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-   -   Travel Club of Upminster (https://www.forum.puertopollensa.com/travel-companies/6568-travel-club-upminster.html)

tangofan 17-09-2010 13:44

Travel Club of Upminster
 
I continue to be disappointed with the Travel Club of Upminster since their new ownership. I just rang asking about the availability of a particular apartment for next year and they were very abrupt and unhelpful just saying I would have to wait for the new brochure in October. The lady said she had no idea if the apartment I was asking about would be available! Talk about driving your loyal longstanding customers away!

eleanor 17-09-2010 17:42

This is a disappointment as no company can afford to be so off hand with clients especially in this climate. I'm sure the owners of apartments with properties with this company wouldn't be impressed with the attitude.

Another good reason to book with owners directly.

marionann 17-09-2010 19:36

I have heard that there is trouble with the Travel Club and they have gone 'bust'. There is something on the Miramar website and my friend has just text me from PP with the news.

Used to go with these years ago when they were based in Upminster. Never any problems except when staying at the Maricel and not been told of building work!!

tangofan 17-09-2010 20:52

Marionann, that is very interesting. I have looked at the Miramar website but can't see anything- What did you see on the website? What did your friend hear? Things have never been the same with the Travel Club since Mr Chandler sold it. It is a shame but nothing lasts forever I suppose!

I have seen one of the apartments I am interested in on the PP website so will do as Eleanor advises and book direct. I must admit I am rather cautious and preferred booking a package with the Travel Club for security really, particularly in this difficult financial climate but I guess I have to move with the times.

marionann 17-09-2010 21:10

On the Miramar website it says URGENT if you are a client of Upminster Travel to contact the Hotel.

What apartments are you looking at as I was in Puerto Pollensa last week (wish I was there now) and a friend who always booked through travel club was in Maricel apartments booked through Sun Club in Wolverhampton I think they were. I didnt realis until recently that the travel club did not book the whole package like they used to. They definately had the personal touch, our first experience was Las Velas apartments, absolute heaven. Though now on the main road, although seem very quiet.

Also think the Maricel can be booked through the Miramar.

eleanor 17-09-2010 21:20

This obviously shows that booking with a travel company can not always be classed as secure. As you say often the villas and apartments on the travel company sites are also advertised directly by the owner too. The only difference being that the majority of times you will be charged much more to book via the agent. The owner has their rate and the travel company theirs to include their commission.
It is relatively easy to book flights direct online and again often cheaper as you are sometimes more able to negotiate dates with owners to take advantage of cheaper flights.
With the Resort Hoppa being so easily available and affordable again this can be cheaper as any coach transfers are added into a holiday cost anyway.
Personally I think you can be more secure by booking directly. You also have the advantage of 1-1 contact with the owner.
Obviously it goes without saying that a good travel insurance is a must but that would be the case direct or non direct.

lollipop 17-09-2010 21:39

I also heard today that travel Club of Upminster had gone bust yesterday. Apparently two people staying in one of the apartments opposite the post office were told to leave their holiday apartment.

eleanor 17-09-2010 21:48

How awful for them. This makes me feel sad and angry. People save very hard for their holiday and look forward to them. It is one thing to cancel future bookings which although not nice but does give options. To just throw people onto the streets is so heartless and cruel. Thats life I suppose!

lollipop 17-09-2010 21:55

It seems to be happening more and more, just so glad that I now live here and don't have the worry.

eleanor 18-09-2010 04:03

And what a wonderful place to live too, Lollipop. Maybe one day we will take the plunge too. I actually much prefer my house in the port to my house in the UK so that's a very good start.

tangofan 18-09-2010 09:37

Thanks for all your replies. It is such a shame. I have found the Miramar website now with the notice on. I want to book the Bressol apartments which are opposite the post office so these are probably the ones that Lollipop is referring to. How dreadful to be thrown out halfway through your holiday. There is a Bressol apartment advertised on the PP website but I am not sure who the contact is, it maybe a member of the owners family. One used to be advertised last year with the Travel Club rep as the contact but not recently.

I am rather cautious and found it great just ringing the Travel Club and having it all arranged and they were always very reasonable as we have 3 children and you could always get a two bed room apartment at a good price with no stupid minimum occupancy charges as with the usual travel companies who expect 5 people to sleep in a one bedroom apartment, or hefty flight supplements just to travel at a sensible time. Also now the children are grown up but still want a free holiday if they are around, we could book with a minimum occupancy of 3 and the older ones could just come if they wanted to at the last minute. You can’t do that with Thomsons!

I am not sure I agree about it being more secure booking directly with the owner as you have very little comeback if something goes wrong, unless you are able to pay with a credit card which a private individual probably wouldn’t be able to accept. I don’t think insurance companies will cover you for this, though I know some are starting to now but then probably only for ABTA/ATOL companies, not a private individual. I wait to be corrected on this though. I would like to think that everybody who features on the PP website is reliable though! You do hear such horror stories though and most people need to be careful when trusting their hard earned cash in this way

I have a flyer from Sun Club which fell out of a magazine once and was puzzled because most of the Travel Club properties were “exclusive” to them and when I rang and asked them, they asked me to send them the Sun Club flyer as they seemed puzzled. I wonder who Sun Club are and how they managed to offer all these exclusive to Travel Club properties? They have an ABTA symbol but not ATOL so I am very wary.

Sorry this is such a long post!

eleanor 18-09-2010 09:44

There is also another side to this coin. Remember that the people who own the property which has been rented via a company gone will probably not get their owed rental money. I would expect that as with most of these companies, the rental owed to the owner is not paid until the end of the season. Therefore i wonder just how many property owners will not receive a penny for a whole season of rental.

tangofan 18-09-2010 09:51

Yes I do appreciate there are two sides to this and it is a problem for the owners but I am sure there is some sort of insurance available for this. This kind of problem comes with the territory of owning a rental property. I rent a property out in the UK and have cover should the rent not be paid.

Without sounding too harsh, the owner still has their property and will probably be able to re-let, as least during the main season, but the holidaymaker has lost their holiday completely

eleanor 18-09-2010 09:58

We rent our villa in the Port and the rental is paid before entry to the villa. That is our insurance. I do actually think you are being a little harsh as although the property owner still has the property, many including us, only have the property because the rental helps to pay for it. Many have mortgages on their property as well as having to pay for the upkeep etc etc. This has all been gone into with other posts, so won't duplicate now. As I said in my previous post and as with this company - it is getting very close to the end of the season. That money can not be recovered at this late stage. At the beginning of a season there is a chance.
I for one could not afford to lose a whole seasons rental - it may well mean I may not still have my property!!

pollensa 18-09-2010 10:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by tangofan (Post 50026)
I want to book the Bressol apartments which are opposite the post office so these are probably the ones that Lollipop is referring to. ... There is a Bressol apartment advertised on the PP website but I am not sure who the contact is, it maybe a member of the owners family. One used to be advertised last year with the Travel Club rep as the contact but not recently.

The Bressol apts are now advertised with us by the owner of the apartments - see bressolapts - Apartment to Rent in Pollensa, Puerto Pollensa, Central, Marina Area, Mallorca (Majorca), Spain so this is now a private rental. As you say you cannot get insurance for renting privately and we can offer no guarantees as we do not view the properties. However all our advertisers do pay an annual charge to advertise with us (unlike others which may be free but take commission). All I can say is that we have been advertising properties since 2001 and, so far (!), I have never had properties that do not exist or where the holidaymaker has lost the holiday. If anyone has any queries about any of the properties you can always contact us http://puertopollensa.com/contact.html. I hope that helps.

tangofan 18-09-2010 11:19

Pollensa

Thank you very much indeed, this is very helpful.

pollensa 18-09-2010 11:51

Am afraid it does look as if Travel Club of Upminster has issues - see Preocupación entre más de veinte hoteles por los impagos de un touroperador inglés - Diario de Mallorca :( (Use Google translate if you need to).

JMD40 18-09-2010 15:34

Can I just put things a little clearer. Firstly TCU have not gone bust however they are experiencing, as most if not all, tour operators severe financial difficulties. They have two weeks to find a solution to this problem and clients due to arrive this weekend and next have been advised by them of the difficulties however almost all of these bookings have decided to continue to travel this weekend and pay again for the accomodation and then claim on their return to UK. The clients who were asked to leave the accommodation were asked to do so by one female owner of one block of apartments who now advertises privately on this website and must have fogotten that she has lived comfortably off TCU clients for the past 25years. These clients were assisted by the company in finding alternative accomodation during this very unfortunate and unforgiving episode as TCU would NEVER see their clients on the street.
2011 TCU hope to celebrate 75years anniversary.
The unhelpful answer on the phone from the Birmingham office yesterday is understandable in the circumstances and probably came from a junior member of staff who was feeling the stress after a very long and emotional week.
For the sake of the company reputation, its supportive suppliers and its loyal clients can I ask that only facts not rumours are added to this link for the time being. Lets hope for a solution for all. thanks.

tangofan 18-09-2010 17:54

Thank you for that clarification JMD40. I assume that I was correct in my assumption that the apartments concerned were the Bressol.

I am not sure if clients who paid again would be able to re-claim the money when they arrive home as Travel Club are not members of ABTA any longer.

I do feel that there is no excuse for the way my call was handled, despite the fact that the staff must be having a very difficult time at the moment. The person to whom I spoke was definitely not a junior either! If the call had been handled properly in the manner that has always been part of the Travel Club service I would not have felt the need to post on the site resulting in the responses given.

I hope that you will be able to keep us updated as to how the situation develops over the next couple of weeks although the press article in the link provided by Pollensa does sound quite alarming.

JMD40 19-09-2010 17:17

Hi there,
I will do my best to keep the website updated on situation as it unfolds. The clients who paid by credit card can claim from the credit card company should the company go into liquadation. For those that paid by cheque or transfer they can claim from the administrators if the company goes into liquadation. However, if the company resolve their difficulties then the claims are naturally made direct to TCU for a refund. Some understanding suppliers have given preferential rates to clients affected by this situation to ease the pain somewhat.
Regarding the article, 22 is the number of hotels featured across the TCU website and is most certainly not the number of hotels affected which I think is maybe 5 but not too sure.

Rachel23 23-09-2010 14:20

hi guys i thought this might be of interest I work in travel and this header was in one of the trade papers this wk....

'Travel Club of Upminster seeks financial advice'
Sep 23, 2010 10:29

Travel Club of Upminster has approached insolvency practitioners Shipleys amid reports that it has failed to pay more than 20 hotels in Majorca for this season’s bookings.

JMD40 23-09-2010 19:15

I saw the article today also and was surprised to see my quotes from this forum copied into the article - we are being watched guys!!!!

Belladonna 23-09-2010 21:54

Brilliant! Claim for royalties JMD!

usandthewoof 23-09-2010 22:04

And I thought I had seen the last of Big Brother !!! :D

Belladonna 23-09-2010 23:00

Shame on you! :rolleyes:

tangofan 24-09-2010 08:37

This is very sad news indeed. Once again this summer, it looks like another travel company has taken customer's money but not paid it over to the hotels etc. As JMD40 says, if you have paid by credit card you will be ok but many people probably haven't and some smaller companies, including some featured on the forum, do not take credit cards so in the current economic climate, frankly it is a big risk to pay a lot of money by cheque or bank transfer.

I believe some insurance companies are starting to cover operator failure but this is probably only for packages booked through ABTA companies, and not small companies or individual owners. Also it is very unlikely customers could claim from the administrators, they would be at the very end of the list of creditors.

We didn't manage to get to Majorca this summer for a variety of reasons but I was really looking forward to booking for next year through the Travel Club so I am not sure what to do now. Like everyone else, I can't afford to put my hard earned cash at any risk!

favie 24-09-2010 08:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by JMD40 (Post 50357)
I saw the article today also and was surprised to see my quotes from this forum copied into the article - we are being watched guys!!!!

Interesting to read the article JMD....we are indeed being watched!:eek:
Real shame if they go under.:mad:

Travel Club of Upminster seeks financial advice - www.travelweekly.co.uk

Belladonna 24-09-2010 09:25

The pen - or keyboard - is mightier than the company!:rolleyes:

JMD40 24-09-2010 18:12

Royalties - now thats an idea?????
Tangofan - hold tight dont do anything for now there is no rush - ssssh, dont tell anyone but there is a possible plan B being closely investigated to ensure that all those fantastic loyal TCU customers can still enjoy the same holidays they have been enjoying in the past.

BBCNEWSGIRL 24-09-2010 18:57

Interesting JMD40, it would be gud 2 get the same level of service as the old Travel Club of Upminster. It has never been the same since the Birmingham company took over...please keep us informed :)

tangofan 24-09-2010 21:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by BBCNEWSGIRL (Post 50408)
Interesting JMD40, it would be gud 2 get the same level of service as the old Travel Club of Upminster. It has never been the same since the Birmingham company took over...please keep us informed :)

Yes I agree. I am looking forward to further updates

tangofan 24-09-2010 21:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by JMD40 (Post 50400)
Royalties - now thats an idea?????
Tangofan - hold tight dont do anything for now there is no rush - ssssh, dont tell anyone but there is a possible plan B being closely investigated to ensure that all those fantastic loyal TCU customers can still enjoy the same holidays they have been enjoying in the past.


Thanks for this JMD40. I will await further developments...!

northern star 25-09-2010 18:56

Illa D'Or Hotel and Club Apartments
 
:(I notice today that Sunclub.co.uk are advertising on the Forum prices and accommodation at Illa D'Or Club Apartments and Hotel for next year. Is Travel Club still in there for future bookings? Or does this mean that bookings need to be made either direct with the Hotel or through Sunclub?

pollensa 27-09-2010 21:10

There is an extremely odd comment here from the owner of TCU - see Simon Calder's blog The latest LBC Presenter Blogs | LBC

"Thomas Cook, the company that started the inclusive holiday 160 years ago, and is still Britain's second-largest holiday firm, has written to hotels in Spain, Greece, Turkey and beyond saying it will not pay the final 5 per cent from the money it owes for accommodation provided in August and September. Why? Well, that's a question I hoped to put to a representative of Thomas Cook, but the company has declined. Instead, they gave me this statement:
"It's a result of the impact of the exceptional challenges we, and the market, have faced this year - volcanic ash, emergency budget, slow return of consumer confidence. We've had a great deal of understanding of this from our partners. It's a better solution than reducing capacity and the majority of hotels have been supportive."
But don't try the same trick on Thomas Cook - the first won't allow you to knock of 5 per cent from the final bill. So what's the fall out, except possibly wiping out the hoteliers' profit margin? Well, one immediate effect, according to the owner of the Travel Club of Upminster, is to make Spanish hotels uncertain about whether they'll get the money they are owed from British firms. As a result, customers of the Travel Club of Upminster are being asked to pay again, and then to claim back the cash when they get back to Britain.


What Thomas Cook is doing is pretty bad but I really don't see how this can have affected TCU that much. It is having a far worse effect on the Spanish hoteliers.

Gommar Goffer 27-09-2010 22:00

That is absolutely disgusting behaviour - tantamount to holding a gun to the head! Basically saying " we are not paying you - what are you going to do about it?" The outcome is simple - we will not be welcome because of the greed of the big travel companies - vote with your feet and wallets - use the little guys - go private - stuff the shafters!:mad:

BBCNEWSGIRL 28-09-2010 14:05

The Travel Club of Upminster have gone into administration according to this link
Travel Club of Upminster enters administration - www.travelweekly.co.uk

People who have paid by credit card can try and claim back......but because they were not Abta bonded customers may have real problems! :(
This goes to show you really do need to buy from an ABTA protected Travel Agent or somebody who is offering Supplier Failure Cover so you know your money is protected. :(

tangofan 28-09-2010 16:48

So it is definite then. It is very sad that Travel Club should end in this way. We first used them about 30 years ago, then once we had children we holidayed in the UK as we couldn't afford to go abroad but once we decided to venture abroad again, Travel Club were our automatic choice and we have had many holidays with them in recent years.

As BBCNEWSGIRL says, the only way to book a holiday nowadays is with a credit card or special insurance cover. This usually rules out renting from private owners so it is very difficult to know what to do as we all need to be sure our money is safe don't we.

Most of the properties still seem to be available through Sun Club but who are they? Their website says they are members of ABTA and they offer supplier failure cover but is that sufficient? It doesn't say who is providing this. They don't have the ATOL logo but their FAQs refer to them having it.

roig cat 28-09-2010 17:57

Thomas Cook to Cut U.K. Jobs - WSJ.com

I bit more on Thomas Cook!

roig cat 28-09-2010 17:59

Sorry had to remove re copyright reasons which I hadnt noticed when pasted!

If you Google' Thomas Cook 5', the full article is available (or it was for me and I dont subscribe to this US newspaper)

BBCNEWSGIRL 28-09-2010 18:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by tangofan (Post 50574)
So it is definite then. It is very sad that Travel Club should end in this way. We first used them about 30 years ago, then once we had children we holidayed in the UK as we couldn't afford to go abroad but once we decided to venture abroad again, Travel Club were our automatic choice and we have had many holidays with them in recent years.

As BBCNEWSGIRL says, the only way to book a holiday nowadays is with a credit card or special insurance cover. This usually rules out renting from private owners so it is very difficult to know what to do as we all need to be sure our money is safe don't we.

Most of the properties still seem to be available through Sun Club but who are they? Their website says they are members of ABTA and they offer supplier failure cover but is that sufficient? It doesn't say who is providing this. They don't have the ATOL logo but their FAQs refer to them having it

Funny enough I rang Sunclub this afternoon and enquired about the supplier failure cover, they were very helpful and explained that every element of the booking you make through them will be covered by Supplier Failure Cover, so you have no worries. All the flights they book are also ATOL bonded, so there is no worries there! I want to book the Illa Dor again for next year, had a great time this year (1st time) so really keen to secure my room for next year. :)


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