Theiving Bastards
#1
My son was due to go on a school trip to Ecuador next July.
We've been paying the company True Adventure monthly. Obviously when the boy got his cancer diagnosis, we cancelled the trip explaining our circumstances.
We've paid £1500 including a non refundable deposit of £200 so imagine our surprise when they offered us back £300.
Wrote back to them and they sent us another copy of the contract we signed originally which in very small print said after 12 payments  there's a refund of 25% if you pull out.
They upped the refund to £750.
Now at the moment we  are brassic. Mrs Gagarin has had to give up work to care for the boy so income is halved.
Do we take the offer or go round and smash their windows in?  Do I write to a rag top about the kids adventure company that takes money from kids with cancer or will that scupper the chance of getting anything? The money is needed desperately.
Any suggestions welcome.
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#2
Yuri Gagarin Wrote:My son was due to go on a school trip to Ecuador next July.
We've been paying the company True Adventure monthly. Obviously when the boy got his cancer diagnosis, we cancelled the trip explaining our circumstances.
We've paid £1500 including a non refundable deposit of £200 so imagine our surprise when they offered us back £300.
Wrote back to them and they sent us another copy of the contract we signed originally which in very small print said after 12 payments  there's a refund of 25% if you pull out.
They upped the refund to £750.
Now at the moment we  are brassic. Mrs Gagarin has had to give up work to care for the boy so income is halved.
Do we take the offer or go round and smash their windows in?  Do I write to a rag top about the kids adventure company that takes money from kids with cancer or will that scupper the chance of getting anything? The money is needed desperately.
Any suggestions welcome.


Were you offered insurance?

They are covered by ATOL.  They have a disputes team it may be worth contacting them. 

In these cases companies are supposed to deduct admin costs and not take the piss as these are.

You could also try ABTA.  Then the local press.

Good luck to you comrade.
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#3
ATOL is mainly about corporate failure, which is not the case here. ABTA have two means of resolving disputes. Conciliation (which is again not relevant here) and Arbitration, which is a possibility but costs to apply.

Given the nature of True Adventure and their business model, your very best bet is to resolve it directly with them, but this will require you to be persuasive, polite and appeal to their better natures (rather than smashing their windows in). Make it personal, (after all that is exactly what your situation is), and avoid threats about newspapers etc. I note that it's a school trip so it might be a very good idea to get the school involved (since True Adventure will want their goodwill, year after year).

That's the best advice I can give but PM me (on the BBS) if I can assist more.
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#4
(05-10-2019, 15:24 PM)Maz Wrote: ATOL is mainly about corporate failure, which is not the case here. ABTA have two means of resolving disputes. Conciliation (which is again not relevant here) and Arbitration, which is a possibility but costs to apply.

Given the nature of True Adventure and their business model, your very best bet is to resolve it directly with them, but this will require you to be persuasive, polite and appeal to their better natures (rather than smashing their windows in). Make it personal, (after all that is exactly what your situation is), and avoid threats about newspapers etc. I note that it's a school trip so it might be a very good idea to get the school involved (since True Adventure will want their goodwill, year after year).

That's the best advice I can give but PM me (on the BBS) if I can assist more.
Spot on Maz.


Got to keep them on side with the humanity of the situation and the school is the perfect ally to have and use.

Good luck.
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#5
Any chance you could have a change of luck Yuri? How many mirrors, black cats etc have you broken/crossed paths lately?
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#6
Good advice Maz.  Although he can't pm you on the bbs for the same reason I can't pm you on the bbs, because it is currently run by malicious spineless c*nts.  I guess Yuri is probably the victim of being someone with a genuine reason for a refund, they probably get plenty who don't have such a valid case. 

I know it will seem like extra hassle you don't need at the moment, but I would try following Groovers and Maz' s advice step by step and see which avenue looks most promising.  Use the press as a last resort.  Best of luck.
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#7
(05-10-2019, 15:43 PM)Bones14 Wrote: Any chance you could have a change of luck Yuri? How many mirrors, black cats etc have you broken/crossed paths lately?
We had a litter of black cats earlier this year
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#8
Thanks everyone. Be a stern letter first, ask them to detail exactly what they've spent £1500 on. ABTA might cover it too. We've got the hospital social worker on the case. We will tell them we'll go public if they don't cough up. I've got contacts at BBC London and at a couple of papers too.
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#9
(05-10-2019, 17:29 PM)Yuri Gagarin Wrote: Thanks everyone. Be a stern letter first, ask them to detail exactly what they've spent £1500 on. ABTA might cover it too. We've got the hospital social worker on the case. We will tell them we'll go public if they don't cough up. I've got contacts at BBC London and at a couple of papers too.

This is really not a good idea. First because you have a signed contract that explains why they have taken the money ; secondly because they are under no obligation to break down their expenditure for you ; thirdly because threats are really premature at this early stage. And finally, because you have a morally good case but a legally weak one, so you shouldn't go nuclear unless there is no other reasonable option.
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#10
(05-10-2019, 17:44 PM)Maz Wrote: This is really not a good idea. First because you have a signed contract that explains why they have taken the money ; secondly because they are under no obligation to break down their expenditure for you ; thirdly because threats are really premature at this early stage. And finally, because you have a morally good case but a legally weak one, so you shouldn't go nuclear unless there is no other reasonable option.
Agree.  You have a morally very good case - appeal to their better nature, through the independent organisations first if need be.  Even the school itself.  The press might work as they won't want bad publicity.  But keep that in your back pocket like an ICO claim.
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#11
The going public thing is indeed the last resort.
I also don't really want my family's name out there. There's about 40 people what read this forum , family and friends who know about the boy.
I'm not one of those who can't sneeze without putting it on social media.
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#12
(05-10-2019, 17:44 PM)Maz Wrote: This is really not a good idea. First because you have a signed contract that explains why they have taken the money ; secondly because they are under no obligation to break down their expenditure for you ; thirdly because threats are really premature at this early stage. And finally, because you have a morally good case but a legally weak one, so you shouldn't go nuclear unless there is no other reasonable option.
It's been going on for about 5 weeks now, but what with everythink else going on we've not had a chance to chase them up. We do need to escalate
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#13
Take Maz's advice (both parts), it's absolutely spot on.

Sorry to hear about this, nothing like a good hard kick in the bollox when you're already down eh?
Keep your chin up, it'll all work out in the end.
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