A number of Britain’s biggest travel companies have ranked at the bottom of an annual consumer satisfaction survey.
Thomas Cook, Tui and Tui-owned First Choice languished behind their competitors in the Which? study of traveller satisfaction with value for money, organisation and quality of representatives in their resorts.
Despite being a package holiday specialist, Thomas Cook received a customer score of 69% and “mediocre” three-star ratings for accommodation, customer service and value for money, Which? said.
One in four Thomas Cook customers told the consumer group they had encountered a problem on holiday, with the most common issues relating to representatives, travel delays and poor customer service.
The company won just two stars for its representatives, with travellers complaining that they were often unhelpful or simply non-existent.
Tui and First Choice performed slightly better than Thomas Cook, receiving three and four-star ratings across the board and satisfactory customer scores of 74% and 75% respectively. However both firms still finished behind eight other providers in the rankings.
Trailfinders, a specialist in bespoke trips to exotic destinations, was the best package holiday company overall with a score of 91% and the only provider with five-star ratings for any category – achieved for both customer service and holiday organisation.
Jet2 Holidays, now Britain’s second-biggest travel operator, followed with a score of 87% and four-star ratings across all categories.
Which? research found the average cost per day for a short-haul holiday with Jet2 Holidays was the same as Tui and Thomas Cook.
Which? Travel’s Naomi Leach said: “Whether it’s disappointing accommodation, incompetent reps or a holiday that doesn’t live up to the glossy brochure, choosing the wrong package holiday company could leave you wishing you’d stayed at home.
“Our hard-earned holidays are too precious to be ruined by second-rate accommodation or shoddy customer service. If your package is not as described, don’t be afraid to make a complaint.”
A Tui UK spokesman said: “We are disappointed in the results as our customers are at the heart of everything we do. We recognise the importance of great customer service and must do even more in the future. ”
A Thomas Cook spokesman said: “Many millions of loyal customers come back to Thomas Cook year after year. It seems they are not represented by the sample of fewer than 300 of our customers which was used for this Which? report.
“Our own customer satisfaction scores – which incorporate the feedback of tens of thousands of customers – are significantly higher than those reported by Which? and this year, satisfaction is up in all areas, including our rep service and quality of hotels.”
Which? surveyed more than 4,000 members about their experience with package travel operators in the past two years.