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Uneasy about agent invoice

UK
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Uneasy about agent invoice

I really don't know where to put this question, so I'll try here first.

I have been in lengthy dialogue with a travel agent (working from home for a franchise) to plan a forthcoming trip of 13 days, total spend over 6k. We're at the point of commit = send the agent over 4k, rest to be sent later. At that point she will book all flights and car hire and hotels.

Firstly, my spreadsheet shows a different (smaller) total - but not by enough to worry me.

However, today, at my insistence, she has sent an invoice.

I had to blink. This is not an invoice (for thousands of pounds) by any definition. It is the itinerary with a company logo on top. There is no date, no invoice number, no break down of charges, just the itinerary and final sum. No company address or contact details: all the missing details are required by law in UK.

I am very uneasy. She's been in the travel business for 20 years and should know all about invoicing business (or leisure) customers.

I've emailed our accountant for advice but I think I know what he's going to say.

What do you think? It's a lot of money and a big commit.

Thanks.

UK
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342 posts
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11. Re: Uneasy about agent invoice

re posts 5 and 6, KVE

With decent / proper / good travel insurance, I don't need a 3rd party to book every thing I can book myself. We're not going to a 3rd World Country with dodgy hygiene and medical care and no English-speaking people. I have to agree.

Same response to post 7 (reading down this thread)

And to post 8 (reading down this thread)

12. Re: Uneasy about agent invoice

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Removed on: 23 April 2015, 23:04
UK
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13. Re: Uneasy about agent invoice

To post 9, brit

"Is she not providing a booking form which outlines all the T&C BEFORE you hand over the money? I assume there's no ABTA/ATOL numbers? You did check that she has these, or some other type of bond, of course?"

That's the point. No booking form, no T+C, I had to check her parent company website to find those (she's a franchisee). No such numbers on the "invoice" and nothing whatsoever other than our name and address, and itinerary with grand total at the end. No date. No word INVOICE at the top. No address of parent company nor telephone number. No explanatory breakdown of grand total.

The more I look at this, the further I run away and think I've had a narrow escape.

FWIW I am now in email contact with (their) head office. I simply do not believe that this is franchisee protocol.

Thanks for all replies

14. Re: Uneasy about agent invoice

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Removed on: 23 April 2015, 23:04
Toronto, Canada
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15. Re: Uneasy about agent invoice

Yes, agree with you Stripedshirt...better to exit now before you have parted with any money.

I have friends who own a travel agency...only a scammer asks for money up front prior to booking

Edited: 15 January 2014, 01:14
Avoca, Australia
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for Rusutsu-mura
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16. Re: Uneasy about agent invoice

Do you have some national system of TA registration that provides you with some sort of financial guarantee when using a licensed TA (I think we do in Aus) not that I use them.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
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17. Re: Uneasy about agent invoice

>>>FWIW I am now in email contact with (their) head office<<<

Do you stand to gain anything out of maintaining dialogue with them? That's time you could be spending relaxing or planning your own holiday.

London
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for Thirassia, Fira
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18. Re: Uneasy about agent invoice

By the time you've spent verifying her 'invoice' and in communication with head office, you could have been researching and possibly booking the travel for yourself.

Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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19. Re: Uneasy about agent invoice

If you're booking a holiday that will have a total spend of around £6000 then paying £100 in credit card fees is not something to mark in your diary as the most satisfactory part of the day, but it's not quite a deal breaking sum either.

Surely there will be a few places where you can save a few pounds here and there whilst on holiday if not before and after to recoup that sum, and the knowledge that you will book with someone you know and trust - those in situ at StripedShirt House - is worth considerably more in the scheme of things.

Wales, United...
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for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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20. Re: Uneasy about agent invoice

>>>I've checked credit card protection. They only protect on point to point payments, i.e., paying a 3rd party via credit card does not involve them as a contractor. Typically, this would include paying a travel agent who then books air tickets and hotels on your behalf. Also, paying by credit card adds another nearly £100 to the bill.

We're not at refund yet. Nothing paid on "invoice" (yet).<<<

It sounds to me as though this agent is not in a position to provide you with a detailed breakdown as yet as they have not actualyl booekd anything for you.

I woudl guess that they intend to use your first payment of £4k to actually begin to book the various elements of your trip, and will only be in a posiiton to advise you of the prices when the booking has been made and the cost confirmed.

If my suspicions are correct, then I can't understand what advabntage there is in using an agent at all. I dare say that by doing a bit of work yourself, and booking directly with the service provider, you could conceivably save the £100 it could cost with credit card fees, and you would also be covered by the card protection as a bonus.

If you don't mind my asking, how did you ge tto this situation? Have you used the company before? I steered clear of a company that use home based franchisees because they were basically only doing what I could do from my own home and I could see no advantages to using them.