COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal 

Cancellations and Refunds – A step-by-step guide with template letters

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ASATA has compiled a step-by-step cancellations and refunds guide for members. The guide includes advice on what to do when your client informs you that they want to cancel, or if your client insists on a refund. You will also receive tips on what to do if the payment was made by card.

COVID-19 is putting contract law and the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (the CPA) to the test in ways that legislators never imagined. This means that there are different interpretations out there and no rule book to play by.

The following variables can have an impact on what rights the consumer has:

  • whether the client is a consumer or not,
  • the reason for the cancellation (was there a travel ban, was the client sick or was the client getting nervous to travel)
  • whether the travel service provider is in South Africa or not,
  • who the consumer contracted with (the agent or the travel service provider),
  • where the terms & conditions were concluded, and
  • what is in those terms & conditions.

Complexity is no good in a crisis, so we have kept it simple. We will tell you how the Consumer Goods and Services Ombud (the CGSO) is interpreting the CPA and give you some practical advice on what to do and what not to do. 

What you will find in this guideline:

  • Section 1: A step-by-step guide to cancellations
  • Section 2: What if payment is made with a card?
  • Section 3: What should be in your COVID-19 cancellations policy?
  • Section 4: Letter templates
  • Section 5: Frequently asked questions about consumer rights

Letter Templates

  • Click here for Template A: Explain consumer rights
  • Click here for Template B: Explain COVID-19 policy
  • Click here for Template C: Advice if travel service provider is not processing applications
  • Click here for Template D: Response to letter of demand
  • Click here for Template E: Communicating to your clients about your COVID-19 policies

In addition to the above, also please refer to the statement released by the Consumer Goods and Services Ombud:

The Consumer Protection Act: Cancellations of Bookings and Reservations in the Context of COVID-19 Travel Bans and Restrictions

The impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry is unprecedented and unpredictable. The nature of the content that is being shared on the ASATA coronavirus microsite is therefore constantly changing. Please check the date of the post to ascertain its recency.
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