Mystery shopper: Cambridge, two weeks in Costa Rica

Mystery shopper: Cambridge, two weeks in Costa Rica

Location: Cambridge
Wanted: A couple want to go to Costa Rica in February for up to two weeks. They want to join a guided tour to visit the national parks and to spend time at a four-star beach hotel.
Budget: £4,500

Thomson
28 Fitzroy Street

94%
Both agents were dealing with customers when I entered, but I was immediately acknowledged and didn’t have to wait long. The agent was extremely attentive with an in-depth knowledge of the destination. I was recommended a 13-night holiday from the Thomson Faraway Shores brochure for £4,457. The price included Dreamliner flights from Gatwick, six nights at the Riu Guanacaste hotel in Playa Matapalo and a seven-night tour, staying in four-star hotels. The agent offered upgrades such as seat reservations, an airport hotel and pre-bookable excursions. I was also given an ‘agent saving’ of £211.

Trailfinders
54 Sidney Street

74%
The agent was knowledgeable about Costa Rica and even advised on the cost of food. After suggesting a G Adventures trip that was £500 over budget, the agent recommended a 14-night tour with Intrepid, flying with British Airways from Gatwick, for £4,094. I asked about  adding on a beach stay, but this was not put into the final quotes. The service was good, but I felt the agent could have spent longer discussing the options.

Kuoni
Grand Arcade, 41 St Andrew’s Street
51%
This visit was disappointing as the agent wasn’t open to discussing my holiday requirements at length. When I asked for contact details, the agent told me it was their last day, so a colleague stepped in. I was recommended a 10-day Costa Rica Explorer tour, flying with British Airways, for £4,700. But this was an estimate, with no dates given. It was also over my budget. A beach element was discussed but not included in the quote.


Winning agentmysteryshopper-2303

Hannah Johnston-Wright, assistant manager

“I am so excited that I have won. Obviously, I love to give great service, but to actually be recognised after nine years working for Thomson is brilliant. “


Verdict

The winning agent made the booking hassle-free and listened to what the customer wanted.


Elite resorts caribbean

Top-scoring agent each month will win use of a car for 10 days.

The winning agent must be at least 25, for insurance reasons. Winners under 25 will win a week’s all-inclusive holiday at an Elite Islands Resorts property. The prize is non-transferable and the car must be driven only by the winning agent. The winner must not have any serious driving convictions. Elite Island Resorts will endeavour to supply the car to the agency but reserves the right to request the winning agent to collect and return the car from Essex or a central location

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