Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Raw Deal: Ruby wedding couple sound alarm over QM2 cruise costs

Andrew and Angela Tait (Jamie Williamson)
Andrew and Angela Tait (Jamie Williamson)

ANDREW Tait and his wife Angela were excited at booking a dream cruise for their 40th wedding anniversary.

The couple, from Lockerbie in Dumfriesshire, chose a £7000 package that included flights to New York from Glasgow plus accommodation – then returning to Southampton on the luxury ocean liner Queen Mary 2.

Their ruby anniversary falls in May but they opted to travel in November when it is far less expensive.

“We simply could not have afforded a holiday like that at peak times such as May,” said Andrew, 63, a driving instructor.

“But we were happy to go at the end of the year and delighted to be travelling on the QM2.”

In February, Andrew booked the trip over the phone with Imagine Cruising, based at Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire.

“The agent on the phone explained that the price in the advert of £2999 per person was for a P2 level of stateroom on the QM2 but they had sold out,” said Andrew.

“He then offered us a P1 stateroom which was of higher quality but a good bit more expensive.

“My wife and I accepted this and the agent arranged flights for us from Glasgow to New York via Iceland.

“The agent told us that by agreeing to book it would cost £6998 and that a deposit of £2300 would be required.

The ‘Queen Mary 2’ ocean liner (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

“A statement he then read out advised us to read the terms and conditions which were found on their website. I accepted this, and paid the deposit.”

However, when the couple received the full itinerary the next day they were not happy.

“I looked on the websites for Cunard and also Imagine Cruising, to find that there was no mention of the P1 stateroom that we had paid an extra £999 for being ‘better’ than the P2 rooms,” said Andrew. “They were exactly identical in size and equipment.

“Imagine Cruising could not furnish a reason for the extra £999 for the stateroom at first, but then explained that it was Cunard’s price for the allotted position on the deck.”

The couple decided to cancel and asked for their deposit of £2300 to be refunded.

Imagine Cruising at first declined their request and instead offered the Taits £300 towards their spending money on board the ship.

Andrew argued that, as he did not have a chance to read the terms and conditions of the holiday at the time of booking because he had done so over the phone, he believed he had the right to cancel.

In turn, a company representative pointed out that during the call an agent had referred Andrew to the terms and conditions on its website and had advised him to read them.

“That is all very well but it was impossible to read stuff on a website while I was on the phone,” said Andrew.

The couple turned to Raw Deal and we asked Imagine Cruising to investigate.

And it was good news for the Taits, as within a few days the issue had been ironed out.

Queen Mary Britannia

Imagine offered the couple their original trip for the same price – plus a substantial free cabin upgrade on the QM2 for the duration of the six-day cruise, worth about £1500.

“We upgraded Mr Tait to a Queens Grill cabin,” said a spokeswoman for Imagine Cruising.

The Taits are delighted to take up the offer and they now can’t wait to celebrate their 40th anniversary in style.

“I would like to thank Raw Deal for the big nudge that you gave to the travel agency to get this issue resolved,” Andrew added.

“However, I still think that the company should address the problem where they can advise customers over the phone to read T&C’s, but do not actually provide them.”

Got a consumer problem? The Sunday Post’s Raw Deal team can help