There has been much talk in the industry about developing a universal set of agent Terms and Conditions, however the matter hasn't progressed. In view of this, the ATAC Board took the decision some months back to develop a template for exclusive use by its members on a licence fee basis.
COVID-19 has certainly highlighted weaknesses and confusion in the terms and conditions used by our industry. In addition, the ACCC has issued guidance to consumers and the industry as to what practices it would like to see in agents' relationship with clients.
ATAC engaged the services of Aaron Zoanetti, Partner at Melbourne based law firm, Pointon Partners. Aaron is heavily involved in the travel industry as a Board member of CATO and also operates his own sports tour company. The new agency T's & C's were made available to members this week for a one-off fee of $250 plus GST. The template also includes a suggested "menu" of agency service fees which members can adapt as they choose.
"With the borders finally about to open and new bookings starting to emerge, we wanted our members to be fully ready with a robust set of terms and conditions. The timing is perfect", said Ken Morgan, ATAC Chair.
"The new terms provide protection for our members and their clients. For many customers, the legal definitions are confusing and many see our members as their "agent" rather than what they truly are: the agent for our suppliers. We need uniformity and clarity,” Morgan said.
With the legal and consumer landscape changing over time, ATAC has negotiated a 5 year free update plan with Pointons to respond to any major changes to laws. If a major change occurs to relevant legislation for example, ATAC members will receive an updated set of T's and C's at no charge.
To cater for ATAC members who also operate specialise tour groups and charters, a wholesaler terms and conditions template has also been prepared by Pointon Partners and is also available to members at a special rate.
Great peace of mind in these challenging and changing times.