Abta rejects call to use complaint resolution firm

Abta rejects call to use complaint resolution firm

Abta has dismissed a call to partner with a growing consumer complaints portal backed by Money Saving Expert.

The association, which runs its own trading standards-backed dispute system, said it saw “no benefit” in partnering with Resolver.co.uk.

The site, which is a member of the Ombudsman Association, said it receives up to 8,000 travel-related complaints a month, concerning flights, hotels, operators and agents.

Founder and owner James Walker said its aim, as well as being an aid for consumers unhappy with a service, is to act as a filter to reduce the number of complaints firms receive. He said it would not charge Abta to be a partner.

Abta’s long-running complaints scheme last year handled 12,000 cases, of which 400 went through to independent arbitration.

Walker said: “We’re not trying to replace what Abta has. We’re trying to be the step before people reach them with a complaint.

“We can help consumers put together a well-structured case so it’s easy for the ombudsman or a business to look at. So far, there’s been total silence from Abta.”

Walker claims Resolver, which has been added into Money Saving Expert’s complaint guides, stops 45% of consumers complaining because they read their rights and realise they “don’t have a case”.

Walker said he set up the company after he experienced the bite of consumers going to third-party sites to complain when he was in a previous role.

A spokesman for Abta said: “For years Abta has been offering a dispute-resolution scheme and an independent arbitration scheme when complaints hit an impasse. These have been praised by bodies such as the Office of Fair Trading, and more recently was approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

“We would see no benefit to customers or members to use a facility that has not been approved.”


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