118 Travel – do not use – ****avoid****
04 March 2014, 16:37
I was looking for a holiday to Marrakech and the holiday package was not available from my usual Agent and found the holiday via Travel Supermarket’s ‘approved’ travel firm 118 Travel.
In hindsight I now regret making the booking. It has been more trouble than I can take and the stress has been overwhelming. I am usually not this thoughtless when I book my holidays.
I phoned to speak with Sales (Andy) on Tel: 0207 741 1281 who took my booking. After the sale went through, he gave me another number Tel: 0207 741 1291 for any sales queries.
During the sale, Andy was rather pushy, knew his stuff. He did sell me some extras and against my better judgment, I took him up on the offers (e.g. room upgrade, Hammam, aqua park), on top of the extra baggage and transfers that were also not included in the original price.
118 Travel seemed okay from what I was looking at on their website and I saw their ATOL and ABTA references and they both checked out to be genuine in connection with other firms too
It was after I made the booking that I was excited and wanted to look more at the holiday I bought when I then stumbled across LOADS of bad stuff about 118 Travel, about their rude staff and the impossible nature to speak to anyone, the corrections to their documents and flights not leaving etc. This made me think that I bought a bogus holiday. It was too late to phone last night, but I did manage to speak to them today.
Yes, the staff are rude and very cagy about giving me information about MY holiday booking. This made me more frightened that I bought a dodgy deal and was very distressed that I had spent a lot of money. When they did eventually give me SOME details about the holiday, they also quoted me a much low price than what I had paid for and the payment transfer was authorized, so again I was worried. Obviously I couldn’t cancel this and I even asked my bank, but they said “no”, as I guessed they would.
I phoned Thomson Fly who did have the booking on file and I even spoke to the hotel who agreed the booking too, but that was before I even got to speak with Andy. My room upgrade was not provided to the hotel either, so that is worrying too. It was a stressful day having to sort this out and when I eventually got through, Andy said that he was in a rush to complete the documents and then reissued them.
It was after all this rigmarole that I realized too that this was not a package deal, only separate elements married together and with no travel rep too.
Having gone through this hassle, sleepless night, I really hope that this holiday is genuine and that all my documents are fine and I have a great holiday.
In future, I shall book through Thomas Cook or Thomson direct, as they offer great level of customer service and although I have nothing against foreign speaking people (hence going on holiday), the call centre I phoned was I believe based in India, where the payment was processed too, which made me more nervous about the genuine nature of my holiday, together with how cagy they were being.
Lesson learnt. Should’ve gone elsewhere. I ll report back if and when I go on holiday to let you know the experience I had.