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Mark Warner bumping up ski holiday cost after booking

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This day in 2013 pound v euro was 1.18 and a couple of times in 2013 it hit 1.14. (December 2008 it even went below 1.04) MW sell summer holidays too and I don't recall them hitting their customers with surcharges then. But there was less uncertainty and holiday sales healthier so I think some are being naive if they buy the Brexit excuse.

Plus I find it inconceivable that a fairly large tour operator, that deals in currencies all the time, would not have hedged in some way.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Fully agree. Interestingly I booked my holiday on October 17th when the Euro was at 1.11 however when MW invoiced me for the surcharge on 9th December it had improved to 1.19. I have raised this point with Gordon Spence, Mark Warner's 'Head Of Customer Services', who advised "I understand your frustration but we won’t be providing specific information in relation to the costing of your holiday."

Sounds to me like MW are penalising existing business due to suffering from poor winter sales and / or trying to recover from a bad summer season.
ski holidays
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:
"I understand your frustration but we won’t be providing specific information in relation to the costing of your holiday."

Smoking gun wafted in your face.
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As others have said:

1. MW shooting themselves in the foot
2. I think this behaviour is appalling and nothing but a money grab
3. Unfortunately it's not unexpected and I'd consider the reason others haven't followed is more to do with them seeing more damage (lower profits) if they did do it (if they could guarantee every ski company invoked the surcharge I don't think many of them would miss the opportunity)

If either or both:

1. A rebate for the reverse (never/rarely happens)
2. Free to cancel without penalty (seems you can't under 10% i.e. can be ensured)

You could then argue that it is justified in some way.

In many cases a DIY trip will be cheaper than a TO unless you get a very good deal so at least there are alternatives to using companies like MW.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Wed 14-12-16 12:10; edited 1 time in total
ski holidays
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@Millom, I think MW may be more interested in immediate survival than poor publicity.

@jonathan22, MW use ATOL protection. IIRC they may be obliged to give a breakdown of the reasons for the surcharge. You may wish to take a look at the ATOL site and the conditions it imposes on TOs.
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@archilles,

If this is about survival then it does nothing to help but maybe there are some other advantages to shareholders/directors in going down this route.
ski holidays
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Do their accounts declare how much cash they made from selling the Dahu in Courchevel 1850?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
As our holiday price was calculated, with a discount, in November when the exchange rate was 7.5% worse than now, I have written to say that if anything they owe us money! You can't give a £300+ discount and then say 5 weeks later " oops we shouldn't have done that ". You offer discounts according to current conditions!
Even worse, the holiday for the same week still comes up at the same price on-line!
They must have had a real mess up with new pricing and admin staff who don't understand their models.
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magicrichard wrote:
Do their accounts declare how much cash they made from selling the Dahu in Courchevel 1850?


Did they sell? Usually these changes come at the end of leases.
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Scrumpy wrote:
As our holiday price was calculated, with a discount, in November when the exchange rate was 7.5% worse than now, I have written to say that if anything they owe us money! You can't give a £300+ discount and then say 5 weeks later " oops we shouldn't have done that ". You offer discounts according to current conditions!
Even worse, the holiday for the same week still comes up at the same price on-line!
They must have had a real mess up with new pricing and admin staff who don't understand their models.


Agree, I booked mid October and the exchange rate was 7.3% worse than now. Mark Warner won't accept this reasoning though, will not divulge any further info and will not share their 'formula' for calculating the surcharge which, I believe, they are required to do legally
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:
Mark Warner won't accept this reasoning though, will not divulge any further info and will not share their 'formula' for calculating the surcharge which, I believe, they are required to do legally


I think so too.

The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.

Quote:
Price revision

11.—(1) Any term in a contract to the effect that the prices laid down in the contract may be revised shall be void and of no effect unless the contract provides for the possibility of upward or downward revision and satisfies the conditions laid down in paragraph (2) below.

(2) The conditions mentioned in paragraph (1) are that—

(a)the contract states precisely how the revised price is to be calculated;
(b)the contract provides that price revisions are to be made solely to allow for variations in:—
(i)transportation costs, including the cost of fuel,
(ii)dues, taxes or fees chargeable for services such as landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports and airports, or
(iii)the exchange rates applied to the particular package; and
(3) Notwithstanding any terms of a contract,

(i)no price increase may be made in a specified period which may not be less than 30 days before the departure date stipulated; and
(ii)as against an individual consumer liable under the contract, no price increase may be made in respect of variations which would produce an increase of less than 2%, or such greater percentage as the contract may specify, (“non-eligible variations”) and that the non-eligible variations shall be left out of account in the calculation.


Maybe worth pointing this out to MW - and advise them that you will be approaching Trading Standards should there be no satisfactory outcome?
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Too much ranting by some of those on here upset by being "ripped off" by MW due to their failure to hedge successfully against the exchange rate and predict the Brexit result. If you're all so insightful why aren't you on your luxury yacht or in your Davos chalet?
Not enough interest in supporting a relatively small beleaguered UK specialist ski company working to very small margins in competition with the big Corporates. I for one would like MW to still be here next season.
I know which group I would rather ski with.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
On the rocks wrote:
Too much ranting by some of those on here upset by being "ripped off" by MW due to their failure to hedge successfully against the exchange rate and predict the Brexit result. If you're all so insightful why aren't you on your luxury yacht or in your Davos chalet?
Not enough interest in supporting a relatively small beleaguered UK specialist ski company working to very small margins in competition with the big Corporates. I for one would like MW to still be here next season.
I know which group I would rather ski with.


No ! I am upset because we booked 6 weeks ago, with a discount which they offered. They should have reduced the discount then if they needed more cash. The exchange rate has improved considerably since then.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I've been hit by this, i only got the news a couple of days which is just about 4 weeks before my trip. I know other TO have similar clauses in their T&C's but this is my first booking with Mark Warner and it does leave with with a negative sentiment even before i even start my trip.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Bad week in the MW PR dept.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Got my invoice through telling me to pay up the extra £50pp by the end of the year. The original letter said £30-£50 but for me it's the full £50.

Thanks Mark Warner, Merry f*cking Christmas.
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
HoneyBunny wrote:
Got my invoice through telling me to pay up the extra £50pp by the end of the year. The original letter said £30-£50 but for me it's the full £50.

Thanks Mark Warner, Merry f*cking Christmas.


What did the terms and conditions say regarding the time you have to pay the FINE ( Sorry.... invoice).

Perhaps time to call the Martin Lewis show. Happy

He could help with the legislation side and the show will also let others know that the MW price of their holiday may go up so people thinking of going with MW in the future can budget for it. If you get my positive drift Happy

My advice to anyone thinking of booking would be to use a credit card....... just in case.
ski holidays
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
GlasgowCyclops wrote:
HoneyBunny wrote:
Got my invoice through telling me to pay up the extra £50pp by the end of the year. The original letter said £30-£50 but for me it's the full £50.

Thanks Mark Warner, Merry f*cking Christmas.


What did the terms and conditions say regarding the time you have to pay the FINE ( Sorry.... invoice).

Perhaps time to call the Martin Lewis show. Happy

He could help with the legislation side and the show will also let others know that the MW price of their holiday may go up so people thinking of going with MW in the future can budget for it. If you get my positive drift Happy

My advice to anyone thinking of booking would be to use a credit card....... just in case.


There weren't any, they just resent the invoice with this added:

Balance due by (30 December 2016) £50.00


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sun 18-12-16 15:15; edited 1 time in total
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It's surprising to me that whatever complex calculation went into change in cost of unhedged Euros less 2% came out at £50 for seemingly everyone, regardless of their holiday price.

I'd be more inclined to believe they were working it out properly if people had less round increases.

Someone on Martin Lewis's website has also noticed the "the contract states precisely how the revised price is to be calculated" clause in the package travel regulations. A small sample of rules from other TOs I looked at don't seem to have any precision in that area, either, though.
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[quote="CornishBoarder"]
Quote:




Single parent taking two children, so £150 for me. Which is about a 3% rise on the cost of the family holiday. Overall it wouldn't change my decision if I went with MW versus another TO. I don't begrudge it either, still offers great value compared to esprit.

I want them to stay in business.



Really? I always found Esprit cheaper so have never gone with MW.

Have to agree with those who feel that complaining about MW exercising a contractual right is a bit off. If you don't like TO T & C go DIY. And take on all of the Forex risk yourself.
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Although how MW can sell holidays post Brexit and then demand a surcharge when exchange rate go in their favour is way beyond me.
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Ghost Dog wrote:
Although how MW can sell holidays post Brexit and then demand a surcharge when exchange rate go in their favour is way beyond me.


I suspect we are looking at this the wrong way. Rather than being a calculation of how the rate has changed between the moment a specific client books and another unspecified point in time I imagine that the TO's look at it in a much broader way and the surcharge relates to how total foreign exchange costs have altered compared to the figure upon whcih they based their business model. That may all sound sufficiently vage to be rather unfair but the alternative of calculating exactly when each person paid their deposit, exactly when they paid the balance, exactly when each foreign exchange component is paid and the rates at each moment are so complicated as to be impossible. bear in mind that many of the costs won't actually be paid until after the punters have travelled. So, I reckon it's more a question of "We made our best guess about exchange rates, hedged much of the non-Sterling costs but we still reckon the dhortfall is going to be £x million. So, we are simply asking for a contribution from each person. I also suspect the £50 mentioned is probably less than the currency hit minus 2%.

Although I have a fair amount of sympathy for MW it will get rather messy if they are now selling holidays in the knowledge that they will levy a surcharge as soon as the ink is dry.
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
You may well be right. But in the absence of an explanation of the calculation in the T&Cs the law still appears to say that any surcharge is null & void. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the no-win-no-fee legal firms are considering whether there are enough people affected to mount a challenge ...
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@ecureuil, I doubt it very much. Surcharges for fuel or exchange rate fluctuations are very far from being new or rare. Few people are going to get very excited about them.
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Just an update on Mark Warner's financial situation... seems it's all come right now, after everyone has stumped up their £50 - the outfit is now offering 5% discount on any new bookings using the code 'mumsnet' Laughing
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The same price and discount as we got in November was still showing on their website a couple of days ago ! Ts & Cs suggest you would now be told price will be different as part of booking regime...........
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
Ghost Dog wrote:
Although how MW can sell holidays post Brexit and then demand a surcharge when exchange rate go in their favour is way beyond me.


I suspect we are looking at this the wrong way. Rather than being a calculation of how the rate has changed between the moment a specific client books and another unspecified point in time I imagine that the TO's look at it in a much broader way and the surcharge relates to how total foreign exchange costs have altered compared to the figure upon whcih they based their business model. That may all sound sufficiently vage to be rather unfair but the alternative of calculating exactly when each person paid their deposit, exactly when they paid the balance, exactly when each foreign exchange component is paid and the rates at each moment are so complicated as to be impossible. bear in mind that many of the costs won't actually be paid until after the punters have travelled. So, I reckon it's more a question of "We made our best guess about exchange rates, hedged much of the non-Sterling costs but we still reckon the dhortfall is going to be £x million. So, we are simply asking for a contribution from each person. I also suspect the £50 mentioned is probably less than the currency hit minus 2%.

Although I have a fair amount of sympathy for MW it will get rather messy if they are now selling holidays in the knowledge that they will levy a surcharge as soon as the ink is dry.

Whilst I understand what you're saying, having read the relevant parts of the MW booking conditions and the package travel regulations, I think customers could make a strong argument that MW shouldn't be applying the surcharge if they booked after Brexit with a discount. The MW booking conditions say that they can apply a surcharge if various factors "which have been used to calculate the cost of your holiday" change. Surely they must have calculated the cost of the holiday when they applied the discount?
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Just a thought; although I and many others are not happy about the situation, I hope that people will not " take it out" on the reps and resort staff who have nothing to do with this management decision at head office. They are only the workers - just as we are only the punters ! 💩🤑
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I think they have treated customers as cash cows to be milked. I imagine quite a few people would not be upset in seeing them go under after this.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@foxtrotzulu,

All of what you said may be true, but a quick look at their web-site shows them advertising late deals, so as an outsider it is difficult to conclude that this is anything other than extortion aimed at funding the discount of unsold beds.

They may well survive the season, but if the damage to their reputation extends beyond Snowheads then their longer term survival will be less certain
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@mozwold,
Quote:

it is difficult to conclude that this is anything other than extortion aimed at funding the discount of unsold beds.

or the managing directors' bonuses
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@mozwold, You really can't look at the surcharges as 'funding' someone else's discount. They are completely separate issues. It's not as if late bookers are getting some sort of present, all that is happening is that MW are reducing prices to try and match supply and demand.
ski holidays
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Unfortunately, the currency in which most of us are paid is now - after the referendum - worth considerably less in real terms. Some travel companies will have "hedged" against currency fluctuations for this year, but I guess Mark Warner may not have done so. I guess we shall have to expect much more of this next season - when the effect of this year's currency hedging has passed. - I suspect this is only a foretaste of what is to come when we actually leave the EU. Sad
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ivorf wrote:
Unfortunately, the currency in which most of us are paid is now - after the referendum - worth considerably less in real terms. Some travel companies will have "hedged" against currency fluctuations for this year, but I guess Mark Warner may not have done so. I guess we shall have to expect much more of this next season - when the effect of this year's currency hedging has passed. - I suspect this is only a foretaste of what is to come when we actually leave the EU. Sad


Doubt it. TOs should be taking into account altered exchange rates already apparent when planning next year's prices. Mind you, if the Greek and/or Italian economies go down the pan, who knows what may happen.
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There's probably a good newspaper article in the Ts&Cs of ski (or any) package tour operators: while it's true these surcharges for exchange rate changes aren't new in the travel industry, the relevant law quoted in the thread reads as if we should expect transparency and symmetry -- there's no transparency here of how this cost was calculated and symmetry would mean we should see package tour rebates for exchange rate variations in about equal measure -- and one of those would be new to me. Without rebates it's a bit heads-we-win-tails-we-lose-2%-and-you-lose-the-rest when a TO doesn't choose to pay for (and perhaps pass on the cost of) enough hedging, and without transparency up front, how can the punters know when they should have had a rebate but didn't get sent it?
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Next season will be a lot more expensive.
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Perhaps you should start a thread on that NehNeh
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@Scarpa, Laughing

Of course maybe not so expensive if you have access to an Austrian cellar.... wink
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I am not referring to Brexit/Euro/Pound

Properties & Businesses throughout the Alps will raise their prices for 2017/18 to make up for the disastrous shortfall income over the Holiday period..

I've already heard busineeses laying off parttime staff & skibums...
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Just spotted this page on Esprits website:

http://www.espritski.com/press/esprit-ski-surcharge-guarantee/


An extract from it is:


We will definitely not be surcharging as we guarantee no surcharges.
Guests can confirm their bookings with our ski brands, safe in the knowledge that we will NOT recontact them to spend more on a confirmed booking.
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