Travel agents are failing to offer clear advice to consumers about financial protection, according to Which?. The product testing organisation made the claim after only three of its 70 undercover calls were given information about financial protection without having to be prompted.
When customers did ask about protection, only 34% of agents could provide correct and clear information. Another 34% were vague in their response, while 18% gave inaccurate information and 10% provided advice that could be misunderstood.
Overall,the organisation found that 67% of 1, 280 customers assumed they were protected if a travel company went bust and more than half think that displaying the ABTA and ATOL logos mean they are financially protected. Which? recognised that the industry is in consultation with the government over ATOL reform.
“This Holiday Which? report simply confirms something ABTA has been saying for years, that the current systems of financial protection are confused and confusing for both the travelling public and the travel industry itself,” ABTA told Travel Daily. “This is why it is so important that the Government get ATOL reform right and in particular they must include airlines within the framework of the scheme which will both extend protection and remove much of the confusion at source”. The association has guidance notes for financial protection on its website.