Victorian holidaymakers are being scammed by aggressive telemarketers who don’t like to take ‘no’ for an answer OR accept cancellations.
Consumers are being warned about buying discount travel and accommodation packages from telemarketing companies. PWF has received a first hand account of this unpleasant experience and Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) has received numerous enquiries and complaints from frustrated consumers about discount holiday packages/vouchers.
“Recent media coverage has focussed on alleged scams affecting customers in the Geelong region.
Discount holiday vouchers are sold in booklets over the phone by telemarketers. They often include vouchers for popular, high-end hotels and sometimes for restaurants.
Common complaints made to CAV have involved aggressive marketing tactics, difficulties with booking travel and accommodation for chosen dates, and problems contacting the telemarketing company for a refund.
Holidaymakers considering discount holiday packages/vouchers should:
- shop around to ensure packages actually offer discounts and benefits
- ask questions about how to use the voucher and its terms and conditions
- not feel pressured into purchasing
- be careful about giving credit card details over the phone
- be aware of ‘cooling-off’ rights
- put refund requests in writing
Consumers having trouble redeeming the packages/vouchers should ask their credit card company for a charge-back or make a complaint using the online form.”
As PWF runs the risk of being held legally responsible for posting libelous material if business names are posted here as a comment, CAV suggests people use the online complaint form listed above or ring VAC helpline 1300 55 81 81, instead of writing a gripe/comment and naming the company/person.
The following info has been compiled for holiday accommodation providers and booking agents and covers many consumer issues that do arise.
* Advertising requirements
* Contracts and conditions
* Booking accommodation over the telephone and Internet
* Credit card transactions
* Cancellation fees and refunds
* Unlawful discrimination
* Rights and obligations under consumer protection legislation
You can download a PDF version of this guide here.
Also available at the above address is a Cancellations Guide, jointly developed by CAV and Tourism Victoria to assist tourism operators and accommodation providers when consumers cancel bookings due to external conditions such as bushfires. The guide outlines their rights and obligations in these circumstances.
Any other regions having similar problems?