THOMSON is to overhaul internal price checking
mechanisms after the operator sold a discounted holiday at a higher price than
quoted in its main brochure.
The Advertising Standards Authority
upheld a customer complaint after an unnamed man was charged more for a holiday
from its discounted Winter Price Breakers brochure, which states ‘save ££££’s
on the Thomson Winter 2002/03 Holidays’, than the standard Winter 2002/03
Holidays brochure. The customer spotted a seven-night package at a hotel in
Limassol, Cyprus, for £319 in the operator’s cut-price brochure. But when he
requested the holiday at an agency, it had gone up to £416 – £87 more than the
£329 in the main brochure. When Thomson was made aware of the mistake, it
immediately honoured the booking at the £329 rate.
The ASA described the Price Breakers title of the
brochure as “misleading” and said the statement “prices may go up or down” did
not remove the operator’s responsibility.
A Thomson spokeswoman called the incident a “blip” but
said pricing processes would be “tightened up to ensure it does not happen
“There will be changes to the price-checking process
and the way pricing is done,” she said. “More frequent checks will be made from
the discount brochure against the main brochure.”