cover image: Preparing for the unexpected: Compensating consumers for catastrophic events R


Preparing for the unexpected: Compensating consumers for catastrophic events R

5 Feb 2024

In particular, online platforms for the purchase of travel services or tickets tend to disavow responsibility in the transaction and leave it to the final service provider to determine the rights of the consumer. [...] The introduction of health measures aimed at curbing the spread of the disease, in particular the closure of non-essential businesses and imposition of travel restrictions, completely disrupted the provision of services in many areas including transport, accommodation, restaurants and arts and recreation.1 A host of problems arose for consumers in the context of the pandemic. [...] This was the case in the events sector, where the large ticket distributors initially imposed the granting of credits to consumers whose show was cancelled.26 Ski resorts also offered pass holders a voucher for the purchase of a pass for the following season.27 In other cases, merchants instead chose to put off the provision of the service until later. [...] About half of the participants said they were dissatisfied with the process they had to follow, due to the complexity of the procedures, the waiting times and communication problems with the company.56 Dissatisfaction was most pronounced in the travel sector, where the purchases involved large sums. [...] During our initial analysis, we found that the air carriers’ contracts were ambiguous with regard to the possibility of consumers obtaining a refund when the cancellation of the flight was due to circumstances “beyond the control” of the carrier, “force majeure” or to other extraneous circumstances.


Alexandre Plourde

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