Published on Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Thomas Cook is investigating claims from a family-of-four who said they were placed in a 'derelict hotel surrounded by rubbish'.
A company spokesman said it was aware of the claims from the Byford family which appeared in the Daily Mail yesterday but initial investigations had shown that most of the pictures used were not taken by the family and were lifted from TripAdvisor.
He said: "We're discussing with the news agency the validity of the pictures at this stage."
Michelle and Ian Byford from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, said they spent £4,000 taking their three children and brother on a dream trip to the Soviva Resort in Tunisia's Port El Kantaoui.
But the family claim their four star resort was surrounded by rubble, broken toilets and cracked furniture.
The family said they were forced to beg tour operator Thomas Cook to transfer them to a different hotel after claiming to have seen human excrement in the hotel's pool and were charged for doing so.
On their return, they claim they were only offered £35 compensation.
The article showed a number of damning pictures from broken toilets to rubble.
A spokesperson for Thomas Cook said, "Our team worked hard to help Mr and Mrs Byford's party in their holiday resort as they experienced problems on their holiday.
"We know how important holidays are and we're sorry it didn't match their expectation. A full investigation is now underway to ensure standards at the hotel are improved."
A spokesman confirmed that the Soviva Resort was closed for winter and a refurbishment is taking place.
He added: "We do monitor the level of complaints and customer service issues and obviously here there were some concerns."
The family have now agreed to a £288 refund of the costs they incurred in resort and an offer of £500 compensation.
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