Abta is promising a reduction in fees for customers and members through changes to its arbitration scheme.
Dispute resolution specialists Hunt ADR will handle the travel association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) schemes from tomorrow (May 16).
While much of the scheme will remain the same, the claim bands will be restructured and simplified.
The collation of the claim details and defence response will be carried out by Hunt ADR.
Abta arbitration has been used to settle alleged breaches of contract or negligence between consumers and Abta members for more than 40 years as a cost-saving alternative to using the Small Claims Court.
Arbitration allows consumers to resolve disputes without going to court. It is claimed to be faster, less bureaucratic and costs less than using solicitors.
Arbitration is based on written documentation together with other evidence, such as videos and photos. If a claim includes an element of minor illness or personal injury then the arbitrator can also consider this, but there is a limit of £1,500 per person.
Abta’s ADR schemes also provide a free of charge, voluntary conciliation scheme for disputes involving personal injury or sickness claims and has an upper claim limit of £10,000 per booking.
Conciliation provides a forum where both sides in a dispute can come to a mutually satisfactory settlement, via negotiation and compromise.
It also offers a viable alternative to claims management companies, which take a substantial amount of any successful award.
Abta legal service director Simon Bunce said: “We are always looking at ways to improve our services for both members and their customers.
“The new partnership with Hunt ADR will see customers and member benefit as we continue to offer a high quality service, but in many cases at a reduced fee.
“Abta’s ADR scheme is a well-respected and effective system in resolving disputes between travel companies and their customers, and we look forward to working with Hunt ADR in delivering the arbitration scheme and conciliation service.”
Hunt ADR founder and managing director Gregory Hunt added: “The Abta arbitration scheme has been running for a very long time and is one of the best known of its type across Europe.
“We look forward to working with our case management partner, Consumer Dispute Resolution Limited, in providing the best possible service for Abta, its members and the general holiday buying public.”
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