You have a right to appeal if the TCF rejects all or part of your claim for compensation for the amount which you paid to, or was lost by, an agent who was a Participant in the TCF. This is an appeal against a decision under Clause 15.1 of the TCF Trust Deed. Clause 19 of the Trust Deed establishes an avenue of appeal in each State and Territory.
You must appeal within one month of being notified of the decision. The letter from the TCF informing you of the decision will tell you how to appeal against a rejection of all or part of your claim.
There is no appeal against a TCF decision rejecting your claim where the TCF has discretion whether to pay it under Clause 15.2 of the Trust Deed.
Discretionary claims are those where:
- the travel agent who failed to account was unlicensed and not a TCF participant; or
- the claim was for additional losses where the agent was a TCF participant.
- the claim is received by the TCF more than 12 months since the travel agent collapsed.
Does the TCF pay emergency compensation where I am close to departure?
The TCF is sometimes able to make urgent arrangements to pay emergency compensation to secure travel arrangements so consumers are able to travel where departure is imminent. However, this is not always possible.
Were your travel arrangements re-financed by a new travel agent?
If your travel arrangements were completed by a new travel agent, then instead of you paying again, the new agent may agree to be nominated by you to reduce the compansation paid by the TCF. If so, the claim form must be completed to show this.
Has the agent failed to pass on your money to the travel service provider?
You will need to establish the whereabouts of your money. If you know which travel service principals are involved such as the airline or the accommodation provider, etc, your first step should be to contact them and confirm if they have received any money for your arrangements. If they can confirm a booking and receipt of your payment, your travel arrangements should continue as normal. However, if they confirm a booking but no money has been passed onto them, we will need their confirmation of this as part of the original supporting documentation with your claim form.
Time for Processing Claims?
Claims take usually about 3 weeks to be processed, conditional upon the claim form being correctly completed and provision of all supporting documentation to the Fund’s satisfaction.
Once your claim has been assessed, notification can be obtained as to what length of time is applicable to your matter.
However, if the TCF receives an exceptional number of claims, or if there are legal challenges affecting the TCF’s obligation to pay particular claims, time for processing may exceed 3 weeks.
Payment of Claims?
The TCF will generally compensate consumers for the full amount of money they have lost in the hands of the agent. If, however, the total amount of claims received is so great that the TCF financial reserves may not be sufficient, the TCF may decide to pay a claim by instalments over time as further funds become available. If the TCF is not likely to be in a position to pay claims in full, it may decide to make a partial payment of compensation in a manner which treats all claimants fairly.
If the TCF does not admit a claim for payment in full, or rejects it totally, then the consumer in some cases may appeal the decision. Consumers are informed of any appeal rights when a claim is rejected. However, there is no appeal where:
The claim is not covered by the Trust Deed
Payment of the claim is discretionary
There is no appeal against the TCF’ s decision to pay an admitted claim by instalments, or to pay less than the full amount of the claim if TCF financial reserves are inadequate.