was 24 hours delay. Luckily I didn't move hotel and got an extra day in Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado. Because I was ready to go I didn't feel very happy with the arrangement. However some customers thought it was a bonus.
Finally I was told to fly at the next day. Thomson Holidays requested us leaving hotel almost 6 hours earlier than our flight. To be sure no luggage left in Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado we had to check our luggage 3 times while leaving our hotel and taking a boat and a coach.
On the return plane the pilot on behalf of Thomson Holidays made an oral apology for the delay and promised to offer free beverage and entertainment programmes to all passengers. For some reason they forgot taking food so we were sitting inside the plane for almost one hour to watch Samana airport snack staff handing sandwich bags to the end of the plane. If the crew can give them a hand it would be quicker. I was surprised they didn't. At last for the long night flight we were given one meal per person and one box of sandwich per two passengers.
Once upon arriving Gatwick airport Thomson Holidays staff members handed me a cold food box and a paper about the flight delay for insurance claim purpose. Unfortunately they made the flight date wrong and it was totally useless.
A few days later after my holiday I received a survey email from Thomson Holidays asking me about my next holiday. By competing it I was put in a prize draw. I also received a couple of emails about the products Thomson Holidays can provide during 2011-2012.
Considering they are such a large holiday company I think the service was just acceptable. For my next holiday I would be more careful to choose between Thomson Holidays and other holiday providers.
1. Worst airline / holiday operator
2. No check in counters at the Airport (Luton). Thomson Information counter is unmanned.
3. Flights always get delayed, you wait indefinitely without any information to check in.
4. No check in online, nothing really works on their website well except collecting payment.
5. Service Air who are supposed to be Thomson representatives are rude and unhelpful.
6. Customer service on telephone over the weekends are ignorant and cannot make decisions but you get charged for the call at 5p per minute.
7. No response to your written request to reschedule or refund cost. 28 days deadline is a hoax.
8. Arrogant to suggest going to ABTA and state that ABTA cannot to anything
9. Suggest to get compensation from the Travel Insurance even when Thomson is at fault.
10. In a financial mess and irregularity. Their auditor KPMG has moved away. Please read http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jan/07/tui-travel-directors-resign
We are a family of 4 with 2 children aged 8 and 4 and having visited the Benalmadena Holiday Village 4 or 5 times in the past we decided to try the Holiday Village Majorca where we had a really great time. It differed in many ways to the Benalmadena one and had its good and bad points.
The beach is only about a 15 minute walk away where there are lots of shops and bars and restaurants. The beach is lovely and the sea is very safe for young children and the Oasis Bar is definitely worth a visit as there is a live tribute band on nearly every night and gets really busy.
The Holiday Village itself is very clean and the grounds are very well looked after. The rooms are very spacious though could probably do with an update. The staff are extremely friendly as are the First Choice Team (esp Ben and his team who work non-stop) and the Kids Clubs too are great. The food is of good quality with lots of choice and both of the restaurants are good too though the Italian didnt have garlic bread which the kids were disappointed about. We never had to queue long for drinks and there were plenty of sunbeds though finding a place to put them could be a problem at times.
The entertain team were great and there was always something going on from quizzes for the adults to treasure hunts for the kids. The evening entertainment after 10pm was pretty poor though and even the outside acts werent very good though the team worked very hard and put a lot of effort in with the kids entertainment and bingo which couldnt be faulted.
The only faults we could find which we found a pain with having a 4 year old are that there are no toilets in the main restaurant and you have to use the ones in the main bar which is a bit of a walk away and there are only 3 or 4. This is a pain at meal times when you are about to eat and your child needs a toilet visit. Also the three main pools are too deep for little ones. My youngest had his armbands on at all times as we were too frightened in case he fell in as he wanted to play with his sister in the big pools. However the splash pool is fantastic but too shallow and too busy for youngsters to practice swimming in and it was also extremely difficult to get sunbeds round the splash pool as it was very popular with families who had babies and toddlers with it being so shallow.
Another thing we found disappointing was that the majority of the tables and chairs at the pool bar were set up about 4.30pm for the Caribbean Grill Restaurant. If you wanted to sit and have a drink away from the pool but close enough to see the children you were stuck after 4.30pm as the waiters only left about 3 or 4 tables out and everyone wanted them and the other bar wasn't close enough to watch the children from. The restaurant when we were there never looked like all the tables were being used so maybe it could have been partitioned off a bit better. Also the pool bar shut at 6pm however the main bar was open if you needed refreshments.
We went to the Welcome Meeting on arrival where we were informed of all the activities going on and around the hotel and the trips available. We had a very enjoyable morning at Marineland where we watched the Dolphin Show which was brilliants and saw lots of other sea creatures. This really was a good place to visit and the kids loved it. In the afternoon we were took to the Aqua Park which again was fantastic and the kids and ourselves loved it. There were lots of rides that even our 4 year old could go on which we were pleased about. The only downside to the holiday overall is that when we booked our trip we were charged twice by the holiday rep in reception and I am still trying to recover the money back from First Choice. The rep used a hand held machine in the foyer and struggled getting a signal. He then told me the first transaction hadnt gone through and that he would have to do it again. This was on the second day of our holiday which was nearly 20 days ago and we have still not been reimbursed. So really the aftercare you receive from Thomson/First Choice really is very disappointing having sent our receipts in and bank statements.
Apart from the above we really did have a good holiday and would recommend this Village to others. We have booked for the new one in Tenerife next year and hopefully the evening entertainment will be better as with both of the Holiday Villages we have been to this really lets First Choice down and more money should be spent on evening entertainment.