HolidayTravelWatch continues to hear from Consumers who have been cold-called by so-called Claims Management Companies.
The premise of the call raises issues about that Consumer's 'recent' holiday.
They appear to identify themselves as an 'After-Travel Care' team and apparently advise that they 'work with' Travel Companies and in one case, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). They inform Consumers that they work with those travel entities to secure refunds for 'holidays that did not meet satisfactory standards'.
We have detected two such companies now offering this 'service', one apparently based in Birmingham and the other in Liverpool. A search of one company name via Google produces no results. However, a search of one telephone number we have been given reveals Consumers lodging online complaints about these activities and it would appear that the one number is connected to other 'claims' type telephone numbers.
Happily, the Consumers we have spoken with were able to spot something wrong with the call they received, particularly as each of them reported to us that they had no problems whilst on holiday, except in one case where there was a minor problem with a transfer.
It raises the very important question:
- If such a 'claims' company is calling, and has specific knowledge that a Consumer has recently returned from holiday, how did they get that Consumer's telephone number?
Logically, a Consumer's telephone number will only be known to family and friends, the company they have made their travel booking with or the insurer they may have purchased a product from; we believe that this question needs to be asked and however unpalatable, an inquiry needs to be carried out to determine the origin and flow of Consumer data to these so-called 'claims' companies.
The Organisation is quite clear on how we are guiding Consumers and in particular, we are advising Consumers that they should:
- Report such incidents to the Claims Management Regulator, either by calling 0333 200 0110 or by e mailing them, and
- Where such companies encourage Consumers to fabricate a claim, we shall help that Consumer to lodge a criminal complaint against that company.
Frank Brehany, the Consumer Director for HolidayTravelWatch states:
"I have absolutely zero tolerance for claims companies who fail to follow the regulatory process and even less tolerance for those unregulated companies who see Consumers as cash-cows! Holiday Complaints often contain complex and certainly life-changing issues for Consumers. Consumers should pay no heed to companies who claim that the pathway ahead glitters with gold. Consumers should ignore such companies and in all cases seek independent advices about their complaints and where they have been approached by such companies, they should report such matters to us and we will guide them on how to deal with this scourge that has entered the holiday complaints arena!"