People are pictured at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu.

Question: Can you advise on a really important holiday to Hawaii that was wrecked by a terrible hotel?

We booked the property in Waikiki through an online agent.

The property was not as described, and furthermore was very badly run and in poor condition. What are our rights?

Robert P


Answer: Sorry to hear about your awful experience – it sounds dismal.

I’m afraid to say that I would not have contemplated booking a property for an important holiday through an online agency that is based abroad, as the one that you chose was.

Many such agents are based abroad, making it more of a challenge to get customer service. And while there are some good, recognised firms, I am still circumspect about using them: typically they take 15 percent commission out of the transaction.

I prefer to book direct, so that I can take up any issues direct with the property rather than having third parties involved.

Alternatively, I use a real, human travel agent who I trust to provide expert advice and, in the event of anything going wrong, to fight my corner.

Of course I hope the agency will provide a satisfactory solution to your disappointment. If you are unhappy, then you could take legal action. But in your position I might just put it down to experience.