A COUPLE who have been forced to pay £7,500 to a holiday company have spoken out after allegations they made a bogus sickness claims.

Tanya Tuson and husband Kieran, both 39, were ordered to pay court costs to TUI following their stay at Jaz Mirabel Park Hotel, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, in August 2015.

Last week national media reported on the case, to the couple’s surprise.

The family say they were struck down with vomiting and diarrhoea on their trip, and when they returned home Tanya saw an advert on Facebook for compensation for missed days due to illness.

She said: “We go away on holiday quite a lot and this the first time we were sick, Kieran was in bed for three days.

“I saw an advert for a no-win no-fee solicitors and all they asked us for was what was wrong with us and our documents for flying.”

Kieran added: “We thought because we had missed some of our holiday, we thought we would see if we could get something back.”

Talks between the couple and their solicitors went back and forth for months, until the firm said they will no longer represent them after spotting Tanya’s positive Tripadvisor review.

“The review was about the staff, we have been there four times and we had a good rapport with the staff, so we wanted to praise them and how good they were,” Tanya said.

TUI then contacted the family to say they were being taken to court for dishonesty and in August last year the case took place at Winchester County Court, but the family were on a holiday booked through TUI at the time.

Mother-of-three Tanya said: “We asked if they could change the date but they couldn’t change it so I sent three letters to the court. We got back from holiday then there was a letter saying we had lost and we had court costs of £7,500 to pay.

“I didn’t know what to do. I thought I had to pay the money straight away, I panicked.”

Tanya and Kieran then went to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau for help before contacting TUI’s solicitor, who they say still have yet to respond to their calls.

About the national media coverage, Kieran said: “I had a look online and it made me feel sick. I am thinking what other people are thinking about me.”

Tanya said: “We are not lying, we were actually ill. We have been made out to be these bad people that have ripped Tui off but we haven’t ripped anyone off.”

Despite hateful messages they have received on social media, the couple have said they are grateful for support received following the court result and the national media article.

The couple have said that they were not the only family who were ill at the hotel, and like them, reported their sickness to the hotel’s customer relations employee.

The hotel reception ordered tablets from the pharmacist for the family, who still have the boxes to prove they were treated for sickness.

The family are unsure as to how they became sick but believe they may have suffered from food poisoning.

“We don’t know why we were ill, but the food was always never hot, always lukewarm,” Tanya added.

A spokesman for TUI said: “It was the finding of the court that the claim brought by Mr and Mrs Tuson was fundamentally dishonest and as a result they have been ordered to pay our costs.

“We simply will not pay compensation claims of this nature and we will bring all similar cases to a court hearing.

“We hope that this sends out a clear message to anyone else considering making a fraudulent sickness claim.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to defend our industry and hotel partners. We have a duty of care to protect honest holidaymakers.”