Why you need to be careful what you tell your clients

By Linsey McNeill
Home » Why you need to be careful what you tell your clients

Agents need to check their terms and conditions to make sure clients can’t held them responsible if they don’t have the correct travel documents.

And they need to be careful not to give clients any information that might not be correct.

The issue has come to light since clients who were unable to get visas in time for their planned trip to the US told their agent he was liable for the cost of rebooking the holiday.

Other agents are concerned they might be held responsible for not warning clients who have previously travelled to Cuba that they might need to apply for visas for the US, which can take weeks to process.

While lawyer Matt Gatenby of law firm Travlaw said it is the traveller’s responsibility to make sure they have the correct passport, visa and health requirements, agents need to be careful.

“Tour Operators will make that clear as part of their own T&Cs (terms and conditions) and agents should also, as a best practice, have that made clear in any terms they have setting out what they will do in their role as agent,” he said.

Matt said if a customer asks a specific question, such as what visas they need to gain entry to a country, ‘the sensible answer’ would be to tell them to check the relevant country’s website or with the embassy.

“If an agent gives a firm answer which is wrong, then the customer could realistically hold that agent responsible for giving incorrect information,” said Matt.

“However, the main position should always be that this falls to customers as only they can know their own previous travel and passport/visa position.”

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