Agent fears Goldtrail bank chargebacks

A Scottish agent fears she could be put out of business following the collapse of Turkey specialist Goldtrail, if her bank carries on charging her for debit card refunds it has issued to her customers.

Owner of TTA member Travel Planet in Glasgow, Liz Pattison, said her bank issued her with chargebacks when Globespan collapsed last year and fears she may be hit with more after Goldtrail went into administration a week ago.

She said: “The bank told my Goldtrail client that the contract was between him and myself as the agent. The client said he’s not waiting months for a refund from the CAA so he will claim with the bank and they will take the money from my account.

“We are a familiy business and if this keeps happening it will put us out of business.”

Pattison, whose agency does not have an Atol and acted only as an agent for Godltrail, tried to appeal the charge last year with no success.

“The bank told me this is just the way the banks work –  you took the money from the client and he didn’t receive the goods so you are responsible,” she said.

Pattison has called on deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Financial Ombusdman service to intervene.

A spokesman for Abta said the problem was not uncommon. He said: “Clearly the contract is not with the agent, it’s with the supplier. The bank should not have issued a chargeback – if agents get one, they should dispute it. The client should have gone to the CAA.

“This is banks not understanding the travel industry – Abta members can contact us and we will speak to the bank to sort it out.”

TTA operations director Gary Lewis said: “The payment to the agent cannot and should not be refunded via a chargeback.

“If Liz is able to defend the position with the bank we would expect it to get overturned and the consumer directed to the CAA claims form for recovery of their loss.”

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