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Complaint about First Choice AI package to Marina Parc

Grantham, United...
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Complaint about First Choice AI package to Marina Parc

I am currently in dispute with First Choice following an AI holiday to Marina Parc, Menorca.

FC have not adhered to the timescales for response to my written complaint. I had no response to my complaint in resort and it took 53 days for them to ring me after I wrote.

They completely accepted on the telephone that the holiday I got was not the holiday as advertised online (I have the screenshots), they accepted that many other customers have complained. However they offered me a derisory 10% refund.

FC state that the flights are 60% of the holiday cost so they will only compensate a percentage of the accommodation. My argument is that the flights are a means to an end and form part of the total package.

I have complained to ABTA about FC breaching the Code of Conduct and am awaiting a response to my second letter to FC rejecting their offer and asking for a more realistic refund, given that they accept that the holiday was truly awful.

Any tips on what I should do next? ABTA medication or small claims court?

Grantham, United...
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10 posts
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1. Re: Complaint about First Choice AI package to Marina Parc

anyone any ideas?

London, England
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2. Re: Complaint about First Choice AI package to Marina Parc

You don't say what your actual complaint is. Without some more information it is difficult for somebody to give any advice.

Lancashire, United...
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3. Re: Complaint about First Choice AI package to Marina Parc

It has always been accepted that the flights form the major part of cost when it comes to a package holiday.

No tour operator will respond to you after filling in a complaint form in resort. You have to follow it up in writing within 28 days in order to make it an official complaint (as per their terms and conditions).

Your choice as to whether you take it to Abta medication (sic) or small claims court, but you need to have made a least 2 efforts to have settled it yourself before you do. If you take it to arbitration the decision is binding. If you don't like it you can't them take it to court.

Grantham, United...
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4. Re: Complaint about First Choice AI package to Marina Parc

Hi,

I complained in resort and wrote when I got home. The resort was not as described, the rooms were damp, smelly and tiny, there were bedbugs. Food was lukewarm and very poor quality. We ate out a lot and I spent around £400 on food that I should not have had to as we were all inclusive.

Health and safety was an issue, children cut themselves on broken pool tiles, no fire extinguishers around the site (there were around 30 stacked in the lobby). Resort was very run down. Most of the facilities advertised were closed or non-existent. This was supposed to be 4 star (Spain) 3Plus FC.

I wrote to FC and it took them 53 days to respond, they offered a derisory 10% refund. I wrote again and have not yet had a reply (30 days now). I feel that they breached the contract. They are certainly breaching the ABTA Code in terms of complaint response. The flights are a means to an end surely?

London, England
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5. Re: Complaint about First Choice AI package to Marina Parc

Susie

Did you take photos to back up all your claims? I had a dispute with Thomas Cook a couple of years ago and wasn't getting any joy from then. However, once I told them I was reporting them to ABTA for contravening their Code of Conduct and I sent them the photosI had, they sent me a voucher for about two thirds of the cost of the holiday. It took ages to get anything out of them. I think it went on for about 9 or 10 months, so be persistent.

Lancashire, United...
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6. Re: Complaint about First Choice AI package to Marina Parc

Complaints usually do take months. It took us about 6/7 months when we had a problem with Thomsons a few years ago. Court action was narrowly averted at the the 11th hour lol.

Make your letters short, concise and to the point. If it's too long it will get skimmed through, and put to the bottom of the pile. Avoid all reference to what other holiday makers said/had problems with. Be firm, but polite - always. If you want someone to help you, always treat them like you would like to be treated yourself (even if you really want to give them a piece of your mind lol). Can you tell I used to deal with holiday complaints :)

Grantham, United...
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10 posts
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7. Re: Complaint about First Choice AI package to Marina Parc

I did take photos and have been firm and polite! Have reported to abta and now sent letter before action. Looks like it will take a while to sort!

Grantham, United...
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8. Re: Complaint about First Choice AI package to Marina Parc

Just to update - I finally emailed the MD and got a phone call offering £400 voucher which I declined. They confirmed this via email but did not make clear if this is the final response.

Seriously unimpressed by the complaints team and their total disregard for the ABTA Code. ABTA have also contacted them twice on my behalf.

Once I get confirmation that this is the final response I will have to decide whether to go with arbitration or court.

Such a shame that a formerly reputable company that I have spent thousands with over the years do not manage complaints well.

Grantham, United...
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9. Re: Complaint about First Choice AI package to Marina Parc

Should have said this holiday cost £2500 and I had to spend an extra £400 eating out as the food was dismal.

London, England
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10. Re: Complaint about First Choice AI package to Marina Parc

susie1968

Did you lodge a complaint with the rep whilst you were there? I think you need to have filled in one of their complaint forms at the time. They give you a copy and then you can follow it up on your return home.

Personally, I would never book AI as I don't like the concept and I don't like buffet food. I don't think these aI places are providing the best quality in food or drinks.