First Choice Complaints

Free Advice Service for Illness or Accidents whilst on First Choice Holidays

Sad Family with suitcases depicting a Holiday Complaints

Simpson Millar LLP's specialist holiday lawyers provide a free advice service to holiday makers that have travelled with First Choice Holidays and have cause to complain because they have sustained an injury or have suffered from an illness due to poor hotel standards.

Simpson Millar LLP’s “First Choice” Complaint service can provide unhappy First Choice Customers with:

  • Free advice about your complaint and your legal position
  • Practical guidance on how to escalate and progress your complaint
  • “No win no fee” legal representation in appropriate circumstances where the complaint concerns a holiday accident or illness

Call 0808 145 1353 to receive free advice about your Holiday Complaint

Complaining Directly to First Choice?

Many holiday makers reasonably contact First Choice after experiencing a substandard holiday. Whilst this may sometimes lead to an offer of compensation or a goodwill payment – without taking legal advice – you may be at risk of agreeing to a settlement that does not provide adequate recompense.

Important Questions to Consider:

When raising a complaint directly with First Choice or agreeing to accept a payment from First Choice it is important to ask yourself how you can be sure that:

  • Your compliant has been dealt with fairly
  • The goodwill or settlement offer is a reasonable one
  • Your complaint has been thoroughly investigated with the hotel or relevant departments in order to prevent the same problem from reoccurring
  • Your injury is not going to cause you problems in the future or that your illness has not left you exposed to suffering from a secondary condition in the future

We would urge holiday makers with a complaint against First Choice Holidays to take advantage of our free advice service prior to contacting First Choice directly and prior to accepting any recompense offer by First Choice.

Important things to remember:

  • First Choice may use anything that you innocently tell them - or even anything that you fail to tell them - against you in order to reject or reduce the value of your holiday complaint
  • First Choice may offer you a holiday voucher or a “gesture of goodwill” payment which may significantly undervalue the true value of your claim
  • You may be contacted by a First Choice representative on returning to the UK and asked various questions about your illness and your holiday activities – again anything that is said or not mentioned during this conversation may be used against you
  • The content of any forms you send to First Choice about you holiday illness or the circumstances of your First Choice holiday accident may be used against you and may harm your claim
  • If you submit a written complaint by email or by letter, any inconsistencies that may innocently appear in your correspondence may be used to discredit your complaint
  • The wording that accompanies a First Choice “gesture of goodwill” payment may well extinguish your right to later claim compensation if your illness or accident symptoms deteriorate over time

How we can help

We can advise you whether your complaint is likely to have merits and can give you an idea as to how much compensation you can reasonably expect to recover for your holiday accident or illness. We offer free advice and therefore you have nothing to lose by contacting us.

First Choice Holidays – Useful Complaint Information

  • First Choice Holidays generally only sell Regulated Package Holidays
  • Regulated Package Holidays are governed by The Package Travel Regulations 1992
  • These Regulations make the “tour operator” liable if something that is supplied as part of the package goes wrong – regardless of whether it is the tour operator, hotel, transfer company etc. that is actually at fault
  • The Regulations also place a duty on the tour operator to ensure that the holiday contracted is exercised with “reasonable skill and care” – this means that the hotel, its facilities and the food that it serves as part of the package must meet certain standards
  • First Choice should not be asking holiday makers to deal directly with hotels or hotel insurers when a complaint is raised about a hotel – it is the tour operator that will be liable for the hotel’s negligence

First Choice Holiday Accident Complaints

  • Simpson Millar LLP offer free legal advice to holiday makers that have had an accident overseas and it is recommended that holiday makers contact Simpson Millar LLP prior to complaining to First Choice and certainly before accepting any “goodwill gestures”, holiday vouchers or compensation payments – these may considerably undervalue your claim
  • First Choice holidays may ask you to establish fault and this can require a report from a foreign lawyer or other expert. Simpson Millar LLP can advise you about what will be required to establish liability and are experienced in dealing with such matters
  • Specific expert evidence is likely to be required in order to establish what a complaint about a holiday accident is worth - Simpson Millar LLP can advise you about this and ensure that your complaint is not undervalued

First Choice Holiday Illness Complaints

  • It is not unusual for holiday makers to contract illnesses whilst on all-inclusive holidays – this is often caused by contaminated food or drink or from poorly maintained swimming pools
  • Such illnesses can have long term complications caused by salmonella, cryptosporidium, e.coli and other such sickness bugs
  • The effects of these illnesses can be long lasting and may lead to long standing complications such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • The symptoms of these illnesses may subside and then reoccur
  • In view of the above – it is important to take legal advice before accepting any settlement offers of goodwill gestures without having medical evidence
  • Simpson Millar LLP’s holiday illness lawyers can, in most instances, obtain a medical report for you to ensure that you are obtaining a reasonable level of compensation

If your claim has merits, we can obtain expert liability evidence for you and will arrange for a medical report to be completed for you so as to ensure your claim is not being undervalued.

How to Complain

You can contact First Choice Holidays directly by phone, email or by writing to them. As members of ABTA, their policy is to provide a response within 28 days.

We would recommend taking legal advice prior to contacting First Choice if your complaint concerns a accident or illness. If you have already contacted First Choice and have been offered compensation or a “goodwill” payment, we would recommend taking advice from a lawyer before accepting the payment.

If you have already contacted First Choice and are struggling to get a reasonable response or any response at all, then contact us for free advice.

Evidence is Key

More often than not, a successful complaint will be a complaint that is supported by evidence. It is much more difficult for a valid complaint to be disputed if there is good evidence to support it.

Examples of evidence that can help make a complaint successful include:

  • Photographs and video footage of defects, poor standards, injuries, hygiene, concerns, hazards or obstacles
  • Details of other holiday makers that can corroborate your complaint – taking witness contact details is always advisable
  • Contemporaneously completed Holiday Complaint Forms/Illness Forms/Accident Forms – Holiday representatives may fail to provide you with these forms – if this is the case make sure that you write an account of your complaints and ask the representative to sign the account
  • Resort doctor/hospital notes
  • Receipts – such as medication receipts, taxi receipts etc

The tour operator itself may have evidence that supports your claim – but may be reluctant to reveal this. Simpson Millar LLP’s experienced holiday lawyers are aware of the kind of documents that are kept by tour operators and of the tour operator’s obligations in respect of disclosing these documents.

Can I make a “No Win No Fee” Claim?

We can provide you with free advice and all advice given is on a “no obligation” basis. We will let you know if you can make a “no win no fee claim”. Even if we cannot accept your claim – we may be able to provide free practical advice on how to make a successful complaint.

If you would rather contact us electronically – simply send us an email using our enquiry form with as much information about your complaint as possible and we will reply with our thoughts.

By contacting us, you are not obliged to instruct us and we will not charge you for the advice regardless as to whether or not we are able to take your claim on.

If you have been injured in an accident or have suffered illness whilst on a First Choice Holiday and are unsure as to whether you can claim or are concerned about the claims process, it makes sense to call our friendly and approachable team on freephone: 0808 145 1353.

Get In Touch

Nick Harris - Marketing Director & Partner - Manchester

Nick Harris
Head of Holiday Travel Claims

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