Read fine print before signing contracts, calling off
MY QUERY is in relation to withholding of a deposit. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, many airlines are allowing free cancellation.
However, a travel agency, which works on a secure booking with R1 000 deposit basis, refuses to refund my deposit. After investigating their terms and conditions, it does state that these deposits are non-refundable.
Please advise as to the legality of this in light of the Consumer Protection Act as this possession of a somewhat “prepayment” towards the travel amount which is retained by the travel agency results in unjust enrichment.
This is especially so as some airlines are allowing free cancellation, as well as the accommodation itself providing free cancellation. Kindly note that this cancellation will be well in advance (two months before intended travel).
Please advise whether the consumer has any rights regarding this.
Your guidance would be immensely appreciated as many are left affected in light of the pandemic and some are essentially forced to cancel their trips in light of the ban. SIMONE DA CAMARA
Georgie: The deposit seems to be the agency’s service fee, so not affected by the airline’s own cancellation policies. Always read the terms and conditions before signing any service contract.