Holiday from Hell

Voucher Sites, Group Deals – Is it worth it?

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 | Events, General Interest | 6 Comments

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For those who have read my blog before I am all for sticking up for the little guy when they appear to be getting a raw deal or have been ripped off and our experience with Why Pay Full Price Australia definitely falls into that category.

Now Why Pay Full Price Australia (WPFP) explain what they are all about on their “about us” page on their site for those of you who don’t know…

“WhyPayFullPrice.com.au is a group buying website that offers consumers massive daily savings of 50-90% on products and services such as travel, restaurants, beauty, entertainment and more. Every day, we email one fantastic deal in each city to hundreds of thousands of our subscribers. Our goal is to provide consumers with massive savings on exciting offers.”

The Deal

Just $889 today, normally $3,245- save 73%
You’ll get 7 nights and 8 days for 2 adults (and 2 children, if you wish) in your very own 5 star villa!
Each stunning villa contains one bedroom complete with king-sized bed, living room, kitchen, and a large air-conditioned ensuite bathroom
Enjoy all the resort facilities including a restaurant, beach club, resort centre pool and fitness centre
Just minutes walk to Bali’s most famous beach
On arrival, you’ll receive a cool aromatherapy towel and welcome drink, as well as a 15 minute massage and a fruit basket guaranteed to revive you after your journey from Australia
Includes 2 way airport transfers, daily choices of breakfast served in your villa or the restaurant, complimentary daily afternoon tea from 3-5pm, daily turndown service.
Free shuttle service within Seminyak area
Relax with your partner and enjoy a 2 hour spa together & one romantic candle lit dinner for 2 adults
An energised yet non-obtrusive team delivers the finest Balinese hospitality on offer
Honeymooners will receive additional romantic benefits including a complimentary flower bath and bedroom flower arrangement set up upon, plus a complimentary honeymoon cake upon arrival
Complimentary daily newspaper, bottled mineral water, coffee & tea in your villa and fresh fruit and flowers on arrival
Unlimited complimentary use of wireless internet connection and entry to the resort gym

Discover pure romantic paradise at The Elysian Bali! Just $889 for a 7 night LUXURY escape in a 5-star villa INCLUDING your very own private pool to soak up the sunshine, breakfast daily, fresh fruit and flowers, full resort facilities including free wireless internet & gym, luxurious 2 hour couples spa package, candle lit dinner for 2 adults AND airport transfers – worth $3245. This offer is for 2 adults and 2 children!

Just $889 today, normally $3,245- save 73%
You’ll get 7 nights and 8 days for 2 adults (and 2 children, if you wish) in your very own 5 star villa!
Each stunning villa contains one bedroom complete with king-sized bed, living room, kitchen, and a large air-conditioned ensuite bathroom
Enjoy all the resort facilities including a restaurant, beach club, resort centre pool and fitness centre
Just minutes walk to Bali’s most famous beach
On arrival, you’ll receive a cool aromatherapy towel and welcome drink, as well as a 15 minute massage and a fruit basket guaranteed to revive you after your journey from Australia
Includes 2 way airport transfers, daily choices of breakfast served in your villa or the restaurant, complimentary daily afternoon tea from 3-5pm, daily turndown service.
Free shuttle service within Seminyak area
Relax with your partner and enjoy a 2 hour spa together & one romantic candle lit dinner for 2 adults
An energised yet non-obtrusive team delivers the finest Balinese hospitality on offer
Honeymooners will receive additional romantic benefits including a complimentary flower bath and bedroom flower arrangement set up upon, plus a complimentary honeymoon cake upon arrival
Complimentary daily newspaper, bottled mineral water, coffee & tea in your villa and fresh fruit and flowers on arrival
Unlimited complimentary use of wireless internet connection and entry to the resort gym

The Deal on WhyPayFullPrice’s website

The T’s & C’s

Valid for 12 months
Bookings essential and subject to availability
Booking must be made by 31 March, 2012
Travel validity till 15th November , 2012
Additional nights can be purchased at SGD 379 net per night with breakfast
Children under the age of 12 will stay complimentary when sharing a room with their guardian in existing bedding
Children above the age of 13 stay in extra bed with additional charge at SGD 49 net per child per night including breakfast
Baby cot and extra bed is subjected to availability upon reservation confirmed
To check availability, call Villas International Property at +65 6294 8060 OR +65 62960089 between Monday-Friday 10am-7pm, or on Saturdays between 10am-3pm (GMT +8)
To book, email apac@villasindonesia.com and include your travel dates, full name, mobile number and other contact details, and ensure that you attach your WhyPayFullPrice coupon (bookings will not be processed without the coupon)
Do not contact the resort directly to book, as they will not take in direct bookings
A minimum 7 nights consecutive stay is required during peak season period (20 December 2011 – 5 January 2012)
Villa rates are inclusive of all government taxes and service charges
Extension night at SGD 389 nett per night
Check in time is at 14:00 check out time is at 12:00
Rates are inclusive of any taxes and service charges
Rates do not include airfare
3rd person will be charged at SGD 65 Nett per night with breakfast ( using one of the 2 sofa beds within the room
Children age 0 -11 stay complimentary on existing sofa beds and receive complimentary breakfast; Children aged above 12 years old are charged at SGD 65 Nett per night using sofa bed (sofa bed size is 90 cm X 180 cm). this includes breakfast
High Season Surcharge (1 – 31 August 2011 with a minimum of 3 nights stay): SGD 180 Nett per night
Peak Season Surcharge (20 December 2011 – 10 January 2012 with a minimum of 5 nights stay): SGD 199 Nett per night
Rooming Policies; Bedding Configuration: 1 King Size Bed + 2 Sofa Beds. Maximum Capacity 3 adults + 2 children:
Check In & Check Out; Check In time is 14:00 hours & Check Out time is 12:00 hours; Early occupancy of rooms before the indicated time above is on request basis subject to availability
Multiple coupons are not allowed for extension nights
Coupons will be emailed to you from 8 Dec 2011 after 11 p.m.
Alternatively, you can login to your WPFP account and download your coupon directly from 8 Dec 2011 after 11 p.m.

What Happened

Sounds great yeh? Well my husband and I seen a great deal for a 5 star villa (The Elysian) holiday in Bali back in November 2011.

We booked up and paid our $889 to WPFP on 18th Nov – got email confirmation all was booked and now all we needed to do was book flights and call WPFP’s partner company Villas Indonesia to make our booking.

Again once we booked our holiday (for our birthdays in March) with Villas Indonesia they confirmed all the details in an email and we got on with booking our flights.

The day before we flew (9th March) we received an email from Villas Indonesia saying the driver would collect us from the airport.

We arrived in Bali on the Saturday (10th March) and waited for the driver. And waited….and waited….and waited. When it was apparent that the driver was not going to show we used the phone at the information desk (who would only allow us to call Bali) and rang The Elysian direct. The manager told us our booking had been cancelled by Villas Indonesia 3 weeks prior and the money was never passed onto the hotel.

Obviously devastated that not only our dream villa was cancelled but that we had potentially lost $900 (plus flights plus everything else) we tried to figure out what to do.

We had to re-book accommodation at another hotel (no where near as nice but still half of our spending money needed to be used to pay for it!) and work out what to do from there.

We were 3 hours into our holiday and still at the airport!

Once at the hotel we got onto wi-fi (mobiles would not work in Bali) and emailed WPFP. We got no response so I relied our experience in a post on their Facebook page. They later deleted this post (obviously not wanting anyone to know the horror of what had happened to us and possibly the other people who bought this deal) and told us to email them direct.

Which we did – their response was from “Rebecca” on 13th March who said

“Hi Andy,

I am very sorry to hear this but of course we will organise this for you and we will make sure the amount in full is back in your credit card account within the next 6 business days.

Kind regards,
Bec”

We responded and asked what exactly they knew about it to which “Rebecca” responded with

“Hi Andrew,

Unfortunately we found out about this on Friday the 09/03/2012 when the Elysian Resort emailed us to say everyone’s bookings had been cancelled. “

So as you can imagine the fact they knew about this before we even left Sydney and failed to inform us has stuck in our throats somewhat. Three hours wasted at the airport could have been avoided, alternative accommodation could have been researched and booked accordingly or even the flights moved or refunded!

Since then we have received no further correspondence from WPFP and they ignoring our emails. We have had no refund and any Facebook post is deleted within minutes.

We are now struggling to know what to do next.

Has anyone else had problems with voucher websites – especially WPFP and in Australia – if so get in touch. Comment and let me know.

I will as ever keep you guys posted on any developments from WPFP in regards to our refund!

My advice – stay away from voucher sites especially WPFP.

This post reflects our experience with WPFP.

Tags: bali, holiday deals, Holiday from Hell, Holidays, voucher websites, why pay full price, whypayfullprice, whypayfullprice bali, wpfp

Thomas Cook Vegas Holiday Hell Update

Friday, February 20th, 2009 | Holidays | 3 Comments

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Hi – hope everyone is well and looking forward to the weekend, just a quick update on the Thomas Cook saga – those who have read my previous blog entry will know of the debacle we suffered at the hands of Thomas Cook on our holiday to Vegas last December. Anyway, we and a few of our fellow passengers have had a template response from good old Thomas Crook…sorry Cook! saying that the snow was not their fault (well done Sherlock Holmes! or should I say Michael Fish) and therefore they are not liable.

We are not disputing that the snow was their fault, however the events that proceeded the freak weather were a complete and utter shambles at the hands of this company. Customer service…what customer service???

Thomas Cook knew of the weather conditions in Vegas before we even arrived at the airport to check in at 6am, they came up with a lame ass excuse that it was due to a flight from Mexico being delayed that caused our delay…then the story changed to an engineering problem with the plane. If there was a problem with the plane was it wise to re-fuel it while we were on it?! Good old Thomas Crook gave everyone a letter saying there would be a 4hour 45min delay (very convenient as anything over 5 hours and we’d be allowed to claim the flight price back) however this delay exceeded 5 hours by the time we were put on the plane and it was fuelled up (by the way does anyone know if this is legal – to refuel with passengers on the plane?)

Anyhow the fight for justice…and our money back continues as Thomas Cook’s idea of customer service was to try and land in Vegas (knowing some 15hrs previously this would not be possible) then diverting us to Ontario California where we were held hostage on the tar mac for a further 4hr 30 mins until we were allowed to get off the plane….minus our luggage. We then had a nice 3 and a half hour wait in an airport lounge with no food or water while another airline (American Airlines) helped us get hotel rooms.

But of course NONE of this was Thomas Cook’s fault as all their staff were no where to be seen, so while we froze and starved and waited to find out what the hell was happening the Thomas Cook staff disappeared and we were left completely stranded with another airline picking up after Thomas Cook’s mess! ALL of this was avoidable with a bit of forward thinking! and certainly could have been handled better – we have now wrote to the EU regarding this complaint and compensation as us and 400 other passengers apparently aren’t entitled to even so much as an apology from Thomas Cook – just a letter saying “it was not our fault”! disgusting!
Needless to say we will NEVER be flying or booking a holiday with this pitiful excuse for a travel company again. I will keep you posted on any developments. :) Rant over! Have a good weekend people.

Tags: Complaint, Holiday from Hell, Las Vegas, Ontario Airport, Snow in Vegas, Thomas Cook

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