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After reading various ops on tour operators and their terrible service I felt I had to put fingers to keyboard and tell you all about my experience with Cosmos in Gran Canaria. To be honest, tour operators seem to have quite a bad reputation in general but I am pleased to say that I was pleasantly surprised by Cosmos.
We arrived at Las Palmas airport and were met by the first Rep who directed us to our bus and welcomed us to the island. The half hour journey to the apartments was entertaining enough with Rep number 2 giving us a brief but jolly account of some of the things to see and do at the resorts and also a few plugs for Cosmos’s organised excursions. We were also handed welcome packs which gave information on nearest medical centres, emergency contact numbers and details of the welcome meeting the following day.
Our group of 7 had already decided, as most of us had been to the island previously, that we were quite happy to do our own thing and find our own entertainment but we all agreed we would go to the welcome meeting as it was being held the following lunchtime at the pool bar and was therefore a good excuse to start the drinking for the day. The meeting lasted half and hour and was actually quite informative for many first timers to the resort. Our Rep, Mark, offered many excursions and drinking outings which all seemed quite good value. He then went through all the contact details once again and told us when he would be available at our apartments if we needed any assistance. I approached him to obtain tickets for Aqua-Sur, a large water park and then the big sell started. Cosmos were organising a cruise for £25 per person, which included a meal and all you could drink for the day. I explained to Mark that we had already booked a similar excursion the previous evening at a pub that was to become our local for the holiday but Mark was quite insistent that we should shell out another £25 per person to go on their trip as it would be far more fun. I had to resort to giving him one of my withering looks before turning tail and heading off to rejoin my friends.
To be honest, that was the only downfall of Cosmos throughout the holiday, Mark was available every evening as he promised and he delivered the tickets for Aqua-Sur. I cannot comment on the rest of the trips that they offered but another party that went on the Cosmos Safari had a great day out.
I must also comment on Cosmos customer services. On our return to the UK we discovered that one of our bags had been opened in between the time of it being checked into the airport and arriving back in Britain. We discovered once we were in the car travelling home that a camera, sunglasses and a mobile phone were stolen from the bag. The travel insurance company were contacted the following morning who sent us on a wild goose chase of phone calls trying to ascertain who would be the correct person to speak to ie, the airline, the baggage carrier company, the tour operator, the airport. We finally phoned Cosmos for assistance as we were rapidly getting nowhere and they gave us a contact number to telephone, a reference number and a contact name if we needed any further help. Sufficed to say the insurance claim is now being processed.
So, in summary, I would recommend Cosmos although I would warn people not to be taken in by their hard sell attitude for their excursions, although I suppose these reps have to make a living somehow.
sorry to hear about your property being stolen, anyway great review
Pictoria 16.12.2003 22:49
Great write up... Looks like I will be getting a Cosmos broture to plan our next holiday.... Lynn-Marie
antequera 14.04.2003 01:46
I do know from a friend who used to be a rep that an awful lot of pressure is put on the rep to sell excursions, to the extent that they are classed as a poor rep if they cannot sell excursions, they don't seem to focus on other fundamentally important criteria such as customer service, attention to detail and general PR. The amount that the rep makes is a fraction of what the tour operator makes, but as you say, every little helps when the wages are so low.