Travel Trust Association defends handling of ex-agent’s closure

The Travel Trust Association (TTA) has defended its handling of bookings made by a former member after she claimed the consortium had “tarnished” her reputation with her clients.

Radnor Travel Service Ltd, in Llandrindod Wells, closed in November having been a TTA member since 1999 – and passed over its customers to the consortium, which is part of The Travel Network Group (TTNG).

TTNG confirmed the bookings were being dealt with directly and said a formal process had to be followed. The final clients have now been refunded.

Ex-director Laura Shepherd, who ran Radnor Travel Services with her father Vaughan Kirby, said the closure was due to the impact of the pandemic, with Kirby retiring and Shepherd taking a new job outside the travel industry at B&Q.

“The TTA had always been excellent and supportive; however, this all changed last October,” said Shepherd.

“They assured us that once we handed over any future or pending bookings they would contact each client, introduce themselves and deal with the files.

“Six weeks after we closed, I had to keep questioning when they wanted the files. They eventually arranged a courier.

“I put notes on every booking explaining exactly what needed doing – refund, balance etc.”

Shepherd says she continued to get queries from customers via Facebook and operators chasing her for money on the old shop email address.

She said the agency paid its annual subscription fee in August 2020 and therefore she expected the bookings to be sorted by TTA.

“I have moved on and trusted they would do their job. My reputation has been tarnished as customers think I have their money,” she said. “My reputation has been five-star for 20 years. I went out on a high. It is frustrating for me and my customers.

“I have a new job at B&Q but I am still sorting this. There is an endless amount of paperwork.”

Shepherd said the TTA did get in touch with her after Travel Weekly contacted the consortium on her behalf, and outstanding refunds have been sorted.

A spokesperson for the Travel Network Group, said: “There is a formal process we are obliged to follow when a TTA member closes and this can be complicated depending upon the reasons for the closure.

“Radnor Travel Services’ membership was closed on the November 25, 2020, and all customers are being dealt with directly.”

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