Insolvent travel agent
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Jan 1, 2012 1:57 PM Last Post By: borisgoodenough
Dec 24, 2011 5:14 AM
Insolvent travel agentMy travel agent declared insolvency just before I started the holiday. We had paid them in full a mOnth back. However, some airlines and hotels are asking for payment again. How do I handle this. The booking in all these places requires payment upfront. So they must have received the money or decided on their own to give credit to the agent. What do I do
Dec 24, 2011 5:49 AM
Did you pay with a credit card? If so you have recourse. If not you're likely out of luck. These things occasionally happen and rarely work out in favor of the victim / customer.
It's not your fault the travel agent went bust, but it's not the fault of the airline or hotel either. They may not have received any or all payment and they are entitled to be paid as well.
When this happens where I am from no one ends up happy. The customers lose their money and sue, but they rarely recover anything. The service providers weren't paid and refuse to honor any payments made to the travel agent which they didn't receive (objectively, why should they?).
The worst part is the unscrupulous travel agent closes up shop, opens another travel agency under a new name and likely does this again and again.
Good luck to you.
Dec 24, 2011 8:30 AM
Dec 24, 2011 8:36 AM
Dec 24, 2011 8:42 AM
Dec 24, 2011 10:38 AM
5The agent was based in South Africa but an internet company. It was apparently registered with the SASTA. the association is unfortunately shut till post the New Year.
Dec 24, 2011 11:57 AM
6Contact your credit card company (if you used a card, which you should have) immediately. Like right now.
Contact your travel insurance agency (if any) as soon as convenient.
Contact whatever group or agency (SASTA?) when they open.
In the meantime, no matter what happens you're very likely going to have to re-book everything, paying up front.
Dec 27, 2011 12:31 AM
Just to let you know I am in the same situation with Island-Safari.com. I have no advice to give that others have not already stated, but just wanted to let you know that you're not alone!
How did you find out that SATSA is closed until the New Year? I sent them a message through their contact page, but I am not sure it actually worked. Did you call them?
Unfortunately I sent a cash transfer to the travel agent, so it is likely money that I will never see again.
Good luck with your credit card, insurance, and SATSA!
Dec 31, 2011 4:28 PM
8We're fortunate, as a group of 8 of us are not travelling till Sept. One of the Island Safari consultants has already contact all our accomodation and secured it for us. We will be using the following to conclude flights and final arrangements. We have been able to stick to our original dates and plans.
Jan 1, 2012 1:57 PM
9Our group of five had booked through Island Safari for a trip to the Kruger area later this month, and already made full payment to them. Unlike the poster above, our agent stopped replying to emails once the firm went under.
Fortunately, we've been able to contact all the suppliers directly, and confirm that the reservations were made, although none of them had received any payments. So we are arranging to keep the reservations and make payment to each of the suppliers directly ourselves.
We also put in a claim with our credit card company, which they've indicated they will honor, for a full refund of everything we paid to Island Safari. So right now, it looks like the only downside to the whole episode will be a lot of extra scrambling on our part, but we will not be our of pocket financially.
The an important lesson to this, however, is never to make payment via bank transfer. Had we done so, this would have been a total loss.
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