IPOH: Thirteen people who booked trips abroad but was deferred due to the Covid-19 pandemic hope to get refunds from a tour agency here.

Consisting of two groups who had booked their respective trips to Vietnam and Japan in 2019, they said the travel agent had been avoiding their calls since last year.

Speaking on behalf of eight people who had booked the trip to visit Vietnam in April last year, housewife Liew Yoke Chin said they hoped to meet with the travel agent and her partners to resolve the matter amicably.

“If they want to deduct some money as processing fees, we will gladly do so to get the remainder of our money,” she told a press conference held by Perak MCA public service and complaints bureau chief Low Guo Nan here on Wednesday (Nov 24).

“All of us have paid a total of about RM29,000 and it’s not a small sum,” she added.

While pursuing the matter last year, Liew, 52, said the travel agent had also told them that the agency was winding up due to the pandemic and would not be able to refund them.

“We were then asked to claim the losses from an insurance company, which they claimed to have bought insurance from for our trip.

“However, the insurance company said they had no information about the matter,” she said, adding that a police report was lodged on the matter last week.

“When we went to their office, it was already closed down and emptied.

“But when we checked with the Companies Commission Of Malaysia and the Department of Insolvency, we found that the company has yet to wind up,” she added.

Housewife Yow Cheow Hoong, who spoke on behalf of five family members who had booked a trip to visit Japan in May last year, said they had paid about RM3,000 deposit each to the same travel agent.

“When we asked to cancel our trip last year, we were told it would be a waste as we would not get a full refund.

“The travel agent even said she would help us get our refund from an insurance company. We have not heard from her since,” she added.

Yow said she has made a formal complaint to the Consumer Claims Tribunal in March this year.

“The matter has been postponed due to the pandemic and we are still waiting for a date for the proceedings, probably in February next year,” she said.

Low said he had reached out to the travel agent.

“They said that the matter had been brought up to tribunal and would let the process continue and declined to give further clarification.

“I have also spoken to the police, who advised the complainants to settle the matter themselves,” he said.

Low also advised consumers to get proper black-and-white agreements with their travel agents to protect themselves and prevent any disputes.

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