Newest Review: ... to say the least and immediately put a downer on the holiday. I immediately contacted your representative at the resort, and after so... more
Virgin Holidays Ruined our £13,000+ Holiday with their Inhabitable Orlando Villas!
Author Name: Tapamara
Disadvantages: Poor Customer Services, Unhygienic Villas, No resort assistance
After contacting Virgin Holidays Customer Care Team on returning to the UK after they ruined our £13,000+ holiday, they responded very apologetically and offered £153 compensation with their final offer of £606 (Just over 4% of the holiday)
Getting nowhere with Customer Services, we tried the Managing Director.
Here is the letter we wrote her:
For the Urgent Attention of Managing Director Amanda Willis
Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Dear Mrs Willis,
I am writing to complain about the above holiday along with the aftersales support I have received from your team at Virgin Holidays.
Approximately a year ago my family and I decided we wanted a holiday of a lifetime and decided to venture to Orlando. After filtering through many companies and offers, we finally decided to book the complete package with Virgin Holidays. There were many reasons why we chose your company. Apart from the 'Rock Star Service' you offer, we bought the holiday package and destination for security, safety, superiority and the fact that should anything go wrong, you would be there to help.
This couldn't have been further than the truth.
As I have already done with your customer care team, I have enclosed a list of our complaints for your records. The first being the fact that the accommodation was not as described in the brochure:
.... "Our 'Standard Villas' are in agreeable locations such as Lake Davenport Estates, Glenbrook, Orange Tree, Hampton Lakes, Highlands Reserve, Westridge, Florida Pines and Sunrise Lakes. Our 'Superior Villas' are located in 'prestigious' developments such as West Haven, Windwood Bay, Calabay Parc and Tuscan Hills".......
We opted for and booked the 'Superior Villa' at the Prestigious 'Secure-Gated Tuscan Hills' development. On arrival we found the accommodation was simply uninhabitable.
In the photos I have attached for your records, you will see insect infestation, blood stained pillow cases, dirty linen, water logged and broken furniture, wallpaper hanging off walls, carpets throughout the whole villa which look like a muddy rugby team had played a game on them, mould on shower curtains, plaster falling off shower cubicles, mould and old food caked onto the food pantry shelving and a half empty swimming pool. It was shocking to say the least and immediately put a downer on the holiday.
I immediately contacted your representative at the resort, and after some time we were moved to an alternative property which was not what we had requested nor paid for. It was a standard villa on the unsecured Highlands Reserve. We were assured there were no other Villas available to us and this was the best they could offer.
The following morning we met with the Virgin Representatives who were based at the Contempo office near Haines City but they were unable to re-house us on the gated complex we had booked and paid for. They apologised and told us there was nothing they could do and to complain when we got home.
We also asked Contempo at the time if they would send someone out to the new Villa to rid the kitchen of an infestation of ants and to fix the toilet door locks, none of which worked. 10 days after the request, pest control visited the property to clear the infestation but at no time during our holiday did anybody fix the broken locks.
On the second day of our holiday, we returned to our second villa to find several industrial blowers and dehumidifiers scattered around the house, drying out the carpets which had been flooded whilst we were out all day, due to a faulty water filter on a poorly maintained refrigerator. The noise and smell was unbearable and disrupted our holiday for the following 4 days, which also left us with no dining room, just 4 bedrooms and a lounge area which was unusable. The 9th person in our party had to sleep on a mattress on the floor of one of the already occupied bedrooms. I have attached a video of this disruption and noise for your records.
We immediately called Contempo's emergency line, where we were greeted by an abrupt lady called Jenny who outright accused us of breaking the filter in the refrigerator, which caused the flood and subsequently there was nothing she could do to help move us to a third property. After protesting our innocence, Contempo later had the audacity to issue us with a bill of $1800 for the clean-up operation. Their behaviour towards us over the remainder of the holiday was disgraceful.
Furious and determined to prove our innocence, and after spending more stressful days of researching the fridge/freezer, we found this fault to be common on poorly maintained units. Since arriving back in the UK, I have spent more time communicating with various suppliers and engineers of these refrigerator units and have attached one of the chat scripts also for your records.
On day 3 of the holiday we requested a meeting with Contempo's Operations Manager, Johanna Harvey and a Virgin Representative. We received a letter from Johanna Harvey over 1 week later claiming she had been trying to reach me for a week. Knowing we would be at Theme Parks all day and every day, not once did she call my mobile phone which was given to Contempo. She claimed that had she knew we were uncomfortable in the 2nd house and she would have moved us to another Villa which is simply not true, as our requests to move had already been denied and we were assured there were no other properties available. She also made further false claims that she had a manufacturers report justifying the $1800 bill, claiming that a box in the fridge had broken the filter. No such report had existed as 5 days later I held a meeting with Paula Mason from Contempo who claimed they were still awaiting such report. Johanna Harvey refused to meet us at the Villa where we wanted to demonstrate it was physically impossible to break or cause any damage whatsoever to this filter and its surrounding area.
After being messed around so much throughout the holiday I decided to call your Orlando Office and spoke with a lady called Dee who put me through to a supervisor called Lynne. She informed me that Virgin Reps are not allowed to visit properties without a representative from Contempo. After much convincing and complaining, I finally got her to speak with Contempo to agree a visit to the property with a Virgin representative, Demetrius. The meeting finally took place with Demetrius your representative, the Maintenance Manager and Paula Mason from Contempo. Johanna Harvey failed to show up. At this meeting it was proved beyond any doubt that it was physically impossible to break this filter. The maintenance manager who discovered the flood while we were out, stated that he had just 'assumed' we must have broken the filter by jamming a box against it, which when demonstrated was impossible. Even Demetrius, had a good go at trying to break the filter and even make contact with it and found it impossible. The maintenance manager also stated that the filters could be dropped on concrete and they would never break but he refused to agree that these filters could break due to the lack of maintenance. Demetrius assured us this would be in his report. Contempo have since dropped the charges but have failed to apologise for this contemptible behaviour.
It goes without saying that every day of the holiday was stressful, from our arrival at the uninhabitable Villa, to the change of Villa which we didn't want, to the inconvenience of noisy industrial machinery scattered around the second villa for 4 days, to the sleeping on a mattress on the floor, to the inappropriate unfounded accusations by Contempo, along with the constant demands of $1800 for the flooding caused by 'more' poor maintenance, to the time consuming daily research we conducted to prove our innocence, to the lack of support from Virgin and so on.
After writing to your customer service team on our return, they responded 4 weeks later with a barrage of apologies and stated none of the above should ever have happened, but then go on to offer an insulting £153 compensation for the traumatic blow to our £12,842 dream holiday, simply fuelling the fire which Virgin have created. After responding accordingly to this offer, I have received 2 further offers of compensation with the final offer of just £606 which equates to just over 4% of our holiday.
The holiday was ruined due to the aforementioned and the stress caused by Virgin and your end supplier Contempo, and more importantly not getting what we had booked and paid for.
I am sure you will be just as appalled at the treatment and service we have received to date.
As our holiday was a package, the Package Travel Regulations 1992 apply to it. Under these regulations you are liable to compensate us appropriately for the problems we encountered and for the distress and disappointment we suffered as a result.
I can only assume that your customer care team have exceeded their mandate and are unable to be of any further assistance on this matter and hope sincerely that you will show more commercial attitude in resolving this matter as quickly as possible.
Thank you in advance for your attention to our case.
Summary: You have been warned!