My husband and I booked airline tickets with airlines via Webjet to go to Cairns from Melbourne on the 8th September

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Customer: My husband and I booked airline tickets with Virgin airlines via Webjet to go to Cairns from Melbourne on the 8th September ,returning on the 15th September. We also booked to stay at the Hotel Grand Chancellor Palm Cove through Webjet. The amount of $2135.60 was paid to Webjet on the 29th February 2020, which included an amount for Covermore Insurance. We have asked for a refund as interstate travel is banned at the moment and the wedding we were to attend has been cancelled anyway for the same reason. Webjet will not give us a refund, but have offered a travel credit which must be booked by 7th September and taken before the 7th March 2021. We are unable to travel to that destination anytime up to the end of March and who knows if the borders will be open by then anyway. We would prefer to travel in July or August 2021, if possible. Can you advise us our rights in this matter and should we approach the insurance company regarding our cover?
JA: What state is this in? And just to clarify, when was the purchase made?
Customer: We are in Victoria and were travelling to Queensland. We paid the amount I stated on the 29th February 2020.( $2135.60 was paid to Webjet on that date.)
JA: Have you contacted the seller or manufacturer?
Customer: I have contacted Webjet who said there will not be a refund, but a travel credit to be taken before 7th March 2021, booked by the 7 th September 2020.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No only that we are willing to use the travel credit if possible, and Webjet have had the use of our money for nearly 6 months already.
Answered by John Melis in 1 hour 2 years ago
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John Melis, Expert

Hi, I’m John, solicitor, and reviewing your post, and may need to ask a few questions a long the way to assist you.

In relation to import matter, the aspect you need to consider is the terms and conditions of the agency you are using, especially any ticket purchases you have paid in full, upon reviewing their terms and conditions, if you think the agency or another third-party is not acting appropriately in regards ***** ***** necessary assistance with refunds or changes to bookings, you may be able to raise a claim for misleading conduct.

I note the following actions that you may consider.

Consumers have a set of consumer guarantees when purchasing most products or services that can’t be excluded, modified or limited by contract.

https://www.accc.gov.au/business/treating-customers-fairly/consumers-rights-obligations

If one of the consumer guarantees under the Australian consumer law has not been met, generally the seller must repair, replace or refund whether it is goods or services. The type of remedy depends on whether the failure is major or minor.

Certain signs are unlawful, such as:

• ‘No refunds’

• ‘No refunds on sale items’

• ‘Exchange or credit note only for the return of sale items’.

Consumer guarantees still apply regardless of whether an item is on sale.

If the customer has simply changed their mind, the seller does not have to refund. However, if the seller has an in-store policy to offer a refund, exchange or credit note if a customer changes their mind, then this policy should be clearly displayed at the point of sale or included on your business’ website (if it has one). If the store has such policies, they must follow them

There are different ways a customer can provide proof of purchase, not just a cash register or hand-written receipt. These may include:

• a credit or debit card statement

• a receipt or reference number given for phone or internet payments

• a copy or photograph of the receipt.

Business cannot:

not mislead customers, including about what the customer is entitled to under their terms and conditions

not act unconscionably when dealing with their customers

not seek to rely on unfair terms in standard form contracts with customers.

You can seek resolution in the following way and claim compensation as well.

I recommend that you file a claim as soon as possible.

What you need to do is issue a formal complaint in writing to the other party, seeking an assessment/review on the matter, and that you require a response within 7 to 14 days subject to your requirements.

Make sure you enclose al factual evidence you have with the correspondence that you send to the other party.

When you draft this correspondence make sure it is in chronological order that is by listing with numbers example; one, two, three, etc.

The more detail you provide it will assist in resolving the specific matter in a timely way.

Where no response is received and you have reviewed the conditions carefully on the agreement if there are any, and you are still not in satisfied with the situation that is occurring, you can then raise a claim in the Tribunal or Court

You may have a claim under section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law for misleading and deceptive conduct. In general, misleading someone may include conduct ranging from lying to them, to making false or inaccurate claims, to creating a false impression, to leading them to a wrong conclusion, to omitting important information. Importantly, it is not necessary to establish that the trader intended to mislead or deceive. A person or corporation may have engaged in conduct that was misleading or deceptive even if they have acted honestly and reasonably. Silence may constitute misleading or deceptive conduct, but this will depend on the circumstances of the case.

An objective test is used to decide whether conduct is misleading or deceptive. The court or tribunal will consider whether the conduct was likely to mislead or deceive members of the class or group of persons to whom the conduct was directed.

COMPETITION AND CONSUMER ACT 2010 - SCHEDULE 2

The Australian Consumer Law

18 Misleading or deceptive conduct

(1) A http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/caca2010265/s152ac.html#person must not, in trade or commerce <http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/caca2010265/s4.html#trade_or_commerce>, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive.

(2) Nothing in Part 3-1 (which is about unfair practices) limits by implication http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/caca2010265/s152cd.html#subsection (1).

The seller cannot rely on a disclaimer or exclusion clause to protect themselves from misleading or deceptive conduct. However, the fine print will still be considered.

Your claim may be brought into the local tribunal.

You can run the case yourself as the tribunal is designed as a low cost forum to resolve disputes.

The VCAT process is very good to meditate disputes of this type as it forces the parties to come together to discuss the issues involved.

In most cases at mediation the matter will settle.

The matter is Civil.

You will be the applicant and the insurer the respondent.

The important filing document is the points of claim. This document needs to be carefully drafted.

What you need to do is to write the complaint in a chronological order detailing what is the issue and what action you have taken to try and rectify the matter.

The chronological order need to be numbered with points 1, 2, 3, etc. with each point being a separate item.

I recommend that you download the application first, complete the same and then upload as required to commence the claim.

The following link will assist you further.

https://www.vcat.vic.gov.au

Thank you for reaching out today.

You have a legal right to protect your interests in this important situation.

I am a user like you in this chat forum to assist in your important question today.

Thank you kindly for rating me with 5 stars, which helps me support the community.

You can come back to this post any time to ask questions without additional charge.

I hope I have assisted with answering your important question today, and thank you for supporting the community.

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