Thomas Cook Boss Peter Fankhauser says ‘99% or 98% of Holiday Sickness Claims they
receive are either fake or exaggerated’.
Peter Fankhauser, Boss of the oldest Tour Operator in the country told the Daily Mail that
‘the majority of those saying that the hotel made them ill were lying.
‘Of course, there are people from time to time who do fall genuinely ill and we do everything
we can to help them’.
The astonishing statement was published in the Daily Mail’s online version and shows the
absolute contempt and scare mongering being driven through the media by Tour Operators
and ABTA, the travel industry’s well-known association, that embroils those who suffer
genuine sickness and tarnishes them with the same as some rogue firms and fake claim
persons who have been highlighted in the press of recent times.
While we have no doubt some fraudulent people and companies have been involved in
generating fake claims, highlighted by the mass media frenzy over the past 12 months, it is
extremely unprofessional and defamatory for Thomas Cook to make a general and global
statement like this, especially without substantial proof and proper statistics to back it up.
Claims Legal Ltd who offer a claims assistance service to those affected by holiday sickness
through www.holidaysicknessclaims.co.uk have made a formal complaint to the Independent
Press Standards Organisation about the statement and the publication of it.
Alan Hoey, Managing Director of Claims Legal Ltd said “Newspapers and media have a duty
to ensure what they put in print is accurate. It is estimated there has tens of thousands of
holiday sickness claims submitted to Tour Operators over the past 18 months, and to say
that from 10,000, 9900 are fake and only 100 of these are genuine cannot be substantiated
and is an illegal statement that is aimed to stop new claims being submitted, by scammers
and by those genuinely affected by holiday sickness.
The Daily Mail article can be read here:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4847630/Thomas- Cook-boss- ONE-CENT- holiday-
ABTA has talked of a 500% increase in claims and attributed the rise to a number of
“unscrupulous” claims management firms, yet the Claims Management Regulation Unit has
taken action against those ‘small minority’ of regulated firms they have identified being
involved in illegal claim activities. Many of those involved in fake claims are not regulated
and licensed firms and operate illegally.
Chief executive Peter Fankhauser said the fraudulent claims were the actions of a “small
minority. This is an issue for the whole industry. We need to work together to clamp down
(on the problem),” he said.
Alan Hoey, Managing Director at Claims Legal said that Tour Operators and Resorts need to
implement new measures at the resorts for proper reporting and recording and Tour
Operators need to educate travellers on health and hygiene and if there are issues how to
report them directly.
A recent customer enquiry to Holiday Sickness Claims reported all 8 of their group on
holiday were sick, and not only did they have to call a doctor themselves, and pay 150
euros, the doctor did not take any samples for analysis, and even prescribed an adult
rehydration remedy to children. When the matter was reported to the rep, the rep told the
customer they would follow it up by email, but nothing has been received by the customer to
date. The customer did not have any clear causation as to what caused the sickness to all 8
in their group, but was very aware there were others at the same hotel who were also sick.
While fake claims are a massive issue and need to be stamped out, Claims Legal Ltd fully
support Tour operators and regulatory bodies taking swift and severe action against those
involved in fake claims, and ultimately anyone involved in the same should be given a long
custodial sentence. While holiday sickness is a real problem for many travellers every year,
it is only a small number of the many millions of people that travel abroad on All-Inclusive
holidays each year, and given the sheer numbers involved, it is inevitable some will suffer
with food borne sickness.
Attacking proper regulated claims firms who operate professionally and correctly and at the
same time calling 99% of those making a claim to be fraudsters cannot be tolerated. It
pushes the boundaries unfairly and is nothing but scandalous to make such a statement.
It seems evident in many enquiries that we receive that Tour Operators and hotels are on
‘lock down’ while the media frenzy against the fraudsters continues, those with real sickness
issues are being left at risk and not given the correct service and medical treatment, and that
is leaving a real risk to travellers.
What we have not heard in the mass media is what new steps the Tour Operators have
implemented to help those who suffer holiday sickness while they are abroad with a proper
reporting and support structure, and proper provision of medical support in real time.
Holiday Sickness Claims is a trading style of Claims Legal Ltd. UK Company 07377456
Registered Office: 93A Windsor Road Prestwich Manchester M25 0DB. Telephone: 0800-8-654321
Claims Legal Ltd is regulated by the Claims Management Regulator in respect of regulated claims management activities. CRM25925