Posted by: Paul | September 18, 2010

Hidden charges

We’ve just booked a weekend at Center Parcs for next year. Ali has never been before, and I haven’t been for years, so it will be interesting – also seems the ideal thing to do with Adam.

Anyway, I’m a bit narked. They’re very naughty. It’s one of those websites which lumps loads and loads of extra charges onto your booking which you have to opt out of. You can’t just hire a ‘villa’ – first you’re faced with innumerable choices about the ‘type’ of villa. When you’ve figured out which one means ‘standard’ (apparently, ‘Comfort’), they then levy an extra £45 for picking where you want the villa within the park. Don’t pay, don’t pick – and leave the choice to CP ‘closer to arrival’.

Then there’s the insurance. Opt out. Following that, a long list of ‘extras’ which, to be fair to them, are opt-in this time. With the exception – and this is where I’m annoyed, as we jumped to the bottom of the list to find our price bumped up by £49 – of towels. Towels cost extra, to the tune of £1 per person per day. For 7 people – we plan on taking the Grandparents – that’s a massive £49 extra. Opt OUT.

After that there’s the inevitable credit card surcharge. I understand companies wanting to make money but I find this practice becoming more widespread and I think it’s a little bit underhand, designed to catch out people who don’t read the small print. Well, you might say, more fool them, but I think the onus should be on companies to look after their customers – that’s the way to encourage repeat business, in my opinion.

Anyway, hopefully we’ll enjoy it, but on this evidence I’ll be prepared to have my wallet emptied at every available opportunity… 😉


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