Fury as Butlins axes holidays and tells all customers who still want their trip to ring and confirm – causing phone jam


BUTLINS has infuriated customers with bookings for this summer, after asking guests to call up and confirm they still want the holiday or risk it being cancelled. 

An email was sent on Friday to people with bookings, announcing that they were reducing the capacity at their holiday parks this summer. 

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Butlins has asked customers with bookings for this summer to call up and confirm they still want the holiday or risk it being cancelled

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Butlins has asked customers with bookings for this summer to call up and confirm they still want the holiday or risk it being cancelledCredit: Alamy

The park has been closed throughout lockdown, with plans to reopen on July 23.

But would-be holidaymakers have been told to phone up today and confirm they are still intending to take their trip – or risk losing it. 

The message said: “We’ll be reducing the number of guests by up to 50 per cent of our normal capacity on each break which means fewer people on resort, so you’ll get to enjoy lots more space with your family! 

“Our entertainment venues and activities have been adapted with limited capacities to help maintain social distancing and to ensure your – and our teams – safety.

“Due to social distancing and the reduced capacity we will, unfortunately not be able to accommodate everyone who has already booked with us, so, to confirm your break we are asking that you call us on Monday, July 13 2020 onwards.”

Due to social distancing , the holiday parks are having to reduce capacity

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Due to social distancing , the holiday parks are having to reduce capacity Credit: Alamy

A rush by worried Brits to confirm bookings this morning has jammed the phone line.

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Some customers have complained that they have spent two hours making as many as 1,000 calls to the Butlins number without getting through. 

Isma Overton, 52, from Chelmsford, is going to the Bognor Regis Butlins on August 3 and has already paid in full for her four-person holiday. 

But on Friday, she received an email from telling her to ring up and confirm she wanted the trip today between the hours of 9am and 9pm, or risking losing the trip. 

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Customers have complained that they had spent two hours making as many as 1,000 calls to the Butlins number without getting through

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Customers have complained that they had spent two hours making as many as 1,000 calls to the Butlins number without getting through

She told Sun Online Travel: “What’s annoying us most is that we paid in full, so at the time of booking we presumed we’d be going. Now we don’t know if we are or not.

“One person coming is tied to work holiday, so they can’t change their dates. 

“In the current situation, I know it’s not the end of the world, but when you are looking forward to something after a horrible few months, then to find out it might not be happening is frustrating. 

“I’ve been calling non-stop since 9am and you just hear the same message over and over, telling you that they can’t answer the phone because of the extreme number of calls and to call back later or visit the website 

“But I’ve gone to the website and it doesn’t give you anything. 

“It makes you wonder how many people they have on the phone lines.”

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A rush by worried Brits to confirm bookings this morning has jammed the phone line

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A rush by worried Brits to confirm bookings this morning has jammed the phone line

In another instance, an NHS worker  who was unable to take time away from her job to call was concerned about losing her holiday. 

The woman, who goes by the name Valerie Knell Outhwaite on Twitter said:  “So sad I can’t get through on your phones. 

“I work in the NHS so unfortunately can’t keep trying the phone lines as you suggest. I have people to take care of. 

“My holiday is booked for 24th so feel this is terrible customer service 11 days before break.”

Another Twitter user who goes by the name Dale Washington said: “Been ringing since 9, over 1000 calls on over 4 phones and finally got through, but I’ve been on hold for 58mins so far.”

Butlins has told Sun Online that they fully expect to be able to satisfy the vast majority of bookings

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Butlins has told Sun Online that they fully expect to be able to satisfy the vast majority of bookings Credit: Alamy

A Butlins spokesperson told Sun Online Travel: “Keeping our guests and team safe is our number one priority and to ensure we are able to implement social distancing measures we are limiting the capacity on our resorts at 50 per cent. 

“We are asking guests to confirm their bookings with us so that our team can explain how the Butlin’s experience will differ with the new social distancing measures in place.

“As you can imagine, we are receiving a large amount of calls and we understand that some of our guests are finding it difficult to get through to our contact centre teams. 

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“We are very sorry for any inconvenience and upset this is causing and would like to thank them for their patience during this time.

Butlins looks back at fun spent by the pool

We would like to reassure our guests that we are doing everything we can to ensure that they will be able to have the Butlin’s break this summer. 

“We fully expect to be able to satisfy the vast majority of bookings and on the rare occasion where we are unable to do so we will offer a full refund or allow the guest to move their break to an alternative date or location and give them a £50 voucher to spend during their break.”

Meanwhile,  Center Parcs is reopening in the UK today, with Sherwood and Longleat welcoming holidaymakers for first time in four months.





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