Omega World Travel Complaint - Lack of Customer Service
1. This is the letter that I sent to ASTA explaining my problem.
I have a complaint about one of your members. I went to Omega World Travel to make flight arrangements for my trip to London and Vienna and to book a hotel in Vienna. Normally I book my own hotel in London but the travel agent told me that she always recommends the Royal Trafalgar so I let her because I was curious if a $200 hotel was worth the money. The price per night she quoted is the same as the enclosed Omega World Travel sheets. Neither she nor the sheet mentioned anything about extra tax. I was shocked to discover that the price was 15% less than I was charged. I enclose the hotel bills. The hotel lied to me about getting a refund at the customs station at Heathrow since a hotel is a service and not eligible for a vat tax refund. Immediately on return I went to Omega to complain and discovered that my agent no longer worked there. The agent I talked to told me that the hotel states that the price doesn’t include tax on their screen and that I should have been told that. She said she would refer the paperwork which I have enclosed to the manager. Over the next 3 weeks I made 3 calls to him. He has always been unavailable and has failed to have the courtesy of returning them. I do not feel that I should be stuck with a charge that I had no idea I was liable for. I hope that you can be of some assistance in this matter.
Yours truly, Rick Kinsey 12/16/09
2. This is the letter that I received from ASTA.
December 18, 2009
Dear Mr. Kinsey
Thank you for contacting the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). We have forwarded your complaint letter to Mr. John Lawless at Omega World Travel. When we receive a response from them, we will forward that communication to you.
Please keep in mind that ASTA maintains the role of a third party mediator and remains neutral throughout the dispute. We can not tell a travel agency or travel seller how to settle a dispute. We also cannot impose penalties or assess fines on a travel agency or travel seller.
The agency has until January 8, 2010 to respond to our letter. We will notify you in writing when we have received a response.
We thank you for your patience.
Sincerely, Brandon Wilson
3. This is the response from Omega World Travel and ASTA’s
Date: Friday, April 16, 2010
Here is the facts, as I understand them, regarding Mr. Kinsey. Mr. Kinsey booked a hotel stay in London. When he checked out his bill including the UK VAT tax as part of the cost of the stay. Our agent did not advise Mr. Kinsey of the tax, but at the time he checked out there were no complaints from him about the tax. There is a toll free number in the UK that he could have called with any questions. Mr. Kinsey left the hotel and then came back a few days later and stayed a couple of more days. He was clearly aware at this time that a VAT tax existed, but he had no objections on this stay. It was only later that we found out, through your office, that he was upset.
It is my opinion that Omega did nothing wrong, as we can only quote the price the hotel provides. In this case the Hotel did not advise our agent that the VAT tax was not included when we gave Mr. Kinsey a quote on the price. With that said, we do not like unhappy customers, so we would like the opportunity to speak with Mr. Kinsey and perhaps offer him something in return for his trouble.
If this is acceptable to Mr. Kinsey, please advise me and I will have our Corporate Sales Director contact him.
Omega World Travel, Inc.
Since Omega World Travel has responded in a substantive manner to your complaint and is giving you the opportunity to work with them to satisfy you. If you would like them to contact you, please let me know and I will let them know as well and have them contact you.
Thank you for your patience in this matter and we now consider this case closed.
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