Activities Abroad - ActivitiesAbroad.com / Inferior accommodation, no promised activities
I need your help to know how to address a complaint I have against a company called Activities Abroad run by a Mr Alistair McLean. I have asked for compensation for the inferior accommodation they put us in plus the fact they did not deliver on the activities they promised us and for which we paid.
Here are the details
We had a holiday with Activities Abroad from 15th July to 22nd July in Corsica - Zippedy Doo Dah was the name of the holiday.
1. I booked the holiday in April and was told and confirmed in writing by Barry Nolan that we had been booked into the Dominique Colonna Hotel in Corte, Corsica. Based on this written confirmation I went ahead and booked my flights and an additional week in Corsica at a different hotel. One day later I was told that the Dominique Colonna Hotel was fully booked and could not accommodate us. We were offered an alternative hotel - the Hotel Arena which I was assured was more expensive despite not having a swimming pool. I was clearly very disappointed but having been assured that we could use the swimming pool from the Dominique Colonna, that the Hotel Arena was excellent with one of the best restaurants (this point was pecifically mentioned) and that I would be given a small discount representing the difference in cost between the hotels, I decided to let the booking rest and agreed to go to the alternative hotel.
2. When we arrived at the Hotel Arena we were told the restaurant was closed for the season. The hotel is fairly isolated and after a day of activities with a young child the prospect of going in search of a restaurant was not practical. In addition the "short walk" to the Dominique Colonna turned out to be nearly a kilometer on a dark, narrow and winding road with busy traffic - it was not ideal. Additional issues developed during the week - the airconditioning ceased to function - they ran out of breakfast cereal - the river was anything but peaceful and private but noisy and unpleasant with non hotel residents who stopped to use the advertised bar. Had I been told there was no restaurant I would have cancelled the booking with Activities Abroad - Barry Nolan knew that a restaurant was important which is why he specifically mentioned it in his e mail - which I have kept.
3. When I met the representative on the first evening I told her how disappointed I was with the hotel and that the discount was inadequate to compensate for the difference in standard. I had the opportunity to see the Dominique Colonna which was significantly superior to the Hotel Arena. It has two swimming pools and an excellent restaurant. I do not believe that it is cheaper than the Hotel Arena. The representative said she would try to arrange a discount. She did not come back to me.
4. Some key activities promised to us - for example the Sea Yachting were not delivered. Sea Yachting was an activity we were looking forward to and cannot be compensated by a half day trek in the hills near Corte. No explanation was given for this and no compensation was given.
5. The Budget car hire organized by Activities Abroad, gave us a car without a full tank of petrol When we returned the car we filled it at the airport - completely full. Budget charged us for petrol direct from our credit card. We believe there is a racket going on with Budget. We have written to Budget and Activities Abroad and have received no response and no explanation.
6. Finally, I have written to Activities Abroad and received a rude, impersonal, legalistic and defensive response from a Mr Alistair McLean who I assume runs the company. I 'm happy to send you this correspondence if you need it.
I would like to know what rights I have, if any, to get some compensation from Mr McLean. In the absence of compensation, I would very much like to ensure that others avoid this company in the future.
Many thanks for your help,
Jane Reay Jones