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Group sizes etc
Post: #41
Hello

I agree with everything that has been said regarding not sharing passenger information with us in the future. I have made my feelings clear on a post I had initially written regarding "missing posts". I stated that this is a big backwards step in terms of customer service for JY and certainly won't do the company any favours. Nor will it help TS. I booked the TS tour to Peru in 2014 only because I was advised that there were 7 other solo travellers. Had I not been given the information I certainly WOULDNOT have booked that!

Regards
Di
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Post: #42
I've done 17 tours with JY with group sizes ranging from 13 up to 40, personally I feel 40 is too many, the practicalities of 40 people in one group have a real impact on the tour; a quick pit stop on a long coach journey is anything but quick it requires a lot more time particularly when you stop somewhere with just one loo, so you arrive at your destination later than planned and then check in for so many takes an age, then its a mad dash to get ready in time for dinner, particularly if the hotel cant cope with so many arriving at one time with cases taking an forever to reach your room. As others have said the age range and gender mix is far less important to me than the group size.

With regard to the minimum number for a trip to be viable, that's another useful bit of information, not so much when it comes to booking but keeping track of whether you need to keep tabs on the availability of an alternative choice if take up is low; having had a trip cancelled due to lack of numbers I then struggled to find an alternative trip that matched the dates I had booked as leave from work.

I have found of late a reluctance to give full information, my trip to New Zealand later this year returns a day earlier than when I booked, which is fine as the airline have changed the day for the weekly flight so I accept that is outside JYs control, but there is no information on whether that means we depart a day earlier, particularly when I questioned why the Manchester departure had moved a day earlier but not the Heathrow one, if the answer is you are still working on the dates or my holday is be cut a day short I'd rather know than be left wondering whats going on.
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Post: #43
Good morning

Before I start Mildred I know this subject has nothing to do with you.

I agree with everything that has already been said by others and the reasons for wanting to know how many are booked on a holiday, and I have a reason I would like to add.

I've been on quite a few JY holidays since 2005, mostly long haul interspersed with short haul, where possible I have taken two holidays a year and have enjoyed all of them up until, that is, the time before my last but one holiday.

I booked a long haul holiday with the knowledge that numbers were low, but that didn't bother me as it was to a country I had wanted to go to for as long as I can remember.  Now, I've been on enough JY holidays to know there's always a chance there will be at least one person, or if you are unlucky maybe two, you don't get on with, you just try to avoid them as much as possible, the trouble is, with a smallish group, there is very little you can do to avoid any conflict of personalities and on this occasion, without going into detail,  we unfortunately had upsets and stress in the group, mealtimes always seemed to be the worst.

To say I was traumatized by all that went on would be way over the top, but it was enough to put me off booking a holiday I was going to book for later in that year and I've only had a short European holiday this year, which again was a smallish group but everyone got on well with no problems. 

After paying nearly £5,000 for a holiday, which was nowhere as enjoyable as it should have been, I vowed I would never take another long haul without checking there was a reasonable number in the group first, now we are told JY are no longer going to divulge booking numbers.  I want to go long haul again next year but I shall certainly be looking at holidays very, very carefully in future.

Also, like some of the others, a large group holiday is a no no for me, I did one to USA once, never again!

I hope those who took this decision are taking note of all the comments made, I don't suppose they care anyway as long as the money keeps coming in, but at least they know how their customers feel about it. 

Kind regards

Avocet

P.S.  Have we had a truthful explanation yet or have I overlooked it?
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Post: #44
The points made above by Di and Tim reflect perfectly how I feel about this.  Come on JY, it's not too late - reverse this counterproductive policy change before more damage is done!  There have been over 50 posts on this topic over the last two days which shows the depth of feeling.  JY constantly state how they prioritise customer care - prove that you mean this and please take swift action.

Bob
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Post: #45
Good Morning Avocet,

I understand that you are very disappointed and angry with this sudden change and I am sorry about that but all I can tell you at this time is that there has been a change of policy.

Kind Regards,
Mildred.
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Post: #46
(23/09/2016, 09:29 AM)BGray Wrote: The points made above by Di and Tim reflect perfectly how I feel about this.  Come on JY, it's not too late - reverse this counterproductive policy change before more damage is done!  There have been over 50 posts on this topic over the last two days which shows the depth of feeling.  JY constantly state how they prioritise customer care - prove that you mean this and please take swift action.

Bob

Good Morning Bob,

I have said all I know regarding this matter but I can assure you that your feedback is being monitored by the larger Just You team.

Kind Regards,
Mildred.
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Post: #47
As a newcomer to JY and solo travel (I am taking my first JY trip to Calabria next week), I wholeheartedly agree with all that has been said about group size information and numbers that have already booked a particular trip. I am more than happy to travel and socialise with people of any age/gender but feel more comfortable in smaller groups. I would not be interested in any holidays with a 30+ group size. TimH also makes some very valid points regarding the 'logistics' of a very large group travelling together. I had already earmarked several other trips for next year but as a newbie I'm now feeling a little reluctant to book. Sad
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Post: #48
(22/09/2016, 02:33 PM)ceetee Wrote:
(22/09/2016, 12:08 PM)SamanthaC Wrote: P.S. When you book a flight independently you don't expect the airline to tell you how many seats they have left, do you?

ceetee replied:
Just for info - a travel insurance policy does not usually cover the fact that the tour operator has cancelled a holiday due to lack of commercial viability therefore if you independently book connecting flights/hotels, the insurer will not necessarily pay a claim (depends on your insurer and your policy, but I know because I had this situation happen a few years ago and they did not pay my claim for the flights - if you have just assumed you're covered, it's worth checking your own policy).  If you book your connecting flight via Just You then it would be in their T's & C's whether you got reimbursed if you chose the Refund option upon cancellation.  If you choose the 'Alternative Holiday' option, then you could be doubling the connecting flight costs if the dates/times don't tie in with the cancelled trip & you don't get your claim paid.  Whilst I totally take your point about everyone waiting for everyone else to book, some of us are in a different situation with getting to London so I will always wait for the trip's green light before booking.
Caroline

Can open, worms everywhere!!! I've had two fairly inconclusive telephone conversations with people at Saga who said that if I hadn't used my train ticket and the hotel at Gatwick I would 'probably' be covered and that if JY didn't cough up (my words, not theirs) they would, over my excess. I reckon JY should pay if they cancel, but that's just my opinion.

This thread has made me wonder how much in each others' pockets we are going to be. I am quite a solitary person, but I never feel alone and it hadn't occurred to me that I would be going on holiday with a bunch of strangers - I just thought I was taking advantage of a good deal! I'm off to buy some conspicuous headphones now ;-)
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Post: #49
(23/09/2016, 09:44 AM)Moderator2 Wrote: Good Morning Avocet,

I understand that you are very disappointed and angry with this sudden change and I am sorry about that but all I can tell you at this time is that there has been a change of policy.

Kind Regards,
Mildred.

Hello again Mildred

JY are not very forthcoming with an explanation are they?  I wonder how long it will be before they are wanting us all to vote for them in the British Travel Awards, they will expect us to be on their side then. Wonder what they would say if nobody bothered to vote!  Keeping customers doesn't seem to be a high point at the moment.

Kind regards

Avocet
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Post: #50
(23/09/2016, 09:29 AM)BGray Wrote: The points made above by Di and Tim reflect perfectly how I feel about this.  Come on JY, it's not too late - reverse this counterproductive policy change before more damage is done!  There have been over 50 posts on this topic over the last two days which shows the depth of feeling.  JY constantly state how they prioritise customer care - prove that you mean this and please take swift action.

Bob

Nicely put, short and to the point. Do it!

I agree with just about everything that has been written (except the purchase of conspicuous headphones)

> I hope those who took this decision are taking note of all the comments made, I don't suppose they care anyway as long as the money keeps coming in, but at least they know how their customers feel about it.

However, I suspect that Avocet is right.

I came upon these threads late and have just read them with great interest (and not a little cynicism). Since we now have a classic "tour de table" among regular Forum contributors, I thought I had better add my voice in support.

This is clearly a reduction in customer service for no obviously convincing reason. I am relaxed about age ranges and M/F ratios but definitely not about maximum group sizes for all the reasons already stated, and I too would not wish to join a group with more than 30 participants - pity really, as I quite fancy the NZ one - and I have already ruled out trips to the USA by several tour operators for the same reason. I also find it convenient to be able to monitor the number of places sold/remaining for a given tour, when it gets the "green light" and when it is sold out (all bar the last (no chance of that!) freely provided for a small-group TS tour next month by a very helpful operative).

One question: if, as someone has suggested, JY would like to retain the option to increase a tour group's size if a particular tour is selling well, would the labels "maximum group size", "places remaining" and "sold out" have a definite meaning?

If (senior) management at whatever level really is monitoring this feedback (and, if they have already made up their collective mind, why should they bother?) then this may be a "toe in the water" job: put an announcement on the Forum and see what comes back. Well, now they know.

If this is usual management procedure (senior management makes  "policy" decision - middle management/HR/customer-facing staff told to go away and implement - customer dissatisfaction - much moaning which gradually dies away - new unacceptable situation becomes the status quo: we have all been there?) then what would make them change their mind? Presumably only a reduction in bookings when customers vote with their feet? I imagine that they have taken a long, hard look at the Forum and seen the almost fanatically loyal following, and believe that this will not diminish. It will be interesting to see.

Presumably this "policy" decision has been taken on commercial grounds (why else?) in view of the perceived threat to the business posed by the other high-quality exclusively solo travel company (small but steadily growing) and the ever-increasing number of large (and good) companies which are now targeting the solo travel market (especially among retired persons with both time and money), which is becoming an important target demographic.

But, O Management, these companies regularly disclose some combination of such parameters as 'group size'/whether a group is 'small' or not, 'number of places remaining' and 'sold out': they do not appear to suffer thereby, and show no signs of ending the practice, so why should JY and TS consider themselves to be disadvantaged?

Management may regard the views of what they may see as a small sample of their customer base, while the remainder (non Forum users) couldn't care less - but this may prove to be a dangerous assumption, as it could be any of their customers who provide the valuable free advertising: I have been on several holidays with other companies which also included people who had travelled with JY, seldom posted on this Forum, and who were always ready to tell me of their experiences, as a result of which I have a short list of JY holidays which have come with definite and reliable recommendations: real dissatisfaction among JY clients, however loyal, will inevitably colour the impression they give of JY as a travel company in future.

Finally, I wonder what "management" really think of this Forum? I assume it was a local initiative of JY staff  as it does not cover TS? At least we have a forum, unlike most other travel companies - and we had the announcement - so thanks to Julia for that! Presumably TS customers will only find out when they go to make a booking . . .

Jim
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