COMPLAINT PROCEDURE PAGE

Only when all avenues with the travel agency / tour operator have been exhausted (i.e. the most senior person has attended to the matter) to no avail, consumer complaints may be lodged with ASATA.

  1. Only complaints pertaining to ASATA member travel agencies or ASATA member tour operators / wholesalers will be handled.
  2. Complete the Complaint Form. Completed forms with relevant supporting documentation are to be forwarded to the ASATA offices:
    Association of Southern African Travel Agents,
    P O Box 6540539, Benmore, 2010,
    Fax: 011 781 0841. Alternatively,
    Documentation may be emailed to general@asata.co.za.
    Please note that complaints cannot be lodged telephonically.
  3. Disputes prior to departure will be responded to by ASATA as soon as possible to avoid any inconvenience during the looming trip. Disputes after departure will be responded to within 21 working days.
  4. ASATA will first request a full report from the member involved before any final comment will be made to the complainant in order to resolve the matter in an equitable manner. ASATA members are given 14 working days to respond to ASATA’s correspondence relating to complaints. Should complaints be received PRIOR to the departure of the customers, immediate resolution will be sought. In such case, members will be expected to respond to ASATA’s correspondence urgently.
  5. Members must acknowledge the receipt of the complaint from ASATA within 24 hours. Once all the information is gathered, ASATA will recommend a course of action.
  6. Complaints must be lodged within 6 months of the return date of the final journey.
  7. Once your official complaint with supporting documents is received, ASATA will allocate a reference number to be used in all future correspondence.
  8. Please note that in all matters of complaint, ASATA acts purely as a mediator and can only recommend a course of action. ASATA is legally constituted as a non-profit trade association, our jurisdiction and powers are limited – we do not have the legal power to close a company down, impose fines, dictate a course of action or enforce a decision. Our constitution does however provide for suspension of membership under certain circumstances when our criteria or Terms of Reference have not been satisfied.
  9. It must be noted that complaints do take some time to be investigated or resolved due to the complexity of some of the issues which are brought to our attention. ASATA is non-profit organisation with limited staff and budget available to devote to complaints.
  10. If any refunds are due, these monies are refunded to the client by either the airline, travel agent, tour operator or other principal and will not be refunded through ASATA.
  11. ASATA does not become involved with or comment on issues surrounding lost luggage, airline issues such as in-flight services, flight delays and so forth, labour issues, personal disputes and/or PR or slander issues.
  12. ASATA does not act as Debt Collector. We do not have the funds nor the staffing to pursue outstanding debts. However, we do view the handling of monies as of utmost importance and to this end, proof of transactions may be requested.
  13. ASATA does not become involved in matters that have already been taken to independent litigation or are under legal process.
  14. ASATA does not become involved with individual cases involving visa applications. The issuance of a visa is at the discretion of the consulate concerned and is beyond our jurisdiction as consulates in many cases will not provide information to a third party. To this end we highly recommend that passengers always check their documentation on receipt from either their travel agent or the consulate, and these checks should also include the inspection of the air ticket (ensure that dates and routes are correct, and that all coupons are present for example), insurance, visas and related vouchers, dates, terms and conditions and so forth.
  15. Each case is treated in the strictest confidence and on an individual basis. If there are other complaints relating to the same issue they will not be discussed between complainants.
  16. Please note that ASATA provides mediation for travel-related disputes against ASATA members only. ASATA cannot impose penalties, assess fines or force a company to issue refunds.