The Australian governments client money protection scheme, known as the TCF (Travel Compensation Fund), ceased to function (01/07/2015) after 29 years operation. The Australian government initiated this process. Many of us in the Australian travel industry did not agree with this cessation, including Passport Travel. Passport Travel has been party to the rigorous yearly financial scrutiny for the 27 years of our involvement with the TCF and never failed to have our membership renewed. We also operated (and still do) dedicated trust accounts for client funds.
In anticipation of this change we were proactive in sourcing similar protection for clients and were successful in this endeavour. The following two memberships replicate exactly what the previous TCF provided:
• Strict yearly financial scrutiny.
• Protection of your monies paid to our trust account should we fail as a business.
Strict yearly financial scrutiny.
ATAS is a national accreditation scheme, endorsing travel agents who have met strict financial and customer service criteria. As Australia’s best travel agents, they can provide you with peace of mind when purchasing travel.
ATAS vets travel agents against strict criteria to ensure they meet certain standards, are reliable, well trained and professional businesses. Before becoming accredited, our ATAS agents need to meet high standards of business discipline, training, compliance with Australian Consumer Law and compliance with a strict code of conduct – ensuring your peace of mind when booking travel.
Protection of your monies paid to our trust account should we fail as a business.
All bookings made with our travel experts will be backed by the Helloworld Customer Protection Policy*.
In the event a Helloworld member ceases to trade or otherwise fails financially, Helloworld (the group) will provide either the travel products and services or the appropriate refund, (to the extent any customer bookings made through that member are not refunded or otherwise dealt with by your credit card or travel insurance provider).
The Helloworld Customer Protection Policy will not provide compensation in the event of supplier failure. In such cases, Helloworld will do its utmost to minimise inconveniences and keep you informed of alternative travel options.
A disadvantage of the governments decision to stop the TCF is that now anyone can call themselves a travel agent or tour operator, as membership of the above two organisations has not been made compulsory. They can also operate from a website and a desk in their lounge room! They can take all money payments and not adhere to rigorous scrutiny, or operate a trust account.
You must be very careful and only deal with agents such as ourselves who have taken the (2) proactive steps to ensure you, the customer, is fully protected.
We also occupy a physical office to which you can visit if you wish. In addition, we are contactable by phone (try that with some websites) and all our official registrations can be checked via the relevant authorities.