A Merseyside couple have instructed Bott and Co to help them claim compensation from TUI for their unenjoyable and substandard holiday experience.
Andrew Wylde and his wife Danielle from Wallasey, Merseyside, booked the Atlantica Holiday Village Kos, in Greece in June 2019 where they would take their six children. Despite assurances from TUI, they were shocked to discover bed bugs, ant infestations and blood-stained bed sheets upon arrival at the ‘family friendly resort’.
The children, aged between three and twelve were left in tears. To make matters worse, TUI eventually moved the family to a different hotel without disabled access that was unsuitable for children.
Andrew said: “We spent a year saving up the money for the holiday and had full faith in TUI. They let us down massively, especially the kids.”
Planning The Perfect Family Holiday
Full time carers Andrew, 40, and Danielle, 29, went into their local TUI store to ensure that all members of their family were catered for when booking their 2019 summer holiday.
They had independently booked a holiday to Bulgaria but after consideration they cancelled and decided to use a reputable company such as TUI to ensure the holiday suited all their needs.
It was important that the hotel was suitable for their five year old wheelchair-dependent daughter, Alanna-Rose, who suffers from cerebral palsy and had children’s facilities and entertainment for all six of their children.
We noticed straight away that there were ants crawling around both rooms, pubic hair in the bathrooms and blood stains on the bedsheets.
Andrew said: “TUI recommended the Atlantica Holiday Village Kos, in Greece as the perfect place for a family holiday. Despite reading some negative reviews online about the hygiene and cleanliness that sent alarm bells ringing; we were reassured by TUI that there were no issues to be concerned about.
Within the first day of being there, our worst nightmares were confirmed.”
Blood Stained Bedsheets
After their flight was delayed, they arrived at the resort at 5am ready to get some much-needed sleep but this wasn’t possible…
Andrew said: “We noticed straight away that there were ants crawling around both rooms, pubic hair in the bathrooms and blood stains on the bedsheets. It just wasn’t up to standards at all.
We were told that the TUI rep wouldn’t be available until 9am and that we’d have to wait to speak to someone.
When we eventually complained to our TUI rep, they were so shocked by what they saw that they asked the hotel to clean the rooms immediately. We arrived back two hours later to see that the cleaning wasn’t thorough enough, with just a brush through and a quick mop job. We expressed our disappointment and the hotel manager agreed it was unacceptable and offered to do a deep clean.”
Hotel management offered the family a room upgrade but not until three days later.
Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite
That night, when the family returned to their rooms after their evening meal and entertainment, they pulled back the bedsheets to discover bedbugs crawling all over the mattress and pillow cases.
“The children were very unsettled and my wife stayed up all night in an arm chair. We came on holiday to enjoy ourselves. Caring for our six kids, including one with a disability is hard, and going on holiday is a chance to relax which we were unable to do.
Our clothes were riddled with the bugs so had to be sent off for cleaning leaving us without a change of clothes for nearly two days.
The following morning, we went to the reps again to complain, showing them video evidence. They offered to move us to a nearby complex, the Atlantica Porto Bello Royal.”
Moved To A Hotel That Didn’t Cater To Their Needs
While the hotel that the family were moved to was 5 star, it didn’t have any disabled access or child-friendly facilities; it was a hotel marketed for adults.
“It was a lovely hotel but just not suitable at all. It was the complete opposite of what we’d requested when booking our holiday with TUI. We were put in rooms up two flights of stairs and there was no lift. I had to lift my disabled daughter down two flights of stairs every day.”
To make matters worse, the family had brought with them a surprise from the previous hotel.
“Unbeknown to us, we’d arrived at the new resort with bedbugs in tow. They had got into our suitcases so we had to throw ours away that were expensive and TUI replaced them with cheap ones that weren’t anything like our original matching cases.
Our clothes were riddled with the bugs so had to be sent off for cleaning leaving us without a change of clothes for nearly two days. When we got our clothes back, a lot of the items had shrunk.”
All-inclusive Out The Window
The family had booked an all-inclusive package which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner with kids’ meals included but at the new hotel; all of the food was not suitable for children.
“The hotel wasn’t used to catering for children and so there were no suitable food options available during the day and so we had six hungry children who were upset that there was no kids club, entertainment or swimming lessons that had been promised at the original resort.
TUI failed to honour their agreement and we believe that the clients should be compensated for the disappointment and distress that this caused.
TUI failed to honour their agreement and we believe that the clients should be compensated for the disappointment and distress that this causedThey did manage to provide chicken nuggets and chips for the evening meal but this was the only thing they did for the kids, and after a while it got repetitive.”
Andrew describes his biggest heartache was for his daughter Alanna-Rose.
“It was not a fun experience for any of the kids but particularly for Alanna-Rose. They didn’t put us on the ground floor and so she had to be lifted up in her wheelchair each time we went up or down the stairs. It wasn’t fair; she was supposed to be having the time of her life.”
TUI Denying All Responsibility
The family continued to alert the TUI reps of what was wrong posted a Tweet to the holiday company. They were offered a £250 TUI holiday voucher, which Andrew said was unacceptable.
“We spent £4,428 on this holiday and so I was insulted at their offer of a holiday voucher. This experience has put me off using them ever again and so why would I want a TUI holiday voucher?”
Andrew got in touch with TUI again but they said they couldn’t find any issues or the family’s original complaints and that they’re not prepared to compensate them.
“We have video evidence and a letter from the hotel manager apologising about the problems we were faced with, yet TUI still deny it all. We booked specifically for disabled access, children’s facilities and entertainment. The many TUI offerings we were promised, including the younger kids learning to swim, were not available.
I’m not prepared to fly with them again and as a result I am currently in the process of cancelling next year’s holiday which is booked through TUI, but have been told it will cost me £400 to cancel.”
Forced To Seek Legal Help
While still in Greece, Andrew came across positive mentions of Bott and Co Solicitors on a Facebook TUI complaints page and contacted the firm asking for advice.
“When I spoke to Bott and Co, they told me to write everything down, take photos and video evidence and continue making complaints to the on-site TUI reps. They offered to take our case on and so when TUI continued to not take responsibility and refused to pay compensation I immediately got back in touch with them to make a claim.”
David Bott, Senior Partner at Bott and Co said: “This family were massively let down by TUI. The holiday company were well aware of the family’s holiday needs, including disability requirements and were assured they would be catered for. They were faced with sub-standard accommodation and while the replacement hotel they were sent to was satisfactory in its standards, it was completely unsuitable for this family.
TUI failed to honour their agreement and we believe that the clients should be compensated for the disappointment and distress that this caused under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 2018. We will also be exploring a claim under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 as TUI had a responsibility to provide all the elements of the package, which they did not do.
We go the extra mile to fight for consumer rights on a daily basis and have an excellent record of winning cases. We plan on doing exactly the same for this family.”