I hope someone can help clear up a very confusing situation.
My partner and I booked a holiday with First Choice at the beginning of this year (we booked on-line) for our honeymoon.
As with all holidays, we have to settle the full balance 12 weeks prior to the holiday (i.e. 3 months before our wedding & honeymoon).
Instead of wedding gifts, we have instead asked our friends & family for holiday vouchers as I was told, by 2 different First Choice reps via their booking line that the vouchers could be redeemed against a holiday booking, despite the holiday already being paid in full, i.e. they send a cheque to reimburse.
Today, at a wedding fair, Thomson reps told us this was no longer valid and instead they use http://thomson.honeyfund.com/ - whereby, any vouchers received after paying the balance in full, can only be used to 'enhance' the existing booking otherwise they must be used to contribute to a new holiday - i.e. under this scheme they cannot be redeemed.
So I called First Choice today, the 1st person I spoke to told me they can be redeemed, but only at the discretion of the branch manager (despite me explaining it wasn't booked at a branch & I was told prior to booking it WAS possible).
So I called First Choice again to speak to a different person, who told me the Thomson reps were talking nonsense, of course you can use the vouchers, but only if you have the correct voucher - when I pressed what do you mean by correct voucher, they said it must be a voucher that can be used against Internet bookings. I asked if this is different to the 'standard' voucher - I was told they didn't know(!) - is there more than 1 type of voucher? They didn't know.
My partner then called First Choice for now the third time today, to be told someone else again that they didn't know if vouchers could or could be redeemed and to phone the on-line support team, whoever they are.
So we dialled the number for the on-line support team to get a recorded message saying they were closed.
So all in all this is turning into a very frustrating experience.
It so happens we have a voucher, and it says it can be redeemed in the manner we expected, but only for Thomson, latedeals or Portland holidays - nothing about First Choice! So the person who bought the voucher initially has been mis-sold it as they requested a voucher that can be used against a First Choice booking!
This link http://www.thomson.co.uk/editorial/features/gift-cards/thomson-gift-cards.html clearly states that 'Where can I spend my gift card?
You can redeem your gift card online at thomson.co.uk or firstchoice.co.uk, or use it in any Thomson or First Choice shop or superstore.' - I can't see anywhere on the First Choice website where you can redeem gift cards (and you can't do it when you manage your booking either) - I know this isn't vouchers, but the same principle applies - all the information is confusing and misleading.
I think you will agree this is farcical & I would urge anybody reading this who is in the same situation to urgently contact the relevant travel agent & I would urge anybody who was thinking of going down the voucher route to seriously think again.
My partner will be calling the on-line team tomorrow, if that proves fruitless we'll be visiting a branch and if that proves fruitless we will be demanding a full refund of monies paid thus far.
Unless anyone here can unequivocally set the record straight?