Barclays removes Instagram post advising holidaymakers to book direct

By Harry Kemble
23/05/2023
Home » Barclays removes Instagram post advising holidaymakers to book direct

Barclays has removed a post on its Instagram page advising customers to book direct to avoid holiday scams.

Ahead of the peak summer season, the bank listed six pieces of advice to help customers beat fraudsters in the post this month.

Barclays wrote: “Sadly, holiday booking scams are common and scammers are getting smarter than ever when it comes to finding new and incentive ways to trick people.

“So, stay scam savvy with our guide on how to avoid holiday booking scams.”

The advice included: ‘Only use secure ways to pay’, ‘If it looks too good to be true, it probably is’, ‘Use a credit card (if possible) to protect yourself”, ‘Always look at different reviews’ and ‘Check ABTA/ATOL websites to confirm companies are legit’.

Number five on the list was: ‘Book direct where you can’, which has upset some agents.

Personal Holiday Advisor Joe Biggs called the ‘book direct’ message a ‘kick in the teeth’ for agents.

“The fact that thousands of agents bank millions of pounds with Barclays, yet it has the audacity to make the false claim that customers are somehow more secure booking directly with travel suppliers is beyond belief,” he said.

“It’s a kick in the teeth for agents working hard to win customers’ trust in a tough market.”

He said Barclays is part of a ‘growing tribe’ of companies ‘pushing this false idea that customers are somehow more secure or better off booking direct rather than with a trusted travel agent’.

“It’s not true and it must stop. We will support suppliers who support us,” he said.

Michele Dance, owner of Eastleigh-based Ocean World Travel, described the advice as ‘awful’, adding: “That does not help the industry at all.

“I don’t know why Barclays have done this. They would be better off saying: ‘Book with someone who is bonded’.

“I’m sure it has come from someone who is well meaning in an office somewhere who has not thought it through.”

Barclays did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Travel Gossip last week and the post has since been taken down.

Barclays has since told Travel Gossip it won’t be commenting.

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