Consumer group warns of and condemns cold-calling of Holidaymakers!

HolidayTravelWatch has been in existence for nearly 22 years, helping and guiding holidaymakers to deal with their travel complaints. The nature and range of our work reveals complaints from booking problems to suspicious deaths. We provide Consumers with an opportunity to review their complaints and learn how to self-resolve them; we achieve that with 97.5% of those who contact us.

The remaining 2.5% contain the more difficult cases which on the whole are not generally capable of resolution via correspondence. Around 2% of those who contact us, those having more difficult cases, are given the opportunity to speak with our Partner Lawyers, where appropriate, to benefit from having their case assessed legally. In our dealings with Consumers, we provide them with the free-choice to either accept or reject our recommendations and we fully comply with all Regulatory obligations.

It is important to recognise that:

  1. We do not work in holiday resorts offering services to holidaymakers;
  2. We do not engage in any form of cold-calling;
  3. We guide Consumers on their options according to Consumer Laws and Industry opportunities;
  4. In no circumstances do we ‘train’ holidaymakers on how to make ‘claims’;
  5. We operate to the highest level of ethics;
  6. We do not nor have ever tolerated any attempt to manufacture any form of legal claim.

In addition we provide:

  1. The belief that all, Consumer or Industry, have a right to access justice;
  2. That all claims will only succeed if there is sufficient evidence to support its claim;
  3. That all evidence must be properly obtained and presented and make itself open to scrutiny;
  4. That we do not believe in the claim that a ‘compensation-culture’ exists in the UK, however, we accept that there has been a growth in the last two years of companies and law firms purporting to hold expertise in the field of holiday complaints - we believe, as happened in the handling of road traffic claims, that the political atmosphere has greatly contributed to the ‘growth’ of this industry;
  5. That our work is two-fold - advice to Consumers and presentation of the Consumer experience into the Political environment which has seen this Organisation achieve considerable and verifiable success in promoting Consumer Rights and increased safety in all aspects of Travel;
  6. We hold the view that at this time, that the continued level of Consumer Rights in the UK is under severe threat from many sources and that this Organisation will remain at the forefront of standing up to government or other interests that seek to reduce those Rights.

This Organisation has recently heard from one holidaymaker who has expressed concern about a cold-call he received from a company based in Birmingham.

The substance of the call would be familiar to many Consumers who have received calls from companies claiming that they can help you with your ‘recent’ road accident.

The holidaymaker was puzzled as to how his details had been obtained; he had indeed been on a holiday, but he described that holiday as ‘perfect’ and had not suffered with illness in any way.

The calling company nonetheless persisted in trying to examine his holidays from the previous 3 years, to determine whether or not he had suffered with any form of illness. This holidaymaker was happily robust with this company and wanted HolidayTravelWatch to know of his experience.

As we have already stated, we are very concerned by this turn of events and advise all Consumers to not engage with any of these so-called claims companies or solicitors associated with them, either in resort or when they return home to the UK.

If any Consumer has an experience with any so-called Claims Management Company, we would encourage them to contact us and we will, particularly where they have been approached in a resort or cold-called in the UK, report the said claims management company to the Regulator.

Where we detect any suggestion that a holidaymaker has been encouraged to make a fraudulent claim, we shall help that Consumer to make an official criminal complaint to the Police.

We would encourage Travel Companies who have similar experiences to follow our lead and take the same action.

Frank Brehany, the Consumer Director for HolidayTravelWatch states:

“I absolutely condemn any so-called claims management company or law firm attached to them if they engage in any activity that encourages or coaches Consumers to make claims; I also condemn those engaged in cold-calling Consumers”

He adds:

“In the event that we detect such activity, we shall work to ensure that the Regulator is made aware of these activities and if necessary we shall ensure that Police receive complaints where there is any suggestion of a fraud being propagated. I would also strongly recommend that Consumers do not engage with any so-called claims management company offering these types of assistance for their complaints”

He concludes:

“I absolutely stand by the principle that Consumers and Industry have a complete right to access justice; I do not support the notion that the holidaymakers we deal with are simply playing the system. There is ample evidence to demonstrate that in some cases, Travel Companies offer a poor product which can in some cases lead to very serious health issues. I would recommend that Travel Companies do 2 things; Put their own house in order which would have the effect of reducing complaints and secondly, where they believe that criminal offences have been committed, to report them to the Regulator or the Police rather than offer their faux-outrage in the press. By taking this robust action, they will join us in showing Consumers the right way forward and relegate those other activities into history!”

Tags: Holiday Compensation Compensation Culture holiday complaints Accesss to Justice Claims Management Companies