Questions of Cash: 'Holiday transfer costs in Cyprus left me out of pocket'

 

Q. My wife and I had a holiday in Cyprus in September, booked through Thomson. Thomson failed to provide a transfer between Paphos airport and the Limassol Four Seasons Hotel, where we stayed. I had to pay €130 for taxis for the two transfers. After I booked the holiday in April I noticed that my booking confirmation did not mention a transfer, so I rang Thomson twice to query this.

I was informed that there would be a bus transfer. When we arrived at Paphos airport, the Thomson representatives said that no transfer had been booked, so I found a taxi willing to make the transfer at my own cost. A Thomson representative said that they would investigate this apparent error. Although I was unhappy with this situation it was very late in the evening and I reluctantly agreed. When we arrived at the hotel the duty manager asked why we were obtaining a receipt as taxi transfers were included with bookings for that hotel.

My previous holidays at the same hotel made through Thomson had included a taxi transfer. I have made complaints by email and letter, but I am now in dispute with Thomson as they will not make the refund. BE, Northamptonshire.

A. A spokeswoman for Thomson says: "Following a review we have refunded the €130 [the reader] paid and [he] has accepted this refund. Thomson strives to deliver excellent customer service and our resort teams all over the world organise private taxis for customers without incident every year."

Q I booked parking at Gatwick Airport from 05.30am on 8 September, with a flight leaving at 06.40am. I had used the service many times before without problem and I arrived at 05.30am. But there was a huge queue of drivers, who were being given maps by staff and told to park somewhere else. I only got into the car park at 05.51am – causing me to miss check-in by a few minutes and so missed my flight. Can I get compensation from Gatwick Airport? I have complained to Gatwick Parking, yet it refuses to acknowledge that anything went wrong. H, by email.

A. To be blunt, you didn't leave enough time. Airports often advise being two hours early. Arriving in the terminal anything less than an hour before departure is certainly cutting it fine. Your problems were made worse by not having travel insurance – though it seems very unlikely that a policy would have covered you when you arrived so late.

Gatwick Airport, which operates the Gatwick Parking service, has agreed to refund your car parking charge given your unhappiness with the way the service was managed on the day and in the response to your complaint. A spokeswoman says: "Unfortunately, [the reader] experienced a delay in reaching the car park due to congestion at the entrance caused by a large number of vehicles arriving at the same time." It declines to meet any costs relating to your missed flight as you did not realistically leave enough time to catch your plane.

Q. I booked a car hire through Auto Europe. When I collected the vehicle in Italy from the local agency, Goldcar, the representative filled up the tank at my expense and suggested I return it with a full tank of petrol. I did as they suggested, but there was no allowance for the petrol I bought – so they are sitting on a full tank of my petrol. AG, by email

A. Your car hire terms specified that the car would have full tank on collection and should be returned empty. In itself this is unsatisfactory – it means that you lose the value of unused fuel, which may be substantial if you are using the car for convenience locally, rather than doing a high mileage while on holiday.

It also means that the customer is at risk of running out of fuel by trying to return the car with a near empty tank. But the arrangement does allow a car hire company to increase its profits from the unused fuel and this may artificially suggest that a provider is cheaper than it is in practice. In your case, you suffered further by apparently being mis-advised to return the car with a full rather than empty tank.

Auto Europe apologises for your "disappointment" for what it calls your "rental experience". Molly Douglas, of Auto Europe, says: "As a tour operator, Auto Europe does have contracts with a wide variety of suppliers all over the world. Our customers, who are looking for the 'lowest' rates on our website, particularly in Spain and Italy, will often find their reservations are booked with smaller hire companies that have fuel purchase policies.

"We do also use more notable, international companies such as Avis, Hertz and Europcar. We can arrange a car hire with one of these companies, but please note, the daily rates are often significantly more expensive, even when taking into account the prepaid fuel purchased locally. Goldcar Italy has such a prepaid fuel policy, rather than an option, for rentals four days or longer.

In an attempt to be as transparent as possible, this is disclosed on the Auto Europe website as well as on the voucher, under the terms and conditions. It is also noted on the rental agreement, which one signs at check out. We apologise for any misunderstanding with relation to this policy. Due to any potential misunderstanding, Auto Europe had refunded, as a gesture of goodwill, the equivalent of half of Goldcar's prepaid fuel charge, in the amount of £47.45.

"As it is clear that [the reader] still feels that we have failed him in some way, Auto Europe is refunding the equivalent of the other half of Goldcar's fuel charge, in the amount of £47.45. It is our sincere hope that this goes some way to reinstate [the reader's] faith in Auto Europe and our commitment to customer satisfaction."

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

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    1st Line Support Technician / Application Support

    £20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...

    Team Secretary - (Client Development/Sales Team) - Wimbledon

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...

    Accountant / Assistant Management Accountant

    Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...

    Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

    £600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

    Day In a Page

    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices