Accepting Client Payments All travel services booked by Contractor on behalf of clients shall be paid to suppliers solely with client funds via credit or debit card. IN NO INSTANCE SHOULD THE CONTRACTOR USE HIS OR HER PERSONAL OR BUSINESS CREDIT CARD, OR OTHER PERSONAL OR BUSINESS FUNDS TO PAY SUPPLIERS DIRECTLY ON BEHALF OF CLIENTS. Such actions will construe material breach of this Agreement and the law of TICO causing immediate termination and forfeiture of all commissions.
As an independent contractor, you must collect and apply all payments from your clients to their travel reservation. Due to CTG Travel Host Agency policy, and staying compliant with all Seller of Travel licenses, independent contractors cannot process client credit cards directly (via Square, PayPal or other method) or collect monies into their own bank account and make payment with their business or personal credit cards.
Credit cards are the best way to take payment from your client, as you can process their payment directly on the supplier’s booking site. This way, there is no doubt that money has been applied, and the client may be entitled to additional insurance benefits (have your client check his/her cardholder benefits for automatic and/or added travel insurance protection). In order to protect you, your business and GTG Travel from fraud or chargebacks, you MUST have your client's signed authorization for all credit card charges - this means, you may not accept credit information via email, text, by telephone, or any other method.
If you collect checks or money orders, they must be made out to CTG Travel. DO NOT send funds to the supplier. The payment must be received and cleared through our bank in advance of the supplier’s payment due date. You can mail the funds to us at: Concierge Travel Group, 32 College street, Fonthill, Ontario. L0S1E0 Another option is email money transfer to the email email@example.com This money will then be kept in TRUST account to comply with TICO. You must email us to let us know the password and booking # this is associated with.
Agent will incur the following fees: * Wire Service Charge $30.00 per transaction * NSF/Returned Check $50.00 per occurrence
In instances where clients wish to pay for travel services using a personal check or money order, the Contractor agrees that all client payments are to be transacted through CTG, who will remit said monies to supplier on behalf of Contractor and his or her clients. You must allow at least three weeks for processing said check to the supplier.
CODE OF ETHICS
Your agreement with CTG Travel Host Agency requires that you act with the highest level of ethics and transparency at all times when dealing with clients, suppliers, colleagues, and your host agency.
As members of TICO it is our duty to follow their Code of Ethics as written here:
Registrant Code of Ethics The Travel Industry Council of Ontario strives to provide a fair and informed marketplace for consumers. TICO strongly encourages all Ontario registrants to comply with the following Code of Ethics, which targets the values and principles of TICO's objectives. Integrity Conduct our activities with honesty, dignity and fiscal responsibility, always protecting and promoting our clients' best interests. Disclosure Communicate material facts to our clients by supplying accurate and complete information in a clear and understandable manner that assists consumers in making informed decisions in their choice of travel services. Marketing Refrain from using any form of misleading advertising or innuendo in marketing products and services Cooperation Cooperate with any investigation/inquiry by the Registrar or staff of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario to resolve any problems or disputes as soon as possible. Respect Treat all people with equality and respect. Accountability Fulfill all contractual obligations promptly and completely. Respond to legitimate complaints immediately. Maintain accurate and complete records of all client transactions and safeguard consumer monies. Compliance Abide by applicable laws and regulations and never knowingly do business with those who operate outside those laws. Registrants are required to ensure that all employees and other sellers of travel associated with the Registrant are conversant with all aspects of the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and the Regulation, and are familiar with this Code of Ethics. Competency Maintain responsibility for the competency of all staff. Confidentiality Treat every client transaction confidentially. Do not disclose any information without a client's permission, unless required to do so by law. Conflict of interest Be responsible first to clients and a client's best interests. Any commercial gain and/or preferred relationships between a Registrant and suppliers will at all times be secondary.
CREDIT CARD CHARGEBACKS
Credit card charge backs occur when a client disputes a charge on their statement. This can be due to inaccurate charges and/or credit card fraud. In either case, the agent is fully responsible for the total amount of the credit card charge back. The agent will be notified in a timely manner with details of the charge back. Until this matter is resolved between the agent and client, the agent’s commission will be placed on hold. You will be given sufficient time to provide proof of credit card authorization, contact the client for another form of payment or to make alternative payment arrangements. If the client refuses or cannot make good on the payment, your commission statement will automatically be deducted for the full amount of the charge back. If you are not due any commission, an invoice will be sent directly to you for immediate payment.
ERRORS, OMISSIONS & LIABILITY INSURANCE
Errors, Omissions& Liability (EOL) insurance protects travel agents from losses caused by negligent acts, rendering or failing to render services.
Professional Liability Insurance Protection is a necessity for all responsible travel professionals. As an individual retail travel agent or independent contractor, there is an element of risk intrinsic in your work that may best be addressed by a quality professional liability insurance policy in your own name, to protect your interests.
This is one of the reasons why you should be aware of the insurance protection options that may be available to you. By working with CTG Travel as your host agency, we have secured a comprehensive “Professional Liability” policy including coverage for EOL and this is provided to you at NO ADDITIONAL COST. This is in addition to any standard “Business Owners,” or “General Liability” office policies that you may secure on your own, which are not usually designed to address professional liability exposures. You are still free to purchase your own EOL insurance outside of the policy provided to all of our independent contractors for added protection. Remember, insurance is not a luxury - it is a necessity to protect yourself, your business and your clients.
First, a little story to show you how easily anyone can defraud you. My client was a work colleague from a previous job - a seemingly very nice couple who was getting married and I planned their honeymoon to Costa Rica. Payment was made in full using an American Express Card and travel insurance was declined. Two weeks before the honeymoon, the couple advised me that they had been to their physician and because they were trying to have children, the physician advised them not to go to Costa Rica. I advised them that the entire trip was non-refundable and because they declined travel protection insurance (which by the way, would not have covered this particular medical issue), there was no chance of having their money refunded. What did they do? They filed a FRAUD complaint with American Express and stated the charges were not authorized. Fortunately, I had their signed, electronic form authorizing the charges specifically for that trip, a written declination of travel insurance, and a signature to our terms and conditions. We won the case, but the trip was $7,000 and had they been successful in their fraud complaint, I would have been responsible for that charge to the supplier.
It is YOUR responsibility to take steps to prevent credit card fraud with your clients. When dealing with ANY client (yes, even friends, family, and colleagues), agents must, at the very least, obtain a signed credit card authorization form. This can and should be done electronically through a PCI-Compliant integration to protect the client's information. You may also want to consider obtaining a copy of the front and back of their signed drivers's license or passport as well as the front and back of the signed credit card. Click on these links to learn more about how to protect yourself and your agency!
Here are some sample, electronic forms used by CTG Travel. We do not and will not accept any payments via email or phone. The only way to make a payment is by completing these forms:
We cannot stress enough how critical it is that you do your due diligence and protect yourself!
You Are an Independent Contractor ...NOT AN EMPLOYEE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CTG TRAVEL HOST AGENCY IS NOT AN EMPLOYEE-EMPLOYER RELATIONSHIP.
"Contractor is hereby retained by CTG as a self-employed business person to sell travel and travel services to the public within the guidelines according to all local, state, and federal laws. The relationship between the parties under this Agreement is solely that of independent contracting parties. Contractor and CTG expressly agree that this is not an employment agreement and does not create an employment relationship between Contractor and CTG."
"The Contractor shall provide his/her own computer, internet service, office supplies and equipment, transportation, business cards, marketing materials, and any other expenses not specifically outlined in this Agreement or attached Addendum as payable by CTG and shall otherwise be responsible for such expenses in performing his/her duties under this Agreement."
"The Contractor may choose where the work is to be performed, is not required to work on the premises of CTG, and is not required to perform any other duties at CTG offices."
"The Contractor may work whatever hours he/she desires. No fixed hours are required by CTG. The Contractor shall not be required to attend office meetings or office training sessions."
"As a self-employed individual, the Contractor shall not receive or earn any vacation or sick pay from CTG and is not covered under any medical, dental or life insurance plan. Likewise, Contractor, in acting as a self-employed individual, is not covered under any Workers’ Compensation plan with CTG."
Concierge Travel Group Proudly TICO registered and certified agency 50021829. (289) 273-8095 firstname.lastname@example.org Registered address 32 college street, Fonthill Ontario. L0S1E0