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Just The Facts

The Complaint File

June 23, 1996

Have a problem on your latest trip? Here are some strategies and contracts that may help you recoup your losses.

What To Do

* Try to get the problem resolved on the scene.

* Don't lose your temper.

* Take names, make detailed notes and keep receipts.

* Begin a letter- writing campaign. Keep it specific.

* Be patient and persistent. It can take a year to get a response.

* Be prepared to negoitate.

* Write first to the hotel, airline, cruise ship or tour company. Then consider contracting:



* American Society of Travel Agents, Consumer Affairs Department, 1101 King St., Alexandria, VA. 22314, (703) 739- 2782. For complaints involving travel agents and tour operators.

* U.S. Tour Operators Assn., 211 E. 51st St., New York, NY 10022; (212) 750- 7371.

* Department of Transportation, Office of Consumer Affairs, 1-25, Washington D.C. 20590, (202) 366-2220. For complaints involving U.S. and foreign airlines.

* Foreign government tourist offices, if your problem abroad involved a travel company or any firm catering to tourists.

* The California Attorney General's Office Public Inquiry Unit, P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA; (800) 952-5225 (often busy).

* Credit- card companies, if you have made a deposit by credit card. You can refuse payment on a charge for which services have not been provided.

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