Holiday lettings add further complications to the situation. Seeing as many aren’t in major complexes, this means that a lack of staff dealing with the problems while you’re on holiday can cause problems to escalate.
For many who have stayed in self-catering accommodation (such as holiday flats, apartments and villas) this can be a big problem. When the lack of care and attention from the holiday companies lead to your loss of enjoyment, you can often want to seek compensation.
But be warned, compensation for holiday problems can be complicated to get.
One of the reasons for this is that with package holidays, there are many different companies all working together under one big brand name. This means when you book with a recognised and trusted brand, often the holiday rental, flights, car hire and other parts of your holiday are provided by different companies.
Complaining while still on holiday
If you are still on your holiday, it can often be best to complain there and then to any travel rep if you are on a package holiday, or to the staff at your holiday letting (or the property owner in some cases) and see if they can solve your problems before they get out of hand.
More often than not, they will be happy to help you to resolve complaints there and then. It is in their best interest to make sure that you’re satisfied with your experience. Most good and respectable travel companies will have a proper complaint procedure and will ask you to fill out a complaint form for either compensation or to improve the situation.
But sadly, sometimes the rep for your holiday letting or from your travel agent either won’t care about your situation, or won’t be able to help you, and you’ll have to take things further. If you can prove that a travel company provided you with a dissatisfactory service, or that they are in breach of contract, then you can likely claim compensation.
If you can take photographs or videos of your situation, this will help you when it comes to making a complaint. Likewise, taking down the contact details of other holidaymakers who have had similar problems, or can act as witness to yours, will help too – there is strength in numbers!
It is also a good idea to keep hold of any receipts or documents you have which might be useful in the future. If you aren’t sure what will and won’t be, it’s best to be safe and keep them anyway.
This can include if you were forced to eat at a restaurant instead of cooking at the kitchen of your holiday letting. It can also include extra car hire fees, pocket expenses. In worst case scenarios, when you were forced to stay in a different hotel or holiday apartment or change your flight plans, the travel company can also be liable to pay you back for these.
Lastly, know that it’s never too early to start your holiday lettings complaints procedures. While sometimes people like to wait until they are home before beginning a complaint, it can be unwise to do this.
Firstly, the sooner you act, the sooner you receive your money. Starting the ball rolling early means that you won’t have to wait for any longer to see the money you deserve back in your bank balance. Secondly, acting while you’re still on holiday shows to the company that you’re serious. If you wait until you are back, it can seem that the complaint was a smaller deal than it was, and you’ll have to fight twice as hard to get your money back.
If you see anything online which can back up your claims, this also useful to keep. Keeping evidence such as screenshots from Twitter or Facebook, or saving articles from news websites will be good evidence to back up your claim.
Holiday complaints after coming home
If you get home from your holiday, and instead of longing for another day in paradise, you’re relieved that you don’t have to spend another day where you were, you might consider claiming compensation.
It might seem daunting, especially as your contact with the travel companies and holiday letting agents is over, but with the help of our specialist team, we can lead you through the processes and steps you’ll need to take to get your money back.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to try to find any evidence that there was a problem. If you have photographs or video that show your problems, this can be a huge advantage that will help your claim. They say a picture paints a thousand words, and this is very true. If you don’t have any images or videos yourself, but you met others on the same holiday who had similar troubles, you can use their images if they let you.
Images which show poor maintenance or bad hygiene in the holiday letting will help you. As will any evidence that the holiday was not as described.
‘Not as described’ will include if they told you there would be a pool, and there wasn’t, or if they said it was beachfront, and you were staying away from the beach. Anything that is misleading that the travel agent, holiday letting owner or booking agent told you which was false can be grounds for a claim.
What you can claim back from a travel company when your holiday goes wrong:
If your holiday has gone wrong, for reasons that were the fault of a company that you had booked with or have given money to, then you can claim money back. You can not only for the money you gave to them, but you can sometimes also be entitled to other expenses that they caused you.
Common other expenses that people claim on:
- Extra travel costs, such as missed flights or car hire
- If you had to move to a different hotel
- If you had to hire cleaners
- Replacement of lost or stolen goods
- Repair costs for damaged goods
- Extra meals that you had to buy
- Extra childcare you had to buy
- Personal injury due to poor maintenance or hygiene
Is there a holiday complaints ombudsman?
Sadly, there is no holiday complaints ombudsman. Unlike other industries which are regulated by ombudsmen who will help you deal with your claims, the holiday industry isn’t covered by such an organisation.
This means nothing but bad news for many holidaymakers, who can then struggle to make claims on their own without the aid of a centralised claims body. We always put the consumer first, and believe that there ought to be a more straightforward way to claim your money back when you have been mis-sold a holiday, or your holiday was not up to scratch.
Contact with our team today if you are looking for simple and hassle-free compensation for holiday problems. Our team will make direct contact with the ABTA’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) team and the Civil Aviation Authority CAA to ensure that your complaint about holiday lettings, or other aspects of your holiday, is dealt with quickly, securely and to maximum effect.
Often travel companies won’t respond to your claims within the required 14 days, but our specialist team know how to place pressure on them to speed up the process.
If need be, we will help you through the process of a small claims court procedure to get you the money that you deserve.
What rules do holiday companies have to obey?
Like all other retailers, holiday companies do have specific rules that they must comply with. These are the bare minimum standards that all products and services must abide by. For a holiday letting to be considered a good standard, it must reach these standards:
- It wasn’t misleadingly sold: A holiday letting must be as described to you. If they told you anything about the letting which wasn’t true, or missed out vital details, then it was likely misleadingly sold.
- It must be of satisfactory quality: The holiday let has to be enjoyable. If you’d expect more, or better, for your money, you will have a good chance at getting money back you deserve if you make a claim.
- It must be fit for purpose: The holiday letting must be safe, clean and well maintained. If for any reason you don’t think that where you stayed was clean, safe or up to scratch, then you should strongly consider making a claim. This is especially so if the lack of care, cleanliness or maintenance had an adverse effect on you, your family or friends.