Just a warning to all consumers... Allthough Sunwing offers cheap tickets and when the flights get off on time the service in the air is nice if they wrong you under NO circumstances will they refund you at all. At the most they will offer you a coupon to use them again and call it a refund. Sunwing has a shady track record. I have done research and worked with TICO and the BBB to find a resolution for poor service and they refuse to acknowledge anything. I have found through investigation that they often are days late leaving for destination, take detours unannounced along the way to pick up passangers to fill the plane and switch hotels on you after you've paid and without for warning or refund. Often to a lower star. The following in my experience with Sunwing and their response to that.
I SEND THIS LETTER TO SUNWING'S EMAIL AND FACEBOOK CONTINUOUSLY FOR ALMOST A MONTH. ENLISTING FINALLY THE HELP OF TICO AND BBB. THEIR RESPONSE A JOKE.
Attention Sunwing and future Consumers, I am writing this letter for two reasons. First and for most I believe Sunwing has to be held accountable and take financial responsibility for their lack of customer service. Secondly future Consumers should be aware of the risk they are taking using Sunwing. I am generally a laid back roll with the punches kind of person. I am an avid traveler. Myself and my family travel every 3 months out of the country. Never have I experienced such insulting services as Sunwing has provided us. In other situations I have had good trips and bad luck on trips but never have bothered to complain. I am a tolerant person and can handle that fact that poop happens. In this instance it is without a doubt necessary to take action. Our experience with Sunwing goes as follows… In March 2011 we booked with Sunwing a vacation from Toronto to Varadero, Cuba. With in 24 hours of booking I find that the hotel they booked us with is closed for fumigation of bed bugs. When I contact Sunwing to explain I don’t feel comfortable being booked in a hotel that is currently being fumigated. I ask to switch to hotel that was listed at the SAME price but with better reviews. Sunwing charges us 100 dollars to switch. I don’t agree with this charge, Sunwing refuses to take responsibility for misrepersenting the hotels condition and would not change the reservation without this fee. I ignore the lack of customer service telling my self to be thankful and we will still enjoy our vacation having peace of mind we are in a clean hotel. The Sunwing rep at our hotel was often late or hard to find. Departure day we waited in our lobby for the bus to the airport for 2.5 hours and it did not show up. The front desk finally informed us our plane had been cancelled. Another 2 hours later a Sunwing rep showed up and said we would be departing the following day at 2 o’clock, she WAS aware our flight had been cancelled early that day. Had we been informed we would have enjoyed the day instead of packing up our room and preparing to leave. The following day we arrived at the airport to find out that there was NO plane there and no one knew when one was coming…we were stuck there 8 hours until we finally were sent home. On the plane we were promised vouchers that we never received. Upon returning home our travel agent and I contacted Sunwing’s customer service department to bring to their attention their lack of communication and customer service. Sunwing never acknowledged the complaint. November 2011 our family began planning for our 4th vacation of the year. Last minute. I came across Sunwing’s facebook page. I noticed 60% of the feedback was negative and engaged in several conversations regarding my first experience. Sunwing’s media team fed everyone the same generic answer regarding their troubles. Most people had ALREADY contacted Sunwing and the media team urged people to contact them again. Should these issues not be resolved the first time? Sunwing could clearly see my name and others and if they truly cared about customer service they could have EASILY contacted us. December 2011 we planned to take our five year old on his first vacation out of Canada. Having only two weeks to book and wanting to stay at a specific resort we had been too in the past we were lead into Sunwing’s hands again. Being an optimist we booked Varadero hoping the past was a string of bad luck. The morning of departure we noticed on Sunwing’s web sight our plan was delayed leaving from 4pm to 7pm. Wanting to reconfirm as we were traveling from London to Toronto to catch the flight. Plus traveling with an ADD 5 year old and did not want to be stuck in the airport long than needed, I called Sunwing’s head office in Toronto. The lady I spoke with ASSURED me and even double checked that our plane WAS leaving at 4pm. Arriving at the airport we learned it was in fact slated to leave at 7pm, the Sunwing rep stated our plane could not come in due to rain in Varadero (there was no rain in Varadero at all that day and all other airlines had NO problem leaving for Varadero). We were offered a 5 dollar airport voucher for food. Insulting, how does a 5 dollar voucher for a family of 3 even come close to accommodating this inconvenience? Sitting in the terminal we learned we were there with the Sunwing flights that were to leave for Varadero at 6am and 12pm. So the original story of OUR plane didn’t come in did not jive. Finally boarding a plane at 9pm with no communication of to what happened we were greeted by irate and rude flight attendants. People were politely explaining their stories of what happened through out the day looking for an explanation to this severe inconvenience and were met with responses such as “well I’m having a bad day too and this has nothing to do with me” “I’m in overtime and could take this crew off the plane but I’m staying to get you there” “Do you think I’m happy about this situation…I have to turn around and bring home MORE pissed off passengers”. Completely rude and unprofessional. Next we taxied out to the tarmac where the plane pulled over because they forgot paper work from a mechanic and were held for another hour. Then after a family finally got pushed over the edge from the stress of the situation and rudeness of the flight attendants they were kicked of the plane. The plane was turned around completely, luggage completely unloaded from the whole plane and reloaded we finally were taking off at 12:45 am. The whole time we were stuck in the aircraft we were refused water or any food and treated with total disrespect. Never did we ever receive empathy or a truthful explanation for the days events. We finally arrived at our hotel at 4:30 am, missing the whole evening and partial next day as we needed to catch up on sleep. Leaving us with only 3.5 days of the 5 we paid for!!!! Departing Cuba we were given a paper for each family member. Informing us of the change in flight time leaving Toronto to Cuba 5 days ago. (As if we didn’t notice our 10 hour delay in Toronto airport!) Plus a 75 dollar voucher each. It must be used in the year, only refundable buy spending more money with Sunwing but can not be used together. A RIDICULOUS gesture. One: I will NEVER use Sunwing again never mind 3 times in the next year. How they can even suggest that I invest more money into their company is beyond me?! Two: one of the vouchers is in my five year olds name which makes it obsolete considering he can’t book a vacation alone! Future consumers investigate the many complaints regarding this company. You are NOT guaranteed to get what you pay for. Be aware that Sunwing is also famous for NOT providing the hotel you booked changing last minute or when you arrive in your destination. I know a couple who was tossed into a new hotel even with their wedding planned at the original hotel booked! Sunwing did nothing to compensate. Sunwing treats their guests like herds of cattle and sweeps disgruntled vacationers under the rug. I highly recommend Nolitours they are very reliable and always pleasant. Sunwing you owe us a refund. Copies of this letter will also be filed with the Better Business Bureau and TICO. I sincerely hope that Sunwing will start to become more accountable for the customer service they say is SO important to them.
AND THEIR RESPONSE (FINALLY)
January 6, 2012 SENTVIA EMAIL
Dear Mrs. N We are in receipt of your complaint from Ms. Barbara Wesley at TICO. Our customers’ satisfaction is of our highest concern and we sincerely appreciate you having taken the time to provide us with your feedback. We sincerely regret to learn of your expressed disappointment in our services and will put forth every effort to ensure that your communication to us is addressed. We understand that in hearing of your friends’ experience, you were not comfortable with your originally purchased accommodation. We do wish to assure you that our destination representatives are present on a daily basis at all of our properties, had there been a point of concern with the hotel, our office would have been notified and corrective measures would have been taken to ensure the safety and comfort of our valued customers. In respect to your feedback, we made contact with our Product Department, fellow hotelier and destination representatives who have confirmed that there were no reports filed with regards to bed bugs being present at that hotel. We wish to assure you that all hoteliers within the Caribbean follow a regimented program of fumigation to their grounds to minimize the insect populations that are common in warm weather destinations. With reference to your first point of displeasure in having been charged a change fee, we wish to preface that all bookings are 100% final. This is advised to you at the time of booking and referenced on our website and in our brochures. Nevertheless, our reservation team complied with your request and while generally there is a charge for the change of your reservation (not uncommon in the industry) our records indicate that you were refunded that amount as a gesture of goodwill. We are concerned to read of your comments with regards to our Destination Representative. Our representatives have scheduled daily presence in all of our properties. While we ensure that there is more than one available to our clients during specific hours, there are times where they may not be at their locations as they be attending to other clients. Kindly note that we provide 24 hour contact details in the Sunwing binder located at the Sunwing desks in the lobby area. We can truly understand how frustrating delays can be and sincerely extend our apologies for any inconvenience caused. Understandably, our valued passengers are not aware of the intricacies involved in a flight delay and we humbly wish to stress that every effort is put forth to avoid and minimize these types of interruptions. For your reference, a carrier is not obligated to compensate for flight delays, nevertheless as our gesture of good faith, we ensured that all passengers were provided with $75.00 CDN future travel vouchers per person (which in accordance with the purchased package, not inclusive of taxes, represents a 50% of your flight cost). We sincerely regret that this gesture may not have met your expectations; however we remain that it is a fairly equitable gesture for the inconvenience encountered. We are terribly disappointed to learn of the treatment you’ve described by our in-flight crew members, as this is most certainly not the type of behavior that we condone. Please be rest assured that a copy of your correspondence has been sent to the Vice President of Cabin Services to ensure that this matter is addressed directly with the individuals who operated your flight. With reference to the Facebook venue that we have available to our valued passengers, we wish to advise that the statement of having 60% negative feedback is unfounded and inaccurate. We have quite a bit of following on Facebook with a great majority of positive feedback and interest from our followers. However, we do have a process in place for clients who wish to share with us their experiences and as generally there is investigation that is required to respond to the concerns raised, it is the Customer Relations Team that is better equipped to assist in those matters. We feel that it is important to address that Sunwing is provided allotments of accommodation from the hoteliers. There may be times, not often, but can indeed happen (not uncommon in the industry) where the hotelier will have oversold the property. When over bookings do occur, Sunwing always ensures that our valued clients are provided with fair and equitable options. Mrs. Nachtigall, the concerns mentioned in your letter have been forwarded to the appropriate management personnel. The points you have raised will be carefully reviewed and corrective action will be taken as needed. This process is of great importance to us, for we continually strive to improve our performance in order to assure our clients the most rewarding holiday experience. We certainly had intended to provide thoroughly enjoyable experiences and regret the situations described adversely affected your impression of our services. While we understand that you may not elect to purchase a future vacation with us, we do hope that you may reconsider and allow us a future opportunity to restore your confidence in our services. Sincerely, Alexandra Abreu-Manager, Customer Relations
When I posted Sunwings response on their facebook page I got defriended (lol) and all negative comments was erased on their page. I check in recently to the page and there are more complaints being posted then positive again...