Thomson knew hotel was a building site

Hotel Be Live Tenerife was closed for two months September and October 2016, it re-opened as a building site. As the conversation with hotel reception shows, not only were Thomson told, they also knew the hotel was closed.

As the hotel reception clearly states, they knew.

If they knew, why was Thomson sending clients to a building site, why did the Thomson rep lie when asked and say Thomson did not know?

Sound quality is poor, a transcript of the conversation:

Receptionist — Hola
Client — Hola, how are you
Receptionist — alright, how are you?
Client — yea alright cheers, um, i just wanted to talk to you about the noise, the situation with the…
Receptionist — still the same
Client — i know, i know that, can we get a statement from the hotel?
Receptionist — a statement? thomson already gave it to you
Client — mr moss already spoke with them, not given us any kind of decision what to offer us
Receptionist — yea she (thomson rep) saw all the things
client — well obviously,
Receptionist — she (thomson rep) has everything all the papers
client — so they’re (thomson) admitting liability are they
receptionist — yeah
client — that’s good
receptionist — she (thomson rep) will be here later
client — the lady’s (thomson rep) claiming you didn’t tell them see, the actual hoiday rep
receptionist — yeah, they know, we were closed 2 months
client — i didn’t know if you could give us a written statement i could show them
receptionist — she have them
client — she has the written statement from you?
receptionist — yeah
client — oh excellent
receptionist — so just talk to her

As You and Yours, BBC news and ABC Canarias have reported, tui (holding company of Thomson and First Choice) has been fined 48 times times in the last two years for breach of ABTA Code of Conduct. This includes dumping clients on building sites.

  • 2 March 2016 Fined £5,000 failing to inform customers of significant building works prior to departure
  • 6 October 2015 Fined £4,000 failing to inform customers of significant building works prior to departure
  • 14 July 2015 Fined £2,000 failing to inform customers of significant buildings works prior to departure

As clients of Thomson Holidays learnt to their cost when they were dumped by Thomson on the Be Live Tenerife building site, Thomson continue to dump clients on building sites, continue to flout the ABTA Code of Conduct.

Thomson knew the hotel was a building site, and yet they knowingly sent clients to a building site, in clear breach of ABTA Code of Conduct.

When clients inquired what was going on, why was the hotel closed, if building work, when finished, what happens if not finished, Thomson simply lied, we do not know, there is no building work, must be confused with another hotel.

As the video shows, Thomson did know.

Thomson rep had to face angry clients everyday, demanding to know why dumped on a building site, compensation and relocation. And still Thomson sent clients to the building site.

ABTA Code of Conduct obliges its members to inform clients of any building work, to offer alternative accommodation.

There can be absolutely no excuse for Thomson sending clients to a building site.

ABTA Code of Conduct

Rule 2I, 3I — imposes an obligation upon the tour operator where building works are taking place that could have a serious impact upon the ‘Travel Arrangements’. Where there is a problem, they must ‘ensure’ that they notify their clients — in such circumstances they must offer a transfer to alternative accommodation at the same price or to provide them with their rights under Regulation 12 or 13 of The Package Travel Regulations, where the building works amount to a significant change;
Rule6A -requires that its members will maintain a high standard of service.
Rule 5A & 5B — imposes an obligation upon the tour operator to provide an acknowledgement to a letter of complaint with 14 days of receipt of the correspondence. A detailed reply, or a letter explaining the reason for the delay in responding, shall be sent not later than 28 days from the date of receipt of the correspondence.

As long as ABTA hit them with trivial fines, they will continue to breach the ABTA Code of Conduct.

  • 2 March 2016 Fined £5,000 failing to inform customers of significant building works prior to departure
  • 6 October 2015 Fined £4,000 failing to inform customers of significant building works prior to departure
  • 14 July 2015 Fined £2,000 failing to inform customers of significant buildings works prior to departure

The fines to date, are little more than a couple of families going on holiday.

Until ABTA hit tui with punitive fines, order full refund plus costs plus damages for loss of enjoyment, Thomson will continue to dump clients on building sites, continue to blatantly flout the Code, as they get off Scot free.

What value ABTA membership if they fail to protect clients?

ABTA should be putting tui on notice, their ABTA membership will be terminated.

Meanwhile, the Thomson clients dumped on the Be Live Tenerife building site are still waiting for compensation from Thomson.

And the client asking the question in the video, never did get a written statement from either hotel or Thomson re the state of the hotel.

The video raises questions in Tenerife. If Thomson were given a statement showing the hotel was a building site, what was the statement given to the local Town Hall? To re-open, to obtain a licence to re-open, the hotel would have had to provide a statement to the Town Hall that all work was complete, that statement would have had to be checked by the Town Hall that all work was complete. Was a false statement provided to the Town Hall? Did the Town Hall fail to exercise due diligence prior to issuing a licence? Or maybe the hotel re-opened without a licence?

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