Travel Agents

Don’t go through a travel agent in Australia: Canadian tourist

Hannah Edensor

Wicked Travel has gone into liquidation, owing about $1.5 million to suppliers, customers and employees, and now a number of disgruntled travellers have gone public with complaints, blasting the entire industry as a result.

Where the Wicked Travel website used to be there’s now a new company called Greyhound Wicked Travel, which on its homepage claims the new company was secured by Greyhound Australia on May 5, and is “in no way a part of the of the now liquidated Wicked Travel”.

“Greyhound Australia are promising that all coach travel previously purchased via Wicked Travel will be honoured and welcome everyone with passes or tickets, aboard their luxury coaches,” the post continues.

“While we are encouraging all tour operators to do the same for tours or packages purchased prior to the 29th April 2017 it is not guaranteed.

“Should you have any questions regarding purchases prior to this time we recommend you contact the tour operator directly or the administrators of the now liquidated Wicked Travel. Should you need assistance and getting their contact details please let us know.”

According to news.com.au, liquidator Laurie Fitzgerald of William Buck Chartered Accountants, says it was “unusual” the newly formed Greyhound Wicked Travel wouldn’t be honouring tours and excursions from other providers outside Wicked Travel.

Per ABC, Fitzgerald said travellers were “terribly unlikely” to get their money back, as there was “no wealth of assets left in a company like this”.

He also told ABC that anyone who booked by credit card should try and seek a refund from the bank.

Wicked Travel, which operated 12 outlets in Brisbane, Cairns, Sydney, Byron Bay, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Airlie Beach, had, per news, recently merged with transport operator Greyhound Australia under a “strategic alliance” when the company failed.

Per the ABC, documents show liquidators were appointed to the company on April 29, 2017. The sole director, Byron Bay-based Jason Arthurton has no relationship with the new company Greyhound Wicked Travel Pty Ltd.

Canadian backpacker Taylor Gray is one of many taking her complaints with Wicked Travel public, claiming she was pressured into handing over $2,000 on the spot for the tours, before being told Wicked Travel had gone into bankruptcy when she tried to get a refund.

Per the ABC, Gray then contacted the ACCC and the liquidator of the company, who said she would be unlikely to get her money back.

Gray has now taken her frustration out on the travel industry at large.

“I would highly recommend anybody who comes to Australia not to go through a travel agent, and just to do it yourself,” she said.

“Get a car and camp around, the tours just aren’t worth it, you pay far too much, or in my case far, far too much.”

Former employee Justin Crux told travel news site The Byte he was owed in excess of $10,000 in unpaid wages, holiday pay and superannuation.

On top of that, Crux said around seven employees like himself on 457 visas lost their jobs, while other employees were transferred to a new company Greyhound Wicked Travel.

“So anyone who was on a 457 sponsorship visa have lost all their entitlements, and their jobs,” he said.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

  • John McDonald

    paying with a credit card offers the best consumer protection !!!!!!!! The banks then have to chase the liquidator. Who cares about the banks. They make far too much now.

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