Author Topic: First Choice Pull out of Plakias!  (Read 33228 times)

Offline Noopsy

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First Choice Pull out of Plakias!
« Reply #75 on: July 17, 2004, 06:05:44 PM »
Expanding slightly on the transfer details I gave earlier (Can't work out how to use the wretched quote system.   ) for the airport - Heraklion city leg of the journey, in the light of the details given by Greecemad at 1 above:

The airport bus runs every 15 mins., and (stopping along the way) goes directly to Heraklion Port wherein is located the interurban bus station where you catch your onward bus to Rethymnon.
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Offline Mike G

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First Choice Pull out of Plakias!
« Reply #76 on: July 19, 2004, 11:23:20 AM »
On the continuing saga of trying to obtain a refund of my 240 deposit from FC, I spent ages on hold on the phone on Sat. They kept saying "your call is very important to us and we will answer you very soon". Yeh, right.

So, it is costing me significant amounts of money to obtain a refund when none of this is my fault.    Maybe John R was lucky getting through by phone to get his refund.

My feeling, having read about Kosmar, Cosmos, Argo etc is that Olympic will be hard to beat now that FC has gone. This is because I want self catering and want to book through a tour operator (thanks for all the transfer details guys but the thought of negotiating with a taxi driver before I have even arrived, going on a bus(or buses) with loads of luggage, or spending 70 Euros each way on the transfer does not appeal).  I know tour operator transfers can be slow, but I just relax and enjoy my first glimpse of Greece since the previous visit.

I think that 600 is the maximum for 2 weeks for 2 people in May, to include accommodation, meals on flight, transfers, and services of a rep (for emergencies and to pick their brains). FC would have been 460 not including insurance.

Mike

Offline Mike G

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First Choice Pull out of Plakias!
« Reply #77 on: July 23, 2004, 01:18:31 PM »
Re. the continuing saga of my First Choice booking to Plakias for May 2005 which, I was informed by E-Mail, has been cancelled. In response to my E-Mail to FC Customer Services, I received a phone call from CS yesterday. The conversation went along these lines (paraphrased):

FC: So you would like a refund of your 240 deposit.
Me: Yes, your terms and conditions say that if FC cancels or makes a major change I can have a full refund. I only want to holiday on Plakias next May and I have been told you are pulling out of the resort completely.
FC: Agreed, we can refund it.
Me: You haven't yet informed me in writing of the cancellation.
FC: That's because it isn't completely certain that we will be cancelling.
Me: But the E-Mail said you were.
FC: It is true that a block has been put on the computer system to stop further bookings. It is also probable that we are not going to your accommodation (Kostas Chysoulla). However, our Crete team has not reached a definitive decision yet on the whole matter.
Me: Do you mean you could offer me elsewhere in Plakias?
FC: Possibly, or make an arrangement with another tour operator to send you to the KC or elsewhere, with your agreement, so as not to lose your business.
Me: Well, your prices for Plakias are significantly less than all the other tour operators (only Olympic comes close) so I think I'll hang on.
FC: Yes, I would advise waiting to see what we come up with.
Me: I'm not in a paticular rush to rebook. However, I would not wait indefinitely (e.g. Christmas) as I might not be able to book with someone else then.
FC: It will be resolved well before then, I can't give a specific date, but a small number of weeks.
Me: OK I'll wait to see what you come up with.

I also advised that FC management should see this website to confirm what a significant demand there is for Plakias holidays from, I am guessing, thirtysomethings to seventysomethings all over the UK. FC has been in Plakias for over 10 years to my knowledge. Our experience with FC in Tingaki, Kos, in May 2004 was very positive.  

I'll report back when I hear something. FC cancelling our booking is still the most likely option, but holding on a while seems sensible. I was impressed that FC now seems to be making an effort at customer relations at last.  

ps. Apologies to those outside the quoted age bands.

Offline roger

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First Choice Pull out of Plakias!
« Reply #78 on: July 26, 2004, 02:53:58 PM »
Mike's report seems to explain the total shambles first choice have got themselves into - on the one hand not taking any boookings for next year ,on the other hand refusing or at least prevaricating over refunds .It is a pretty poor show - andI must say that I too have never had any problems with first choice whereas I would not travel with Olympic ever again for all the tea in china or beer in burton on trent - or both ! I think Mike's assessment of the level and nature of demand for Plaias is probably right - ie from 30s to 70s - but the sad fact is that it is the under 30s who have most spare cash and are a much more lucrative market for tour operators - which is one reason Plakias is being squeezed out
I look forward to going with Kosmar- they seem to be a company with the ethos of the former Sunmed - ie out of the way non commercialised resorts for us discerning tourists rather than mass produced guinness and chips and disco type resorts
roger

Offline John & Zell

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First Choice Pull out of Plakias!
« Reply #79 on: July 26, 2004, 06:25:02 PM »
Hi. Roger
I did post a message under "HOLIDAY COMPANIES" 2 week ago, COSMOS are DEFINITELY in Plakias at the LAMON next year. It may not be in the first brochure but it is definitite. If you want to check or book direct, contact MAGGY (the boss) on EMAIL info@lamon-hotel.gr
John & Zell

Offline Mike G

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First Choice Pull out of Plakias!
« Reply #80 on: July 27, 2004, 09:46:05 AM »
I was interested in Roger's comment about the under 30s having all the cash. I agree that they might spend large amounts whilst on holiday (drink?) but wonder if it is true that they spend more with the tour operator, which is where FC and others would feel it. I keep reading in the papers about 50 somethings and over being the folks with the spending power and virtually everyone I know of who is also in their 50s has miles more spending power than we had when we had families dependent on us.

Roger is not the first to comment negatively on Olympic so could some of you elucidate how they have screwed up in Plakias. I seem to favour them reading the brochure. I think Kosmar are only doing night returning flights to Heraklion (I don't do night returning flights) and Cosmos aren't featuring self catering (if I'm wrong here I hope someone will put me right). Nothing in Argo re. Plakias in the borochure I have for 2005.

Offline compage

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First Choice Pull out of Plakias!
« Reply #81 on: July 27, 2004, 11:14:46 AM »
Hi MikeG,

You can find all references to Olympic by using the forum search facility.
Like this.
John Page

Offline roger

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First Choice Pull out of Plakias!
« Reply #82 on: July 27, 2004, 02:09:21 PM »
I have not been to Plakias with Olympic
 My dire experience with them was three years ago in Skiathos . I chose one of the only two accomodations which did not have a warning about possible noise levels . In fact my room overlooked the street and right outside was the border of the night traffic free zone .In consequence there were some fifty scooters parked there on average each night and it was impossinle to sleep a wink . When I complained forcefully , they eventually tranferred me after three days to a room at the back of the property which was fine .I complained on mky return and had a most prolonged correspondence - with rubbiush like you should expect some traffic noise in the town centre .Nonsense cos I knew the actual centre was traqffic free at night .eventually I went to ABTA and after a lot of hassle ,I got 150 ccmpensation but with very bad grace on their part .And the next year's brochure still did not have a noise warning about that accomodation
 That is why I would never ever travel with Olympic anywhere again if they were the last tour operator on earth !
roger

Offline ostraco

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First Choice Pull out of Plakias!
« Reply #83 on: August 02, 2004, 12:21:09 AM »
Guess we all have our favourites.
We used Olympic for several years for our trips to Plakias. I will admit that the quality of the reps fell off as the years went on - many people will remember Kelly and Jacinta - they set such high standards.
We moved to Cursed Choice this year - 'nuff said - as their prices were very competitive.
John - Ostraco

Offline Noopsy

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First Choice Pull out of Plakias!
« Reply #84 on: August 02, 2004, 11:34:43 AM »
Hallo Ostraco!      So there is someone alive out there!  There have been no posts anywhere on this forum for the last 4 days!  Was beginning to wonder if everyone had packed their bags, and gone off to Plakias on the spur of the moment.  
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Offline ostraco

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First Choice Pull out of Plakias!
« Reply #85 on: August 02, 2004, 01:07:50 PM »
Yep - alive and kicking!
Got home from the beach last night, and noticed the same thing. I think a lot of the regulars are out enjoying the sun - and like me, looking forward to visiting Plakias again soon!
John - Ostraco

Offline roger

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First Choice Pull out of Plakias!
« Reply #86 on: August 02, 2004, 02:34:16 PM »
I cannot of course comment on the Olympic operation in Plakias as I have never been there with them but the attitude of the head office was so deplorable that that has made Oympic an absolute no no for life
 I do remember a rep called Kelly - someone else or did she work for another company as well in plakias , either first choice or inspirations ? The one I remember was married to a local taxi driver - who had been banned or possibly imprisoned after his  involvement in a fatal accident - and I think she died very young and tragically , according to things I have read in this conference .Or am I confusing two different  reps called Kelly ?
 As for packing bags , I will be doing that this time next week . Not long to go now .And for the first time for various reasons I am on a morning flight - 7 30 from gatwick - so will arrive late afternoon so will take Penny ,who has never been to Crete let alone Plakias ,for an introductory stroll round the village - though there is a good chance we will only get as far as the Livicon ... !
 roger

Offline ostraco

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First Choice Pull out of Plakias!
« Reply #87 on: August 02, 2004, 07:54:49 PM »
I can understand your attitude to Olympic Roger, I would feel the same if I 'd had that treatment - however, I must say that I wouldn't be against using them again for Plakias if their proces were good.

You do have the right Kelly in mind. I'm pretty sure she was working for Olympic during the time I knew her. Sadly, she did die young, but is still very fondly remembered, and often talked about. She was married to Zak, who was involved in an accident, although it was not his fault. He is still in the village, and I will always use him if I can.
John - Ostraco

Offline roger

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First Choice Pull out of Plakias!
« Reply #88 on: August 03, 2004, 01:08:41 PM »
thanks Ostrako
I rather think Kelly worked for Inspirations for a year - I would guess that might have been 95 or 96. And they lived quite near the costa chrysoula - one year when I was there I had a room which almost faced their balcony
roger

Offline ostraco

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« Reply #89 on: August 03, 2004, 08:10:54 PM »
Could be right Roger - Kelly's mother-in-law owns those flats - and I believe she rents out the upstairs sometimes.
It's funny how you get the holiday companies muddled up.
I've been to Plakias with Sun-Med, Thompsons, Inspirations, Manos, First Choice, Olympic (and probably others)...  what next I wonder? ? ? ?
I still remember the first trip though - that was with Sun-Med - the most honest brochure I've ever read - and one of the few that told you an all over tan was available at the far end of the bay!
John - Ostraco