Did you complain about your last trip? No vacation for you!


Thomson, a vacation packager that serves some seven million customers a year in Britain, has admitted that it keeps a blacklist of customers who complain too much. If those grumblers try to book another vacation, they'll be unceremoniously denied. "They'll be told that we are unable to meet their expectations," a company rep told the U.K. Times.

"There's always been a philosophy that the customer is right," said the Thomson rep. "But these people will never be happy."

Some people don't stop at sending back soup when it's too cold or asking building maintenance to change light bulbs. There's the crew that trashes rooms and endangers others, and there's also a whole underworld of pikers who make a game out of picking fights in an apparent effort to pressure businesses into free upgrades or refunds. They dabble in outright fraud, ripping out wiring before marching to the lobby to complain about dangerous exposed wires. And as times get tougher and budgets stretch tighter, the something-for-nothing trickery is bound to get worse.

According to one service industry professional, the web has made it easier to target businesses with demands. Once a few complainers successfully extract refunds from a hotel, word gets out, and soon the career grifters swoop in for easy pickings. When a new hotel opens, for example, the white-gloved harpies get wind of it and arrive to find fault with minor issues such as faulty lighting and pool heaters that don't work properly yet.