Between the months of January to August 2021, some 86 complaints that reached the sum $608,000, were presented by consumers before the Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition (Acodeco) against hotels and vacation plans.
The entity details that 35 of the complaints are related to a lack of information; 17 were due to an abusive clause; 10 for return of money or credits, and 10 for breach of contract.
Likewise, 5 were due to breach of service, another 5 due to contract termination; aspects of contract cancellation, improper collection, custody of the property and damages, each registered one complaint.
"In this type of activity, it is quite common, to attract consumers, to offer services first through lunch or dinner" as narrated by some consumers, "especially aimed at bank cardholders, with offers to obtain credit facilities. with some bank. In case of not having it, discounts and facilities are promised to make trips or obtain accommodations or stays, in various hotels, either within or outside the country, which concludes with the payment through the credit card provided by the consumer, even of large sums of money, even when he has been verbally informed that the commercial transaction would not be finalized until the final acceptance by the buyer."
Faced with this, Acodeco calls on consumers to be very careful when signing contracts that offer vacation plans or packages, benefits or discounts on hotels and stays, bonuses and other offers and in case of disagreements against these economic agents, Acodeco can help with claims, through its different agencies throughout the country.
"In this sense, it is important to attend to the advertising, prices and conditions, which will serve as evidence in cases of claims and presentation of possible complaints against these economic agents," he says.
These are some of the recommendations provided by Acodeco:
Read the clauses of the contract carefully before signing it, as you must check if the information related to the service is clearly and expressly included in the contract.
Do not be seduced by wonderful offers, at first sight.
Before proposals to obtain additional credit, remember that this corresponds to the consumer and his bank.
Do not hand over your credit card if you are not sure of the transaction.
Ask for references to acquaintances regarding their experiences with the provider that offers this type of service, as well as demand as much information as possible related to said company (exact address in the last year, opinions of other consumers on the internet, discarding those companies with bad references, financial problems or even scandals where their clients may have been affected);
Keep all documents signed and issued by the company, since in the event of a possible complaint to Acodeco due to lack of decisive information on the part of the supplier, reading said documentation will make it easier to prove this type of situation.
A very useful tool for consumers is also to consult the information provided on the website www.acodeco.gob.pa, in the Complaints Board section, where they can have access to statistics regarding the companies that have been subject to claims filed by consumers today.
Demand and verify that everything verbally promised by the sales agent, is in writing in a document and a copy of it is extended. If you have any doubts about your signature, it is preferable to ask for the text of the contract to take it with you and read it more carefully, and then decide to sign it later. when you are more confident of making that commitment.