View Full Version : Urgent Advice Req'd!!---& Finally!!

Mr Ed
12-03-2005, 05:13 AM
We booked in March with a teletext company and are due to travel on 16th Dec. (2 adults 2 kids, flights/villa/car to Orlando, 16 nights).

The tickets haven't arrived! I have been chasing them for a couple of week and had the usual brush off's.

Yesterday, after much questioning, the manager admitted the flights had not yet been booked, but "there were more ways to skin a cat"

Obviously this is extremely worrying! The company have been very unhelpful over the last few weeks... I have had to chase them, they have consistently failed with promises of return calls etc, although the manager did return a call late last night (to say he had not been able to book flights yet)!

When I sent in the payment of the final invoice, they contacted me (Oct) to say I had to pay a fuel surcharge of £60 per head!?! This now seems extremely strange given that no flights have been booked!

I have contacted ABTA and await their response (they are ABTA bonded)

My wife has phoned this morning, again expressing our concerns and the representative said that the company have no details of this booking, it is not booked with them, it is booked with a third party (name supplied) This third party is the company owner/manager!?!

We initially phoned the number from a teletext advert for this company, all correspondence has the company name on it. We are being told the names/ signitures on documentation are people that have now left their employment. We do not know what to do? who to contact next? Do we involve the police?

If we, at this late stage, ask to cancel, presumably the company will be able to say "thank you very much"and keep all our money, so we have to continue to allow them to attempt to book our holiday (but are they really doing anything)?

Obviously, we are very upset and confused! I would be extremely grateful to anyone that could offer me any advise.

We have decided we are going whatever the outcome, but cannot attempt to book alternative arrangements incase this one comes through!!!

Please help!!!


12-03-2005, 05:27 AM
Oh Ed I'm so sorry :guilty: This is so unfair to your whole family and I can't believe an ABTA bonded company can behave like this! You have contacted ABTA which was the right thing to do, but what to do next I'm not sure. I don't think they can put extra charges on so late as the price you were quoted/ invoiced for is unchangeable unless you make an amendment.

The police may well palm you off to trading standards. I would try ABTA again speaking to a proper voice and then trading standards. With your holiday so close though, you may be back before you hear anything.

So sorry this has happened to you and hope someone else here can help you more. Just wanted to show support,

Claire xx

Claire L
12-03-2005, 05:40 AM
Sorry to hear of your problems. I know that if a company wants to impose a surcharge after booking then this has to be agreed by ABTA they cannot just do it. Not alot more to add other than I hope things do work out for you.
Claire ;)

Mr Ed
12-03-2005, 05:43 AM
thank you, I just needed to get things off my chest. Your support is much appreciated


Claire L
12-03-2005, 05:45 AM
Here is a list (http://www.abtamembers.org/abtel/sur.htm) of companies currently allowed to impose the surcharge as agreed by ABTA. Is the company you booked with mentioned there?
Claire ;)

Mr Ed
12-03-2005, 05:52 AM
Claire, thanks again, but no! the company we have booked with is not on this list.
I do want to post their name on here, but its probably not right to do so!?!

12-03-2005, 06:09 AM
Ed, I'm so sorry about what you are going through. It's so awful.

I'm not sure there is a quick and easy solution to this - and that must be what you want given the time you have to sort things out.

I cannot imagine for one reason why this company has not booked your flights yet?? That is unbelievable - like they are waiting for the chance of some last minute to offer to come along and increase their profit margin maybe??

I think that the problem you have is that it's basic contract law - you enter into a contract that you pay this company money, and they supply the flights / holiday described. The problem you have is that you don't really have any grievance until they breach the contract ie fail to supply what they have contracted to do. That's not going to happen until 16th December, if at all.

All I think you can do in the meantime is keep onto ABTA, contact Trading Standards, contact Watchdog, and just keep on and on. I'm sure this company will do at all they can to avoid bad publicity and I don't think it will do your cause any harm to show them that you mean business.

Also, in the meantime, perhaps start looking at a contingency plan ie flights villa etc, just so you know what is available and can book as quickly as possible if (but hopefully not) the time ever comes.

I wish you all the luck in the world. Please let us know of progress.

PS I think you are well entitled to name the company - other people may be able to tell you their experiences, and it may make people who were considering using them to think twice.

12-03-2005, 06:15 AM
Oh my....this is awful :hug:

ABTA, Trading Standards and BBC Watchdog http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/contact/ will the place's to go.

I wish you luck and please keep us updated. I hope things work out for you.

Claire L
12-03-2005, 06:25 AM
Yes do name them if only to stop this scenario happening to someone else.
Claire ;)

12-03-2005, 07:15 AM
This is so terrible for you ~ Hope you get things sorted out :grouphug:

Mr Ed
12-03-2005, 09:21 AM
Thank you all very much for your replies.

Emailed ABTA / ATOL / BBCWatchdog / Trading Standards. Still devastated, but kind of smiling thanks to getting things off my chest and your support.

Wife determined to go one way or the other, so this is making me feel better, but will also empty my pockets :confused3 .

Problem is, if we don't go... It will be a waste of our annual passes and I've also got tickets for discovery cove, hoping to go to cirque du soleil on christmas eve as surprises! I've a two night reservation at a hotel near busch gardens etc etc!

Chests gonna explode!!

12-03-2005, 09:33 AM
Ed - this is awful, how stressful for you. I very much hope things work out!

Just a quick question? Did you book via credit card? If so, there may be a way out of this if you call your CC provider, they could dispute the charge, refund the money and you could book elsewhere? Or use this as a threat to the company concerned?

Good grief this is terrible customer service, I can''t believe it!

Mr Ed
12-03-2005, 10:05 AM
Yes, it was booked via CC (deposit via switch), I am just wondering that if I do this now, would I be breaking the contract (i.e. cancelling at very late notice) and if so, presumably the company would be able to sting me for the full amount??

This is a really poo'y situation!

Latest news, just phoned their Buckingham office... The Manager/Owner has been in and received all our messages, the staff are telling me he won't tell any of them what is going on, they have contacted him via mobile (doesn't answer when I try it) and he told them he will contact me when he gets home!!!

I just know this won't happen! Arghhhhh!

12-03-2005, 11:36 AM
Mr Ed,

What a dreadful thing to happen and what appaling customer service.
I agree that you should name and shame them if only to stop anyone else here using them.

I hope he does call you this evening and that you do get things soerted out. Me well I am in a tiz if the taxi is 2 minutes late so goodness knows how you feel!

Sending a bucket of pixie dust to you! :earsgirl:

Obi Wan Kenobi
12-03-2005, 11:43 AM
Yes, it was booked via CC (deposit via switch), I am just wondering that if I do this now, would I be breaking the contract (i.e. cancelling at very late notice) and if so, presumably the company would be able to sting me for the full amount??

This is a really poo'y situation!

Latest news, just phoned their Buckingham office... The Manager/Owner has been in and received all our messages, the staff are telling me he won't tell any of them what is going on, they have contacted him via mobile (doesn't answer when I try it) and he told them he will contact me when he gets home!!!

I just know this won't happen! Arghhhhh!

I would say thatb they have broken the trems of their contract with you by failing to provide the goods and services you have paid for. Contact your credit card ASAP

12-03-2005, 12:13 PM
If the amount has already come out of your account for more than 30 days there is little the credit card company can do about it straight away. You can fill out a claim form and it has to go off to the financial services autority to be looked into - i used to work in a bank and i know someone who did this and it took months for her to get her money back ...BUT...

she DID get her money back in the end so fingers crossed!!

12-03-2005, 01:37 PM
I've just booked my flights through a company of teletext. Who did you book with. Please name them.


Mr Ed
12-03-2005, 02:12 PM
Right people..still no return call, surprise, surprise!
I am still confused, devastated, angry, stressed to hell and not functioning straight and I feel naming this company could jepordise my position (I know this is rubbish, but I'm having a bad day)!! So I won't name them, but I am going to give everyone the benefit of my experience with the following advice ;) be very wary of having any dealings with a company called A2B Travel Buckingham.

trying to smile Ed

12-03-2005, 04:22 PM
So sorry for all the problems your having! Hope it all works out ok in the end!

12-04-2005, 03:27 AM
Please keep us all posted about what happens with your holiday - good luck.

12-04-2005, 03:41 AM
Ed, this must be a terribly difficult time for your family. I really hope you get it sorted and your trip to Disney comes into fruition. It is awful that a so-called professional company would treat people like this and I certainly hope they either come through with the tickets (although, personally, I would still be inclined to take action for all the stress/worry they have caused you these last few days) or you are able to get your money back in full and book elsewhere.

Good luck with it and do keep us posted.

12-04-2005, 06:00 AM
Wow Ed....I hope you get this sorted. I cant imagine the stress you and your family are going through at the moment.

12-04-2005, 07:32 AM
This is quite the most awful situation I have ever read about. You must be frantic with worry. You must be able to take some sort of legal action against them, but as others have said presumably not until they have failed to give you what you have paid for, but I'm no expert. Best of luck with this dreadful company.

12-04-2005, 08:15 AM
Hi - sorry to hear about your terrible situation - can I recommend that you log onto to this holiday review site - they have a solicitor to hand specialising in travel cases, that will give you FREE advice (it doesn't cost anything to become a member of the site but you must be a member to get advice I think- ) :


relevant page;


Good luck - I hope you get it sorted :grouphug:

12-04-2005, 10:16 AM
I'm so sorry for you. How absolutely awful. I hope you manage to get the situation resolved very soon. Another website you could try is holidaytravelwatch.net. I know a couple of people who have turned to them after holidays from hell and got good advice & assistance. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

12-04-2005, 12:12 PM
This must be so terrible and stressful for you, I hope you get it resolved soon.

Working in industry myself I know that mistakes do happen but that is up to the agency to sort out even if they have to write off money by doing so. I'm not sure what all the official rules are though.

Fingers crossed you will get it all sorted ASAP.

12-04-2005, 12:20 PM
Mr Ed,

I really sympathise with you - my problems with Virgin fade into insignificance on this one !!!!!!!!!! Good luck - hope you get it sorted.

12-04-2005, 04:50 PM
Hope this works out for you :)

Mr Ed
12-04-2005, 04:53 PM

Hello everyone. Thank you all ever so much for you advice(absolutely fabulous) and your brilliant support! I am having the worst, most stressful weekend!! I thought I was a big tough fella, but must admit I'm feeling very emotional and close to tears!

Latest update...

No return calls yesterday, followed all advice and sent emails to loads of different agencies (hope they come through for me tomorrow)? Tried phoning again today but no contact made, so messages left. Read loads of legal stuff, ABTA code of contact etc. This made me feel a little better! Contacted credit card company and they were great (Virgin). The money is safe!! As is any money spend on Cirque du Soleil/Discovery Cove/Disney tickets etc. etc. Even before this we had decided we were/are going to Florida by hook or crook!!!!!

My darling, stressed out wife then search out some alternative deals and reasonable in the circumstances, though we might go completely daft and go for 21 nights instead of 17!!!

I spent the night typing out a detailed time line log of events/calls etc and have sent a second email to all agencies (ABTA/ATOL/Trading Standards/Teletext) containing the log.

Then, at 21:10!!! He calls.. the manager!! Asks if I can change dates. I said I couldn't in case it put me in breech of contract and that I'd been read about his responsibilities at ABTA member etc. I said I wanted the original itinerary and expressed all my concerns, frustrations etc etc and said as close as possible to original plan and compensation. I think he agreed (heads gone) and he is to call me around lunch tomorrow!! Hopefully after numerous calls from ABTA/ATOL et al??

Believe it or not I also broke a bone in my writing hand on Friday so I have some physical pain too! Thank god this weekend is nearly over!

Whatever the outcome, all this just confirms again what a fantastic site this is. I'll keep u all posted!

Ed (must be mad but very nearly smiling)!!!!

12-04-2005, 05:09 PM
Hugs to you and Mrs Ed. I know I'd be crying if any thing went wrong with my trip.

I really hope it all gets sorted out tomorrow for you.

12-04-2005, 05:10 PM
Ed sending you and your wife :grouphug: :grouphug:
hope you get this mess sorted.

12-04-2005, 07:12 PM
Ed I hope this works out for you, companies should not act in this way, and if a mistake is made they should talk to you to sort it out. This is very unprofessional, but at least they look like they are trying and virgin have said the money is safe.

Mr Ed
12-05-2005, 04:42 AM
Fingers crossed! Today has to be my day??
Went on the Delta website (who the flights were supposed to be with) and guess what... There is availability for the original dates and also dates either side, albeit for far more than the whole holiday originally cost! Does anyone know if, from a legal point of view, the travel agency is obliged to book these flights?

12-05-2005, 04:55 AM
Hi Mr Ed, I've just caught up on your albeit terrible story, I wish you well and hope everything gets sorted today.
From a travel agents point of view the company you booked with aren't obliged to book those particular Delta flights but I can't see ANY reason why they shouldn't do it as a good will gesture. They ARE obliged to get you there within 'reasonable' limits on your original itinerary, ie they could probably legally get away with 24 hours either side of your original itinerary IF they can prove theres no alternative, so get a print off and therefore proof that those flights are available should they come back to you and say otherwise!
I hope it all sorts today,
much hugs

Mr Ed
12-05-2005, 05:08 AM
great Carol.. off to the printer I go!

12-05-2005, 05:09 AM
Fingers Crossed Mr Ed...keep us up to date :)

12-05-2005, 05:17 AM
Keeping everything crossed for you that things work out well.

disneyholic family
12-05-2005, 05:38 AM
i don't know what sort of holiday you booked or what was written in the fine print...
we don't book packages, but we do book our flights using our (idiot) travel agent.....this past summer he didn't make the bookings right away when i gave them to him (it was in january some time....he was so busy with everyone elses winter holidays that he pushed aside my summer ones which were no hurry and then forgot about them)....
when i checked with him again, he hadn't made them and the prices had gone up (duh)...so we had to pay more.....how very annoying....

i hope you at least get your trip......it would be terrible to have to pay for it and not get any trip at all....talk about adding insult to injury....

12-05-2005, 06:05 AM
I have everything crossed for you that it all gets resolved today and that you have a few stress free days before a wonderful Christmas holiday!

Good luck!

12-05-2005, 08:05 AM
I`ve been following your story all weekend, I do hope everything works out well for you.
I wanted to add we`ve flown with Delta twice this year and never had a fuel surcharge.
Also have you contacted the people this company advertizes with? They need to be warned.
Have a truly fabulous time when you get there - you deserve it!

12-05-2005, 09:13 AM
I'd like to add my sympathys along with every one else, there must be something seriously wonky about this company!! I really hope you get sorted. I cannot beleive that if they take your money they are then allowed to sit on it!! Jeez anything could happen. If you end up getting your money back then I can recommend the company I use, they issue the tickets on the same day and are 100% trustworthy, if they get problems their philosophy is "well you paid your money so thats our problem"
Anyway, I hope you get sorted QUICK :-))

12-05-2005, 12:52 PM
Ed, that sounds much better! My fingers remain crossed for you :)

12-05-2005, 02:42 PM
I wanted to add we`ve flown with Delta twice this year and never had a fuel surcharge.

Delta imposed fuel surcharges in the summer for any new bookings made, (we're having to add on 90 Euros per person over here in Ireland at the moment.)

Most if not all airlines have had to do this unfortunately :(

Oil prices finally seem to be coming down slightly and airlines have now reduced these charges to certain airports. Hopefully the other airports will come down soon.

12-05-2005, 02:43 PM
Back to the matter at hand, it sounds like you're making some progress now. Hopefully it will be sorted in no time and you'll be off to see Mickey :earsboy:

12-05-2005, 03:27 PM
Hope you get the news you want today! PLease keep us posted!

Mr Ed
12-05-2005, 04:35 PM
Well, we are no further! The guy seemed quite reasonable and concerned and genuine last night, but today he was different. I told him the flights were available and after checking he disputed what I was saying (I have saved the availabilty) He said there were only business class left (not true) and he would not be booking them. Basically he said I could take him to court (end). Said he would try for flights again tomorrow ( I don't think he has tried at all to date)! Don't think he is going to. I think he is just running down the clock and hoping I snap and say/do something that puts me in breech of contract. Feeling helpless again. Have other quotes for similar hols but can't book! This is so unfair.

ABTA and ATOL have not responded to emails or phone messages left! Trading standards have advised me to write to him/company asking if he can fulfill his part of the contract and if not will he pay me back in full.
Teletext have phoned a couple of times and said they can do nothing unless I can give them the teletext page and exact date I saw it and the telephone number the ad listed (like I will know this after so long) didn't keep after confirmation arrived! I think this is a convenient cop out!

Anyway, thats where we're at!

12-05-2005, 04:46 PM
sending you lots of :grouphug: and :wizard:

cannot believe he is doing this to you

good advice from Trading standards
get writing even with your sore hand

12-05-2005, 05:20 PM
Oh Mr Ed I`m so sorry things haven`t progressed. Continued good wishes to you.

12-05-2005, 05:22 PM
I hope you get this sorted. Another option might be to find out whether there is a number with teletext - they might be able to help?

I have used Trading Standards with regard to something else - they are marvellous for help.

Sorry I just saw you said a load of this earlier!

If you want any help with regard to looking at new bookings - let me know I am becoming an expert in finding the best ways and cheapest etc!

12-05-2005, 06:08 PM
So sorry to hear all this, I can't believe companies do things like this to people! I really hope you get things sorted. I'd be a total wreck by now if this were my holiday so you're doing really well - hang in there!!!

12-06-2005, 03:51 AM
I read this with horror! I really hope you get something sorted soon. Keep on trying to contact ABTA and ATOL after all they should be able to give you some advice (I hope).

Wishing you lots of luck in getting it sorted.

12-06-2005, 04:25 AM
Ed I'm sorry for your problems, unfortunately ABTA and ATOL are pretty useless when it comes to getting things done quickly, I beleive your best bet would be to find the availability with another company, ask them to hold it and get your money back from the original one pronto! any good travel agent should be able to persuade a tour op to hold something for you at last minute even if its just 24 hours.
Virgin hols have got the 13th available albeit for 16 nights in premium class if thats any help.
I'll keep looking for you in the meantime

12-06-2005, 09:37 AM
Mr Ed

What a nightmare, I am really shocked and sorry to read of all the trouble that you are having :grouphug: .
Hope things are better for you today and you get your flights.

Good Luck

Mr Ed
12-06-2005, 12:50 PM
Hello everyone! Are people now tuning into this thread like the Trueman Show???

Had another very stressfull day! Shouted at Janette at one point after she had phoned the manager (again).

Todays saga.. We (as usual) made contact with Travel agents. Manager said he had flights with different carrier "virtually guaranteed" Wife said we needed a definite and very soon! He said he could give us our money back or continue to book the holiday. Wife said could he arrange to repay the money and by 12pm so we could then book alternative hol we had on hold. He said by 17:30 and we finally agreed 12:30!!
In the meantime I had emailed and posted a letter, on the advice of Trading Standards, asking if he could fullfill the contract and deliver the original itinerary and if not, please could he repay us the full amount and we would also be seeking reimbursement of all tickets, shows and additional accommodation dependant upon the trip (£2100ish).

We contacted credit card co and asked for return call confirming repayment.

13:00 credit card co ring... No money. Wife rings Manager.... he said because of my letter he will not proceed. We agree to write further letter sateing if he repays full amount and we can book alternative today... no claim for reimbursement of other costs needed!
A2B receive second letter and agree to proceed. Credit card co then say repayment will not show for a couple of days !!!!!! Arghhhh! Eventually, credit card co advice if we can get written confirmation that A2B have repayed amount to correct cc number and then money not received, credit card co will persue money from A2B!!!

A2B agree to send confirmation! Emailed blocked solid with huge files being sent from wife's work!!!!! (can you believe this)! recalled A2B with my email address... Email received!!!!!!!!!!!!

Called other travel agent (we have used this one 3/4 times before)and book the holiday with a very sweet and extremely understanding, sympathetic lady that is also horrified by the whole saga!
Call back from this lady to confirm booking!!!!!!
16th Dec flights with Virgin from Manchester to MCO for two weeks in executive villa with pool heat and compact car(we will upgrade of course) and premium insurance all done for £3900!

Big big smiles and happy children. Happy days are here again!!!!!

Now what do you think of that!!!!

Eddie and Janette

12-06-2005, 12:54 PM
and now the planning begins

12-06-2005, 12:56 PM
Eddie - at last!!!

Now you can really enjoy your countdown. I am so pleased you have got it all worked out!

12-06-2005, 12:57 PM
Mr Ed,I read the whole thread with disbelief :guilty:
I know we all want to save as much monet as possible on our holidays but i wouldn't ever personally book a holiday through teletext,well specially after what you went through!

For all the time and stress you all suffered any 'savings' were negated anyway :bitelip:

Thnak gawd it's all sorted now :flower:

12-06-2005, 01:08 PM
Thats great news, and flights with Virgin- fabulous. Only hope that hand gets better now!


12-06-2005, 01:12 PM
Thank goodness you are sorted out at last! :sunny:

12-06-2005, 01:17 PM
This is the worst story that I have ever heard, and this company should be ashamed of themselves. The stress must have been unbelievable.
I am so glad that things have turned out well for you in the end. I hope that you have a magical time. You deserve it.

12-06-2005, 01:43 PM
Wonderful news - at last. Enjoy your holiday - you deserve it now!

Claire L
12-06-2005, 01:51 PM
Great news that it all sorted but such a shame you had to go through all this hassle! Have a wonderful Christmas :)
Claire ;)

12-06-2005, 01:52 PM
I'm so pleased you have a happy outcome. It's fantastic news, and you all deserve a wonderful holiday. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

12-06-2005, 01:54 PM
So glad you are all sorted now Ed :goodvibes

You can start relaxing now and looking forward to a great vacation. :cool1:

12-06-2005, 01:55 PM
Excellent news:)

I am so pleased for you and your wife, what a huge relief! :banana:

12-06-2005, 02:18 PM
Glad you are sorted Ed. Wishing you a wonderful holiday!

florida sun
12-06-2005, 02:22 PM
Great news at last Ed :goodvibes Enjoy your holiday, after all the stress you deserve it. :Pinkbounc

Sue :wave:

12-06-2005, 02:46 PM
Very, very pleased for you Ed. Sincerely hope you have a wonderful time - and the weather here is wonderful just now!!! :)

12-06-2005, 02:51 PM
Great news. Glad it has all worked out.
Take it you are not sending a postcard to A2B :rolleyes:

12-06-2005, 03:23 PM
Wonderful news Ed. Hope you enjoy your holiday ~ you certainly have earned it. Have a fantastic trip.

12-06-2005, 03:24 PM
Fantastic news. Have a great time. You have earned it :flower:

12-06-2005, 03:39 PM
glad its now all sorted :earsboy:
that company should be named and shamed, maybe watchdog......??

Boss Hogg
12-06-2005, 04:12 PM
Hello everyone! Are people now tuning into this thread like the Trueman Show???

I don't know whether to laugh or cry! I'm exhausted! I'd love to know what's behind all this, but I guess we may never know.

Just have a fantastic trip.

12-06-2005, 04:15 PM
Oops! Posted under dh's user name again! :rolleyes:

12-06-2005, 04:19 PM
I'm so pleased for you :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:

A big :badpc: to A2B... nothing but a pirate: outfit.

Can't wait for someone to ask about them on the other travel boards I subscribe to ...... :earseek:

Enjoy your holiday !

brer rabbit 28
12-06-2005, 04:25 PM
so releaved to hear that you are sorted-read the whole saga with horror and disbelief.Think you should still contact watchdog about them after your holiday.Wonder how many other people have suffered from this kind of treatment?

Mr Ed
12-06-2005, 04:48 PM
Arhh! sweet relief! To be honest I've been keeping this all to myself for about three weeks but the pressure to tell my wife just became too much and I spilled the beans on Friday, then told you good people on Saturday. The support and advice from the board has been great! Thanks to all. The planning is all done, but we can pack now!! I'll complete my time log of the whole saga and post it on here, tomorrow probably! It will make interesting reading, I think.

The whole attitude of all at A2B changed after it was all sorted today!! They started asking me if we had sorted something else out and who with, etc! Amazing. Unbelievable! I hope nobody ever has to go through an experience like we did this last few days...it was honestly the most stressful thing I've ever gone through. For us, this was much worse than buying/selling/moving house.


12-06-2005, 05:02 PM
I'm so pleased for you. I have been reading this daily.

I hope you have a wonderfull holiday.

:sunny: :rolleyes:

12-06-2005, 05:55 PM
thank god that it is all sorted out
enjoy your holiday now

I was half waiting to hear you on watch dog this evening

12-06-2005, 07:11 PM
Super news! I feel sorry that you had to go through so much aggravation to get a result though.

12-07-2005, 05:01 AM
WEll done Mr Ed have a great holiday now, but certainly make sure trading standards etc keep on top of that horrible holiday firm!

12-07-2005, 07:11 AM
I am so pleased for you that you managed to get it all sorted out!!

Glad you can now start to put it behind you and have the wonderful Christmas holiday the whole family needs after all that stress.

Wishing you a wonderful trip!!

12-07-2005, 07:51 AM
I read this thread with utter disbelief. I am just so glad that it's all sorted. I can't imagine what I would do if the same thing happened to me. (We are going on the 14th December). I hope you have the most fantastic holiday ever!!!!

Mrs Dazzle
12-07-2005, 09:25 AM
OMG - I've just caught up with this thread :faint: :faint:

I cannot believe how this company have acted:eek: It is actually terrifying.

Thank goodness you're all sorted now, though, Ed. You will have such a great time it will all (in time) seem like a long distant memory.

That's another company on the black list.

I've furious just reading about it . . . I can imagine how you all feel :rolleyes1

12-07-2005, 10:43 AM
Like so many others I have been reading this daily, keeping up with the NIGHTMARE!!, I know it sounds horrible but I'm so pleased it hadn't happened to me, I just wouldn't have been able to cope - I think you should give yourself a pat on the back for finally getting it sorted :rolleyes: Have a wonderful time over there, and have a very MERRY christmas (i think you will need a MERRY one after all the trouble you have had sorting it out. :teeth:


Mr Ed
12-07-2005, 04:08 PM
Hello again! I have copied my entire time line log for your bedtime reading! It's a bit long winded and I apologies for the spelling and grammar (it was wriiten under great stress)! I hope by posting it other people can avoid a similar experience, but I don't know what I could have done to prevent this myself?

Holiday Booking Number 2019 – Florida for 17 nights – departing 16th December 2005.

1) Approx’ end of March. Search by Eddie Moir (EM), via teletext for holiday. Responded to advert placed by A2B Travel Agents, telephoned listed number and quoted price for flights/private villa/car hire for 17 nights in Kissimmee area of Florida. Departing from Manchester UK for Orlando international airport, via Altanta.

2) Having discussed the deal with Janette Moir (JM), EM telephoned same number for further information, ABTA and ATOL numbers, quality of accommodation, pool heat supplied, car hire details, insurance cover, etc. Agent suggests EM check out ABTA/ATOL nos.

3) EM runs internet search on ABTA number supplied etc. Satisfied dealing with a legitimate company, EM phones A2B Travel Agents and books holiday itinerary, as agreed. £600 paid via delta/switch card as deposit.

4) End of April, No receipt or any correspondence received. EM contacts A2B via same phone number to express concern. Initial conversation worries EM further until Agent questioned on trip and supplies correct itinerary information. Agent promises to send confirmation out.

5) Beginning of May (two weeks later) still no documentation! EM contacts A2B via same phone number. Assured by agent there is no problem, just a backlog in paperwork and confirmation to be sent out immediately.

6) Confirmation arrives end of this week. Letter signed by J.M.Hayward for A2B Travel Agents. Receipt attached showing same address- 3 Meadow Walk, but name is John Tipping Travel. Slight mistakes with two names on final itinerary document. These mistakes immediately communicated to A2B via phone number on document.

7) No further contact until 7th October when EM phones to pay final balance, as directed by A2B. £2198.79. Details taken (to be passed on to appropriate accounts clerk).

8) Message left on EM’s home answer phone 17th October to contact A2B ASAP

9) EM contacts A2B 18th October. Female agent very “sheepishly” informs EM that a £60 per person fuel surcharge is to be added and do we want to proceed. EM states that he is not happy about this but still wants the holiday and if he cancels he would lose booking deposit (£600) so agrees to pay increased balance. £2438.79. Agent states EM could write to complain.

10) Balance paid via credit card. Confirmation arrives within two weeks. Again receipt from John Tipping Travel. No further information supplied.

11) Monday 21st November, EM contacts A2B to enquire about ticket delivery. Assured no problem and tickets were to be dispatched shortly.

12) Monday 28th November, EM becoming concerned, contacts A2B to, again, enquire about dispatch date for tickets. Worried arrival may be delayed due to increased Christmas post.
Promised a call back from person dealing with booking. EM called again at 16:40 due to no return call. Agent (Joe) gives mobile number as alternative contact of booking agent after prolonged persistence by EM. EM phones mobile number at 16:50 talks to Majer. Majer acknowledges he has a message to contact EM and promises to call back with more information in half an hour (approx’ 17:15). No return call!! EM phones mobile number twice at 17:45 without answer. EM leaves message to return call ASAP. EM calls A2B at 17:50- not answered. Phoned mobile number at 18:30/19:30/20:00 not answered.

13) Tuesday 29th November 9:55am Majer phones EM from different number (0207 637 3575) and guarantees tickets by the end of the week!

14) Friday 2nd December 10am EM contacts A2B and requests Majer to return call ASAP. 14:20, EM calls alternative number (0207 637 3575) and asks to speak to Majer. After lengthy discussion and initial assurances from Major that all was ok, EM asks if he phoned Delta would they be able to confirm seats booked on appropriate flights in Moir party names. Majer then admitted flights not booked and that there had been a problem with an employee that ‘had left under a cloud’ Majer stated he was trying to book the flights and upon questioning was able to give details of original itinerary. However, when asked if the accommodation was booked, he mentioned he was not dealing with the hotel booking (original booking was for villa accommodation)! It was agreed between EM and Majer that Majer would keep EM informed daily of progress (good or bad). EM phoned ABTA at 14:40 for advise…requested to email details.. emailed at 15:00. Majer contacts EM mobile at 19:00 and leaves message (saved) stating flight tickets not booked but would continue attempt to book over the weekend.

15) Saturday 3rd December 10am, JM contacts A2B. Staff deny any knowledge of the booking and deny all responsibility. Staff member Anne states this is nothing to do with A2B and was booked with “a man in a back room”. Anne goes on to say only Mr Majer has the details, nothing to do with this booking is held on file. On further questioning Anne states Mr Majer is her boss and the owner of the company, which is called A2B Travel, but only he can help us. Alternate numbers called but JM unable to contact Majer. EM contacts A2B and asks to speak to Juliet Hayward (booking clerk on confirmation document) initially he is told she isn’t there. When he informs the A2B staff member J.Hayward was the booking clerk, so that they must have details on file, he is told J.Hayward has left the company! EM asks for A2B office staff to contact Majer and request return call. EM contacts all given phone numbers for A2B and Majer. EM emails concerns to ATOL/Trading Standards/BBC Watchdog. EM contacts John Tipping Travel (number on credit card receipt) and speaks to agent that informs him this is a company owned by Majer and John Tipping still appears on some receipts/paperwork. After receiving further information regarding the legal authorisation for a company to impose a surcharge and finding that A2B are not on the permitted list, EM contacts A2B to inform them of this and also express deep disappointment, disgust and frustration at the manner in which this has been dealt with and to convey the stress and upset this has/is causing the family. EM also stated he could not accept the lack of responsibility being adopted by ALL members of A2B staff. EM then asked the agent he was speaking to for her full name and that of Majer, reluctantly she gave them as Anne Foster and Majer Kang. EM told her he held her responsible for dealing this situation and that by ignoring the requests for information and basic customer service she may be implicating herself in some form of fraudulent dealing. Anne Foster at this point asked Mr Moir to hold the line and within 30 seconds came back to say Major had been in the office that morning, had picked up the messages and had just said via mobile to the office, that he would contact Mr Moir when he had got home. No call from Majer was received. EM called Majer at 17:00- no reply.

16) Sunday 4th December EM calls all given numbers for A2B none answered. EM called Majer via mobile twice unanswered, but left courteous messages to return calls and expressed extreme concerns and disappointment with the situation and poor customer care.

17) Internet search shows availability of flights with original carrier, as per itinerary. Also, availability for alternative, similar Florida holidays. JM phoned two reputable, known travel agents advertising on Teletext and get accurate quotes for alternate, similar Florida holidays. One company to return call the other had some availability at similar price for similar itinerary and quality.

18) EM contacts credit card company for advise. Relieved with positive response.

19) EM and JM upset, stressed, confused, disappointed and angry but feeling totally helpless, now urgently require a conclusion to the situation and any help and assistance anyone can give. The holiday is in part a Christmas present for EM/JM’s two children (11 and 8). Annual Pass tickets have been purchased for use on this holiday at Walt Disney World as have tickets to swim with dolphins at Discovery Cove and tickets for the Cirque du Soleil show and Busch Gardens them park as well as hotel accommodation for a two night stay at the coast. Not to mention currency exchange, clothing, toiletries, etc. All of this was purchased after and dependent upon this holiday being professionally arranged and expedited by the agent.

20) 21:10 4th Call received from Majer Kang- asked if we could alter travel plans slightly. EM states he would prefer to keep itinerary as close as possible to original plan and that due to extreme stress, upset and bad feeling caused and incredibly poor customer service reasonable compensation should be made! EM re-affirmed that flights from UK to Orlando (irrespective of connection routes), villa with private pool and heat and car with fully comp insurance is expected for the dates agreed. If this cannot be met a reasonable alternative must be offered. Mr Majer Kang agreed. Mr Kang confirmed when asked that the booking was with A2B Travel. EM stated that he had been reading ABTA code of conduct and Mr Kangs obligations as Principle/Member. Mr Kang stated case could go to court and Mr Kang would end up paying compensation and costs but would prefer an amicable resolution. The conversation ended with a promise of a call Monday 5th Dec around 12pm.

20) 09:00 5th Dec EM calls A2B to pass message to Majer Kang – Internet search shows all original flights available with Delta (original carrier)! Majer calls EM shortly after and information is repeated. Call from Teletext to discuss problem and EM asked for more details (exact date advert seen, phone no. listed on ad, etc). Email from Trading Standards, basic advice that contract not broke until 16th etc. EM prices alternative hols of similar type. EM calls A2B at 13:00, representative states he is transferring to Majer Kang, line goes dead. EM calls Majer via mobile, Majer states NO availability with Delta. EM disputes. Majer states he will not be booking flights available! Majer states EM can take him to court. EM requests honesty and reasonable, decent customer care and a true evaluation of chances of holiday being booked as per contract. Majer Kang states he has been totally honest throughout the situation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EM states lies about there being no problems during initial calls around 21/28th November. Majer Kang states he will again try to book flights tomorrow (6th Dec) Why not this afternoon?? EM requests email address- Majer supplies majerkane@hotmail.com ! EM promises to send email asking for details of accommodation and car hire A2B have booked as part of contract and details of evidence that attempts to book flights have been made. Majer promises to supply info via email. EM tries to continue with the rest of his life for remainder of the day! Further phone call from Teletext, same story more, exact details required, this later followed up with email from Teletext (cannot proceed without exact date of seeing ad)! Phone call around 15:00 from Trading Standards, advise EM not to get involved in searching for, booking flights in case there are associated problems. Trading Standards further advise to write to Majer Kang asking if he can book the holiday itinerary and if not by 16th Dec, EM will be seeking a full refund and also reimbursement for all associated purchases- WDW park tickets, discovery cove tickets, cirque du soleil tickets, Busch garden tickets, hotel accommodate (2 nights at Tampa).

21) 08:00am 6th Dec. EM sends copy of letter via email to Majer Kang. 09:00 JM calls ATOL and leaves message requesting return call. JM calls ABTA and is informed they will appoint a caseworker that will contact JM. JM calls A2B and leaves message requesting Majer Kang return call. JM contacts Majer Kang via mobile. MK promises call back when he reaches his office.
MK does keep his word and calls JM!!! MK states flights “virtually” guaranteed with different carrier! JM re-iterates the severity of the situation and that alternate package on hold. MK states he can reimburse full amount, “if that is what you want”. JM agrees that this would be best way forward at this stage but only if money can be deposited on to credit card account by 12pm. MK states he can complete but by 5:30pm!! Compromise reached of 12:30pm to enable EM/JM to book alternate holiday by end of day. EM contacts credit card company to request transaction notification. EM/JM panic and stress out for 2 hours but try to continue with their day jobs!!
13:00 Credit card company rep calls to state no transaction received! JM calls MK. MK states he will not return money as he has received email from EM stating if holiday itinerary cannot be met, full reimbursement plus cost of additional park tickets, etc will be sought (£3038.79 & £2021.35). EM talks to MK stating if money paid for flights/accommodation/car hire can be returned today, enabling booking of alternative holiday all theme park/show tickets will still be valid and further claim for this amount will not be necessary! MK requests email to this effect.
EM sends email. JM calls MK. MK instructs A2B office worker to make repayment!!! EM calls alternate travel agent and explains delay, rep offers to hold holiday for further 24 hours if necessary (now there’s some customer service). A2B state payment made. EM calls credit card company for confirmation. Rep states transaction will not show for a couple of days! Arghh! EM/JM, devastated again, pick up Georgina Moir from school! EM contacts credit card company again and speaks to billing department. Rep states, again, transaction will not show immediately. EM explains the whole sorry situation again! Rep states that if A2B will give written confirmation that money has been repaid to account, the credit card will take responsibility for resolving the situation should this not happen! Fabulous!
A2B agree to send email confirmation. EM/JM pick up Luke Moir from high school. Frantic conversations between the family, on short trip home, regarding whether holiday can be booked or not. Home- EM/JM log-on.. Huge files being received from JM’s work. JM calls A2B and requests email to be forwarded to EM email account. EM logs-on and receives email!! A2B suddenly helpful, friendly and interested!! EM contacts alternative travel agent. Extremely sympathetic rep (Kam) completes the booking with EM. Everything is done, quickly and professionally. Kam promises call back within 10mins to confirm credit card transaction. Call comes within 5 mins and holiday confirmed!!! 16:30. Joy, laughter and huge smiles replace tension and stress of last few days. Happy Days!
Georgina (8) admits to worrying about holiday going to bed on previous nights (that just isn’t fair)!

Summary of Agencies involved: -

1) A2B Travel Agency- Disgraceful. Disgraceful. Disgraceful. Total lack of responsibility and non-existent customer care throughout. Failed to notify client of problems and lied about existence of problems, among other things. Added to the stress of an already difficult situation. Delivered precisely nothing. Contravened many sections of ABTA’s code of conduct and also the sale of goods act. Imposed a fuel surcharge outside their authority :guilty: :badpc:

2) Travelwatchdog.com- Very prompt. Good advice. :)

3) Virgin Credit Card Customer Service- Excellent. Re-assuring, helpful and responsible. :)

4) ABTA- still waiting!!!! :rolleyes1

5) ATOL- still waiting!!!! :rolleyes1

6) BBC watchdog- no return contact. :rolleyes1

7) Teletext- Prompt reply and backed-up with telephone call, but they put obstacles in the way apparently to absolve themselves of any responsibility. :confused3

8) Trading standards- Prompt replies via email and telephone. Good advice and offer of further assistance if required. :)

9) Mercury Travel- Reassuringly professional and great all round customer service :banana:

No client should ever be subjected to anything approaching this abhorrent standard of customer care. It was fully avoidable with basic, good, admin procedures and a normal level of professionalism.
All ABTA bonded travel agents should, as a minimum standard, strive to uphold the code of conduct. This agency chose not to. Their actions cannot be forgiven.


Eddie Moir

disneyholic family
12-07-2005, 04:40 PM
what a horror!
i'm very happy to hear that you'll be going on holiday after all....
hopefully you'll be able to relax and forget this nightmare while you're there....

12-07-2005, 04:50 PM
Wow Eddie, I think I most admire your clear headed approach to this terrible situation, you may not feel that but it shines through.
What a pity that the so called professional watchdogs of the travel industry haven`t responded - shame on them and Teletext too.
Once again have a great time. Best wishes to you and your family.

12-07-2005, 05:53 PM
OMG thats terrible! Im glad you have it sorted now. You definately need this holiday!

12-07-2005, 06:21 PM
You really deserve your holiday now. Good that you named and shamed the guilty parties :)

12-08-2005, 04:52 AM
Just wanted to say again - Have a fab holiday :)

12-08-2005, 06:02 AM
Thank god you have it all sorted now!! Have a fab holiday, you certainly need it now!

12-08-2005, 06:21 AM
Glad its now all finally sorted, hopefully others will heed advice that ABTA/ATOL are not always the way to go, many many companies are now leaving these organisations as they are not prompt or particularly helpful with big problems like this. Unfortunately we all believe the hype that they are there in the customers interests but they are certainly not to be prefferred over good recommendations or word of mouth.

12-08-2005, 01:58 PM
Like everyone else I have checked your thread daily for news of how things were going and am thrilled that you eventually got things sorted out. Hope you and your family have a fantastic holiday. You have all earned it :)

12-08-2005, 02:52 PM
I am shocked and appalled by A2B's handling of the booking from beginning to end.

Glad you got everything sorted in the end, but you shouldn't have had to endure all that stress.

Have a magical holiday at WDW :earsboy:

12-09-2005, 04:58 AM
I have just caught up with this thread - I am glad that you got it sorted out Ed. I wish you and your family a great break - you doubly deserve it.

Just a thought, and its your call entirely, but you could bring a small claims court action upon your return for the difference you ended up paying and the amount you had paid the errant agent. Nothing you have don so far would prevent this. Assuming that you were successful in obtaining a judgment, and IMHO you would be, you could seek reimbursement directly from your credit card issuer (Virgin/MBNA) who are legally liable, and leave it to them to pursue the agent. (They would simply charge it back through the agent's bank, who would debit them directly).

Just to correct something on page 2 of the thread said by Laura, which might be of interest to everyone.
If the amount has already come out of your account for more than 30 days there is little the credit card company can do about it straight away. You can fill out a claim form and it has to go off to the financial services autority to be looked into - i used to work in a bank and i know someone who did this and it took months for her to get her money back ...BUT...

she DID get her money back in the end so fingers crossed!!

The credit card charge back window is 6 months, not 30 days HOWEVER under the Consumer Credit Act for card users in England and Wales the credit card company is as liable as the merchant for transactions over £100.00 and under £15,000.00. This liability on the part of the card issuer extends to the whole amount of the contract, not just the element paid for using the credit card. This liability is only governed by the statute of limitations, so is 7 years - not 6 months.

You get no protection if you pay for something using a Switch/Delta debit card - whereas if you use a credit card you get complete protection. If you use a charge card (e.g. Amex charge card, or NatWest Gold Mastercard) you do not legally acquire any protection HOWEVER it is my understanding that those issuers voluntarilly extend the same level of protection to their customers as if it was a credit card covered by the Consumer Credit Act. To be safe though, just use a credit card.

Mr Ed
12-09-2005, 10:11 AM

thats great information, thank you. I intended writing to the Travel Agent and copying this to ABTA/ATOL seeking compensation, as per ABTA code of conduct and asking for, at least, 50% of the difference between the original deal and the new deal I booked with the other company.

If this is refused, how do I go about raising an action in a small claims court?


12-09-2005, 10:34 AM
See http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/infoabout/claims/ on how to make a claim, and http://www.bbc.co.uk/crime/law/smallclaimscourt.shtml for background to the whole procedure.

12-09-2005, 11:10 AM
Really chuffed you got everything sorted out ~ Hope you have a fantastic holiday.

12-09-2005, 11:14 AM

Just had a thought - did you take out travel insurance - as I wonder whether you can speak to them about it - they might be able to claim on your behalf?

Glad you have got a holiday sorted though - have a lovely time!

12-09-2005, 12:16 PM
I have just read this thread oh my god what a horrible dilema to go through. I can see why it was more stressful than moving. This is your holiday you have been looking forward and to get brush offs. Well that was just terrible service. :mad:

Have a fab holiday, boy do you deserve it now. Enjoy yourselves. ;)

12-09-2005, 06:17 PM
You get no protection if you pay for something using a Switch/Delta debit card - whereas if you use a credit card you get complete protection. If you use a charge card (e.g. Amex charge card, or NatWest Gold Mastercard) you do not legally acquire any protection HOWEVER it is my understanding that those issuers voluntarilly extend the same level of protection to their customers as if it was a credit card covered by the Consumer Credit Act. To be safe though, just use a credit card.

That's what I thought, too. Thank you for clarifying that!

12-10-2005, 04:03 AM
Mr Ed -glad you are all sorted - Have a fab trip :teeth:

12-12-2005, 06:55 AM
Hi there, I agree with Obi Wan, contact the credit card people, after all it is 'their' money you are using to buy something and as a rule they can stop payment if the items in question have not been supplied.


12-12-2005, 10:08 PM
Oh my goodness, I can't believe what those awful people put you all through! It's absolutely shocking. I'm so glad you finally got everything sorted and that you enjoy every moment of your holiday - you so deserve it!

Mr Ed
12-15-2005, 05:03 AM
We are off tomorrow!!! Just trying the virgin online check-in... it's saying its not available yet, please try later! life has to run smoothly soon!

ed :banana:

12-15-2005, 05:24 AM
Have a fabulous time when you DO manage to get there :goodvibes
hope it lives up to all your expectations and you feel its been worth all the hassle you've had

Obi Wan Kenobi
12-15-2005, 05:36 AM
We are off tomorrow!!! Just trying the virgin online check-in... it's saying its not available yet, please try later! life has to run smoothly soon!

ed :banana:

which flight are you on?

12-15-2005, 06:11 AM
The 24 hours ahead check in is great - I expect your are slightly too early that is why it is not working yet! :)

Have a great time - I hope your holiday is great! :Pinkbounc

Mr Ed
12-28-2005, 07:51 PM
Greetings from Tampa! Having a great time after all the problems!!!
& yes... we were on the cancelled Manchester flight (Dec 16th) that finally departed nearly 24 hours late on the Saturday morning!! Then we had problems with the villa for about an hour or two until we were moved!!

Unbelievable!!! but everything has been fab since!!!!

PS... Virgin gave everyone on board a letter promising 50% off the next flight with them (How good is that)?


12-29-2005, 02:30 AM
I can't believe you continued to have problems after everything! At least all is well now and you are obviously having a fantastic time. I'm very jealous! And for your all your efforts, you can now come home with the firm knowledge that planning can start for the next trip, with that 50% discount. Hooray!

Have a wonderful rest of your holiday, and a Happy New Year.

12-29-2005, 05:36 AM
PS... Virgin gave everyone on board a letter promising 50% off the next flight with them (How good is that)?


We were delayed with Virgin, last year, and were given half price flights too. We're using them this coming Easter :cool1:

Just remember that it's only half price on the actual flights though and not the taxes etc - puzzled me for a while but it still worked out a little cheaper than a full price flydrive :goodvibes

Enjoy your trip :cheer2:

12-29-2005, 06:05 AM
Good time to travel Prem Econ though.

12-29-2005, 06:15 AM
Good time to travel Prem Econ though.

Think the deal we had was that you had to fly on the same flight class as the delayed flight to get your 50%.
Guess that could have changed though :sunny:

Obi Wan Kenobi
12-29-2005, 06:31 AM
did they give any reason why it was delayed 24 hours?

Mr Ed
01-01-2006, 05:16 PM
yes, we began to taxi and they noticed an electrical fault. Taxi'd back onto stand and tried to sort it out (swap relays etc) taxi'd again but fault was still present (this took approx two hours). The fault was on electrics for flight instrumentation, so it rightly had to be safety first. We were well informed throughout. I thought virgin handled it brilliantly, especially one member of ground staff that helped us to return a day late (free of charge) so we could get the lost day back!!!