Wrexham.com has been following the story of what should have been a fun £99 three day coach holiday organised by Wrexham based Links Tours from Wales to Disneyland Paris turned into a disastrous nightmare for the holiday makers.
Earlier this week a coach load of families were hoping for a 3 day trip to Disneyland Paris – however due to issues that are being blamed on Wrexham coach provider Links Tours – no hotels or entry tickets were available on arrival.
The coach party thought they had been booked by Links Tours into the 4* Sequoia Lodge at Disneyland Paris, however after a sixteen hour coach trip were told there were no bookings, and ended up having to secure a last minute booking at a hotel around ten miles away. The next day when arriving at the theme park they were then told there were no tickets booked for them for entry, despite paying Links Tours for the booking.
Early Wednesday evening Links Tours told concerned family members: “We are dealing with it and currently got one of our directors and senior management team heading to Essex to the wholesalers the trip was booked through.”
Links Tours also replied to various one star reviews overnight Wednesday, however by this Thursday morning comments and the reviews had been removed from their Facebook page, despite assurances that such feedback would not be subject to removal.
On one reply a then Director of Links Tours wrote: “This matter has been passed to our legal team that we paid the supplier who did not pay Disney, we have proof of this.”
Another review, again a single star, accused Links Tours of ‘lies’. The company replied calling the information stated about a supplier not being paid as ‘fake information’.
Later they added: “ICT has had their money which has been cashed and lawyers are involved, I have nothing to hide and have all documentation so think what you wish.”
Wrexham.com asked ICT – Independent Coach Travel, a wholesale travel provider – on Tuesday evening for their view of the situation, who today told us: “We are delighted to advise that the above trip, which was to be aborted on Tuesday 25th due to financial irregularities involving the tour operator, was able to be rescued at the eleventh hour by ICT.
“Having already secured the ferry crossings and hotel for the group travelling to Disneyland Paris, ICT’s directors decided that they could not stand-by and see these families and friends left stranded outside the park. Therefore, arrangements were made to provide the entrance tickets for the whole group to enable them to enjoy the rest of their short-break to Disney. The total cost of this trip has, so far, been born by the Essex based wholesaler.”
Peter Stratton said: “After 30 years of success at providing services to operators and agents the company has continued to put the customer first – actions speak louder than words”. He is truly heartened by the very positive comments he has received from members of the group.”
A spokesperson added as of Friday lunchtime: “To date, there is still no sign of the money from Links. The amount owed to us is just short of £10,000. We are taking legal action to recover the outstanding debt.”
ICT are members of the Coach Tourism Council and are founder members of the British Association of Wholesale Tour Agents. They have been providing wholesale group packages to Disneyland Paris since 1992 when the park opened.
Yesterday a coach arrived back in Wrexham via sub contractors Amans Travel from Walsall, who say they themselves are owed over £2000 by Links Tours – and magnanimously provided transport back from France as they could not leave the party behind to ‘fend for themselves’.
This morning Links Tours Facebook page (viewable here) had a new statement noting ‘here at Links we are continuing to grow and we would like to invite anyone with concerns to contact us’, with various further replies to mainly critical public comments.
Links Tours refuted that any monies was owed saying: “We owe no money but if you want to listen to third party information then that’s ok the is two sides to every story” and “As we have nothing to hide and are a growing company we have the right to continue operations the coach that left this morning is morning without any issues. All hotels have been paid as with all our tours.”
Wrexham Council have said they have been informed of the issue with Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, initially referring to an unknown earlier complaint: “We looked at the initial complaint made in March, and further information was sought from the consumer.
“We are also aware of recent complaints. These are being examined and, if required, appropriate action will be taken.”
There are two entities called Links Tours on Companies House with similar former and current directors, with Links Tours and Travel Ltd being subject to a notice for compulsory strike-off as of May 30th 2017.
Links Tours Ltd is a company formed a year ago today, and is the one stated on the sign outside Grosvenor Road above. Over the last 72 hours there has been a flurry of filing activity with two new company appointments of David Jackson as director and Margaret Jackson as company secretary. Christopher Jackson has ceased as a director. There is a further document dated yesterday registering that Christopher Jackson has been replaced by David Jackson as an individual with significant control of the company.