A few years ago, me and Katherine went on holiday with a low cost company that managed to pretty much ruin our holiday.
They are called Low Cost Holidays. I think a more apt name is Low Quality Holidays, with terrible customer service thrown in…
A bad start
Our apartment had:
- Regular power cuts, ones that defrosted our fridge and freezer ruining the food.
- An ant infestation – think whole loaves of bread filled with ants.
- Single beds (double advertised)
- Tv in room that cost €1 an hour to watch (during the world cup!)
- Unreliable hot water
- An incredibly salty pool (hurt-to-open-your-eyes salty)
- Ridiculous amounts of noise, all night
I contacted the company after our third night with no sleep, after my wife started crying because of how little fun she was having. The representative I spoke to was friendly and understanding: “Go find some other accommodation, keep the receipt, and we will fully refund you on your return”.
That got worse
Our next week of holiday, in a self catering flat next to the beach, was great. My experience with Low Cost Holidays, on returning back to England, was less good.
They flat out denied my request for compensation. Repeatedly.
They denied that their customer service representative had spoken to me, or authorised me to stay in alternative accomodation. Even when I provided them with itemised phone records showing the exact time, date and duration of my 35 minute call to their number, on my mobile from the Canary Islands, they denied that the offer had taken place. They were uninterested in the photos documenting the poor quality of the hotel, nor my hotel stamped initial complaint letter.
Over the course of a year, I wrote 6 letters, and spent around 10 hours of my time on the matter. Eventually, after threatening to take them to the small claims court, they finally agreed to pay the £300 they owed my for the accommodation- but refused the £300+ that I was claiming for my time and expenses (such as filing small claims, lost time doing freelance work).
I decided that it was no longer worth my time fighting any more, and laid the matter to rest until…
A ridiculous request
In September, I received an email threatening legal action from the formerly mentioned untrustworthy holiday company. In the email they said:
Links from your site have been identified to us as malicious or spam content and we request the immediate removal of any links directed to lowcostholidays.com
We request immediate action or our legal team will seek removal. Please notify us with an email once action has been taken.
I explained that the link was probably in a post complaining about the terrible service I received. I asked they simply pay the money I was still owed, and links would be removed.
Making things worse
A month later they went to my excellent, high quality hosting company, and tried to get the links removed. In this email they lied and said “we haven’t managed to find the correct contact details for the site owner“, and asked them to remove the links.
In going over my head, and lying about previously contacting me, they clearly broke the law, as well as proved themselves to be the scumbag, disreputable company they had already proven themselves to be.
And then even worse…
They then offered my hosting company money to remove the links without my permission! Pretty sure that’s totally illegal, and definitely immoral regardless. They offered £25 per link. At this point, I was a bit angry. I think you can understand why.
However. I am currently volunteering in Africa, and I could do with the money, so here is my response:
Dear Low Cost,
In the above post, you can clearly see that your behaviour has been, at best, shady, and at worst, actually illegal. You still owe me around £350 for my time spent chasing your company after you broke your word.
That said, My family and I are currently volunteering in South Africa to help some of the poorest people in the world with healthcare. I don’t officially have a job yet, so I could do with a little extra income.
You offered my hosting company £25 per link. There are currently 14 links = £350. You already owe me £350 anyway, in case that wasn’t clear. Pay me that which you owe me, and I’ll remove all the links to your company, and, beyond an acknowledgement of your gracious behaviour, never publicly comment on the matter again.
How does that sound? Pay up, and I may even consider going on holiday with you again…
Dr Chris Lowry