Angry pensioner's dispute with travel agent over cruise mix-up
A PENSIONER has been left disappointed after he received tickets for a cruise around France – when he believed he had booked one for Italy.
Alan Millar, 69, who lives in Fishponds Road, booked the "cruise-and-stay holiday" through Thomas Cook at The Mall in Cribbs Causeway.
He and his friend Bill Shelldrake visited the travel agent in February to discuss a holiday with one of the representatives there.
Mr Millar claims he went through various options with the agent, who recommended a cruise to Naples and Rome.
Having never seen this part of Italy Mr Millar was pleased to sign an agreement and put down an £800 deposit for the £1,400 holiday.
He claims the travel agent brought him the form, having already circled the price of the holiday in the Thomas Cook brochure.
But when Mr Millar received his tickets on Saturday, May 5 he was startled to find that the details referred to a cruise off the coast of France.
It does visit the Italian port of La Spezia so that holidaymakers can visit Florence, but does not sail to Naples or Rome.
Instead it docks at Corsica, Barcelona, and Toulon and Cannes in France.
When Mr Millar went back to Thomas Cook to complain he claims that the travel agent who had originally asked him to sign the form disputed that there had been a mistake.
"He kept saying that we had spoken about this cruise that stops in France, but I had my friend with me and we both swear that this was never discussed," he said.
"If that cruise was spoken about then why did the travel agent only write on the brochure page for the Naples and Rome cruise?
"It doesn't make any sense at all. I was so looking forward to visiting this part of Italy and had saved up for this two week holiday. Thomas Cook has refused to correct the error and won't give me any money back.
"I'm going to have to go on this other cruise but it's not the one I booked."
A spokeswoman for Thomas Cook said: "We pride ourselves on the expert advice provided in each of our stores, so we're sorry that Mr Millar believed he had booked a different type of cruise- and-stay holiday.
"We urge all customers to carefully check the written confirmation that is sent to them and to make contact with us if they have any concerns.
"Regrettably, Mr Millar did not contact us when his documentation originally arrived and at this late stage it is not possible to adjust his booking, as the other cruise is now fully booked."