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Helping specialist tour operators and activity providers with travel ecommerce

What to do about a competitor trading without protection ?

I just posted in the discussion about ABTA and the TTA, and it got me thinking again about one of our competitors who I found out recently is trading without offering any financial protection to its clients.
One of their management told me at a travel show, quite calmly, that they just take their customers' money, put it in their trading account, and spend it as and when, without complying with the Package Travel Regulations or running any financial protection scheme.

It took me aback at the time how casual he was about it, and I asked him if he really wanted to be telling me this. I also suggested (politely but pointedly) that he should do something about it asap..

To my knowledge, nothing has happened though, and I'm not sure what to do next. I think the way they are operating is unacceptable as far as their customers are concerned, as well as unfair to their competitors.

However, I instinctively feel I should give them a chance (albeit it a short one) to correct things before reporting them to trading standards or elsewhere.
I'd appreciate any comments or thoughts people may have on how they would approach a similar situation.
Thanks, Ralph

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I would

1) Write a letter to this company's local Trading Standards office (not go via the consumer direct phone line)

and

2) Report them to the Advertising Standards Authority who now cover companies' claims on website (as well as ads on other websites). You can fill in a form on their website. It's very quick and they are very well organised and will send you letters with updates on progress. Here are examples of the sorts of things they deal with

http://www.asa.org.uk/ASA-action/Non-compliant-online-advertisers.aspx

I have a problem like this at the moment too. 

A competitor is clearly dismissing any responsibility for PTR on their website Ts&Cs, when they are clearly selling wine tour packages here in the U.K.

How would you advise I deal with this? I contacted her to give her a chance to do something about it but if anything she has made her Ts&Cs even more dismissive of any responsibility.

Thanks in anticipation,

Sorcha 

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