How to complain about your package deal holiday correctly

If there is a problem with your holiday accommodation or resort raise your problem as soon as possible with the owner, hotel staff or holiday company's representative. Explain the problem and give them the opportunity to move you or put things right.

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Record there names and the date and times you informed them and what they did. Obtain a complaint form from the representative, fill it in, get the rep to sign it and keep a copy. Make sure you take photographs and make notes of the problems so you can use them as evidence if needed later.

You may need independent witnesses so try and get the names and addresses of other holidaymakers who can support.

Always stay calm, be polite and smile. Some ill informed people think that being rude and aggressive will get them what they want. You are in a foreign country. Their laws may be different.

The last thing you want to happen is for the local police to be called and you end up spending a couple of nights in jail and issued with a huge fine for disorderly behavior. Your actions will probably be on CCTV so be careful how you behave.

If you still cannot get the problems resolved satisfactorily while you are on holiday, make sure you contact your holiday company when you get back to the UK. Put everything in writing. Give details of the problem. Keep copies.

State in your letter where you have just come back from giving dates and times. Include what was described in the advertisement and how it differed. If your were staying in a five class hotel and the room was dirty and fixtures and fittings were broken, be specific as to what was wrong. Provide copies of the photographs.

Send the letters by recorded delivery to stop them saying they have not received your letter as a delaying tactic. In the letter state that the accommodation was not as described to you and that the company has breached regulation 6 of the Package Travel Regulations, and its contract with you.

State that the description in the company's brochure or website under the regulations formed part of the contract and that as it was not as described the contract was breached. You then request compensation to cover your disappointment and loss of enjoyment suffered.

You also provide a list of any additional costs incurred and ask to be compensated within 14 days otherwise you will have no alternative but to sue them in the county court.

If you are not happy with the companies response send a 'final letter before action' stating that if things aren't resolved you will take the matter to an independent arbitration scheme like the ABTA scheme, or the small claims court. If the problem is not resolved, take your case to the small claims court or to arbitration.

If the package deal operator will not help you, check if it's a member of a trade associations such as The Federation of Tour Operators, The Association of British Travel Agents, or The Association of Independent Tour Operators, as they may be able to intervene on your behalf.