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Travel agents warned about the dangers of referring customers to compensation claim firms

The Abta and law firm Travlaw have been warning travel agents about the dangers of referring clients to claims firms seeking compensation for flight delays or holiday sickness. The warnings follow a spate of travel agents being approached through social media networks claiming to be from legal firms and offering money for successful referrals.

The Abta and Travlaw both reiterated that passing on customer details jeopardises customer relations and could lead to a breach of data protection laws and other regulations.

Last month, Independent Travel Expert Kathy Kay a private message through Facebook from a woman claiming to be from a ‘UK law firm that deals with holiday illness and flight delay claims’.

The woman did not reveal which company she worked for, but stated that she was currently working with a number of independent travel agents. Kay ignored the request, but said that a number of her colleagues had received the same or similar messages.

The government has firm regulations in place when soliciting claims. The company must clearly identify themselves and ‘not offer any cash payment or a similar benefit as an inducement’.

A spokesman for Abta said, “Passing on client contact details without their consent would be a clear breach of data protection legislation and it may well also be a regulatory offence for the claims management company to pay or receive referral fees in personal injury cases.”

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