During the week I booked a skiing holiday with one of our "leading" travel firms. In the brochure it said that if I prebooked the higher quality downhill skis I would be able to exchange them on any day for cross country skis without additional charge if I wanted to cross country ski instead that day.
When I made the booking I was told that that this facility only prevailed "if they still had cross country skis in stock". I asked what the likelyhood of them not being available was, and the said it was a "strong possibility" and advised me, "to be certain", to pre book cross country skis as well (which came to an extra £85 for the week). I went ahead with this.
The confirmation of the booking came through today confirming pre rental of both types of skis. On looking through the brochure I discovered a special offer stating that for the accomodation I had booked they were including cross country skis and boots for just 20 euros for the week. I immediately got onto the travel firm who said they would look into it. They came back stating that that "special offer" was now withdrawn! I asked them where it says in the brochure that such "special offers" might be withdrawn, because there is certainly no mention that the offer is conditional on the page relating to it, nor anywhere on the pages relating to this resort. The refered me to another page right at the beginning of the brochure (over 250 pages away from the offer in question) where right at the bottom and in less prominent type face there is a footnote stating "IMPORTANT. Please note that all offers and discounts are subject to availability, and may be changed or withdrawn at any time, so please book early to ensure that you don't miss out!"
Is this misleading advertising in their brochure? I believe that at the very least a cross reference to this note should have been made against offers contained within the brochure and the note itself should have been given the same prominence as the advertised offer.
I feel like complaining, but to whom? Trading Standards?
In reply to Trangia: Trading Standards may well be helpful and offer advice, although I suspect that there isn't a mis-representation here that they would be in a position to take action on. If I were you I would write to the Customer Service Manager for the company and just outline that you have been disappointed with the information provided in their brochure. They might just re-imburse you for the extra you've had to pay.
If you don't get any joy then don't use the same company again, I guess.