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Survey finds biggest doesn't mean best for holiday firms

5th Jan 2010
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If you're about to book your summer holiday, you may want to read this first...

Some of the UK’s largest holiday firms provide the poorest service and rate lowest in terms in terms of customer satisfaction, according to a new Which? survey.

Cosmos, Thomas Cook and Tui’s First Choice and Crystal brands all found themselves bottom of a customer league table of 29 tour operators, while VFB Holidays, TrailFinders and Explore came out top.
Rochelle Turner, head of research for Which? Holiday, said: "It’s great to see the small operators doing so well. They have the advantage of being able to offer a more personalised service. However, larger tour operators still have an important role in offering affordable holidays."
She added that, although the larger players had performed well in terms of accommodation, they needed to "up their game across the board".
The online poll undertaken among 4,500 members of the Consumers’ Association explored customer satisfaction and how likely people were to recommend a given tour operator to a friend based on experiences on their most recent package holiday.
Respondents were also asked to rate the organisation of their holiday, any journeys they took, accommodation, tour reps, customer service and overall value for money.
While the average customer satisfaction score was 77%, the UK’s third largest operator Cosmos came in last place at 57%, followed by leading travel brand Thomas Cook at 58% and First Choice and Crystal at 63%. They also received only two out of five stars for value for money.
In contrast, France holiday specialist VFB’s score came in at a whopping 94%, while Trailfinders and Explore were each awarded 89%. All three obtained five stars in four out of five categories.
Representatives from the firms at the bottom of the league table all refuted the findings, indicating that they contrasted with their own customer surveys.

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