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Unread 12 Apr 11, 04:39 PM  
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Problemswith "Virgin" villa

Well we arrived in Orlando on Thursday- our party of 13, few hiccoughs- the computers were down at Gatwick so we couldnot get our Virgin phones (apology accepted) and to their credit Virgin did say yesterday (Monday) they would try to sort it for later this week, but as we would be a week into the holiday we declined.
They did also say the villa details would be available for us at the airport with the toys - no villa address and no toys. Minor details. Some 4 hours later we found the Villa offices (Imagine) no- one there at 8pm of course.So we headed off for the villa.:
Bearing in mind this holiday has taken 2 years of saving and cost 14K plus- to say we are disappointed is an understatement. (Previously we have gone DIY and we so wish we had done it this time.)We are in Emerald Island, a gated community and very nice postion for the parks.But t he standard of the villa :-massively disappointing, and is way way below expectations. So off we went on Friday to register with Imagine and discuss our concerns.
1) Freezing pool (despite paying for pool heating)- answer it takes 24- 48 hours to heat up. Yes but this is FREEZING. Enginner comes out and fiddles with it- no improvement. Next day we called angain still no warmer, another chap comes out at 10pm and says the thermostat is broken - he does what he has to and we go to bed. Next time we go to use it the water drais out of the spa when its turned on... another engineer visits and does what he has to. Next day we go to use the pool and its hotter than our bath at home...Another call and another enginneer fiddles. This morning the pool is registering a temperature of 106 Yes 106. Another call and another engineer on day 6 of the holiday only the children have dared used the cold pool and we adults not at all. Engineer comes again and says previous engineers have mnot addressed the problem (or words to that effect! )We are currentley awaiting another engineer to sort the problem again.
2) The BBQ is filthy- answer, the BBQ is not for guest use, it is the villa owners own and as such they are entitled to leave it as they wish! ...
3) There are 4 sunbeds (if you can call them that) one is badly ripped, and 5 chairs- yet we are a party of 13. Answer:- the owners are only obliged to provide seating for 4. Only 3 plastic plastic and one plastic cup yet we are told not to take glass ware crockery outside should it break...(No response)
4) Now the villa:-The villa was not clean, the utensils we are to use are ancient- if you could see the pans, the whistle kettle that you can make coffe for 4 in that the handle burns when its boiling, Answer: They are not obliged to provide electric kettle;
5) Towels:- We have to share towels there are so few.Answer:- Yes you've guessed it- they are not obliged to provide enough for 13..) Blocked toilet (bearing in mind you are chrged if you block a toilet) as there are only 5 toilets and 13 of us we managed to unblock it as a case of necessity .
6) The villa has dirty and stained carpets throughout and a general ambience of neglect and grubbiness - not at all like our previous DIY villas...

I wont go on you get the gist... :angry: The attitude of the person there was basically it is tough. Not our problem.. speak to Virgin. So we spoke to our concierge about our issues in general and about the villa. I have to say the points in general he has handled with great diplomacy and credit to him.We are promised vouchers as a goodwill gesture for the children not receiving their toys- thank you Jay, however the villa is a huge ongoing issue.

We are currentley awaiting Virgin's response (they are "looking into matters and liaising with Imagine".) But we go home a week tomorrow and it is simply not good enough for such a reputable company to try and pass this as acceptable:angry:. We understand Virgin are to stop using Imagine soon, but they have a repsonsibility to customers such as us who have bookedand paid latge sums of money, to ensure we receive an acceptable standard- this is not askinmg too much surely?

We will keep you updated, meanwhile we are determined not to let these issues spoil our much anticipated and hard worked for holiday.
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Unread 12 Apr 11, 04:50 PM  
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I'm really sorry you have had all those problems
I too have saved for nearly 2 years for my Florida Holiday and understand that you must be damm right annoyed!
I would take photographs of all that is not right with the villa and be prepared to send off a letter and pics when you return home, I know that doesn't help you now...but at least then you have evidence when you complain.
Like you say try not to let it ruin your holiday but when you return home make sure Virgin understand how this has affected your holiday.

Hope things get better xx
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Unread 12 Apr 11, 05:21 PM  
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this scenario is an almost exact replica of what happened to my SIL last October with Travel City Direct & Hotel Beds. TCD are part of Virgin Holidays and I understand Hotel Beds are the replacement for Imagine. I believe Imagine are only being used for pre-existing bookings.

Look up the post on theDIBB by MADWIFE01 and you will see what happened there - the same story with the spa emptying (it needs a new "actuator", the pool being freezing and the villa being scruffy.

My SIL did complain several times in Orlando (at Hotel Beds in person & with a Virgin office in Orlando via telephone). After empty promises about the spa being fixed and the villa being cleaned, they were moved to a different villa. This second villa was not up to standard either and they ended up renting a private villa.

After a stern letter of complaint to Virgin when they got home, they were re-imbursed the 520 it cost them to hire the private villa & they received 300 in Virgin vouchers.

If you get no joy on the telephone to Virgin, there is a Virgin Holidays Office at this address;

107 Lake Davenport Blvd Davenport, FL 33897

(863) 420-8466

We did not go there in October to complain as we didn't know the office was there until our last day. Maybe they will be able to help you.

Record names of people you have spoken to and take photographic evidence of the state of the villa & the empty spa for when you get home.

I hope you can still enjoy your holiday and this doesn't spoil it.

Let us know how you get on.
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Unread 12 Apr 11, 05:39 PM  
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Thanks for the words of advice and encouragement- we will take photos as you suggest who knows maybe they can rectify themselves. However one thing is for sure we would never ever book a villa via Virgin again
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Unread 12 Apr 11, 05:51 PM  
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Katie, so sorry you're villa etc is disappointing. Strongly agree that you take fotos and keep a log of complaints, names of people you've reported problems to. Would also recommend that you write a strongly worded letter of complaint as soon as you can on your return - I think that would emphasise your disappointment. As you've said, the conditions mentions are unacceptable and you're right to enjoy your hard-earned holiday, sunshine, days out etc as much as you can.
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Unread 12 Apr 11, 05:55 PM  
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A similar story for my friend! After 3 days her DH demanded that they were moved to a more suitable villa or he would check them into the Grand Floridian and charge them for the stay upon his return as they had not provided what they had initially booked. He would ensure that they paid for any other expenses by taking photos and forwarding them to watchdog, newpapers etc, basically anyone who would listen if they didn't cough up! within one hour they had an 'upgraded villa' on a different resort and compensation! I would stick to your guns and make sure you are recompensed in some form or another...try to enjoy the rest of your stay xxx

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Grand Floridian 1997 / Caribbean Beach 1998
A.S.M 2002 and 2004/ Cumbrian lakes 2005,6,8,10,11,12,13,14 & 15 NYC/disney '12
Animal Kingdom Lodge 2007 / OKW 2009, 2012
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Unread 12 Apr 11, 05:58 PM  
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Hi,i am really shocked at this as we went last year with TCD (Part of Virgin)our villa was really bang on,to be honest my daughter thought the area looked a bit naff at first Silver Creek,but as we got further round it was fine,when we opened the door to the villa it was beautiful,absolutely spotless and when we opened the blinds out to the pool area,our pool was huge,much bigger than adjoining properties,also had a spa,and yet we only ordered and paid for a standard villa.was brilliant all way round,three cheers to TCD,Just a shame that next year when we plan to go again,the priceds are coming back as idious,so plan to tailor make it all and see how we get on,just waiting for next years flights to get advertised and see where we go from there.

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Unread 12 Apr 11, 06:09 PM  
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We had a similar problem a few years ago with TCD (before they became part of Virgin). The villa was disgustingly filthy and there were several things wrong with it. We went to the TCD office and were basically told "tough" there was nowhere else for us to be transferred to. We made the BIG mistake of not taking photos as evidence because when we got home and wrote to TCD they also said "tough". So, my advice is document everything and take pictures and see if you can get some compensation when you get home. It is so upsetting when you work hard and save hard for a holiday and you have to deal with that. That was the only time we ever went on a package - we always go it alone now and find it far better. Hope things improve for you and that it doesn't spoil your holiday
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