Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: We cancelled our booking after reading bad reviews on TripAdvisor but the holiday firm refuses to give us a refund, what are my chances if I contest this?
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Friday 12 April 2013
Q. The day before my wife and I were booked to go to a hotel in the Canaries, I looked up the hotel on TripAdvisor. To my shock I discovered that the recent reviews of the hotel all seemed to be by people who had got sick there. Reading more reviews revealed that this problem seems to have been current at the hotel for more than three years. Accordingly we cancelled our booking. The holiday firm says we will get no refund. As I feel they have behaved scandalously by continuing to book guests into a hotel with a very poor health record, I wish to contest this. What are my chances?
A. I can’t hold out much prospect of success. Cancellation on the basis of TripAdvisor reviews is never grounds for a refund.
The holiday firm will no doubt stand by its health and safety practices, and also its booking conditions. The only possibility I can see is that if a “class action” succeeded in convincing a judge that there were failings, it might be possible to claim retrospectively.
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