Kim Tuvmarken (27) from Valdres and a group of friends traveled on 16 September to Alanya on a delayed summer holiday with the charter company Detur. Looking forward to lazy days in the heat, good food and lukewarm bathing temperatures. This is also how the holiday started, but on Thursday it took a serious turn.
– I received a phone call an hour and a half ago from a Swedish number. Over the phone I got little information, but they said that I had to go to Antalya and that I had to go home, Tuvmarken tells Nettavisen.
– Thought it was nonsense
That made Kim startled. The group of friends had actually booked a stay until 30 September.
– I went down to reception to get hold of Detur there, but couldn’t get hold of them. Then I leaned on an elderly gentleman who said that we would be picked up by bus and taken to the airport in a few hours.
Tuvmarken says that they are one of the lucky few. They have not been kicked out of the hotel. Many other Norwegians have become that, he says.
– Several people have been thrown out of their hotels. Detur has clearly not paid for the hotels down here, so now there is a risk that several of them will go bankrupt, says Tuvmarken and adds:
– I thought it was nonsense.
As I said, Kim is not alone. A number of Norwegians, Swedes and Danes have been affected by the same thing. The common denominator is that they have traveled with Detur.
Dansk TV 2 has spoken to several Danish tourists who are in Alanya, and at a hotel where travelers who have booked travel via Detur are staying, a note has been hung up stating that the sender should then be Detur.
“Detur has been acquired by a larger company. All transactions are currently frozen. You must therefore pay for the hotel and take care of the receipt/invoice. Send the receipt to our customer service with your booking number. After our new owner has access to the transactions, your money will be refunded”
Neither Dansk TV 2 nor Nettavisen have succeeded in getting hold of Detur, who has not answered inquiries by phone or e-mail.
The company writes to Børsen that fax is an outdated form of communication that the company does not use. In addition, they point out that the letter in question does not contain sender information, date or time.
– The fax that appears to be circulating regarding Detur regarding unpaid hotel rooms and requests for guests to pay directly to the hotel and be reimbursed against a receipt or invoice, has not been sent by Detur. It is clearly a forgery, writes the company.
The company further calls it a “clear hoax” and that the case is now with the Turkish authorities.
– It says that the guests must pay for the hotel directly to the hotel and then send the receipt to Detur for a refund, which is false and fraudulent, they write to the newspaper.
Detur confirms in the statement that they are pausing operations for a period of time. The company points to the pandemic, strikes at airports, trouble for travel transport and the tourist industry, as well as the war in Ukraine, have affected the economy negatively, they believe.
Inflation, weaker exchange rates, energy shortages and more expensive fuel prices mean that the company needs a restart.
– As this involves changes in the organization and in the organisation’s processes, production and operational activities will be temporarily paused for a period. The remainder of the 2022 charter season will be cancelled.
The company apologizes for the inconvenience this causes for travellers.
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– I have never been lost in anything like this
– We had not envisioned this in any way. I have never been lost in anything like this. I have been to Alanya many times and then things have gone like clockwork. This time too, things went well, right up until today.
Kim says he has booked a trip to Turkey with Detur before and then things have gone well.
– But after this, there will be no Detur on me later, so to speak.
Could risk getting stuck in Alanya
What Kim reacts to the most is how little information they have received from the company.
– It was a very unprofessional way of informing. The call was cut off and they did not call back afterwards. When I got hold of them again, I asked to be sent the information by email, but then I was only sent the plane ticket I had before.
Kim says he is glad that he decided to investigate a little more closely what was going on after he was called the first time.
– If I hadn’t started investigating, I wouldn’t have made it back home.
– Very problematic
In the first instance, Kim hopes that he will get home safely to Norway, but he is determined to get all the money back for the trip.
– I will demand a full refund as a minimum. I think this is very problematic. We are four people who have traveled together who have taken time off work, it was really luck that we got off in the first place, he says.
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Consumer expert: – Not good
Lawyer and consumer economist Derya Incedursun tells Nettavisen that Kim and the other travelers who have had their holidays ruined by Detur are entitled to compensation.
– This is not good, so here it is important that consumers demand what they are entitled to, says Incedursun and continues:
– You must first complain to the travel organizer and demand compensation. If you do not get on with it, you should file a complaint with the travel and tourism forum and get a decision there, or file a case in the usual way (sue), says the consumer economist.
She says that since this seems to be a package tour, she immediately thinks of the Package Travel Act.
According to Chapter Five of the Package Travel Act, “The organizer is responsible for ensuring that the travel services included in the package travel agreement are delivered in accordance with the agreement.”
– Here the journey is not delivered in accordance with the agreement and the traveler receives additional expenses. I would complain, demand compensation and see what response you got from Detur then, she says.