Fri, Apr 1st 2022 10:05 am

Says New Yorkers ought to know their rights and comply with primary ideas for one of the best offers and to keep away from journey scams 

Submitted by the New York State Division of Shopper Safety

The New York State Division of Shopper Safety reminds New Yorkers of their rights as they plan spring and summer season journey. Journey disputes stay one of many top complaints dealt with by DCP. In 2021, DCP fielded a whole bunch of complaints from shoppers who needed to cancel or reschedule their journey plans resulting from COVID-19. As restrictions resulting from COVID-19 carry and extra New Yorkers are touring once more, shoppers must be knowledgeable of their rights, store well to safeguard their hard-earned cash, and keep vigilant to guard themselves from scams.

“The COVID-19 pandemic induced main disruptions to journey, but in addition taught shoppers worthwhile classes about touring responsibly,” stated Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez, who oversees the DCP. “By following the following pointers, New Yorkers will probably be higher ready to navigate {the marketplace} and spend responsibly as they plan their long-awaited journey this spring and summer season.”

Superintendent of Monetary Companies Adrienne A. Harris stated, “As New Yorkers resume travelling, they’re strongly inspired to learn any journey insurance coverage insurance policies and associated paperwork rigorously if they’re contemplating the acquisition of journey insurance coverage, to totally perceive what is roofed within the occasion that journey plans go awry.”

Buying Sensible for Journey

There are primary journey ideas that customers ought to concentrate on when they’re reserving journey:

√ Do your analysis. Shoppers ought to at all times weigh within the components of a visit earlier than buy, together with worth, location, availability of actions and cancellation insurance policies. Additionally take into account whether or not the placement has any COVID-19 restrictions in place, corresponding to testing or vaccination standing, previous to reserving the journey.

√ Get all confirmations in writing. To safeguard in opposition to scams by way of modifications in agreements, shoppers ought to at all times get affirmation of plans in writing, whether or not reserving on-line, over the cellphone, or in individual. Retailers are required to reveal phrases and situations to shoppers – at all times obtain a duplicate of the settlement and put it aside for reference.

√ Watch out for “all-inclusive” or too good-to-be-true gives. All-inclusive gives sound nice, however can have hidden costs and costs of their phrases and situations. Shoppers could not even concentrate on such charges till check-out, when their invoice is greater than marketed. Generally these gives include an settlement to affix a membership or take part in a presentation. At all times inquire about obligatory charges that won’t seem within the marketed worth, corresponding to resort charges and taxes. Learn the high-quality print when making the most of an “all-inclusive” supply.

√ Attempt to pay with a bank card, if you happen to can. Bank cards usually supply extra safety than paying by money, test or debit card. Some bank card firms additionally supply perks like journey insurance coverage or concierge service whereas touring, and should supply further protections if the journey is canceled. Test along with your bank card firm on the situations of journey expenditure reimbursement.

√ Assessment your journey agreements. Do you know you have got a possibility to cancel a journey settlement? The New York State Reality in Journey Act safeguards shoppers in opposition to fraud, false promoting, misrepresentation, and different abuses. Journey brokers and promoters should present shoppers with written disclosures of all of the phrases of the journey service inside 5 days of buy or settlement. Shoppers ought to overview the phrases of the agreements absolutely upon receipt and guarantee they align with what the patron bought. Shoppers have till midnight of the third enterprise day after receiving the settlement to cancel. Shoppers also can cancel any time in the course of the five-day interval previous to receiving the disclosures.

√ Use respected journey brokers/tour firms. Shoppers ought to analysis completely earlier than selecting an agent or firm to work with. Preserve monitor of preparations and contracts, and overview phrases and situations, particularly the cancellation and refund insurance policies. Reservations usually require a deposit that might not be refundable. If the journey is canceled, the deposit would possibly solely be utilized towards future journey or could also be forfeited altogether. Shoppers ought to make sure they perceive the coverage previous to placing down a deposit.

√ Think about journey insurance coverage and whether or not you want a “Cancel for Any Purpose” coverage. Journey insurance coverage can supply shoppers aid in case of emergency earlier than or throughout their journey, as protection ranges from incidents of misplaced baggage to missed connections to potential medical emergencies. Nevertheless, most traditional journey insurance coverage insurance policies don’t cowl journey interruption or cancellation resulting from COVID-19, as a result of such normal insurance policies often exclude protection for an epidemic, pandemic, or comparable public well being occasion. Some journey insurance policy supply “Cancel for Any Purpose” protection at an extra value, which is commonly considerably greater than normal journey insurance coverage and usually solely permits as much as 75% refund of traveler bills if the journey is canceled. Prior to buying a plan, overview the phrases of the coverage and ask your insurer about protection which may be excluded.

Journey Cancellation

When all or a part of a visit is canceled, the cancellation coverage and a client’s proper to a refund will fluctuate based mostly on legal guidelines that regulate the corporate’s business, who initiates the cancellation, when the cancellation is made, and the corporate’s personal coverage.

√ In keeping with the U.S. Department of Transportation, airways could supply refunds, together with the ticket worth and any non-compulsory charges charged, for canceled or considerably delayed flights, even when flight disruptions are outdoors their management. If an airline isn’t doing that, shoppers can report it to the U.S. Department of Transportation. If shoppers cancel a reservation for any motive, shoppers will probably be topic to the refund coverage agreed to on the time of buy, which can be no refund in any respect.

√ With cruise traces, refund choices could fluctuate. The cruise ticket contract lays out the corporate’s cancellation insurance policies and one’s rights. For instance, one could also be supplied a refund, credit score or voucher for a future cruise. If one opts for a credit score or voucher, make certain the expiration date is way sufficient out that it may be used. Learn extra from the Federal Maritime Commission about client rights and the recourse that may be out there.

√ Cancellation insurance policies for accommodations, motels and on-line lodging marketplaces can fluctuate enormously, even inside the similar firm based mostly on the season, room sort, or size of keep. Some could supply a alternative between a refundable or nonrefundable fee whereas making the reservation. Make sure you absolutely perceive the cancellation coverage prior to creating a reservation.

If a client is having bother getting a refund owed for all or a part of a canceled journey, they’re inspired to file a complaint with DCP

Indicators of a Journey Rip-off

The Federal Commerce Fee warns in opposition to common travel scams. Some indicators of a rip-off when reserving journey embody the next:

√ You might have “received” a free trip. Scammers will generally entice shoppers with a free journey, however then disclose charges or deposits to get entry. A prize shouldn’t embody spending cash and is probably going a rip-off.

√ The small print of your journey are obscure. Shoppers could also be supplied a keep in a five-star resort or on a luxurious cruise line, however then few particulars in regards to the journey are introduced. At all times verify and overview the title of the corporate and site of the journey particulars.

√ You might have restricted time to just accept the supply. Scammers usually strain shoppers to make fast choices a couple of deal, making it doubtless that the patron is not going to have time to research the supply. By no means really feel pressured to conform to any phrases you haven’t reviewed by yourself.

√ It’s essential to pay in an unusual approach. Cryptocurrency, wire switch, and reward playing cards are tough to hint, and ideal for scammers seeking to benefit from shoppers, who won’t be able to recoup their losses in the event that they pay this fashion. If a journey firm insists that you just pay in certainly one of these methods, decline the supply and report the corporate.

The New York State Division of Shopper Safety supplies voluntary mediation between a client and a enterprise when a client has been unsuccessful at reaching a decision on their very own. The buyer help helpline 1-800-697-1220 is accessible from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, excluding state holidays, and client complaints may be filed at any time at

Journey insurance coverage is regulated by the Division of Monetary Companies. Shopper with complaints about journey insurance coverage coverage or “Cancel for Any Purpose” protection issued in New York or by New York firms ought to contact DFS at or by means of the DFS client hotline at 800-342-3736, 212-480-6400 or 518-474-6600 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

For extra client safety ideas, the DCP may be discovered on social media at Twitter: @NYSConsumer and Fb:

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