Holidaymakers face 'postcode lottery' when buying foreign currency

Ruth Doherty


British holidaymakers are facing a "postcode lottery" when it comes to the value of their foreign currency, new Which? research shows.

Different branches of the same holiday companies are offering different rates across the country, according to the consumer group, which says that Thomas Cook comes out with the biggest discrepancies between rates.

Up in Sheffield, tourists were given 585 euros for £500, while in Manchester the same amount of money will get you 553.80 euros.

But not all currency providers came out as the bad guy; Marks and Spencer offers the same rate nationwide, while Sainsbury's had no marked regional differences.

According to the Metro, Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "It is unfair that people are missing out on the best currency exchange rates just because of where they live.

"Currency providers need to make sure their rates are consistent."

The news comes as a new Which? survey named Trailfinders the best holiday company of 2012.

It topped a list of 26 holiday providers based on 3,500 holiday experiences, and garnered an impressive 97%.

Criteria for the poll included ratings on customer service, accommodation, tours and value for money.

At the other end of the scale, Newmarket Holidays (57%) propped up the table, and Thomas Cook (60%), and Shearings Holidays (62%) also receiving below average customer scores.

The good news is, however, that a boost in the strength of the pound has seen 25% off our annual sun, sand and sea getaways.

Anyone heading to Spain or France will see an extra £50 spending power for every 500 euros converted compared to last summer.

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