Written complaints about travel agencies remain steady. However, the BBB reports that consumer inquiries about travel agencies were significantly higher in 2013 than they were in 2012. Inquiries for 2013 totaled to 3685 compared to 2324 from 2012, or an increase of 59 percent.
- Compare services and do not feel pressured. Be wary if you feel pressured to make an immediate decision or if there is a statement that an offer is good “only if you act now.” Compare the services, fees and travel costs from a number of travel agencies before selecting the most attractive package.
- Be cautious about telephone, letter or postcard solicitations. Be careful of travel solicitations claiming you’ve won a “free” trip, or can get “special discounts” on hotels and airfares.
- Pay with a credit card. You can get some protection when using a credit card to purchase travel services. If you don’t get what you paid for, contact the credit card company and attempt to get the charges cancelled.
- Consider investing in travel insurance. Travel insurance can provide protection in the event of an accident, an illness, lost luggage, or a cancelled or interrupted trip. Read the insurance contract to understand coverage and exclusions. Investigate trip cancellation policies and determine what they cover to see if they would be worthwhile to purchase the insurance.
For more information on consumer and travel tips, visit www.bbb.org
As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reviews on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.