Barkingside couple awarded £4,725 compensation after dream holiday turned into nightmare
PUBLISHED: 17:00 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:42 12 November 2019
A Barkingside woman and her boyfriend have been awarded nearly £5,000 in compensation after their dream getaway in the Indian Ocean turned into a holiday from hell.
Admin assistant Polina Dzhumerkova, 27, and her partner Dimittar Palozov, 37, a company director, were looking forward to a two-week escape to paradise.
The couple had booked an all-inclusive holiday to Ambre, an adults only Sun Resort in Mauritius with, tour operator TUI.
But as soon as they arrived, it was clear that the resort, which is advertised with a rating of 4.4/5, was very run down and in need of an urgent upgrade.
The couple were disgusted to arrive in their room to be met with an overwhelming smell of mould, and the numerous air fresheners put in place to mask the stench gave them both headaches.
Insult was added to injury when they found that their bed was dirty too.
Exhausted and angry after flying 11 hours, they complained immediately.
TUI promptly offered them a transfer to a different hotel, but at a cost of £2,341 on top of what they had already paid.
After worrying about the significant mould issue, Polina and Dimittar were concerned for their health and actually flew back to London Gatwick the day after arriving, ruining their much-anticipated island getaway.
The couple approached consumer law firm Bott and Co after complaining to TUI but being fobbed off.
After their loss of enjoyment and mental distress, the firm secured the couple a full refund for the trip along with £4,725.52 in compensation for their mis-sold holiday under the Package Travel Regulation 2018 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Groggy from their long haul flight, Polina and Dimittar arrived at Ambre, A Sun Resort Mauritius on 2nd June 2019. They had envisioned the hotel to appear as stunning as it did in the TUI brochure, but the reality couldn't have been more different.
Polina said: "Even from the entrance gates, we could see straight away that the hotel wasn't nicely kept. A bit of cleaning would have helped - the hotel reception was dirty and old. It looked like everything needed replacing."
It was becoming clear that their hopes of enjoying a well-deserved break would be dashed.
"When we entered the room, the smell from lots of air fresheners was overwhelming" she said. "We both had a headache."
The couple were horrified when they peeled back the bed cover to find that their mattress was filthy too.
Wishing to complain immediately, Polina asked the reception staff where she could find a TUI rep to voice her worries to.
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The rep then requested that Polina wait until she had delivered a presentation, promising that she would speak to her afterwards.
To her utter shock, Polina was offered a transfer to a different TUI hotel, but at a huge cost of £2,341.
On top of the steep price of £3,900 that they had already paid.
Unsurprisingly, while Polina was voicing her concerns, there was another couple queuing to complain about the substandard offering too.
Due to the lack of hygiene at the resort, including the presence of mould and their dirty bed, Polina and Dimittar decided to return home for the sake of their health.
Their grave concerns meant that they even didn't wish to venture to any of the restaurants, but as the resort was an all-inclusive property, this would have compromised their stay even more.
With heavy hearts, the couple booked flights home one day after arriving, at an extra cost of £400 each.
Polina says: "We will never book a holiday with TUI again.
"We just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. Since returning home, the service levels from them have been awful - they are so low.
"We tried to complain to TUI about the poor standard but they said they couldn't help us.
"When we realised there was nowhere left to turn we were forced to go legal and turned to Bott and Co for help."
Bott and Co helped secure £4,725 against TUI for the couple.
David Bott, Senior Partner at Bott and Co said: "This young couple were left bitterly disappointed by the state of the TUI property they were staying at.
"They had paid a large sum of money for a two-week all-inclusive break, and sadly the reality they were met with was world apart from their expectations.
"Under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 2018 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015, TUI had a responsibility to provide all the elements of the package, and they did not comply with this.
"We acted to recover fair compensation for the couple and are delighted that they have been awarded £4,725.52."
A TUI spokeswoman said: "We're very sorry to hear of the Dzhumerkova party's experience.
"We're pleased that this matter has now been resolved amicably."