Published on Monday, April 20, 2020

Video: Clients aren't there to provide interest-free loans

Kane Pirie, founder of the It's Right To Refund campaign, is warning that companies risk losing the trust of the general public over the way they are dealing with the issue of refunds for cancelled holidays.

Speaking to TravelMole this week, the managing director of VIVID Travel explained why he is advocating a grace period for refunds, rather than the idea favoured by ABTA to issue a credit note.

"ABTA, much as I respect them as an organisation, has gone down the wrong road. I urge them to reconsider," he said.

"I still believe a grace period is the best way. I empathise with travel companies trying to find a way through this. But customers are saying we don't trust the travel industry. We don't trust ATOL. We don't trust the Package Travel Regs.

"Travel companies have thought: 'I can get an interest free loan for 18 months with ABTA's blessing'."

He claims 2021 will be a 'bumper season' for the holiday sector - as long as customers feel they can trust the travel industry.



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  • VIVID Travel

    Interesting that he has only been in business since 2015 and is now the expert on our industry. He set out to change the type of product, so he claimed, from boring beach holidays etc. Got news for you citizen Kane, I have been in USA travel for 50 years and pioneered the "tailor made' "non boring" products. With regards to ABTA and the current situation I find it interesting that you claim agencies are trying to get 18 months of interest free money. How on earth do you figure that? If an agent books a holiday for a client he forks out the money 6-8 weeks prior and pays the tour operator, he doesn't have that cash to refund a customer and grace periods would be useless if the tour operator goes under or fails to refund the travel agent. How on earth can an agency refund someone with money they do not have or earn interest on money they do not have, if you can teach me that I will gladly listen to you. My own company is working hard to refund our clients, we are asking for refunds from our supppliers and that takes time, even the mighty Walt Disney Company are very slow to cooperate. Nevertheless, I am in a better position than most agencies, I have a freehold property and other assets that I am using to secure bank loans to support our staff and customers in the interim. Most cannot do this and the only thing customers can do in most instances, is be patient. I have to say Mr Pirie, you do have a rather Vivid imagination.

    By Peter Mackness, Tuesday, April 21, 2020

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