Thomas Cook has been forced to pay more than £12,000 to a client who was given incorrect information about cabin sizes on a Baltic cruise, even though the retailer had given him the option to cancel free of charge when the error was spotted on the same day the booking was made.
Customer Barry McKay chose instead to continue with the original cruise but paid an additional £12,247 to upgrade one of the two cabins on the inaugural cruise of Cunard's Queen Elizabeth in 2010.
Slough County Court ordered Cook to repay McKay the £12,247 plus interest after ruling that a "collateral contract" had been made between Thomas Cook and the customer as a result of an initial conversation between McKay and one of its cruise sales reps.
Thomas Cook does not intend to appeal, but it said that as the judgment was made in a County Court it was not binding on other courts.
A spokesman said: "With over 6 million passengers booking their holiday through Thomas Cook each year, on rare occasions genuine mistakes can happen.
"As in this case, we do everything we can to rectify them but Mr McKay decided to pay the additional cost to upgrade one of the cabins he booked, continue with his holiday and obtain recourse through the County Court.
" Whilst we are disappointed by the outcome it was made clear that this decision was reached on the particular facts of this case and that there would not necessarily be the same outcome in other cases where an agent has made an error."
By Linsey McNeill
Friday, January 4, 2013