Letter to Peter Fankhauser, CEO of Thomas Cook

Dear Peter,

My Wife and I have booked an all-inclusive package holiday with Thomas Cook, for the second year running, back to the same resort, Sharm El-Shiekh.

The Sentido Senses Resort hotel was outstanding, it was difficult to fault their service.

We were however somewhat disappointed with the flight out as it was on one of your older planes, the media was poor and the air conditioning almost non existent. That didn't however stop us from booking again this year, this time for 2 weeks.

I feel I need to bring to your attention some shortcomings in your service, both online and in-person, especially as you refer in your article;


Where you state “This is exactly what high-tech, high-touch means. We don’t only want to be brilliant with technology but also with the personal effect.”

Today, I tried to pay the balance of the holiday, some £xxxx, online, as I had been advised to do, only to find that when I tried to pay I was presented with a 404 error. Now I know websites can malfunction from time to time, but this is an uncontrolled error and is taking me to a page that doesn't exist, it does not inspire the user with confidence.

So I called to make the payment through your Call Centre and was greeted by a very polite female who took ALL my credit card details and THEN advised me that there would be a charge. Every other establishment I have used I have been advised BEFORE I give any details across. I was finally able to complete the transaction.

I then asked for information about the tickets and the lady duly responded, the problem was I couldn't hear what she said because of the tremendous noise in the background. I understand that it is a Call Centre but the noise management was non existent.

I then tried to complain and found the online complaints to be difficult to find and irrelevant for my subject.

I tried your live chat only to be told to call the same number for the call centre.

Finally, I tweeted and got a quick response from @thomascookcares. Allegedly they have escalated my complaints, but as some of the questions were, shall we say simplistic, I am not expecting a reasonable response. But with regard to the noisy Call Centre I was just told it's a busy environment.

I think your vision to provide high-tech, high touch failed me today, your desire to be brilliant with the personal touch also failed me today.

I got an apology from the various mediums I conversed through, but as you know apologies are cheap.

I own a marketing company and we have a system to manage customer complaints called GAS, which to put it bluntly stands for Give A Sh*t. It is very important to rectify the customer and then give a "+1", whatever that is. For us, it's a hand written card saying "I'm Sorry" together with a voucher or a bottle.

I have attached a document that we sent out to our customers last year , which is titled "The 9 reasons customer hate you". You may find it interesting.

The 9 reasons customers hate you

Now, not for one minute do I hate Thomas Cook, but the process of booking a holiday, which should be an enjoyable one was turned into something quite farcical. I feel I should bring this to your attention, especially considering your vision that you have laid out.

If you want to ignore this correspondence, that is of course, your absolute right. But if you would like to respond then I would already hold Thomas Cook in a higher regard and feel more confident that your vision is more than words.

Yours sincerely