Some shopping guidelines
Buying travel products on the Internet can offer
a world of variety and value to those who follow
a few simple guidelines along the way.
If it's too good
to be true, it probably isn't
Beware of offers for
free holidays and unbelievable offers if you only
pay today. Reputable businesses, on the net or
off, don't pressure customers into making a buying
decision before they're ready.
Know whom your dealing
Look for names, faces
and addresses. Always search a travel web site
for information about the site's owner including
names, addresses and telephone numbers. Is this
an established travel company with offices and
staff to handle customer's needs and any complaints
that may develop?
Be suspicious of companies with only e-mail identities
who may be here today and gone tomorrow with your
hard earned money. Work with a "brick and mortar"
travel company that sells on the Internet - they
offer more security to the customer than a purely
Look for membership
in professional organizations
Logos indicating membership
in national and international professional organizations
can signify an established reputation of professional
ethical practice. They also provide an additional
road of appeal should something go wrong.
You should be able
to pick the way to pay
Does the operator offer
a secure site for sending credit card information
over the Internet? - Good operators always offer
customers the alternative of sending credit card
information by facsimile or paying by personal
check or telegraphic transfer.
If paying by credit card over the net make sure
transactions are carried out on encrypted and
secure channels, which makes the information less
vulnerable to computer hackers.
Beware of draconian
While some suppliers,
such as cruise lines, may have severe penalties
for late cancellation, hotels very rarely will
demand more than the first night's payment for
cancelled bookings. Travel Company's that charge
100% for a cancellation may be failing to put
the customer's interest first.
Protect your privacy
Look for the vendor's
listed on the web site. A certain amount of personal
information is needed to process your order but
you have a right to know how that information
might be used.
Do you have the right to opt-out from future mailings
Any questions: ask!
As the consumer you're entitled
to ask questions and receive clear explanations
to any questions you may have.