I would rather email TR directly than out this on this review but that does not seem possible form their website. It was unbelievable that there was no-one to check us into the hotel. It was quite disconcerting that the people I spoke to at Travel Republic didn't seem to understand what a big deal this was for us and that I had rung them as I had run out of any other options. I was really calm for all the phone calls with them but towards the end I found I had to become quite stern and demanding because people were not responding to calm and reasonable and offering me anything - not even any reassurance that we would get somewhere to stay. The first person said it was my fault as I was supposed to call the hotel in advance (not asking me just to check but telling me that I was supposed to so that's where I had gone wrong as if it was my fault that there was no-one there to check us in!) I told him that I HAD done this - one number had been no answer and the other number was an answerphone so I left a voice mail message. Having said that, I booked the flight and transfer through Travel Republic as well so I would expect that arrival times could've been communicated by TR but I had rung the number anyway in advance just to be sure. I might as well just book everything myself separately in future! They also asked me if I could phone the number on the door of the hotel. Of course I had already tried this BEFORE I rang Travel Republic! (There was no answer). It took hours waiting for them to try to contact the person in charge of the hotel and they were unable to do so. I kept being told someone would call me back but this didn’t always happen and I had to call back myself to find out what was happening (particularly at the beginning when I was in reasonable mode and just believing they would call back as promised). No-one really told me what steps were being taken. I was told it was booked through another company – as if it wasn't Travel Republic's fault and they were doing me a favour! There I am stranded in front of a hotel I have paid in full for in advance with a travel company who seemed to busy/apathetic to care (not all of the staff were like this but most were). At one point I was told that only one person could deal with it and they were busy at the moment! At one point I was called back by TR – I was expecting to be given an update but I was told to go and ask around e.g. next door or over the road to see if anyone knew where the owner was! I thought this was a completely ridiculous and unprofessional suggestion and anyway there were no other hotels in the little street only a bar across the road that was closed. After a couple of hours of all this I said they would have to find us an alternative – really this should have been offered! The new hotel was adequate but nothing like what I would normally book – I always book self catering as we make our own breakfast and at least a couple of evening meals in a week and like to make cups of tea etc. There were no facilities at the alternative hotel so I had to go out and buy a kettle and mugs for the room and we also had to have all meals every day in cafés and restaurants (we got stuff from shops for picnic lunches) so the holiday cost me far more than it normally would – not to mention the mobile phone bill as I never normally make phone calls while abroad but had to make numerous ones to Travel Republic. I told the staff about this costing me on my mobile but they still didn't call me back when they were supposed to. I also spent a lot of time looking for the accommodation when I booked the holiday as we like something basic (I don't like luxury and excess and had to endure that on a European trip the previous week with my work!) with kitchen facilities but with bit of character, which of course the alternative hotel did not have (though it was clean and friendly and convenient). Although Travel Republic sorted us a hotel in the end, which is good (but really the least one could expect under these circumstances) I didn't feel like they took it seriously enough or treated me with the respect a customer should be treated – especially when I was being reasonable, clam and understanding. There seemed to be no surprise at our predicament and no real apology or reassurance that TR would sort it out for us. In the end I had to be stern and demand alternative accom be found. I understand that sometimes things go wrong but I believe that it is how you handle and respond to these situations that matters and makes the difference to the impact that the thing that has gone wrong will have. TR staff should have apologised genuinely, kept me informed of exactly what steps were being taken, phoned me back when they said they would, showed a willingness to help me and reassured me from the start that if things were not sorted with the booked hotel that they would sort me an alternative. Since my return I have had numerous automatic requests for reviews but no acknowledgement or contact from TR as follow up on our particular experience.
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