Due to the scandal with the Hummingbird children's camp in Turkey, Rospotrebnadzor spoke about the mistakes of the parents of children evicted in Turkey and once again reminded tourists about the basic safety rules before concluding a contract and paying for the tour. In turn, the head of the company “Lawyers for Tourist Business” Baiborodin and Partners “Alexander Baiborodin considered the advice of the department and commented on them for” TURPROM “, specifying for tourists the answer to the” sore point “how not to be” thrown “by the travel agency.
< p>Recall that we are talking about “unfair actions” of the Hummingbird company, which took responsibility for organizing a children's summer camp in Turkey. The parents of the victims claim that the company did not pay for the children's stay at the hotel, and they did not have return tickets either. Further, it turned out that the company was not registered in any register – however, it had been successfully working for more than a year, although it managed to accumulate huge debts. The extreme ones were children – who had to spend the night in the park when they were evicted from the hotel, and parents – who had to buy return tickets at their own expense. Read the beginning of the story here.
Rospotrebnadzor's first tip: “Don't make a decision to buy a tour package spontaneously. Follow the simple rule that it is better to conclude an agreement in an office, information about which is publicly available, incl. on the tour operator's website. Pay attention to the situation in the office – “one-day” firms, as a rule, look like they drove into the premises yesterday and will leave one of these days”.
Alexander Baiborodin commented on this advice as follows: in modern conditions, the recommendation about the office looks slightly outdated. “Among our clients there are services with remote online booking of tours, moreover, some of them are the largest agencies in the industry. They are well-known – if convenient, you can buy from them. Suffice it to recall “Tinkov Bank” or, say, “Ozone” – they also do not have an office. But these are still mastodons – accordingly, it is quite possible to buy safely online from large well-known mastodon agencies, ”the expert estimated. He also added that from a legal point of view, according to the Federal Law “On the Fundamentals of Tourism in the Russian Federation”, a travel agent is not required to conduct its activities in the office.
“But if a tourist likes to buy offline, then going to the office (if there is one nearby) is a great idea. Offline communication is deeper. And if the office looks suspicious, you feel that something is wrong, then it’s better not to risk it – it’s also quite a reasonable recommendation. True, there is one misfortune here: it seems to me that it is easier for skillful scammers to cheat a tourist in the office than on the phone, ”the lawyer emphasized. Recall that this was the case – the deceived parents stated that “during communication, the employee of the travel company inspired confidence” (read more here).
The second advice of Rospotrebnadzor: “Verification of the tour operator, travel agent or hotel must necessarily take place before the conclusion of the contract. You can check the counterparty in special up-to-date registries (they can be easily found online in the “Tourist registries” section on the website of the Ministry of Economic Development)» . This advice was fully approved by the expert. “Checking travel agents and tour operators on the registry is a great idea. It will filter out fraudsters who, say, did not even think of registering in the register of travel agents. Recall that the Federal Law “On the Fundamentals of Tourism in the Russian Federation” obliges all travel agents and tour operators, without exception, to be respectively in the register of travel agents or tour operators,” explained Alexander Baiborodin.
The third advice of Rospotrebnadzor: “Take an interest in the reputation of the organizer of your holiday, but keep in mind that positive reviews can be faked. Be sure to look at the official pages of the companies you like in social networks, publications in the media and on popular resources, where you can easily find real stories in the comments that show the company's attitude towards its customers“. According to a legal expert, although social networks can really be misleading – which, again, happened to parents who sent their children to Hummingbird – nevertheless, with long and systematic monitoring of social networks, the advice is useful. “Yes, the reviews are winding up. But in general, you can understand the situation. Watching social media is a great idea. The totality of the social network/reviews/reports is still extremely difficult to fake,” said Alexander Baiborodin.
The Fourth Council of Rospotrebnadzor: “If you have any doubts about the work of a travel agent, immediately contact not only the travel agent, but also the tour operator (organizer of the holiday), check if everything is in order with the tour. “If you have purchased a tour, and the agent has long beeps on the phone every day, you will have to call the tour operator. Pretty normal advice. It is worth remembering that according to Articles 9, 10, 10.1 of the sectoral law, it is the tour operator that is responsible for the provision of services included in the tourism product,” Alexander Baiborodin commented. Although, again, what formal status the Hummingbird was in is a question.
The Fifth Council of Rospotrebnadzor: “If you have specific wishes when buying a tour, be sure to ask the manager to show in which part of the contract they are fixed. “Smart advice. Moreover, the law just prescribes that all “other” conditions be reflected in the contract with the tourist. We look at article 10 of the sectoral law: “Other conditions of the specified agreement are determined by agreement of the parties,” the lawyer commented on this paragraph.
Sixth Council of Rospotrebnadzor: “Sign the contract only after you make sure that all the necessary travel parameters are reflected in the document. It is best to take a break and check the contract again at home, consult with relatives and friends. “The advice is correct, but too much,” Alexander Baiborodin appreciated and explained. “To study the contract for several days – advice may be redundant. But to read carefully – certainly. But certainly not at the table with family and friends. This is still not a will,” said the lawyer.
The Seventh Council of Rospotrebnadzor: “Pay for the contract only in official ways, get a check (paper or electronic), if in doubt, check the cashier's check with a special application from the Federal Tax Service. Do not transfer money using a phone number“. As Alexander Baiborodin noted, the advice is correct – large firms more often accept payments officially. As for transfers… “I can still understand when 30-50 thousand for tickets are transferred to the agent's card. But when it comes to 500 thousand or a couple of million for a tour to the Emirates and payment goes to a personal card by phone number – without drawing up an agreement, it’s somehow difficult to say here that “the tourist did not know and is not obliged to know that it turns out that a check is needed and an agreement! (Unless, of course, he has not lived on Mars for the last 10 years),” Alexander Baiborodin estimated.
Rospotrebnadzor also reminded tourists that complaints about the quality of the tourist product are made to the tour operator in writing within 20 days from the date the contract expires on the sale of a tourist product and are subject to review within 10 days from the date of receipt of claims. If tourists are faced with a violation of their rights, you can apply through a special form on the official website of Rospotrebnadzor https://petition.rospotrebnadzor.ru/petition/or call the Unified Advice Center at 8-800-555-49-43 ( the call is free).
For those who care about a healthy lifestyle, we recommend reading: “It has been established how to effectively lose weight without changing diet and exercise.”