The services of a cook are available at many properties. Palmer and Parker. See our Spanish city breaks guide here. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future.
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We've noticed you're adblocking. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. When you insisted on more information about the nature of the villa you would be staying in and the under-occupancy policy, the company at last managed to confirm a villa arranged over the ground-floor to satisfy your daughter's requirements.
It also corrected the spelling of your husband's name on the booking and re-allocated your seats on the plane as had been originally requested. A spokesperson for Thomas Cook told This is Money: 'We are very sorry [the customer] was unhappy with the service she received and we recognise that we should have worked harder to address her concerns. We wish [her] and her party an enjoyable trip to Florida. What is the under-occupancy charge for?
Regarding the company's under-occupancy policy, the spokesperson was unable to outline when exactly customers are informed during the booking process and could not confirm it is explained before a deposit is taken. The company also explained: 'We charge under occupancy supplements based on the number of adults in the party, when it there is a short fall in the maximum adult occupancy. As [the customer's] villa sleeps eight adults, the six adults in her party split the cost of the two adult shortfall between them.
The two children in the party do not count towards occupancy. The spokesperson added: 'We strive to make all of our customers aware of the breakdown of their total holiday cost at the time of booking. All customers receive their invoice, along with our booking terms and conditions as soon as their holiday has been confirmed. This is Money spoke to the travel trade association Abta about best practice among the industry for the disclosure of under-occupancy fees.
A spokesperson said: 'There is a total charge for villas, apartments and hotel rooms. In the case of villas or apartments they will also have a maximum occupancy in terms of the number of customers allowed to stay there. By their very nature, under occupancy charges will also never be added on after customers have agreed to a price after confirming a booking. But This is Money queries the fairness in this industry practice as without ever giving a total cost for the villa, the customer has no way of knowing if they are being charged accordingly, or whether they're paying over the odds.
The Thomas Cook customer was never given a price breakdown that separated out the villa cost from the rest of her holiday price. Even though the booking confirmation lists 'accommodation charges' per adult and per child, the total amount spent includes the price of flights, which weren't listed individually either. Abta says it receives few complaints about under-occupancy fees.
But if you have had cause to complain to a travel company, please get in touch by emailing editor thisismoney.
Needless to say I will not be booking any further holidays to Florida with Thomas Cook. Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use.
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