Booking a holiday with The Holiday Specialist?

If you are booking a holiday with the company called The Holiday Specialist, you should know certain facts before you accept the offer.

This company The Holiday Specialist with website www.theholiday-specialist.com was registered on the internet in January 2011. The website does not really comply with the rules and regulations and neither is there a clear identification on which the people are behind this company.

The company based in Benidorm – Spain, has a UK phone number for contact 870 1922176 and an email address admin@theholiday-specialist.com

This company is cold calling timeshare consumers offering 3 weeks of accommodation for £297 on an offer that will expire very soon so the consumer needs to pay straight away if they want to be included. The dates of the travel will be booked later, so really the consumer pays for 3 weeks holidays and it will be the question if they will get at all the dates and/or destinations requested when they try to book.

On the website the company explains that they work with a large number of resorts and hotels and they are always looking for the best deal for the consumers.

So far so good. But is this really the setup of The Holiday Specialist? Why do they actually target timeshare owners on cold calls, using obviously information which is provided by…who?

On the confirmation email they send, they mention a Spanish company registration number: CIF: B54454988 this number exists, but the name of the company registered is Lifetime Marketing Solutions SL.

This company with the same registration address as The Holiday Specialist, C/ Gambo 9 – Benidorm is also connected to another company called Bonus Select Vacations SL

Bonus Select Vacations SL was a marketing company who operated in the year 2005, selling the dubious DWVC membership. We remind to the reader that this group went into liquidation a few months ago, leaving helpless all their members.

Don’t get us wrong, we are not against Fly Buy holidays if this is indeed the case!

We are against the alleged illegal use of timeshare company’s data bases. And against the unethical activity of Fly Buy companies that cold call existing timeshare owners from one Timeshare Company to invite them to go to another timeshare company.

I would like to know which Timeshare Companies have agreements with The Holiday Specialist. Do they know its modus operandi?

We thought that Timeshare owners and Timeshare Companies should be aware of this company.

 

 

About mindtimeshare

Mindtimeshare SLU is registered Company reg number: B35957182 Mindtimeshare provides assistance to timeshare owners who have been defrauded by holiday clubs and bogus resale companies. The Mindtimeshare project was launched in February 2011. After dealing with timeshare members over several years who had been defrauded by numerous bogus companies and for large amounts of money, I considered launching an Organisation to help timeshare owners that have been targeted by bogus companies. On this blog you can find information about the different active scam companies and their “modus operandi” and also place comments, ask questions and see comments from other consumers who have the same doubts or have been through the same experience. Mindtimeshare has resulted in a huge success and has received the back up from not only timeshare consumers but also from the professionals in the timeshare Industry. Mindtimeshare helps timeshare owners who have been scammed by bogus Discount Holiday Clubs; bogus cash back companies; fraudulent timeshare resale companies; bogus class action companies and false lawyers and notaries. We offer professional answers and advice to Timeshare users. If you want to send an email instead of posting a comment on the blog please do so by emailing: customercare@mindtimeshare.com
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51 Responses to Booking a holiday with The Holiday Specialist?

  1. keith says:

    help, what do we do we paid £1500 in march 2009 for 10 years half price hotels, we have never used it and they told us we didnt have to pay any fees, today we have recieved a letter telling us we owe 560,48euro or send £175 plus a copy of driving licence or passport to cancel worried sick about being in debt or handing over personnel details what do we do please help

  2. lynton says:

    We fell into the Holiday specialist trap and they took us for £900.00 and we have had nothing in return.Our ref number was given as CIF:54454988.We have been emailing to Joanne Campus for 18 months and she now ignores our emails.When we ring we either get answer machine or nothing at all.We filled a complaints form in in August 2012 and was told a Kris Thomson would be in touch He hasn’t.The company have just been on the phone asking if I would like a quote for a holiday,after telling her the story.I got I’ve just started so I don’t know how to help you and merry christmas.We have been lied to from start to finish.My advice to people is steer clear of the holiday specialist and don’t fall into the trap we did.£900.00 to someone our age is a lot of money.And we are still fighting to get it back.

    • Ray says:

      Hi
      We have suffered a similar fate as yourselves. What are your lines of enquiry. I would like to join you in an attempt to recover our money

      Ray

  3. Angela says:

    Hi JaySea
    Great news – I have confirmation from Jet2 for my flights and the hotel have confirmed everything is OK. Since reading all these bad comments I have literally been calling the Holiday Specialist everyday and bombarding them with emails. To be fair to them they have been very patient with me and now my mind is at rest. I would like to thank Ben, Zoe and Catherine for their help. I would say to anyone out there who has purchased a loyalty card with them to give them a try. From the paperwork I received they got us a good deal on the flights. My stress levels have been quite high but now I can relax and roll on Ibiza 2013!!!

    • Jaysea says:

      Hi Angela, Just ask yourself ” was the hassle really worth the savings” you say you have made. I too had a “loyalty card” and had to make many calls plus e-mails before I eventually got my tickets. That doesn’t happen with the established airlines. My tickets were not received until very late. Where as tickets from normal UK outlets are available much earlier. I just hope that you do actually receive your tickets and not just “promises and delaying tactics”. Don’t forget they can cancel the bookings. I would NEVER use them again regardless of your report. Other readers “BE ON YOUR GUARD”

      • Angela says:

        Hi JaySea
        I have confirmation that the flights are paid for and a deposit for the first night per person has been paid to the hotel. When I have to pay the remaining monies for the hotel (12 weeks prior to going) I will contact the hotel – so why would they cancel it? Angela.

    • Milly says:

      I have been told i will not get my flight tickets to Thailand for 22/.02/13 i paid £1200 this was for a three week holiday.i have had to go and buy new tickets as the hotels would charge me full price to cancel the holiday at this late date.I have reported H/S to the
      Action fraud at the police .i only hope that anyone who has still got bookings will get there holiday.

    • JJ says:

      We are just back from Istanbul having booked our flights with The Holiday Specialist and like you was very anxious having read all the bad reports and only getting our tickets 5 days before departure date. I sent several emails as could not make phone contact but Anna phoned me to reassure me tickets were on their way and we had excellent flights at superb price and no further problems.

      • Milly says:

        Regarding the Holiday Specialist i am still trying to get my money back for my flight tickets that did not arrive in February.I have tried several telephone numbers today and not any of them are picking up ,i did speak to someone back at the beginning of June and they said it could take up to 42 weeks ,i honestly think they say this just to get you off the phone.Please try and get your money back now if you can because it is not worth the stress they are a ruthless company and do not care .They said to me that they had financial problems and they were closing down that was back in April.

  4. Rod says:

    Can I have some advice please! I recieved a cold call from THE HOLIDAY SPECIALIST.(hear after refered to as THS) on the 19-07-2012 And after a long conversation, gave them my creditcard details totaling £223-12. Beleaving this was a company registered in England, as the telephone no. read 08101922176 and they indciated their office was in essex.
    I asked for an e-mail to be sent with details and terms and conditions ect. On recieving the e-mail from THS.,the sum of £223-12 was translated into 272-25 ,euros then realising that THS was actualiy based in Spain. Recieved the loyalty card pack approx. 7 days later to find enclosed paperwork to be signed and dated agreeing to the convertion from £ toEuros. Also stapled to the letter are 2 transaction slips headed, santander LIFETIME MARKETING SO RUPERIO CHAPI, 19-EDF LOCAL -1/BIS With the same amounts as above for transfer to be agreed,signed and returned. Of which I have not done .
    informed my Bank Fraud dept.about the situation, they say they cannot cancell the transaction,as the dispute is between me and THE. It seems clause 75 is not applicable until
    the situation between the two parties is resolved, Anybody been in this position!

    • tony mcintosh says:

      Hi Rod,
      My wife and I have recently fallen in to the trap, very cleverly set by THS. I only stumbled across all the negative comments about this outfit when I went on-line last evening. This was a few days after my wife had given her credit card details concerning payment of £400. We now realise that it will be very much on THS’s terms before we hear further from them! We will, of course, not be signing anything!

      My wife contacted her credit card issuer (M&S) yesterday and today. She has been given an optimistic response about the prospects of getting monies refunded. The contact at M&S was aware of the disreputable methods deployed by THS!!!!

    • miss c says:

      thats funny rod …. i have 3 VIP cards now lol ….and my father also has recieved 2 letters the same with 2 transaction slips attached to them for the same price of 546.96 and also converted into euro’s aswell ….they say he will not recieve his so called pack with his holidays offers in it if they dont recieve this bk signed ….. this is dated way bk to october 2012 …. and money is allready out my fathers bank so why do they need this signed ????

      it is a c**…. i really dont think this company exists …. i will believe it when i see it …

      my advice to anyone is…. phone ur card company and say u need new cards sent out as u lost urs ….as they store ur details and use them whenever … better safe than sorry rod…….

  5. alan says:

    I have just received a telephone call from Adam, of the holiday specialist in benidorm, I HAVE BEEN CONNED BEFORE SO WAS WELL AWARE OF WHAT TO EXPECT, AT FIRST HE SAID HE WAS BASED IN ALICANTE, THEN CHANGED HIS MIND TO BENIDORM, I HAVE NOT SIGNED UP FOR ANYTHING, HE SAYS HE WILL RING BACK TOMORROW, ANYTHING I SHOULD DO, INFORM POLICE? OR JUST KEEP HIM TALKING FOR AGES? REVENGE IS IN MY MIND! ALAN

  6. Susanne says:

    We are suppose to be flying to Malta Saturday 1st Sept through this company, still not received tickets 6 days to go, i know its Bank hol, but we rang the flight company we are supposed to be flying with to be told not on that scheduled flight. We have been ringing for two weeks no answer. We were told about this company through a friend who uses them all the time, just been on 2 fights with them! wierd!!!. We have booked flights with another company just hope we get our joining fee and flight cost back.

  7. Mini says:

    I was cold called and I’d normally just hang up. However, they sucked me in and answered a LOT of my questions quickly and efficiently, all answers sounded credible.

    I still believed there was a 50% chance of being conned but I went ahead and booked with The Holiday Specialist. I contacted my bank 10 mins prior to making payment (over £2k) and confirmed with them that I was covered. I am due to fly out in Q4 2012.

    I thought I could not lose. If my holiday materialises I’ll save over £1,000 and we’ll have a good time. However, if it was a con I’ll get all my money back from the bank, no big deal. The problem of course is the not knowing. I think I’d rather pay more for the security and knowledge that the booking exists.

    Suspicious activity:
    1) Despite confirming that bookings would be made immediately on receipt of my payment I’ve confirmed directly with the airline and hotel that no booking has been made.
    2) I was told they have 400,000 UK customers and a call centre of 150 people. It transpires the call centre has 6 people and I would assume significantly less customers.
    3) I can never contact them. Always on answer phone or some bizarre voicemail. Seriously, what travel agent doesn’t answer the phone or respond to emails?

    I now think I have a 90% chance of staying at home. I wish I could get my money back today and be done with it.

    • Tracy says:

      I’ve just been caught out by the holiday specialist too, luckily i only paid for the trade card and flights, stopped when they slipped up about booking my hotel, information from one person was different from Alex, the head man. I should have followed by gut and not touched them. Did anyone contact the police as they liaise with the local police where the con masters are based? I’ve considered a quick surprise visit to see them too!

      Tracy

  8. Rose says:

    Can you please send info on how to claim for my registration for this company? I paid for the discount card by credit card. No reply to phone number or emails from The Holiday Specialists yet they only phoned me the other day offering more deals. Thanks

  9. denise says:

    I am due to fly next week but my tickets have not arrived, what shall I do they are not answering their phones?

    Denise

  10. joyce says:

    i have just paid 299 for a trade card which gives 40% off flights so bookes 5 flight total £1054 the phone number does not respond as of today please could you offer some advice i have paid with my barclaycard

  11. George says:

    Regarding The Holiday Specialist.
    The sales pitch:
    A 14 day luxury cruise for two all inclusive with sea view and balcony for £399. This would normally cost you a couple of grand and you can sail with any of the top cruise lines from which ever port the cruise you pick sails from: Liverpool, Southhampton, Glasgow.
    WOW! sounds great, Yeah sign us up.
    Their information arrives a few days later, we have’nt bought a cruise at all, we have bought a LOYALTY CARD! Quote: “Your Loyalty card opens a gateway to unlimited holiday bookings, with a major difference… all your future reservations will be made without paying the commissions and charges that are normally applied by high street and internet based travel agents”. Thats not all either, there is a renewal fee of £99 per year but we were still going to get the cruise so we thought we will have the cruise then cancel the membership.
    I was just in the process of filling out our, Registration Validaton Form for our “Free Cruise” + acceptable charges when I decided to check their website to find the best method of payment for the $75 deposit. So I put in the website name, supporteu@vacationpassportfaq.com, google did the rest.
    Providing me with a choice of sites with the key words in them and a few words I did not want to see like “SCAM” and “CON” anyway I had a look at their own FAQ site first and saw different instructions to what was on the registration card. It says to send only a $4.95 processing fee with the form within 30 days of the date on the form (ours is not dated) it then says to allow 30-45 days for the delivery of the Activation Packet, to read the terms and conditions and complete the Registration Activation form and send with a check for $100 to the address provided. Then wait 10-15 days to receive your email confirmation of activation and instructions on making your reservation another copy of the terms and conditions. You then have 13 months from the printed activation date to BOOK and TRAVEL. One or two interesting points mentioned on the website:
    Q: What forms of payment are acceptable?
    A: You may use any form of payment other than a credit card. Cash payments are not highly recommended.
    Why would they not want you to pay with your credit card?

    All travel requests must be received 90 days in advance of the departure date.

    Q: Are there any date restrictions?
    A: Yes, you are not permitted to travel in the 7 day period before and after a holiday and all requests must be placed 60 days in advance of the departure date.

    Holidays
    New Years Day
    Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    President’s Day
    Easter
    Memorial Day
    Independence Day
    Labor Day
    Columbus Day
    Veteran’s Day
    Thanksgiving
    Christmas

    Apart from contradicting themselves within a couple of sentences the booking restrictions seem severe. I do not know the dates of most of the listed American holidays but it looks like it takes out about 27/28 weeks in which you cannot have your holiday. Would we have similar restrictions in the UK?

    Q: When will I be contacted regarding my travel request?
    A: A reservation agent will contact you 30-45 days before your travel date by both phone and email.
    Some of the letters above seem to indicate that this does not happen.

    Q: What fees am I responsible for at time of booking?
    A: You will be responsible for government taxes and resort fees of $199.

    Q: When does my offer expire?
    A: You will have 13 months from the activation date printed on your Welcome Aboard to book and travel.
    So after reading about other peoples problems above and the restrictions set out on the support site I think I will plead the old section 75, if someone could help me out with that I would be grateful thanks. Does anyone know any success stories regarding this type of holiday company.

  12. Michelle says:

    I received a call today from this company saying that if I paid £400 I would be receive a card entitling me to free charges of any flights/holiday booking with any company for the rest of my life! I would also receive a European break away to be used within 3 years. All sounds too good to be true!

    • Eric says:

      Michelle don’t touch this deal with a barge pole! I had a similar deal with them last year in May,
      and it was a big C**!!!!! I finally got my money back through the Trading Standards and my
      credit card.

      Eric

      • Bill says:

        Hi Eric, how did you get Trading Standards involved? I approached TS and they said there was nothing they could do as the Haliday Specialist was Spanish based and not UK.

  13. Simon says:

    My creitt card company appear to be doing the ‘3rd party’ trick and saying not covered under Section 75. Will keep pursuing all companies involved

  14. Sharron says:

    I had a 2nd call last night Natasha ‘offer’ some great deals after doing some research this morning we wont be touching this company and will also be speaking to RCI about any data they have sold on

  15. Lynn says:

    I have been fighting with this company for over one year to get a refund of nearly £3,000 for a deposit I paid for a family cruise holiday this year. When I contacted the cruise company they categorically confirmed they had no booking for my family and as there were no longer any 4 berth cabins available it was not going to happen. My credit card company refuse to take up the claim as they say the contract is with the ‘Holiday-specialist.com’ but the credit card was debited by Lifetime Marketing Solutions, although we all know its one of the same, neither company will confirm in writing that this is the case. Can anybody advise where I go from here?

    • Bill says:

      Hi Lynn, I have a similar problem. I paid £1720 for flights, transfers and two weeks accomodation in Lake Garda and two days before due to fly got a call from somebody purporting to be from the Holiday specialist stating that the hol had not bee booked. I have been told that a refund had been approved but as yet (3 months on) nothing. Did you get any joy with your refund?

  16. thomas says:

    my wife and i paid £1300 for 3 cruises to the holiday specialist having had no satisfaction i now realize we have been conned

  17. Simon says:

    I am currently in the process of getting potentialy shafted by the holiday specialist. Booked cruise for £600 and filled in the registration form $75, now the cruise may want over $1,000 each – I am awaiting a response from the cruise people to determine final costs. subject to this I will update as at that cost I would be better of just booking directly. Letter of complaint will be going out as required and contact credit card company etc etc. might even take a little trip to visit them in Spain if necessary – small cost for some satisfaction :-))

  18. Robert Paterson says:

    Ian & Eric
    I was promised a certain cruise we wanted was available if I hurriedly paid £598, but then when I recieved the literature I had to send a Registration Validation Form with a further $75 to get cruise voucher and cruise availabilty listings. The cruise line I required… Cunard was never an option!!!.
    Trying to get somebody to communicate with you via email or on the telephone is near impossible.
    No Luck in getting a refund.
    Eric what is this section 75 you mention

    Rob Paterson

  19. Ian Cockling says:

    I received a cold call from this company,offering Cruise for Two at £598, to be taken over the next 3 years, quoted numerous Cruise Lines. Has anyone any experience of using this.

    • Eric Lunt says:

      Yes Ian myself and my wife were contacted by TheHolidayspecialist with the same offer and stupidly accepted and paid the money only to find we had send seventy five dollars to a company called Ultimate Cruise Vacations in Florida, we refused and demand a refund but that was a waste of time.We are currently claiming on our credit card under
      section 75.

      Regards

      Eric Lunt

  20. CHURCH says:

    I made a flight booking with “The Holiday Specialists” several months ago for a flight for my daughter and her husband to go to Tenerife in early February 2012.

    Are you saying that I will NOT receive flight tickets for this booking?????

    • Angela says:

      Did you receive your flight tickets for the holiday in Tenerife?

      • JaySea says:

        Yes, but only after I threatened them that I would visit them with some friends (all from the “SAS”). I am sure I would not have received anything otherwise. NEVER USE THIS ORGANISATION! is my advice.

      • Angela says:

        Hi JaySea
        I have given them £3k deposit for 15 flights and hotel accommodation to Ibiza next June – pannicking like mad now, I have spoke to THS and Ben assures me there is nothing to worry about. I asked for the agents name that have booked the flights so I can check with Jet2 but they can’t give that information out. They are going to send me the vouchers for the Hotel accommodation so I can check up on that. I just wished I used them for my family holiday first before doing this!! Any advice on what to do? My brother lives just outside Benidorm in La Nucia, do you think I should get him to call into their office? Thanks. Angela

  21. Martin Summers says:

    Sounds a lot like The Gift Company, although they have an address at Alfaz dei Pi, Alicante. The amount of £99.00 per week is even comparable so, beware, the accomodation will most likely be linked with a ‘presentation’, and we know only too well how we love those!!!!!

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