Might this be why Thomas Cook is going out of business

The Scene: Thomas Cook Falkirk Branch

Me: Good morning! I saw an advertisement in the Shopping Centre about your Manager’s Special.

Staff:  Yes?

(Clearly the Manager’s Special hadn’t reached her shell-likes)

Me: You know the one. £99 for rail travel from Falkirk to London and 2 night stay B&B.

Staff: Yes? Oh yes. There’s no time limit on that one. You can go when you like.

Me: Well, that’s just wonderful. Even better. In that case I have a week off after Easter so I’d like to go then.

Staff: What dates?

Me: How about midweek? Wed/Thursday?

Staff: (tap tap into computer) Where do you want to go from? Edinburgh?

Me: Er no, Falkirk. Here. Where we are. Where the ad said you can go from for £99.

Staff: How many of you will be going? Two?

Me: No, just me. Just one.

Staff: Oh.  (tap tap into computer) Right. I need to phone up about that one.

(Phone call takes place. My details are related to third party.)

Staff: Where do you want to stay?

Me: Oh I don’t know London very well. I’ll want to be going to the National Gallery. Perhaps the Tate. So somewhere near a good Tube connection?

Staff: Oh okay.

(Conversation continues with third party. I never found out who they were.)

Staff: Ok, that will be £340 then thank you.

Me: £340? The sign said £99. That’s more than three times.

Staff: Ah well, its the single supplement you see.

Me: Well perhaps your sign should reflect that then.

Staff: Do you want me to try other dates? When else could you go?

Me: Well I did choose midweek assuming it would be cheaper. But any time that week would do.

(This is related to third party.)

Staff: Would Wembley suit you? There’s good tubes from Wembley I think.

Me: Sure. Wembley sounds fine.

Staff: That’s £320 then. How about that?

Me: That’s one hell of a single supplement this B&B is charging.

Staff: No, its the train fare too. The single supplement there is quite high.

Me: You have to pay to travel on your own on a train now?

Staff: For this offer, yes.

Me: In that case, I think I’ll leave it.

Please take note, Mr Thomas Cook. You are luring people in with your promises of cheap travel to exotic places and all the time it is a lie. Not just a little lie, but over three times the lie. Not good.

And Mr Manager of Thomas Cook… your ‘Manager’s Special’ is not good business practice and not fair on your front-line staff who have to deal with irate customers like me. Not fair at all.


7 thoughts on “Might this be why Thomas Cook is going out of business

  1. Your rant is well justified.

    I have just used the East Coast Trains web site and found a return train travel for you at around £90. If you went First Class, which includes food the best I could find was around £125.

    Being the week after Easter (School Holidays) checking Premier Inn on Euston Road or Southwark (close to tube stations) the room rate – priced per room, not person means paying around £250. This is without breakfast.

    Now the Ibis at Euston – just under £200 for room only – again a rate per room not person, and including breakfast £230.

    Even that is way cheaper than what you were quoted in Thomas Cook. Given my experience of train fares and accommodation costs, I doubt that the advertised Manager’s Special price is possible. It is probably a teaser to get you in, however that is no excuse for the staff not being familiar with it.

    National Gallery – Charring Cross station (Northern Line or Bakerloo Line)
    Tate Modern – Southwark (Jubilee Line) or London Bridge (Jubilee Line or Northern Line)

    Kings Cross is served by Victoria Line, Northern Line, Circle Line, Metropolitan Line and Piccadilly Line

    Hope this helps.

  2. Ruthie, For accommodation in London I always use St Katharine’s. It is very easy to get in from there on the Docklands Railway, change at Bank for all art galleries etc. Much cheaper than commercial places. http://www.rfsk.org.uk/

  3. If the difference between the £99 offer price and what you were quoted is all down to a “single supplement” how about buying two tickets (£198) and not using the second (or give it to a friend). That still gives a saving of £142 over the first price quoted!!

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