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Published on Monday, December 31, 2018

TUI singled out in Channel 4 programme over discount claims

TUI has defended itself against criticism in a Channel 4 programme, Supershoppers, which aired on Friday.

The programme criticised TUI for advertising holiday discounts on its website which researchers failed to find evidence of.

Supershoppers looked at 10 holiday discount claims on its website but found in seven cases the price was actually cheaper in the printed brochure.

It brought in a team of mathematicians to try to match the discounts with the original non-discounted price, but they failed to work out what the discounts applied to.

The programme featured trading standards consultant Peter Stonely, who agreed that holiday pricing was complex and confusing for consumers.

The advice to customers was to compare prices among different retailers rather than be taken in by promised savings.

TUI dismissed the programme's claims, saying the research was a 'very small sample of 10 out of the many millions of holidays on sale in a handful of the more than 600 stores'.

"Our prices in the brochure state they are 'from' that price and they are correct at the time of going to print, however, our prices can go up or down," it said.

"We do also specify that there may be additional supplements. Pricing is a complex area and there are many variables which have to be taken in to account including peak dates of travel, regional airport differences and which channel our customers book through."

It said customers can book online, over the phone or in store, where it has recently began charging a £30 fee to 'reflect the face-to-face expert advice and fully assisted personal service given by our staff'.

"At all times we offer exceptional value for money and wherever possible, we offer discounts to TUI and First Choice customers throughout the year, even in peak periods, as an incentive to book," the spokesman said.

"We encourage our customers, particularly those that need to travel during the school holidays, to book early."

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