Published on Friday, July 19, 2019

Thomas Cook hits back after being labelled worst package holiday provider

Thomas Cook has dismissed a report out today which puts it bottom of a consumer survey of package holiday providers.

The survey, by consumer rights group Which?, asked more than 8,000 consumers to rate 11 leading package holiday providers on a range of criteria, including value for money, accommodation, organisation and quality of reps in their resorts.

It also asked holidaymakers to rate companies based on whether the holiday description matched the reality. Only companies with more than 30 responses were included in the results.

Thomas Cook was deemed the worst package holiday company, with TUI and First Choice faring only slightly better.

Thomas Cook got an overall score of 69% and was given three-star ratings, out of five, for accommodation, customer service and value for money and a poor two stars for its reps.

One in four Thomas Cook customers said they had encountered a problem on holiday with the most common issues relating to the reps, travel delays and poor customer service.

Travellers also complained the Thomas Cook reps were often unhelpful, or simply non-existent.

One customer said: "We never saw a rep the whole time we were there...all there was, was a number on a noticeboard,"

Another said Cook's customer services operation on the ground 'seemed to be in disarray' as reps failed to show up at the airport or hotel to assist travellers.

But a Thomas Cook spokeswoman said the survey was misleading as it was a sample of less than 300 of its customers and did not represent the millions of loyal customers it takes on holiday each year.

"We take the views of our customers very seriously. Our own customer satisfaction scores - which incorporate the feedback of tens of thousands of customers - are significantly higher than those reported by Which? and this year satisfaction is up in all areas, including our rep service and quality of hotels," she added.

Meanwhile, TUI and sister company First Choice performed slightly better, receiving three and four-star ratings across the board and a satisfactory customer score of 74% and 75% respectively.

But they still finished at the bottom of the table, just above Thomas Cook. 

A TUI spokesman said: "We are disappointed in the resuts as our customers are at the heart of everything we do. We recognise the importance of great customer service and must do even more in the future."

Top of the table was Trailfinders, which had an overall score of 91% and was the only company to get five-star ratings for any category, achieved for both customer service and holiday organisation.

The survey noted that the average price of a Trailfinders package is more than three times that of Thomas Cook, TUI and First Choice.

However, second in the table was Jet2 Holidays, with a similar average package price to the three lowest performers but scoring a much higher of 87% overall and four-star ratings across all categories.

One holidaymaker said: "Jet2 is well-managed and consistently excellent on all fronts. Take note Thomas Cook, Tui and others."

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2 and Jet2holidays, said: "Quality is at the heart of everything we do, as we know how hard people work and save for their holidays. To receive this recognition from Which? is therefore something we are extremely proud of, as it is based on the experiences of paying customers - and it shows that our investment in delivering a VIP customer experience is working."

Which? Travel's Naomi Leach, said: "Whether it's disappointing accommodation, incompetent reps or a holiday that doesn't live up to the glossy brochure, choosing the wrong package holiday company could leave you wishing you'd stayed at home.

"Our hard-earned holidays are too precious to be ruined by second-rate accommodation or shoddy customer service. If your package is not as described, don't be afraid to make a complaint."

Click here to see the full results.


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  • Thumbs up Thomas Cook

    I recently returned from my very own First Holiday with Thomas Cook to Skiathos.I booked with some trepidation , but the holiday price was just such a bargain price! I have to say it was one of the smoothest and best holidays I have had. The flight service and aircraft was excellent , the transfers were good, the hotel was superb and the rep-whilst low key was informative and always on hand if needed. No complaints and I think it is rather unfair that this icon of the British Travel Industry is receiving such adverse and constant bad news. Talk about kicking a man whilst he is down . I hope they recover and come out a leaner and stronger company for their loyal staff and many millions of happy customers.

    By Michael Edwards, Saturday, July 20, 2019

  • No real surprises there!

    If Thomas Cook and TUI/First Choice bosses went incognito on their own package holidays, they would realise why Jet2 is almost top and why THEY are bottom of the satisfaction table. And it's no good complaining to TUI - they ignore complaints.

    By Peter M42, Friday, July 19, 2019

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