Agent Diary: ‘The trade needs to rally to support the card fees lawsuit’
Every one of us should support the class action case and hope we get back money that is rightfully ours, says Ponders Travel managing director Clare Dudley
I am not normally someone who moans about things in this industry and I try my hardest to be positive.
But I could quite easily grab myself a soap box and pop along to Speakers’ Corner at Hyde Park on a Sunday morning to air my grievances about one element of our business that I find unacceptable and, quite frankly, unjust.
I am talking about the fees that agents have to fork out when a customer uses a credit card to pay for their holiday.
Travel agency businesses run on such low margins, so why on earth should we have to take the hit with these fees?
When it was decided that these fees could not be passed on to customers, why was it deemed right that we should have to pay them? Who decided that this cost should be paid by the merchants and why?
Travel agency businesses run on such low margins, so why on earth should we have to take the hit with these fees? Why is this even a thing?
Back in the early days of the pandemic, when we all had to refund customers, how many of you were – like me – finding that we were being charged fees for processing payments as well? Again, I ask: “Really?”
To make matters worse, clients are being encouraged to pay by credit card because it adds another level of financial security for them.
As a result, it has been made even harder for us to encourage our clients to pay by other means.
I have even felt that if Aladdin were to pop by, this would be my wish from his magic lamp, as I feel strongly these credit card fees are so harmful to us all
So, you can imagine my joy when I opened my copy of Travel Weekly (April 7, 2022) and saw the headlines ‘Card giants face £1.5 billion claim for fees payback’ and ‘Firms urged to join card fees lawsuit’.
The articles said UK competition lawyers are poised to launch a class action lawsuit against Visa and Mastercard on behalf of travel and hospitality companies, and other sectors, seeking repayment of billions in card fees.
I have always wanted to believe this might happen. I have even felt that if Aladdin were to pop by, this would be my wish from his magic lamp, as I feel strongly these credit card fees are so harmful to us all.
Let’s all hope that – maybe, just maybe – we will get back some money that is rightfully ours anyway
I have been known to say that one day I might be a millionaire! So just imagine if the credit card companies were forced to pay back these horrendous fees.
Obviously, I know it wouldn’t amount to millions for me – but anything would be great.
So may I suggest that every one of us supports these claims. And let’s all hope that – maybe, just maybe – we will get back some money that is rightfully ours anyway.
And to those who have made the decision to take on this legal battle, I say thank you. If there is anything we can do to help with this claim, just let us know.
On a far more important note, I would like to thank my staff.
We are all so busy and the workload has been a little bit too much in the past few weeks.
Clients want answers but the long waiting times when we call some operators make our workloads a little harder
It’s often difficult to prioritise. Clients want answers but the long waiting times when we call some operators make our workloads a little harder.
So a big thank you to my team for being such brilliant colleagues and for always giving 100% to the jobs they love.
Gold star for Gold Medal
I want to take this opportunity to thank the team at Gold Medal. We had a situation that, due to human error, would have affected our clients. It might have been easier just to say nothing could be done. But the staff at Gold Medal sorted out the issue with professionalism, honesty and integrity. This was despite the fact it was at a financial cost to them. But it’s clear this trade‑only operator, for one, values and respects its relationship with an agent.
On top of that, Gold Medal also showed it recognises the importance of the relationship between the agent and their customer. Our mutual client is now happy – and so am I.
The staff at Gold Medal sorted out the issue with professionalism, honesty and integrity, despite the fact it was at a financial cost to them
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