Our family holiday was RUINED by filthy hotel – it looked nothing like the photos but no one will refund us our £2,800 | The Sun

THE Sun's Squeeze Team wins back money for readers who have had a refund or billing issue with a company and are struggling to get it resolved.

This week, our consumer champion helped a family get back £2,783 after the hotel they booked turned out to be run-down, dirty and nothing like the photos advertised online.

Q.I booked a family holiday to Georgioupolis in Crete for a week through Love Holidays for £2,783.

The hotel I chose claimed it was being refurbished and showed photographs of what it would look like when it was completed.

But when we arrived it was run down, dirty and nothing like the pictures advertised online.

I filed a complaint when I got home, but was told I should have done it earlier and refused a refund.



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Can you help me get some compensation for our ruined holiday?

Martin Wood, Waltham Abbey, Essex

A. You had planned the perfect summer getaway to Crete in July and couldn’t wait to spend some quality time with your family.

The photographs of your hotel on travel agent Love Holidays’ website depicted a stunning newly-refurbished resort with gleaming white tiles and deep blue pools.

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But to your horror, you arrived to a dilapidated and dirty building which looked nothing like the pictures online.

You didn’t want to waste the trip trying to sort it out as you wished to enjoy the time away with your wife and two teenage daughters.

Instead, you took photos of the accommodation and filed a complaint as soon as you got home.

But despite providing evidence that the hotel was not as described online, Love Holidays said you should have reported any issues while you were still abroad.

After weeks of back and forth, you received a measly five per cent refund on your £2,783 trip without any explanation as to where this figure came from.

When I spoke with Love Holidays, it explained that this amount is in line with its standard compensation policy.

However, it agreed to review your complaint again and after conducting a thorough investigation into the hotel, it has now offered to refund your entire holiday including your flights.

It has also removed the accommodation from its website to avoid this happening to other holiday-goers in future.

A spokesperson for Love Holidays said: “We are very sorry to hear of Mr Wood’s recent experience at the hotel and have carefully investigated the issues raised.

“We’ve reimbursed him with a full refund, including the cost of flights and accommodation, and have removed the hotel from sale.”

Our Squeeze Team has now won back a total of £155,697 for readers.

What should I do if my hotel isn't as described?

If you book a package holiday and any element is not what was advertised when you pay for it, you may be entitled to compensation.

Package Travel Regulations state everything in the package must be as described and the tour operator is liable if anything goes wrong.

To be classed as a package holiday, your contract must include at least two of the following: transport, accommodation and other tourist services.

While you don't want to spend your holiday on the phone to a complaints department, it's best to report any issues as soon as possible to avoid any problems down the line.

You may need to prove that the way the holiday was marketed was misleading, so when you book a trip it's a good idea to take screenshots of how it was described at the time.

When you arrive, take photographs or videos of anything that doesn't meet your expectations in case you're asked to provide evidence.

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If you find any other guests with similar complaints, it may be a good idea to swap details to help support each other's claims.

If the travel agent refuses to co-operate or doesn't respond, take your claim to an alternative dispute resolution service such as Resolver. They will liaise with the firm on your behalf.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

You can also join our new Sun Money Facebook group to share stories and tips and engage with the consumer team and other group members.

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