A shocking statistic was reported in the media recently, with over 2.2 million pounds swindled out of the UK holiday maker, and we need to help ensure that this total comes down considerably in 2015. With many people’s hard work and money going down the drain, the stats are not fun to read. With over 1,500 people conned out of £889 each on average, that statistic has rightly struck fear into even the avid holiday maker.
Here at Travel Club Elite we have put together ” a TRUE guide for you to avoid being scammed by those pesky holiday fraudsters “, and ensuring that your travel plans are in safe hands, and financially protected.
If you’ve done your research you may have come across articles on ‘top tips to beating the holiday scammers’, but these are usually in a ‘scaremonger’ style and enough to put you off ever going on holiday. Our guide takes the fraudsters out of the loop completely, and makes sure you can have your dream holiday, without the worry that you’ll turn up at your accommodation and it has ‘vanished’ (along with your money).
Here’s our 9 point, full proof plan to avoid being conned by the holiday fraud scammers
1. Make sure the company you’re using is a member of ABTA. This is the highest standard for the UK travel industry, and its members must comply with a strict code of conduct, that regulates professional standards of service and are continually vetted for financial security. You can check the ABTA number of a company on theABTA Website If they don’t have ABTA membership, then it’s best to give them a swerve.
2. Look for the Tour Operators ATOL number. The Civil Aviation Authority guarantees a refund of your money in the event of an ATOL holder’s failure. All good travel companies will be able to provide you with an ATOL certificate and ensure that your money is secure. The ATOL certificate will show details of your booking & payment. Check An ATOL Number
3. Some Travel Agents and Tour Operators have based themselves abroad, and by doing this they avoid the stringent UK arrangements for financial protection. EU provision can be very limited and in our opinion inadequate – we recommend checking what protection you have, if you do decided to use a company based outside the UK.
4. Check out the history of the company, and find out how long the company has been established. With the ease of creating websites on the internet, more and more travel companies are popping up overnight, without the relevant credentials.
5. Pay by Credit or Debit card, as these often offer extra financial protection! However, always check with your card provider for exactly what they offer.
6. Be very wary of companies who cannot provide invoices, terms and conditions or be available to speak with on the phone. All established companies will be able to provide a set of booking terms and conditions, and have a customer service team more than happy to discuss any queries.
7. Look for independent reviews on 3rd party sites like Trust Pilot or Feefo. These sites are great for checking out the views an opinions of previous customers. Reviews are provided by customers who have used the service, and cannot be altered by travel companies.
8. Find out from your travel provider what level of repeat bookings they have. Companies that consistently receive a higher rate of repeat bookings = exceptional service and trust.
9. Ask how many years’ travel experience the staff have. Asking how many years’ experience the staff have isn’t a ploy to make the company employee blush, it’s merely a safeguard for yourself to ensure that you’re dealing with someone who knows what they are doing.
The internet has revolutionised the way that travel is bought & sold. Travellers & holidaymakers now have unparalleled, instant access to almost infinite information on destinations, resorts & accommodation. Whilst it may seem easy to put together your own travel arrangements, from different sources, please remember that in the event of incidents such as fraud, ash clouds, floods, or even making a mistake entering names on-line, a good Travel Agent is certainly worth its weight in gold.
Is it really worth compromising what should be the highlight of the year, over a few pounds? Would you drill your own teeth, or service your own car? Booking travel is best left in the hands of the experts for the best outcome, the best experience, and for closing the channels used by those holiday fraud scammers. Don’t leave your holiday to chance, follow our rules and book your next holiday with complete confidence.