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Do you have any thoughts following my last entry at all?
We've had 2 clients able to claim from their travel insurance successfully, one of whom is with Aviva.
I read this on the FCA website at https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/insurance-and-coronavirus-our-expectations
There is currently a lot of consumer demand alongside fast-moving changes to risk, especially in the travel insurance market. Firms must ensure that they continue to treat their customers fairly during the whole product cycle of purchase, claim and renewal.
For existing customers with policies that are impacted by coronavirus (eg, future travel booked before the outbreak), we expect firms to clearly communicate any policy exclusions that result from coronavirus to their existing customers.
There will be some instances where a consumer bought annual travel insurance to cover the risk of cancellation or curtailment and are relying on a policy renewal to cover travel arrangements made before the coronavirus situation escalated. In these circumstances, the terms of the current policy may allow for a pay-out when the event causing the cancellation or curtailment occurs.
If the claim arises after the renewal date, we would expect insurers to treat customers fairly, taking individual circumstances into account. This includes where the policyholder was given a reasonable expectation that cover would continue. Where appropriate, renew or consider claims under the terms of the original policy for these travel arrangements.
There may well be input from government should insurance firms act unfairly or renege on policy commitments.
It really boils down to how how many Partners in the hub one could get a message to and sound them out, in order to see if they feel strongly enough to participate in a group to tackle the issues.
I am not techi minded and new to this platform, although my partner has listed properties and we've been with BdC for a few years now. We are both retired but just keeping a few properties on the books nowadays.
Is there any simple way of approaching those who have signed up to the Partners hub, other than individual approaches via conversations? Can one for example start a conversation that potentially every Partner on the hub could possibly read? If that is possible, although I doubt it, an appeal could be made very simply. I assume BdC creates the headings, so any monitor is not going to allow the heading we would want.
Do you know anyone who knows about BdC's platform who might know how we could get a message out without creating cost? BdC have 200,000 actual partners listed but assume there is only a small percentage that have signed up on the hub? I am sure this number is listed somewhere.
The last resort would be to message other Partners in the hub individually with our core message, therefore trying to form a group outside of the Hub. Simple but a laborious copy and paste process of an agreed message. Possibly a few of us would be willing to message a number of Partners in each conversation category and expand on that with new recruited Partners, but please forgive me as I am not skilled at this and just thinking aloud the most cost free simple approach of reaching out to others.
Maybe with this ongoing virus problem, then many Partners will have time on our hands to help.
Many thanks for your very informed comments. Very helpful that you have spoken also about this issue directly with them. There is another possible route.
Do you know if anyone has looked at taking legal action on the basis of a contract or changes in their T&C either for being or becoming unfair and unreasonable to Partners. I say this because BdC continually make changes to its T&C to suit them and not necessarily their Partners. Not only this, I noticed that when they are questioned they say they do not need to advise their Partners, simply that changes are made on their website and is up to Partners to constantly look at their site. This is not a normal contract but a rolling one and most odd because there is no notice as to changes made to Partners.
There are numerous cases, whereby clients challenge suppliers for an unfair or unreasonable T&C and many are successful, but unsure if this has happened with BdC or other such operators by any party.
I would be happy if a number of other Partners feel the same way and look to bring a class action against BdC that would serve also as a base against other operators too. There are numerous solicitors that specialise in this field, for which the cost may well be probably £10k- £20k initially as it involves European law and because BdC is declared as being registered in Holland for legal purposes. Such a cost would only cover assessment and advice of a percentage chance of a win and not the case in full should it end up in court. If a sufficient number of Partners would look to pledge through whatever means appropriate, maybe £50 each, and sent to whichever solicitor handling the case agreed by Partners, then we could move forward. Clearly, if there is a case then the cost would escalate, but then we know at least the chance of a win and the cost per head is small. The benefit of this approach is that it gives BdC pre advice of the intended action and the opportunity to review their practices with partners, so without going to court BdC could well change their practices.
The term 'Partner' is quite an interesting term and maybe open to possibly legal challenge in itself, since we are not treated as Partners at all, but ignored. I do not know how many partners there are in the UK (are there 19,000 on the hu, I think), or how many of these would participate, but it doesn't take too many to get sufficient funds together for such an action.
The other benefit to this, is that by engaging a specialised firm of solicitors will make BdC think again and maybe think about change and assist Partners. I would be happy to pledge and pay into whichever specialised firm is agreeble £100 to £500 to get things moving. It would be helpful if an appeal could be made to all Partners with an appeal to initially pledge something, so we know the level of support. BdC may just take notice before action started.
What is sought here is change that cost BdC nothing, nor their clients, so a threat from Partners of any action may prompt them to do the right thing by their Partners.
I welcome your thoughts.
I posted an item about this issue today because Booking.com's position is to simply credit clients at the expense of what they call us Partners and wonder what more we can do about it? I have made suggestions in my post today that cost the client nothing.
If you cannot find my recent post then I can place here. Sorry, I am new to this platform.