I’ve recently returned from a week in sunny Rhodes.
Having been on all-inclusive package holidays before, and after only paying £320, I wasn’t expecting 5-star luxury (it wasn’t). I did expect our rep to be a bit more helpful though. After all, his job was to make sure we enjoyed our holiday (we did, though no thanks to him).
As a warning to other MoneySavers who have package holidays booked for this summer, here are three of the biggest things Mr Rep neglected to mention in his “welcome to Rhodes” speech.
- Cheeky bus charge. After listening intently to Mr Rep’s speech, and hearing that it’s the third largest in Europe, we fancied a trip to the water park. We could do the trip with Mr Rep for €32 each (€20 entrance fee and return bus travel).
As local buses are far cheaper than hiring a car, as well as safer, I asked if there was a local bus we could get to make our own way there. The answer was no.
Not wanting to give up on a day of water slides and wave pools, we went to speak to the hotel receptionist about taxis to the water park. "No need for a taxi," she said in perfect English, there’s a FREE bus directly to and from the water park everyday. We had a fab day at the park, made even more fab by the €24 saving between two.
- All inclusive isn’t always so. The beauty of going all-inclusive is you don’t have to pay for your food and drink — or so you’d think. The write-up for the hotel online says, almost triumphantly, "with the main bar on hand to keep a steady flow of refreshing drinks coming your way".
Read the small print however and drinks are only free from 11am to 11pm, with cocktails only free after 5pm. We only found this out by the end of the first day, after walking back 30 mins from the nearest town, in 25-degree heat, to be told two glasses of water would cost €3. It was only 11.10pm. Needless to say, we weren’t happy.
- Not told of flight change. If you’ve read my previous blog, you’ll know travel and time-keeping are not my strongest skills. But this time I had it all organised, with Talbot’s Taxis (my mum) ready to collect us from Gatwick at 7am on the Sunday.
Then on our last night, while speaking to the helpful hotel receptionist about what to do with our bags during the day (as checkout time was at noon and our flight home was scheduled for 4.45am), we found out the flight times had changed, to 1.35am.With no mobile signal, we had to trudge 30 mins to the town to find a (free) wi-fi hotspot to email mum to let her know we would now be in the UK at 4am.
What was more annoying though, was Mr Rep had the nerve to slip a note under our door asking us to fill in a customer satisfaction questionnaire, but didn’t bother to put a note under the door to let us know about the change of flight times.
Does anyone else have any holiday horror stories with unhelpful reps or travel agents? Let us know in the comments section below or in the MSE Forum.