THIS HOLIDAY WAS A NIGHTMARE I booked to go to South America for 3 weeks and visit Brazil, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina . This holiday was an escorted holiday so as an elderly single woman I felt I would be looked after!!! What a nightmare. There was NO REP TO MEET ME and I spent the 3 weeks on my own. NO REP AND NO ESCORT AND NO HELP. I spent 3 weeks in tears and very very scared. I contacted Hayes and Jarvis as soon as I could but they were not interested. They are the holiday firm from HELL. I advise every one to steer clear from this company. I ended up paying for all sorts of things that I had paid for when I booked it was an absolute NIGHTMARE.
Just thought id post this here as I needed to vent and warn people who are potentially going to use Hayes & Jarvis to book a special occasion or honeymoon or anything really. We booked a trip to Hawaii and New York for our honeymoon and spent a fair amount of money to achieve this. We went on the honeymoon in september and to this day Hayes & Jarvis have chosen to ignore our complaints regarding the problems we encountered on our honeymoon that completely ruined everything. So much so that I am trying to work out a way to redo the honeymoon holiday but book with a company that actually cares about its customers, rather than just steal their money... I would welcome any advice on companies that people have had positive experiences with that arent part of the TUI group so that I can hopefully make our honeymoon experience something positive to remember for my wife and myself.
Just a small note of what happened in my experiences with Hayes & Jarvis - Please note my wife is a nervous flier - we had a bad experience with AA in the past so I had to get the most direct flights to our destinations and avoid AA for the transatlantic journeys to reduce flight stress levels!
We had direct flights from Hawaii to New York Booked with H&J - they phoned up 2 weeks before we were due to fly to inform us that we couldnt go on the flights any more and we had to go on an alternative with 2 stopovers. This would also mean we lost a day of our honeymoon from New York. Had to argue with a lady for a couple of days to find out the cause of this and it turns out they didnt book us onto the flight (they messed it up) yet I was being talked to like it was our fault and we just had to deal with it. They begrudgingly decided to get us a different flight with 1 stopover in Seattle but it meant we had to lose a day from Hawaii and stay in two different hotels in New York which isnt the most ideal of solutions so not a great start having to lose a day in paradise when you spent 16+ hours flying to experience it in the first place. No apology from H&J - they even tried to charge me for the hotel in New York even though they created the problem.
So, thats done and we are due to leave in a day - I go online to check in to my flights and realise that my return trip from New York - they have booked a return flight with AA - not what we discussed or requested. Phoned up H&J to bring it to their attention and once again they tried to charge me to change the flight and I had to argue with them that it was made clear on the booking call that we would not fly with AA, they agreed to listen to the call and if this was mentioned then they would not charge me, ten mins later they phoned back to say everything had been changed. Not a great start and we havnt left UK yet!
We arrived at our hotel in Hawaii - we stayed at the Royal Lahaina Resort and when we arrived we were greated by hotel refurbishment works (oh joy! - cant believe Hayes and Jarvis wouldnt tell you about this going on would you) well they didnt so we had to grin and bear it whilst they drilled and hammered throughout the hotel for the length of our stay, to top this off the following day we noticed that the main swimming pool was shut because they were doing works to it - it would not be open for the length of our stay either so we were left with one pool to use which was the size of a jacuzzi and not something you could call a pool. Hayes and Jarvis, as a prestige holiday operator, should have notified us of this and given us the opportunity to change as the whole experience in Hawaii was thwarted by this going on. I sent pictures and an email to complain on the 11th September to Hayes & Jarvis and they said they would respond in 28 days - I have followed this up twice and they still have not been in touch 77 days down the line - they literally dont care after taking your money.
So thats everything you're thinking.... not quite!
We arrived in New York and had to stay in one hotel for one day and move to another the following day - not very relaxing but it was all they could offer. When we got to our main hotel we were given a dirty room at the back of the hotel directly near the kitchen vents so you could smell everything. Hayes & jarvis told me about the special rooms honeymooners would be given so they could enjoy views of nearby Madison square gardens etc but this definately wasnt it. I went to reception and asked them about it - saying we were on our honeymoon and they said had they been told by H&J that is was our honeymoon we definately would not have been put in that room, she arranged for us to be moved to a new room. H&J never tell anyone its your honeymoon, they literally dont care and promise you everything before hand and try to make you grin and bear it afterwards!
Then comes the piece d'resistance... I logged in to check in to our flights exactly 24 hours before we were due to fly to ensure I could check into seats that we next to each other so my wife would relax on the flight home - its normally a simple process. However, I could not do this as there were 'problems' online... I phoned BA and they told me that I was not booked on the flights and my travel operator had cancelled them. In short we had no way home at that point in time. I phoned H&J and it was 1am UK time so got through to the out of hours service to find out what was going on. The lady that answered said that she didnt have access to any systems and would try to help but I would probably have to wait until people got back into the office at 9am (4am New York time) If I can speak to the airline at 1am - why cant they sort it too? Well, this well and truly ruined our last night in New York as we were stressing out because we had no flight home and no hotel to stay in if they left us in the lurch. I received no phone call back and couldnt sleep all night so phoned them back at 4am New York time (9am UK to get it sorted asap).
I was told that the after hours service is a call answering service so please note this if you need any help out of hours as they cannot do anything to help you out at all - you have to wait until the offices open which therefore makes it a totally pointless service to have in operation.
I then found out through their poor administration they had not booked us on the flight home either so we were flightless and they had to try to sort things out. when they did get us a flight we lost more time in our last day in New York and we could not sit together as the flight was full, which was a terrible resolution for a nervous flier. I had to then argue my case with an obnoxious lady on the phone, who's job it seems is to just tell customers, "tough, its not our problem, deal with it" for a couple of hours before finally getting to speak with her manager to sort a resolution with a different flight home that had more availability.
All in all the experience with this company has been dreadful and I would hate to hear that anyone else has had their hard earned money wasted and what should be a brilliant and memorable experience tarnished by the incompetence that this company displays.
On a side note - I have complained twice to their CEO Peter Long and their customer services team upon arriving back from honeymoon and they have yet to respond to these matters.
If you think you are getting a prestige service and will be looked after by this company you are likely to be disappointed. Please do not trust or spend money with them they should not be allowed to wreck anyone elses experiences. I dont think I am alone in my views on this so please share any for the world to see how poor a company this really is!
If anyone can let me know of a good company to book with that would be most appreciated.
We had a fantastic holiday with Hayes & Jarvis in September 2010 (celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary). We went to Tanzania & Zanzibar and found the service and the brochure details matched our expectations whilst on holiday. Based on our experience in 2010 we booked with Hayes & Jarvis to go on tour to Sri Lanka (celebrating my 50th birthday).
We set out the itinerary we wanted to do and picked the hotels based on the brochure.
Hayes & Jarvis use Aitken Spence for their tour operaters. The guide we had was very knowledgeable on the area (a little temperamental at times!). He was always trying to get the best photo opportunities for us He was a good driver (always felt safe in his hands), despite being quite an aggressive driver.
We had requested to travel by train if possible from Kandy up to Nuwara Eliya and, as part of itinerary we had included a visit to a tea plantation/factory. The train was booked and we departed by train (fantastic journey can't recommend this enough). However, when we arrived in Nuwara Eliya we were told that we couldn't go to the Tea Plantation/Factory because we'd travelled up by train. There was no mention of this and it was included on the itenerary from Aitken Spence. So we challenged this and our guide said that the factories were closed, we could go but there was nothing to see, so my question is why would they include it on their itinerary if this was the case???
For the last 5 nights of our holiday we finished a the Heritance Ahunghalla, shown in the H&J brochure as a five star resort. Based on our 5 star experience in Zanzibar, we opted for this hotel and were bitterly disappointed. Whilst the hotel staff were very responsive to our needs, the hotel just isn't five star. It needs a facelift in the form of quality, quality, quality!! The cream carpet in our room was dirty, the rooms lack that special feel. This could pass off as a four star but certainly not a five star.
When we got back we wrote to H&J and received the brush off about both points, were given a £50 timed voucher to use against another break. So my husband wrote again reiterating the points and once again the letter was fairly dismissive of our points. We paid a lot of money for this holiday and H&J disregarded this fact.
The main point they raised about the Heritance Ahunghalla versus the Gemma Dell Est (Zanzibar 5 star experience) was that there a different levels of five star and this should be seen by the price paid. However, how can we as a customer tell this, because prices will vary from country to country, so it should be based on a rating not price (and it wasn't cheap!!).
We feel disappointed with the responses we've had from H&J. We feel that tour operators are not taking into account the cost of holidays and that a £50 voucher is an insult!!
H&J you need to improve your customer service/relations in these difficult economic times.
We booked our honeymoon to Tanzania & Kenya and made the mistake of using Hayes & Jarvis. We normally book our holidays ourselves but as it is somewhere we hadn't been before and we wanted to go on safari we thought it safer to use a "specialist". The sales team and customer service in the UK is great until you have paid the balance. We were concerned at the hotel that had been booked for our last night so we tried to change it but H & J wanted to charge us £100. We sought assurance that the hotel was not as bad as the reviews we had read, the agent told us she had stayed there herself and it was one of the best hotels in town. On arrival in Kenya we were greeted at the airport by H & J representatives Pollmans who had got the wrong itinerary for us and from there it went down hill. Every dealing we had with Pollmans there was a mistake and it became tiresome trying to correct it. We were over charged for many of our excursions and the quality of accommodation booked was sub standard. Our safari in Tanzania was booked with Ranger Safaris and we could not fault this, the guide was excellent and we could not have hoped for more. Bearing in mind this was our honeymoon Hayes & Jarvis booked us twin rooms. Going back to the hotel booked for our last night, the Nairobi Safari Club, it was just about a 3 star hotel and we were charged over £100 per night for it. The staff were ignorant and not willing to answer simple questions and the standard of accommodation was very poor, dirty and unsafe. We were sent a feedback questionnaire on our return which we completed honestly and frankly, Hayes & Jarvis have not had the decency to respond and continue to bombard us with catalogues and e mails even though we have asked to be removed from their mailing list. They just seem like a company with excellent advertising and sales but when, in our case, you are on your trip of a lifetime and it is far from that, they don't care because they already have your money and will not respond to your enquiries.