Saturday, 4 June 2011

Thomson reply to my complaints. I reply to them. OH DEAR!


Thomson holidays replied to my letter of complaint with a bit of a "you can fuck off were giving you nothing" letter. This is not going to end well!!!! Below is my reply,
Dear Paul,
                   I thank you for your prompt response to my correspondence regarding our holiday I am saddened to hear that you do not see fit to offer us considerable compensation for the problems that arose on our holiday in the Maldives and the problems that arose on said vacation.

In your reply you have broken down each of our problems and addressed them individually, I will do the same in my reply to yourself.
I would also like to point out at this point before we go any further that I am not an idiot, I am not trying to get something for nothing, I am not a serial complainer, I am a freelance photojournalist of 22 years experience and have had my work published in magazines and newspapers across the world so do not for one minute assume I am some kind of money grabbing idiot who is complaining for the sake of it.
“From time to time our resorts will have a situation where overbooking at one grade of accommodation  necessitates a move to a higher grade. This would of course be provided on a complementary basis  and whilst this is done with the best interests of our customers at the forefront of our reasoning,  there will be times when the new and higher grade accommodation does not suit our customers'' requirements.”
It was pointed out to me at the time that this is a regular problem on Vilamendhoo and that over booking is common place, I have even seen a review where one couple had to spend the first couple of nights on another island, with this in mind please do not insult my intelligence with the above comment.

“I was pleased that our Holiday Experience Team were able to offer you a gesture of goodwill. They  are fully empowered to do so in the light of the circumstances that they see.”
Whilst the “gesture of goodwill” was made I would like to point out that we did not take said gesture as a $100.00 voucher for food at the Asian Wok in no way made up for the problems that we experienced.

“I''m sorry you were disturbed by noise both outside and within the resort. The boat operating offshore  would have been outside our control and as with many islands within the chain, ongoing and necessary  maintenance work is necessary to ensure the continuing amenity.”
I am at a loss on how to reply to this comment but will try, At no point did I say that there was a boat offshore, I said that there was a JCB, just in case you are unaware of what a JCB is, it is a large mechanical digger and no amount of aqua marine coloured paint is going to convince me otherwise. It started at 07.00 hours and was dragging sand around not far off shore, this was to build a sandbank, the purpose of which was to moor sea planes and boats that were coming to Vilamendhoo and as such I believe that whilst it may well not have been in the control of Thomson holidays it most certainly was within the control of Vilamendhoo. Please just for a moment take a look at the attached photograph. This was the view from our room; I also have video footage should you require it. Now tell me that if your good self and your partner/friend travelled 6000 miles on an eleven and a half hour flight to what was advertised as (and I quote from YOUR literature) “pearl-like thread of tropical island is picture-book perfect” to find you were in a room with a view such as pictured with all the accompanying sounds, that you would not feel that you would require compensation of some kind.

As part of my investigation into the issues you have raised I have checked the Customer Satisfaction  Questionnaires that other customers have filled out for the same time you were away - you may have  filled one of these out yourself. These indicate Vilamendhoo was performing above our expectations  in all key areas such as the accommodation overall, food, service and location and when considering  an offer of compensation I''ve been mindful of these aspects.”
As to your “Customer Satisfaction Questionnaires” I have one in front of me as
I type,  Airport arrival, Vilamendhoo arrival, your room, food service, food quality, variety, beverage service, sports activities, resort services and value for money. Each has sub headings. I have seen this type of questionnaire before. In no way on any of the above headings can I complain about the problems that I was having, it a very clever targeted questionnaire. I have filled it in and judging by my responses I had a fabulous time at Vilamendhoo but we both know that isn’t true.
In your brochure it quotes “
Take the Beach Villas, for starters. They're set in tropical gardens, so you get a real sense of privacy.” Now this is the real pearl and if necessary  the one that I would refer to section 4 of the package holidays and package tours regulations. We were in a “BEACH VILLA” the real sense of privacy is none existent as people are walking up and down in front of room 111 morning noon and night, it is like a main road. There is NO SENSE OF PRIVACY at all in room 111 or any other room in that location of the island of Vilamendhoo.
I have read some reviews from trip advisor and whilst some give the resort a great review there are still a fair few that do not, mainly for the exact same reasons that I was not pleased so you can be as mindful as you like about your customer satisfaction surveys, I still require considerable compensation for the blatantly false advertised holiday location that Thomson holidays sent me and my wife on.

I''m truly sorry that on this occasion, we were unable to provide a whole holiday experience which,  for you, fully met your expectations in all areas. Based upon my investigation I''ll be unable  to add to this apology, and the gesture provided in the resort, with any form of compensation.”
I am truly sorry that you do not fully grasp the misery that this holiday experience has brought to my wife and myself, as I mentioned before this was our 4th trip to the Maldives and we have nothing but fond memories from our previous 3 trips and never complained, even when having food poisoning on a previous visit I did not complain, however our trip to Vilamendhoo will remain with us for all the wrong reasons. If you still feel that after reading this letter we are still not eligible for substantial compensation I feel I will have no other alternative but to take the matter to court regarding issues 4, 5 and 6 of the package holidays and package tours regulations.

Yours without prejudice

Gary Bagshawe.

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