Your Rights When Confronting An Online Travel Website

Despite the convenience of booking travel online, to avoid potential problems and handle them swiftly if they do arise, it is important to know your rights when confronting an online travel agency.

Online travel agencies have become very popular for travel consumers. There are hundreds of online agencies to choose from, which offer everything from hotel reservations and car rentals to full fledge dream vacations. Online travel agencies can be a great convenience for busy travelers interested in finding the best travel deals, with the least amount of effort, all without leaving comfort of their home or office. Despite the convenience of booking travel online, to avoid potential problems and handle them swiftly if they do arise, it is important to know your rights when confronting an online travel agency.

To learn what your rights are when confronting an online travel agency, locate and carefully read the agency's terms of service. The terms of service should spell out exactly which types of mistakes and problems the agency is responsible for.

It is important to keep in mind, when booking a hotel, airline ticket, or car rental, that your consumer agreement is with the airline, hotel, or rental vendor not your travel agency. The online travel agency is usually only responsible for ensuring that your reservation request and payment or deposit is received by the travel vendor. The online agency is responsible for its own work, which pertains to putting the wrong name or date on your ticket or failing to forward payment in a timely manner to the travel vendor.



Some online agencies will assist you in obtaining a refund, canceling, or changing a reservation, while some will expect you to call or write to the travel vendor directly to handle these types of issues. Read the terms of service, frequently asked questions, or customer care section to learn whom you will need to contact in the event you need to cancel or make a change. Some online agencies do not list all the information you need to know about your rights on their website. If the information is not supplied through an easy to find link on the site, you should be able to view it while in the process of making your reservation, before you make your payment. Check to find a customer service number to call in case you need help or experience a problem.

Many online agencies charge fees for using their services. Be sure to find out if a fee will be involved, as well as the amount of the fee, before using an online agency. Most online agencies charge fees for cancellations and changes. Cancellation policies and the fees involved vary widely depending on the particular agency you choose. Make sure you know the cancellation policies of the agency you plan to patronize. It is wise to find out, in advance, what the cancellation or change fees are, because they can add up to quite a hefty sum.

Consider purchasing travel insurance as an extra safety net. Many travel products are non-refundable; which means if your car breaks down, you miss your flight, become ill or just change your mind, you may lose all the money you paid. Luckily you can buy travel insurance to cover your losses in the event of any unforeseen problems. When choosing a travel insurance policy always read the small print to make sure you know exactly what you are getting. Compare policies and ask for recommendations. To avoid purchasing duplicate coverage, double check your homeowner's, health, and auto insurance policies to see if they offer any travel coverage.

Privacy is of prime importance when it comes to shopping online for travel or any other product or service. Read the agency's terms of service or call and ask questions about how they keep your personal information safe. Make sure the online agency does not sell your information to other companies. Check to make sure any purchases you make through the agency's website are completely secure. If your online agency offers secure ordering, your personal information, including credit card numbers, is protected from hackers. Do not order online, if the agency does not offer secure ordering.

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