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Who To Complain To

By: Thomas Muller - Updated: 18 Jul 2019 | comments*Discuss
Citizens Advice Bureau Cab Volunteer

One of the keys to successful complaining is knowing the right person to complain to. However well defined or well supported a case might be, if it misses its target then it risks failing altogether.

First Port of Call

The first steps in attempting to resolve a complaint should be made directly with the parties involved. There is no need to send a formal complaint letter to the national head office national if the problem can be resolved by taking an item back to the shop or by speaking to the person at the hotel reception.

Customer Service Departments

If the case requires a greater degree of authority or specialist attention then the next port of call should be the appropriate senior management or customer service department. Many good organisations also employ a special complaints procedure, which can often provide the most effective means of resolution.

With larger companies, complaints of all levels are usually now directed to a designated customer service department. The members of such teams are usually trained and experienced in dealing with complaints.

Nevertheless, this can often prove to be a frustrating and time-consuming method. Criticisms of such services are common and include irritations with waiting times, their impersonal and standardised systems, and the small likelihood of anything being resolved with one simple communication exchange.

Customer service communication is usually a less frustrating exercise via email than on the telephone, because it provides the opportunity for clearly defining the problem in text.

Outside Help

If persistent communication with the responsible organisation proves fruitless then the next stage is to contact the appropriate authority or overseer, who should be able to give guidance on how to further the complaint. They may advise on the relevant independent ombudsman or adjudicator qualified to take up the case.

An ombudsman is an official, usually on government or parliament appointment, who is responsible for representing the interests of the public by investigating complaints on their behalf. Areas such as healthcare, police, financial services each have their own specialist representatives.

In addition to the ombudsman and executive agencies such as Ofgem and Oftel, complainants can also find aid and advice from the Trading Standards Institute or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Citizens Advice Bureau

With a membership of over 20,000, the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is one of the UK’s largest volunteer organisations. Its purpose is to provide free advice and information to help people resolve such issues as housing, immigration and asylum, consumer complaints and welfare benefits. Advisors at one of the UK’s network of bureaus, are able to help people write letters, make telephone calls and take complaints to court.

Trading Standards Institute

Another respected national institution open to the public is the Trading Standards Institute. This similarly omnipresent UK organisation works with consumers and businesses in helping to maintain fair-trading and the safety of consumer products.

General Guidelines

These guidelines are appropriate to most complaints and consequently only a general guide. Ultimately the direction of the complaint will vary according to area and size of the organisation and the type and severity of the complaint.

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DON'T BOOK WITH THESE.Booked a holiday with these, paid the total value of the holiday upfront.The then contacted us and advised the price of the holiday had gone up 170 pounds (it hadn't, it was their error) They refused to give us any money back as flights had already been booked, we were backed into a corner and paid it.It is being disputed at the moment - wish us luck!!
RH - 18-Jul-19 @ 8:11 AM
Never Ever book with these jokes! I rang to book a week in September for me, my husband & son. Quoted £990 they called me back in the evening to take £330 deposit ( I was advised holiday was £330 pp) I gave my card details... advisor then read out hotel name etc when I mentioned my child she said there was no record?!? I told the lady she would have to cancel it. I rang the nxt day.... I was told the holiday had increased... my child was actually on the bookings .... then he wasn’t ? Then I was told I had to pay £90pp to cancel the holiday when I was told there was nothing to cancel as the payment never went through?!? They are so incompetent it’s unreal! So please do yourself a favour give Teletext Holidays a wide berth. ??
Goldie - 25-Jun-19 @ 3:29 PM
Booked a family holiday to Turkey with teletext. They told us to apply for visa online. We did this and received them. When we arrived in Turkey my Nigerian wife was refused entry and put on next plane home as teletext didn't tell us that she had to visit Turkish consulate in person for visa. We would have had holiday somewhere else if teletext gave us correct information. Never use them again. Always call in a travel agents, at least you have a face to talk to, clarify any issues
Micky - 3-Mar-19 @ 9:42 AM
Myself and friends have made 3 separate bookings with teletext holidays on the same day.Despite booking on the same day to the same destination we have all been charged different deposits.We were charged £200.One friend charged £100.Another charged £150.We had no idea of this until we have recently spoken because not only this has happened.Friend C charged £150 deposit.Called by teletext after deposit taken and advised price of holiday increased but no offer of refund.Friend B is travelling on same flight as C and paid £100 deposit, both were on phone at same time.Friend B's payment statement stated no payment due until August 2019, teletext took additional payment last week and are now advising an increase in balance of £100.My booking was told £200 deposit needed.Discussed payment schedule but on receiving payment statement it said nothing further due until April 2019.I called to check and CS Advisor confirmed nothing due.To get written confirmation I went on online chat.There I was told differently.Raised complaint and basically told to DISREGARD payment statement despite ts and cs stating to abide by them.I raised issue of deposits in regard to fairness but got no where.I went online to make a payment but ... surprisingly the online platform has now been down for over a week.They advise to call and they will waiver their usual charge for payment.Clearly only because I emailed about it stating again that they didn't appear to be providing a fair service to their customers.What can we do?We are very concerned about this companies handling of our holiday bookings?
LB and friends - 19-Nov-18 @ 7:30 PM
Booked a holiday with teletext holidays I asked for 29th Sept for 2 weeks. Confirmed everything but the dates were not confirmed with me as I asked for 29th Sept I assumed it was booked for then. Email confirmation came through and dates were booked forc29th Oct.I rang back straight away to try and sort it out. I got told that nothing could be done and that there is no management or complaints team. So I now have been left with a holidays that's booked a month later to what I wanted and I now have to try and change my dates at work to accamodate this. What can be done.
Gem - 28-Jul-18 @ 5:48 PM
Pleasecan you send me my booking number as I have had no response from you in
Jennifer - 14-Jan-18 @ 12:54 PM
Booked a holiday with teletext holidays less than a week after I arrived back from the hotel in Tirkey. The pictures shown were of the same hotel I stayed in. The name of the hotel on their website was different. Yes you've guessed it. I was booked into a completely different hotel from the one I stayed in the week before. I asked for a cancellation and full refund. They said because I didn't cancel within 24 hours I would get back £ 135 from a £ 1046 holiday. To add insult to injury it was their delay that took the cancellation over the 24 hour period as they said they would get back to me, they didn't. Disgraceful sharp practice and abhorrent customer service. Will NEVER book with teletext holidays again.
Calky - 29-Aug-17 @ 6:54 PM
I recently booked a holiday with teletext and leave Wednesday 12/10/16. A last minute thing. The price was £258 each for me and my wife which included flight and hotel. I said to the teletext rep that my wife is disabled and will be taking her scooter. He then proceeded to say he has got me a better flight with afternoon departures.The price rocketed and went up to £801,a £100 of this was luggage and £40 was transfers. Stupidly I paid as I wasn't taking too much notice. he then said I would have to pay another £60 for transfers because of the mobility scooter, this was when I got cheesed off and said he was blatantly ripping me off. He put the phone down on me and when he phoned me back he said the price was to do with the "live" price fluctuating. I said the price was the same online, I checked 4 hours later and it was the same even after the website had been updated. Since I complained they were miraculouslyable to take us on the transfer for no extra cost but I was still charged the extra £150? and despite emails and a phone call have been told this is due to the "live" pricing. I appreciate reps try to upsell but this was basic fraud, trying to tell me they had got me a better flight when there is only one that day going to to this destination. Nobody wants to be accountable.
Joe - 10-Oct-16 @ 7:44 PM
PLEASE DONT BOOK WITH TELETEXT!! They advertise holidays that are not available, the price always increases from the advertised price. Booked a holiday and paid then to be told it wasnt available t was double booked, we were told to wait 2-4 working days for refund. As it wasn't our fault head office authorised a bank transfer the following day....nothing has gone in it is now 5 working days later. 6 calls later still awaiting any of the call backs. We were due to go away tomorrow haven't been able to book another holiday as teletext have kept the money all this time. Thats my husbands 60th ruined and overdrawn. Disgusting
Helen - 5-Oct-16 @ 10:57 AM
I brought a holiday with teletext with a friend and he was lead passenger on the booking but hes pasport hasnt come in time,but now teletext are saying i cant stop in the hotel because im not lead passenger even though its all paid for,teletext are saying its their supplier and everything but wont give me there suppliers number or help me out at all and iv read through all terms and conditions and it says as long as the hotel recieves 48 hours notice im aloud a refund
Adam - 25-Aug-16 @ 8:49 AM
@Thomas - you should really look in the first instance at the terms and conditions and see what it says. It may be that they had a deadline when they needed to fill the holiday and have had to reduce it due to lack of demaind. I should call again and ask for their complaints procedure and see if you can approach it that way.
ComplaintExpert - 5-Feb-15 @ 10:27 AM
No bought a holiday for £356 from teletext holidays over the phone a few days ago,only to find today that the same holiday(same hotel,dates,etc)is offered on their website at £187. The manager at Teletext Holidays was unhelpful. This is obviously a,rip-off,not price fluctuation-the holiday is for ten days from 22March(today is 03Feb15) I had originally phoned TeletextHolidays to book a holiday with a particular hotel,and gave the rep the Quote from their website,but he could not find the offer or it had expired. So I asked him to find me an alternative,asking for a deal,rather than I revert to their website for a quote,expecting to be offered a comparable competitive deal. But obviously I did not receive a fair deal. Please advise
Thomas - 3-Feb-15 @ 10:15 AM
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