Two InteleTravel UK agents have been thrown out of the controversial homeworking organisation for “creating an unauthorised secret Facebook group”.
Andy Stoute and Vikki Wood had their InteleTravel franchise contracts terminated last week for “behaviour that goes against their InteleTravel.com contract” and “attempting to hide it”.
The pair, who were new to travel when they signed up with the agency in May, set up private Facebook group ‘Unofficial InteleTravel – No Rules’, which they said at one stage had 20 members.
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They said it was formed due to a lack of support from “upliners” [more-experienced agents].
But InteleTravel said use of its name without permission was a breach of its terms and conditions, and stood by its decision.
Stoute, who runs a recruitment business, said: “We started the [unofficial] group because I got kicked out of the official group for asking questions. We’re not in China; they can’t stop us talking to each other.”
He added: “The reason we started the group was because we got no support whatsoever. We are genuinely interested in the business opportunity of selling travel and wanted to learn the industry.
“There are a lot of other groups with the InteleTravel name. You can’t tell me they were all given permission.”
Vikki Wood, who also runs her own foot health business, said comments of hers had been deleted from InteleTravel’s Facebook group.
“[Other] people told me their comments had been deleted too,” she added. “We were told that was because they were negative.
“I thought asking awkward questions was helpful – even if they’re basic. We all have different backgrounds and experiences. I set the group up so we could help each other.”
A spokesperson for InteleTravel, which gained Abta membership in March and now claims to have more than 3,500 UK agent sign-ups, said it has a “zero tolerance” approach to any breach of its terms and that training, supplier information and self-development was available on back-office systems and through advice from colleagues.
“InteleTravel takes education and support seriously,” the spokesperson said. “Our regulatory training to allow agents to trade with partners is mandatory and we have a full programme of training, events and support.”
InteleTravel added that, “like most homeworking companies”, it will attract sign-ups who “are not suited to the travel sector”, but said “the majority of our audience are satisfied”.
Both Stoute and Wood indicated they were looking at other homeworking opportunities in travel.
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