Groupon’s Weekender Breaks deal slammed as misleading
Furious customer Janet Grafton claims the Berlin holiday voucher she booked through Groupon ended up costing her more than if she’d booked the trip herself.
Retired teacher Janet was looking for a bargain city break for her and husband.
The couple, from Hampshire, found a Groupon voucher costing £109 each for a 3-night trip to Berlin with Weekender Breaks.
But after they’d completed the booking, Janet received a call from Weekender Breaks offering her the chance to change to more suitable flights and get breakfast included, all for a supplementary charge of £138.72.
Within the supplement, the extra charge for different flights was £58 each.
They would, the agent said, give Janet and Neal more time in Berlin.
“I was unsure but decided to go with them, despite the extra cost,” Janet, 59, said. “For my own curiosity, I then decided to check the price of the flights if I was to purchase them independently.”
Janet was shocked to find she could have booked the trip herself for less than the voucher’s price.
She also noticed that other booking sites were advertising breakfast as being included at the Europa City hotel.
The hotel was a different option to accommodation originally offered in the Groupon deal.
“I believe that the package was sold in a misleading manner,” Janet said, “I could have booked the whole package myself independently for £211, yet to secure this ‘bargain’ Groupon deal has in fact now cost £354.
“I feel that the Groupon deal is offered to hook people in and then, once they're given the contact details, the sales adviser is tasked with upselling to the client.
“I find it hard to comprehend that my Groupon deal included flight and hotel and my upgraded flight cost £58 return, yet direct with Ryanair the flight is £49.99!
“I knew that using Groupon was a risk but I did not expect the break to cost me so much more than if I'd booked it myself."
A Spokesman Said has contacted both Groupon and Weekender Breaks for a response.
Weekender Breaks, which is based in Finchley, North London, and is part of the Hays Travel Group – the UK’s largest independent travel agent – has told us it is investigating.
If you’ve had a similar experience to Janet, tell us about it here. We’re in your corner.
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“Expect to pay more”
Janet is not the only one to complain at misleading Weekender Breaks offers on voucher sites.
Several customers have raised concerns about similar deals advertised on Groupon and Wowcher.
Jacqueline Gwinnett highlighted her experience booking a two-night trip to Dublin for £129 through Wowcher.
“It sounded great, except when they called me to book the flights. Coming back the flight is at 6am, which means I do not get two full nights in the hotel.
"Of course, for £40 more they are happy to give us a later flight, so expect to pay more.”
Like Janet, Debbi Thomson booked a Weekender Breaks holiday through Groupon.
She told us: “I was phoned by Weekender Break within 3 hours to confirm my booking; it started of OK but then I was rushed into decisions as they did not have the dates I wanted to travel from my local airport.
“I wish I’d stayed well clear of them.”
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