An ATAS-accredited Victorian travel agency, CTS Travel Services, has gone into liquidation reportedly leaving many angry holidaymakers thousands of dollars out of pocket.
AFTA has posted notice of the closure of the Altona Meadows agency on its website, referring customers and industry members to contact Queensland liquidator Robson Cotter Insolvency Group, but numerous clients have taken matters into their own hands and launched a Facebook page to help other distraught customers who have been affected following the agency’s sudden closure.
One customer posted pictures showing the agency’s blackened windows’ “closed” sign, and Travel Weekly attempted to contact ATAS-accredited CTS Travel but its website appears to have been shut down, and phone lines disconnected.
The agency director, Jenny Stoodley, who was also unable to be reached, allegedly worked with customers in the lead up to the closure without advising them of the company’s dire situation, according to members of the CTS travel liquidated Facebook page.
According to a report in The Leader, one customer is said to be $9000 out of pocket after paying for flights and accommodation in cash to the agency, receiving a receipt and itinerary but CTS Travel reportedly had not passed on the funds to the suppliers, forcing them to cancel the booking.
While some customers on the Facebook page state they were able to receive compensation from their travel insurance, some were less successful. The same applied for those who paid via credit card, with one posting a Commonwealth Bank statement saying unfortunately as they had authorised the transaction, the Bank had no recourse in obtaining reimbursement on their behalf when the merchant failed to supply goods and services.
Liquidator Roland Robson told the newspaper customers would only find out if they were eligible for refunds after several months.
“When you are looking at a travel agency, physical assets are fairly limited,’’ he told the paper.
Robson is reportedly investigating the company’s affairs to see if any matters should be referred to the Australian Security and Investments Commission and the police, the paper stated.
Travel Weekly also attempted to contact customers of CTS Travel and AFTA for comment.