With on-line agencies, there is also a fast growing use of call centres where staff are located remotely in countries like India, well shielded from customer contact and more prepared and better placed to 'brave-out' any dispute until the client gives up in frustration. There are regulatory bodies that can help the dissatisfied customer, but they are run by the industry and often display an unrealistic attitude to complaints by the public. The first response you will hear from an ABTA representative is a trite phrase something like: "Let me start by saying that 99% of customers are totally satisfied by the service they receive". One percent dissatisfied with their treatment is a lot of people and for those people, their holiday or travel has often been 100% ruined. Moreover, ABTA is lowering standards of consumer care in an attempt to entice the big on-line agents to join and thus swell their ABTA's income. The last thing the industry needs is for ABTA to accept the lower standards of these giants: they will soon become the norm for all in the industry
With no Travel Ombudsman in the UK, Travelwatchdog is really the only public voice in the travel industry. Travelwatchdog will endeavour to publicise malpractice and poor customer service, whilst at the same time giving recognition to those companies who provide or exceed the level of service to which the customer is entitled. In the near ten years of our existence, the necessity for a site such as this has been evidenced by the growing number of readers and correspondents. The effectiveness has been illustrated by our success in helping those who have been badly treated by the industry. Our only weapon is publicity, but it remains a weapon of considerable power!
Our presence has been welcomed by responsible traders - Some who appear in these pages are not so happy.
Accident and Illness Abroad has always presented a problem for the traveller who wishes to seek a legal remedy. Very few UK law firms have the ability to litigate in other countries and we are fortunate to have links with Irwin Mitchell who can fill that void. See this link
A travellers motto: 'Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today - If you enjoy it today, you can do it again tomorrow'!