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Need to vent about a Tour Operator.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So, where do I start. I'll be as objective as possible and not name the company in question.

I appreciate that not everything goes as planned on a ski holiday and the tour operator/person on the ground must adapt to changing circumstances in order to provide a professional service and ensure the clients receive a suitable level of care and attention.

My situation is as follows. On the day prior to our transfer out of Folgarida, we were advised that the the TO decided to pull forward the departure more than 4 hours, which given transfer times, would mean hanging around Verona airport for 8 hours with young kids. In other words, hell on earth would probably be a more nicer place to spend time.

The member of resort staff, who also happens to be the company director thus suitably empowered to make decisions on behalf of the business, suggested we dump our stuff at the airport, then head into Verona for the day. Given that the children aren't quite at the age to appreciate culture/history etc, this was not ideal but the best that could be had given the circumstances. We accepted this suggestion.

Then roll on around 10pm on the evening before departure; we were informed that there was in fact no available bag drop at the airport, nor was there any possibility of a later transfer as the TO had not made suitable alternative arrangements. The only Plan B I could come up with at now 11pm was to book a hotel room at the airport (70 Eur) and use this as the base for the day. Without prompting, the TO offered to pay 50 Eur compensation (in line with ATOL etc etc) and the company director offered to pay the additional 20 Eur out of his own pocket as a sign of good will. Fair enough, problem solved.

Roll on this week, we decide to book again with the same TO, surely they wouldn't make the same mistake twice and they did try to resolve the transfer situation. More importantly, the resort was nice, the kids had a blast at ski school etc so all in all a successful holiday at a reasonable price. I speak to the company director, he is happy to help, checks availability of rooms at the chosen hotel, so deposit placed.

Yesterday I receive a less than factual email from the company president (not listed as a company director, so possibly president by title only) politely telling us to get stuffed and not to darken their door again, suggesting that we took advantage of the resort staff's (read company director) generosity. So, in other words, they screw up transfers, can't put a fix in place meaning I'm left to resolve the matter at 11pm at night. My complaint was polite, factual and clear that I expected the TO to do more than leave us high and dry. Somehow this has me branded as some form of undesirable and to add salt to the wounds the TO are demanding I repay the money they gave me as compensation and as good will.

Fortunately the issue was something relatively small and readily fixable. Given their attitude, I hate to think how this TO would rise to the challenge when there is a real problem which requires some coordinated action and consideration of the clients needs. Advice, stay well clear...............


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sun 26-02-17 17:38; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

I'll be as objective as possible and not name the company in question.


Quote:

Advice, stay well clear...............


Erm...... how are people supposed to 'stay well clear' if they don't know who it is?
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 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?
Yeah, would be nice to know who to avoid!
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@Allysnow01, does the first name of this director/president begin with W?
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@maggi, my first thought...
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Why did the TO bring the transfer time forwards? That's happened to me occasionally, sometimes weather related, other times for no obvious reason but I suspect to get the departure times of multiple flights to line up with a single transfer coach. Unfortunate perhaps, but not that uncommon. When it has happened to me I've never had the TO offer to pay for a hotel room to use for the day - that seems above and beyond what is normally provided.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Independent travel every time for me I'm afraid. I posted seperately about being left with 2 bored kids in a Subway restaurant for 9 hours. I've never had a problem when I've booked myself.
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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!
I think you did well to get some money. Transfers are always dodgy, with a coach company try I g to keep lots of people happy.
My bus was four hours late leaving the airport last year. They waited for a delayed flight. I thought that was pretty good of them and ensured all holiday makers got to resort. Others were swearing at the coach company, demanding refunds etc. I thought this was all a bit selfish and unnecessary.
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holidayloverxx wrote:
@maggi, my first thought...


Mine too.
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@holidayloverxx, @Hells Bells, and ends in ....? Laughing
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@Allysnow01, did this happen this year? Then if so i'm assuming that you were looking to rebook for next half term?
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
cameronphillips2000 wrote:
I think you did well to get some money. Transfers are always dodgy, with a coach company try I g to keep lots of people happy.
My bus was four hours late leaving the airport last year. They waited for a delayed flight. I thought that was pretty good of them and ensured all holiday makers got to resort. Others were swearing at the coach company, demanding refunds etc. I thought this was all a bit selfish and unnecessary.


Swearing at them might be unnecessary but I can understand people being annoyed if they've been given a transfer time and it changes at the last minute for no obvious reason. They might have bought a lift pass for the Sat morning, for example, based on a pickup time of 1400 then the TO decides to move the transfer forward to 1000 meaning they've wasted their money.

Can't be arsed with TOs in general. Much less stressful to organise things yourself.
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Hells Bells wrote:
holidayloverxx wrote:
@maggi, my first thought...


Mine too.


If it is, then I've always sucked up the long transfers from Venice and mixing and matching of flights because the overall deal is fantastic for a half term holiday. Having said that 8 hours in the airport is a long time.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
It is a very very long time with children.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Allysnow01, and welcome to snowHeads. I am a little bit uneasy about someone whose first post is to complain about a TO, especially if you don't name them. If I wasn't happy with the arrangement the first time, I wouldn't be thinking about booking again.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Allysnow01, would I be right in saying you've just joined snowheads to complain about a tour operator?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Big tour operators offer limited choice these days. Small independents offer niche resorts but they are at the mercy of other companies, flight times and
The weather. I sometimes feel we are a little too demanding. These people work on small margins and don't make a lot. Many go under.
For them to survive we need to be a bit understanding when things don't always work out.
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 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?
My other half regularly posts/follows this forum, but yes, this is my first post, no need to feel uneasy.

Taking some advice, in future DIY may well be the way forward, and avoid tour operators that offer such an unprofessional level of service.
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rob@rar wrote:
Why did the TO bring the transfer time forwards? That's happened to me occasionally, sometimes weather related, other times for no obvious reason but I suspect to get the departure times of multiple flights to line up with a single transfer coach. Unfortunate perhaps, but not that uncommon.
My impression of the OP was that the poster was, 'appropriately' irked by this but did their best to mitigate discomfort for the family caused by something out of their control and was subsequently satisfied with how the operator helped in this regard.
Quote:
When it has happened to me I've never had the TO offer to pay for a hotel room to use for the day - that seems above and beyond what is normally provided.
The offer by the TO to cover the cost of the hotel room was indeed more than we might have come to expect from the typical operator and yet, from a human/customer-care focused perspective, seems entirely proportionate and as such I'm not that surprised that the OP was happy enough with that solution to be prepared to forgive the original issue and and be happy to book again.
Now, that operator should (IMHO) feel proud of the fact that they resolved the issue to such a wholly satisfactory degree that they won repeat business despite the initial problem. To throw that away seems rather silly and to demand the return of a 'goodwill' payment, especially such a small sum, when is frankly nuts as it's clearly going to generate 5 times as much bad-will as there was in the first place!

I knew an operator not a million miles from there who stood in the hotel lobby, loudly declaring in conversation that 20% of clients aren't likely to come back whatever you do, so why bother trying to keep them happy? Just focus on finding 20% new clients for next year. Since every client in the hotel was his, you could see many of the people within earshot wondering whether they were in the 80 or the 20% Confused


Hells Bells wrote:
@Allysnow01, and welcome to snowHeads. I am a little bit uneasy about someone whose first post is to complain about a TO, especially if you don't name them.
I don't understand this Hells. Why especially if they don't name them? Surely the issue is when someone signs up fresh just to try to damage somebody's reputation - and even then, if the complaint seems warranted, justified, that doesn't seem unreasonable to me. The community here is pretty good at pushing back to redress the balance when people go too far, get a bit petty or vindictive and if there's a valid issue to answer for, the subject of the complaint be they a Tour-op, ski-school, whatever, is perfectly welcome and at liberty to resond here.
Quote:
If I wasn't happy with the arrangement the first time, I wouldn't be thinking about booking again.
As I said above, my impression was that, having been looked after and compensated in a small but meaningful way, they were happy overall with how they were treated.
Am I reading a different post to you?


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Sun 26-02-17 20:07; edited 1 time in total
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cameronphillips2000 wrote:
Big tour operators offer limited choice these days. Small independents offer niche resorts but they are at the mercy of other companies, flight times and
The weather. I sometimes feel we are a little too demanding. These people work on small margins and don't make a lot. Many go under.
For them to survive we need to be a bit understanding when things don't always work out.


Here's the thing - whether they survive or not is not really my concern. I want the least stressful holiday option and being messed about by TOs is way more stressful than doing it yourself imo. Also, they offer less skiing. Sat - Sat rather then the Sat - Sun option we can do ourselves.
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@admin, my comment about naming was simply because the OP was recommending that we avoid the TO. Difficult to do if we don't know who they are. Over and beyond to cover the cost of the hotel I agree, but still unacceptable for families at half-term. I guess i probably wouldn't have complained loudly enough to get the cost of the hotel room reimbursed, but would then have voted with my feet and not booked again.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Especially was probably the wrong word to use. It's been a busy weekend.
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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!
Indeed - I think the OP may be suffering a little confusion over whether their 'angle' is a mere 'vent of frustration' to a (hopefully) sympathetic snowEar about a nameless operator or a 'well-meaning recommendation' not to use someone who seems, well, perhaps a little unpredictable Confused

On the one hand, it would be nice to know who this touro operator is so they have the opportunity to step in and tell their side of the story. On the other hand, the OP would leave themselves open to accusations of 'just signing up to slag someone off'.
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Years ago I worked for a very large paint company. We had some internal marketing stats that our normal repeat business rate was x, people who had a problem, complained and had it dealt with were at 1.5x. Amazingly, those where we just listened to the complaint sympathetically but did nothing were still 1.2x! (I may have the precise details of the ratios a bit wrong, it was 25 years ago)

We debated whether it was more profitable to make mistakes than it was to do everything perfectly... maybe this tour operator is trying such a tactic but implemented it poorly Cool

Without knowing the TO, it is still possible to implement the OPs suggestion of avoiding this operator by avoiding all operators and intermediaries...
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It's impossible to determine what the purpose/angle of this is. 'I'll be as objective as possible and not name the company in question' makes the advice to 'stay well clear...............' completely meaningless. Accepting the OP as true I completely understand their frustration but I've no idea how anybody is supposed to act on their advice.
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@swiftoid, well, if you are thinking of booking a holiday to Folgarida with a small TO based there, then you could always PM the OP to see if it's the same one (a quick Google indicates there aren't many of them). If not, the specifics aren't all that relevant.

@Allysnow01, sounds like you had a lucky escape for next year! I can see why you are annoyed. What a petty way to behave.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Gämsbock, I hadn't noticed them say it was a small TO. Either way, it's daft to recommend avoiding someone if you don't say who it is. Agree it was a petty way for them, however big or small, to behave.
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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
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
You'd never chose to have an 8 hour wait (with kids) for a transfer, so somewhere to dump stuff for the day seems reasonable. I've always DIY'd so any mess ups are my own and I accept that plus the flack. Interesting to read about problems with TO as I would have thought you are paying a premium for hassle free, but apparently not.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Allysnow01 wrote:
and to add salt to the wounds the TO are demanding I repay the money they gave me as compensation and as good will.


Oh yes... 'demanding' how? "or what"? if you know what I mean?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:


On the one hand, it would be nice to know who this touro operator is

O a typo whato.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
swiftoid wrote:
cameronphillips2000 wrote:
Big tour operators offer limited choice these days. Small independents offer niche resorts but they are at the mercy of other companies, flight times and
The weather. I sometimes feel we are a little too demanding. These people work on small margins and don't make a lot. Many go under.
For them to survive we need to be a bit understanding when things don't always work out.


Here's the thing - whether they survive or not is not really my concern. I want the least stressful holiday option and being messed about by TOs is way more stressful than doing it yourself imo. Also, they offer less skiing. Sat - Sat rather then the Sat - Sun option we can do ourselves.


ah ewesbouldcareifthey survive. Running a business is tough and the. Ore that go under, the !eww choice we will have. People love to publically rant a d complain but are far less willing to share praise.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
cameronphillips2000 wrote:
ah ewesbouldcareifthey survive. Running a business is tough and the. Ore that go under, the !eww choice we will have. People love to publically rant a d complain but are far less willing to share praise.


Step away from the keyboard and put your hands behind your back
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 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?
@red 27, LOL
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cameronphillips2000 wrote:
swiftoid wrote:
cameronphillips2000 wrote:
Big tour operators offer limited choice these days. Small independents offer niche resorts but they are at the mercy of other companies, flight times and
The weather. I sometimes feel we are a little too demanding. These people work on small margins and don't make a lot. Many go under.
For them to survive we need to be a bit understanding when things don't always work out.


Here's the thing - whether they survive or not is not really my concern. I want the least stressful holiday option and being messed about by TOs is way more stressful than doing it yourself imo. Also, they offer less skiing. Sat - Sat rather then the Sat - Sun option we can do ourselves.


ah ewesbouldcareifthey survive. Running a business is tough and the. Ore that go under, the !eww choice we will have. People love to publically rant a d complain but are far less willing to share praise.


In English please?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
There appears to be left luggage at Verona station . Bit of a faff getting from airport to station and back especially if you have skis but at least a possibility
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@admin, seems like the president and the director of this TO went to the same charm school.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I get what everyone is saying, but as a narrative it does rather feel that a chunk of story is missing. Can we have more details?
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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!
@admin, toureo surely??
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now now lets not hasty about who the toureo operatero is Toofy Grin
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