I have just been watching the BBC consumer program Your Money, Their Tricks and I couldn’t help but notice the bad reports on Travel Republic.
Travel Republic are an online holiday booking company who me and Raven had unsatisfactory dealings with just 2 weeks ago.
We decided that a weekend by the seaside would be the ideal place to be to enjoy this wonderful heat wave we are presently experiencing and so we visited their site to see what hotels were available. The Legacy Kingscliff Hotel at Holland on Sea near Clacton Essex looked great. I had spent a holiday there back in my childhood days with my parents and it was a nice place. The bonus was that it was immediately opposite the sandy beach so we booked a double room for Saturday 6th July. £84 including a full English breakfast in the morning. The confirmation email arrived and was duly printed out. Spot on and so I packed the bucket and spade along with my trunks and off we went the next morning.
We left home early so we could enjoy a full day. After my usual stop at Maccy D’s on the way for a sausage and egg McGuffin we soon reached Walton on the Naze. The day was hot and the sea was beautiful. Great so far and at about 2pm we thought we’d drive to the hotel, book in, strip off and get on the beach to enjoy the chilled picnic Raven had made and a bottle of cold wine.
We managed to park right outside the hotel and trundled our cases into reception impatient to get booked in and on to the beach…..
The hotel staff were great. They searched their bookings and searched their computer. They couldn’t find our booking. They asked when I booked. I told them I’d booked the day before.
“Impossible, said the manager, we have been booked solid for 2 weeks now.”
And so that was that. They had no spare rooms and after calling Travel Republic the best we were offered was another hotel 16 miles away and nowhere near a beach.
And so sadly we accepted a refund and returned home. A totally wasted day and 120 mile round trip. I did get my £84 refunded but I am also claiming compensation. Going by tonight’s program I think it unlikely I will get any but I live in hope. But one thing is certain. I will not be using Travel Republic again anytime soon. If you do book with this company please call your hotel to confirm they have a booking for you before traveling.
As a postscript to this story we would not have been able to visit the beach at Holland On Sea anyway. It was chained off as apparently it had washed away in recent storms leaving dangerous iron work or something exposed. The beach was no more and will not return until the right weather washes some more sand in … The full story is here. Unbelievable.
Last week I received an apology letter from Travel Republic and a cheque for £30. Also a £20 voucher to use next time I book. Personally I would think a lost weekend was worth more but I suppose as I didn’t expect any satisfaction I am mildly pleased. Thanks Travel Republic.
© 2013 Stan M Rogers. All rights reserved.