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Jason Cooper puts up scaffolding outside TUI in Broadstairs claiming they ruined his wedding in Zante

By Matt Leclere

An angry customer erected scaffolding outside a travel agents claiming the holiday firm ruined his wedding.

Jason Cooper organised the protest in front of TUI at The Link, near Westwood Cross in Broadstairs, after booking a venue in Zante for his big day through the travel company.

However, when he arrived on the Greek island days before his wedding, he discovered the location was only able to hold less than half the number of guests promised.

Jason Cooper set up a protest outside TUI in Westwood Cross, saying the holiday firm ruined his wedding (6580949)
Jason Cooper set up a protest outside TUI in Westwood Cross, saying the holiday firm ruined his wedding (6580949)

He erected the first poles outside the shop this morning but the store responded by calling the police to the public protest.

Officers arrived but decided not to take action against Mr Cooper.

The 37-year-old, who runs Margate-based Technical Scaffolding, had booked the two-week holiday and wedding for 100 guests in Zante.

But when the couple and their party arrived at the venue they had booked for their wedding in September, the venue they had been given could only hold 45 guests.

Mr Cooper said: "The reps said they had nothing to do with weddings. We spent a week trying to find a new venue at our own expense.

"We booked everything with TUI to save headaches at the other end."

He has been planning the protest ever since claiming the travel agents have taken three months to get back to him but the final straw came yesterday when he said his complaints were dismissed again.

The company has now said it will be offering them a full refund and apologised to the couple.

Mr Cooper claims his complaints have been repeatedly ignored by the travel agents
Mr Cooper claims his complaints have been repeatedly ignored by the travel agents
The sign attached to the scaffolding. Picture: Chris Wain (6576091)
The sign attached to the scaffolding. Picture: Chris Wain (6576091)

"It's been a closed door," Mr Cooper added.

Earlier, he shared pictures of the structure on his Facebook page, saying: "Let's see if I get a response now. Phase two starts next week."

Drivers passing the store on Margate Road were beeping their horns showing support for Mr Cooper.

Mr Cooper said police had been called but officers said because the scaffolding did not block the path and because his protest was on private land any dispute was with the landowner rather than police.

Posters have also been put up, carrying the travel firm's logo and the claim: "TUI ruined my wedding."

Scaffolding has been put up outside TUI at Westwood Cross. Picture: Chris Wain (6576089)
Scaffolding has been put up outside TUI at Westwood Cross. Picture: Chris Wain (6576089)

The first sign was allegedly pulled down by store staff - but Mr Cooper had a spare sign made and was able to put it up again.

A Kent Police spokesman said: "Kent Police was called to a report of a dispute outside commercial premises in Margate Road, Broadstairs at 9.53am on Thursday 17 January 2019.

"Officers attended and it was established the dispute relates to a civil matter.

"While at the scene, a report of criminal damage caused to a sign was made to officers. Initial enquiries into the reported damage are ongoing."

The scaffolding went up early on Thursday morning. Picture: Chris Wain (6576087)
The scaffolding went up early on Thursday morning. Picture: Chris Wain (6576087)

TUI said in a statement: "We would like to sincerely apologise to Mr and Mrs Cooper and their party for the mistakes made with their wedding booking.

"We understand this would have been a stressful experience and extremely disappointing for the customers during what should have been a very special time.

"We are carrying out a full internal review into what happened, both during the booking process and also since the customers have returned home.

"We are in contact with Mr and Mrs Cooper to apologise and we have offered a full refund of their holiday and extra costs."

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