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Skiing Europe/Chris Reynard - Children's ski holiday left in ruins.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
ccl, Frosty the Snowman, Done & Done Sorry Guys! Smile
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

btw - I may have missed it earlier on this thread, but the BBC Radio report (You and Yours programme, 8th April 2011) about SE failing to deliver can be found here (its the first 18+minutes of the programme):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b0100j8y

Thanks to snowjoe for this link. It really is worth spending 20 minutes listening. Now I definitely wouldn't go near SE/CR with a shitty stick.

My unanswered question still stands (albeit edited) Is there a coordinated system in place nationally to disseminate messages/warnings to all educational establishments? It seems that SE has survived (still survives?) on a lack of such communication.
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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?
There doesnt seem to be any one organisation that the many victims of this scam can contact. From what I understand the following organisations have been contacted by many of the victims.

Local Education Departments (whom you would think would have some way of passing this information countrywide -
does anyone know if this has been done?).

Local MPs (Surely they have some sort of power)

Local Trading Standards

The Police

Local Press (why hasnt this been picked up by the National press?)

BBC Radio 4 together with various local BBC radio and tv stations (why hasnt this been put on the national news).

It may be that the usual course of action in these cases is for investigations to be carried out prior to the can of worms being opened for all to see. Unfortunately, there will always be victims and those victims will have to watch others fall into the same trap until such time as those with power bring it to the nations attention.

I watched BBC Watchdog tonight to see a company who have given poor service to approximately 6 people(!!) given the 3rd degree by Anne Robinson. The Skiing Europe rip off is so vast it would surely be one of the biggest scams they could cover. Why has this not happened yet. It is a situation which is developing daily and needs to be stopped.

I sent an email to Simon Calder, the travel reporter at the Independant, a month ago and have not even received an acknowledgement.

What more can we do????
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Watchdog - Rogue Traders ... "Hunting and Confronting..."

Perhaps we can all send our individual accounts to their link (since we all seem cautious of sharing details here '...for legal reasons' and for fear of being accused of being defamatory) and see if they pick it up as a result.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/gotastory/

There is a holiday category which would fit fine. If 20 people write a couple of paras, that should get attention.

(btw. on the topic of all the Schools being notified.. I suspect that even if there is a mechanism to do this [even a mailshot] then they won't do it until there is a legal judgement they can quote. Just communicating the [true] stories of a few schools might be seen as a scare campaign for a going concern. Seems crazy here, and I am not a lawyer but think SE could claim such a thing).
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
snowbunnie333 wrote
Quote:

Local Education Departments (whom you would think would have some way of passing this information countrywide -
does anyone know if this has been done?).

Perhaps one solution would be for the NAHT (school leaders body) to use their national network to relay such information. I am assuming that no trips go ahead without the knowledge of school/college heads. This would of course rely on a no blame culture - educational establishments being open enough to report to the NAHT that they have been 'done' or 'let down' by a supplier. I suppose a graded incident reporting system, of which there are many about.

Just a thought Smile
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snowjoe wrote:
@ccl @frosty
Come on! Seriously. That's just pedantic.


I am just trying to protect the coach driver and the company. Obviously they were put into a very difficult situation by SE and did their best to make good a bad situation. In doing so they compromised themselves and it is best if their personal details are removed from the public domain. A disgruntled customer or competitor could find that interesting/useful.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
ccl,
Quote:

Just as a matter of ethics, however, no number of things that are wrong but go by uncorrected make them or another instance of the same right.

You are absolutely correct and right to ask, no question is a stupid question.
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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!
[quote=
http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/gotastory/

[/quote]

Note that this online form didn't work for me and I had to retrieve the BRIEF description I wrote and email it to Watchdog instead at their stated email address: mailto:watchdog@bbc.co.uk

done.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
The point being : SAVE your description before attempting to use the online form (or you will LOSE the description) and better still, email it.
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so, three months later, any parents get their money back ?
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snowjoe, I have already emailed them to point them in this direction, hopefully others who were actually affected will do the same
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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.
Hi

Our Scout Troop are due to go skiing with Skiing Europe next year during Feb Half Term 2012 and I would be interested in sharing details with other groups/schools. So we can share information and help each other diring these uncertain times

FYI - We have currently paid £12k deposit so far, for 29 Scouts to go to Sauze d'Oulx by Coach

Please email me on 26bristolscouts@gmail.com with your contact details so we can discuss our circumstances more privately

Cheers
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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
nigel26 wrote:
Hi

Our Scout Troop are due to go skiing with Skiing Europe next year during Feb Half Term 2012 and I would be interested in sharing details with other groups/schools. So we can share information and help each other diring these uncertain times

FYI - We have currently paid £12k deposit so far, for 29 Scouts to go to Sauze d'Oulx by Coach

Please email me on 26bristolscouts@gmail.com with your contact details so we can discuss our circumstances more privately

Cheers


I would get some very comprehensive insurance, and pretty soon. And have a backup plan.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Monium, You can't insure something after the event.

£12k is a helluva deposit this far out - that's over £400 each!
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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:

We have currently paid £12k deposit so far, for 29 Scouts to go to Sauze d'Oulx by Coach

nigel26, dont want to be too nosey but how much is the total holiday cost per person ? There are snowheads who could than let you know if that is achievable and what you should expect for that amount.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
nigel26, In the circumstances I think you should be looking for a lawyer amongst the parents of your Scouts as well as lay advice from here.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Bode Swiller, well currently Skiing Europe have not gone bust (though god alone knows how) so I guess it can still be insured against, though premiums might be very high, personally I'd give serious consideration to seeing if I could recover the deposit and use another company
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?
nigel26, Dont the association recommend http://www.kisc.ch/programme/winter/ski-week/ Have done this with a few groups in previous years and it really was very good AND the kids loved it. You have to arrange your own transport to and from the centre. Pity the CH franc rate is pants.
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D G Orf, The individuals might have travel insurance in place already that covers cancellation, but that covers the individual if they themselves have to cancel for a valid reason like illness. What they would need individually is supplier failure cover and I doubt they have that. They might be able to source some kind of policy that retrospectively covers those deposits in the event SE/CR goes officially bust/bankrupt but I'd argue there are material facts known about now so it'll be problematic either taking out a policy or making a claim. I think their only hope is that there is some kind of bonding in place but I think we know from all of the above that that's unlikely. Certainly, if I were them, I wouldn't be parting with any more money but that might put them in breach of contract (depending on what they signed) - rock and a hard place. I feel very sorry for them as I have a horrible feeling they'll become creditors.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Bode Swiller, I'm inclined to agree, what I meant above was that SE have yet to go bust officially and therefore like most things this could be insured against, however like yourself I suspect that any insurer would look at teh rcord and place a very high premium on such insurance, possibly at a level where taking out such insurance was not a financially sound idea Sad
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what are the schools doing ? why hasn't SE had a winding up order lodged against them to close them out? surely there must be some debt or return of deposits somewhere that has not been paid up Puzzled
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

why hasn't SE had a winding up order lodged against them to close them out?

He seems to be trading as a sole trader (ie as an individual) and no longer as a ltd company - Skiing Europe Ltd is dormant. I think schools would need to go for him personally.
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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!
Bode Swiller wrote:
Quote:

why hasn't SE had a winding up order lodged against them to close them out?

He seems to be trading as a sole trader (ie as an individual) and no longer as a ltd company - Skiing Europe Ltd is dormant. I think schools would need to go for him personally.
Just beggars belief rolling eyes rolling eyes
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If they are a TO, which has to be ATOL bonded or similar, there are fairly strict regulations about what happens if they go bust.

I wonder what their current status is - and what the consequences might be if they weren't bonded appropriately, I'm sure there's a law about that.
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Monium, The law you are referring to is The Package Travel Regulations 2006

Here's some useful Q&A: http://www.bis.gov.uk/files/file35634.pdf - interestingly, the regs can apply to people organising not-for-profit club trips etc.

ATOL only applies to packages including air transportation and it looks like SE use coaches.

There are various bonding routes they could go down and the CAA has a useful run down of them: http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1080&pagetype=76

SE should be offering protection but I can't see any mention of it on the SE website. So dodgy.
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Might be worth someone making an anonymous phone call to the relevant authorities if someone is in breach of these interesting Package Travel Regulations. It would probably require someone with much more knowledge of these regulations than me (clearly) to establish if SE were in breach.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Monium, if you've an hour or two spare skip back a few dozen pages and settle in for a good read, I think they've already explored that one at length wink
ski holidays
 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
Nigel26, when did you pay the deposit? There is a date sometime in the middle of February 2011 when Skiing Europe resigned from Aito. If you paid prior to that date your deposit will be covered by the bond should Chris Reynard be declared bankrupt. You will need to check with IGI Insurance to make sure you are covered. Good luck and so sorry that you have joined the growing number of Reynards victims.

I know it is possibly too late to shut the gate as the horse has bolted but one thing that we should all learn from this experience is that it is so easy to Google a company/individual and if there is anything suspicious or otherwise we can be informed before we part with our money. Sad Sad Sad
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
nigel26, as Skiing Europe is no longer under any bonding protection then I think you and your groups parents need to decide whether they want to go ahead with this trip. I'm amazed at the size of deposit paid, so far in advance. Maybe you should contact Devon Trading Standards, who are investigating this matter for some further help? Sad
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I've sent the details to Watchdog again. Please if any of you have five minutes can you do it too. I copied and pasted the list of schools to make life easier. I have also emailed Devon Trading Standards.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
nigel26
Sorry, but I've got a bad feeling about this...
I imagine the scouts have a law firm on retention; I'd make them aware and copy all correspondence to them.
I doubt you'll get your trip - literally hundreds of children have been disappointed in the last three months.
This thread contains most of the links you'll ever need - but I doubt any schools will contact you - you may need to contact them.
Sadly you're now involved in a complex mess.
Good luck to you & the scouts.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
daveyladboy wrote:
nigel26
Sorry, but I've got a bad feeling about this...
....
Sadly you're now involved in a complex mess.
Good luck to you & the scouts.


I think that sums it up.
btw - the SE cancellation terms on the website (need to be checked on your actual booking form) say:

CANCELLATIONS
(for complete statement see reverse of Booking Form).
Cancellations should be received in writing and charges will be levied on the following scale:

Period before departure date-------- % of total cost (after payment of deposits) to be forfeited
6wks----------------------------------- 30%
4wks----------------------------------- 40%
2wks----------------------------------- 60%

Seems to imply that the forfeit would be the DEPOSIT + 30% of the cost of the holiday!!!! That's very steep, especially if your £12k is deemed to be 'deposit'. Further up that page it says only £75/person is initially needed as deposit, but it looks like you paid more (why?? - were you offered a discount?).
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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?
Shimmy Alcott wrote:
nigel26, as Skiing Europe is no longer under any bonding protection (


is that a fact ?
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rayscoops wrote:
Shimmy Alcott wrote:
nigel26, as Skiing Europe is no longer under any bonding protection (


is that a fact ?


no. Though as they have removed their previous bonding agent from their website and not replaced it with anything else I'm guessing I'm right. Chris Reynard is also aware of this thread so he is welcome to correct me if he so wishes.
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I think that the likes of Trading Standards, etc are coming out of this looking only marginally better than Reynard. While they pontificate more and more families are being ripped off!
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Where's the pontificating? I don't suppose we can expect Trading Standards to be keeping us up to date on an online forum can we? I am assuming, I hope not naively, that at some point something public will happen as a result of investigations/actions that we can't be privy to.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Well this thread is 3 months old highlighting trips that were cancelled at half term. More and more have been cancelled since and he's still operating and taking bookings. Doesn't strike me that the public are being protected at all.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Perhaps the law doesn't allow them to act more quickly, if that's the case the law is an ass Toofy Grin
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Colin B wrote:
.... the law is an ass Toofy Grin


True enough. Unanimous. Those that can afford to play the law game make it work for them, I guess SE can afford it? I don't particularly want to bury SE, just see recompense for those that have been swindled. However, we are not hearing anything here that shows recompense is happening at all, in ANY of the cases (SE just keep the deposits), so what is the option.
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snowjoe, I dont necessarily want to bury Skiing Europe either, not for any feeling for Chris Reynard, but to protect those that have given him money.

I'm hoping there is a lot of action going on behind the scenes re. Trading Standards but, as with any dealings with the Public Sector, I'm not holding my breath. That is why I think this thread and the "Curse you Chris Reynard and Skiing Europe" facebook site deserves all our attention...so that those that Google Chris Reynard and Skiing Europe can see what his business history is like
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