I spent the New Year at the Arona Gran Hotel in Tenerife which I had booked with
TUI Thomson at a cost of over £2200 for the two of us.
The board basis was Half Board and I chose the flight from Birmingham deliberately
to get me to the Hotel in good time for my evening meal.
Regretfully, the outward flight was delayed, due to a technical fault with the plane
and when we eventually got there an hour late, we were kept waiting by the incompetent
and bungling ground staff of Thomson before we finally set off in a minibus to our
hotel which was only 14km from the airport and we got even more delayed when we had
to change the bus halfway before we eventually got to hotel at 21.40 hours.
Upon checking in we were told that we had arrived too late for the evening forcing
us to go out and spend just under 50 Euros for our evening meal. When I asked if
I could have lunch instead of the dinner on my last day before departure I was told
that this was not possible.
Having paid in excess of £300.00 per night for our Half Board holiday I contacted
Thomson after I got back and requested that they compensate me for the money I had
to spend due to the delay of the plane and the incompetence of their airport staff
but Thomson blatantly refused and send me one of their pre-printed stereotype letters
referring me to their A-Z guide which states that I may miss a meal depending on
the arrival/departure times.
The letter, signed by a Tariq Dunstan (Customer Support Advisor) closed with the
usual drivel that he hopes that despite my experience on this occasion I will not
be deterred from considering Thomson when making future travel plans.
During last year I had spent in excess of 6500.00 with Thomson and they fobbed me
off with a load of hogwash so I wrote back to him and pointed out that their A-Z
guide clearly referred to scheduled departure times and not delayed departures and
that their A-Z guide also clearly stated that it is their responsibility if the outbound
flight is delayed and I asked them again to accept responsibility for their own statements
and to compensate me for the meal I missed.
I also asked him to confirm to me the time we eventually landed at Tenerife South
and why we were kept waiting for transport by the inept and incompetent ground staff.
He did not reply and after 3 weeks waiting I sent a reminder and requested a response.
Tariq Dunstan eventually replied on the 6th March 2011 and totally ignored all my
questions claiming that he had re-investigated this matter, that Thomson care a great
deal for their customers and that I ‘would need to seek help through a third party’
if I am not happy with his decision to refuse me compensation.
In plain words he told me to get lost.
As he had blatantly and purposely ignored all the specific points I had raised I
wrote back once again and requested that he has the proficiency and the courtesy
to deal with this matter in a professional manner and that I am entitled to receive
a more specific response or, if he feels that he is incompetent and inept to do this,
to pass this matter to his supervisor.
Once again I wasted my time writing to Thomson but this time I received a response
from a Mojinder Chohan Kaur which was as useless and futile as the previous letters
from Tariq Dunstan.
Mojinder Chohan Kaur told me and I quote ‘the reason for the delay was due to a technical
fault’ which was precisely what I told them in my first letter. I was on that plane
and I don’t need a Customer Support Advisor from Thomson to tell me that. He further
confirmed that my flight had landed at 20.20 pm, one hour late which was in good
time to get us to our hotel had we not been further delayed by the incompetent ground
He offered no explanation for the further delay at Tenerife airport and he ignored
my request for compensation.
It’s clearly obvious that both ‘customer advisors’ are taking the piss and take
pleasure in annoying and infuriation their clients and I will now write one more
letter telling them to look at this website and either communicate with me in an
appropriate manner or accept the consequences of losing one of their most loyal customers.
The choice is entirely theirs as I will write off my 50 Euros and contact their
CEO and tell him that I will never book another holiday with TUI Thomson or First
Choice again and that I will do everything in my power to publish my complaint on
any web site which will accept it.