Questions of cash: An all-inclusive holiday (extras not included)
Saturday 18 December 2010
Q. In May I booked an "all-inclusive Turkey" holiday for my wife and myself with Page and Moy, from the "2010 Holiday Sale" brochure.
The holiday was almost identical to one offered in an earlier brochure from Travelsphere – a sister company – except that some optional excursions were included as standard in the Page and Moy offer. A few days later I began thinking there might be a mistake as including the extra visits in the holiday represented a considerable reduction in the price. I made two calls to Page and Moy. In the first I was told that there were no included excursions, despite me insisting there were. I phoned again later that day and was told the excursions were included and the person I spoke to read the list out to me.
At the resort I found the tour guide knew nothing of any excursions being included. I phoned Page and Moy, who said there had been a mistake in the brochure and the excursions were not included. As the excursions were the whole point of the holiday we decided to pay for them and recover the cost from Page and Moy on our return. But Page and Moy have told me that their records show I was advised that the excursions were chargeable.
A. We contacted Page and Moy, who promised to investigate. However, they failed to provide a response to us – despite being prompted to do so. They have contacted you as a result of our intervention, offering to repay £220 – half the additional cost of the excursions. You say: "I think that is a fair offer under the circumstances and have accepted it; it was, after all, a genuine mistake on their part, they didn't set out to deceive anyone."
This is a more generous view than we would have taken. It looks unlikely that you would have booked this holiday had you known of the extra costs and you had to pay extra to receive services you believed were included. We would have asked Page and Moy to fully refund the extra cost of the excursions.
Q. I booked a once in a lifetime holiday to Canada, to coincide with my son and his partner getting married in the Rockies. I booked with Expedia and we were due to fly on 17 April, but the flight was cancelled because of the Icelandic volcanic ash. Despite repeated emails and attempted phone calls to Expedia – being kept on hold for more than two hours and being charged for the calls – I have only received a refund of £419. The full refund should be £1,747.20, so I am still owed £1,328. SW, Newport.
A. Expedia apologises. A spokeswoman says: "We have been working closely with the airlines to process refunds as quickly as possible, but due to the exceptional circumstances of the ash cloud situation, some refunds have taken considerably longer to process than would normally be the case."
The full refund has now been sent to you and Expedia has offered to provide an additional refund for the cost of your phone calls.
Q. I came to London five years ago to study with LTC College in London. In December last year, the BBC broadcast allegations about the college, which led the Home Office to suspend the college's licence. I was therefore unable to continue studying with the college from April. I submitted a refund application form and the college agreed to refund £1,272 for the remaining period. I have still not received this. HS, London.
A. When you originally contacted us in September we hit what seemed to be an impossible barrier. The LTC website was no longer functioning and the phone number rang unobtainable. We contacted Westminster City Council's trading standards office to find out whether it was conducting any investigations, and learnt that it was not. We hoped that you might have paid either by credit card, or by Visa debit card, enabling us to trigger a chargeback request for the failure of the college to provide the full service paid for – but this was not possible as you had paid by cheque. We then left the problem for a few weeks. But when we tried the old phone number again, we found that it was now ringing through to Unity College in London. Unity College told us that Mr Darpan Shah "is liable for aspects of LTC". The phone operator added that Mr Shah had ownership interests in both colleges and gave us a contact email address for Mr Shah. After an exchange of emails with Mr Shah, he promised us that a cheque would be raised and left for you to collect. Unfortunately it was no longer possible for you to collect the payment as by this time you had moved to Japan. But Mr Shah's office then arranged for the payment to be made direct to you. The payment you received was for £846. You calculate this is £228 less than you are owed. You paid £2,545 for an 86-week course and were unable to attend the last 38 weeks, because the college was no longer open. The refund represents a payment for only 24 weeks. In addition, Mr Shah's office has levied an administration fee of £150. Mr Shah states in an email that the contract specifies that refunds are only available in two circumstances: "one is your medical conditions, where you will not be able to continue the course, second is your visa will be refused under the immigration act".
It seems to us bizarre that an administration fee is imposed when your course cannot be completed because the college itself has ceased trading. Further, we do not believe that Mr Shah can legally use this as a reason for withholding part of your fees. We have put these points to Mr Shah, who has not responded. You are now seeking to recover the balance of your fees through legal action.
Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But if you have a financial dilemma, we'll do our best to help. Please email us at: questionsofcash@ independent.co.uk.
The FTSE 100 is inching closer to its record high but can it maintain these levels?
Phoenix Life: Chance of a refund for overcharged policyholders has risen
10 tips for taking out a personal loan
Has your Premium Bond won the £1million jackpot?
There are 'dark corners' of the investment and pensions industry, says Pension Minister
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £21000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: As a graduate you are...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...
£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...
Day In a Page
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads