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Court grants interim injunction against travel agent

January 5, 2016 Headline News, Travel Law No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59South Australia’s consumer watchdog is pursuing in the Supreme Court an Adelaide travel agency that allegedly left customers stranded and then failed to repay them. 

In one instance, four customers were reportedly left stranded at Adelaide Airport twice in the same day.

The state’s Consumer and Business Services (CBS) said it took the Supreme Court action after consumers were allegedly forced to fork out more than they bargained for to return home from overseas.

South Australia’s Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Dini Soulio, said a public warning was issued in November 2015 against Olympia Express Tourist and Travel Office, also known as Olympia Express Travel Services, after the agency allegedly accepted payment for services but failed to deliver.

“We had numerous complaints from people who claimed to have paid for overseas holidays in full before leaving Australia, but later discovered that their ticket was either not booked or not paid for,” Soulio said.

On Christmas Eve, in the Supreme Court of South Australia, CBS lodged action against Vasilios Koutropolous, trading as Olympia Express Tourist and Travel Office and Mary Boufkas, seeking a range of orders including declarations, penalties, injunctions and redress for consumers.

“In our action, we allege that during 2015, Mr Koutropolous engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, made false or misleading representations about contractual rights and wrongly accepted money for international travel services in breach of Australian Consumer Law (SA),” Soulio said.

“We further allege that Ms Boufkas was directly or indirectly, knowingly concerned in, or party to Mr Koutropolous’ contraventions.”

Soulio said the Supreme Court granted interim orders, by consent, ensuring the alleged conduct did not continue and ensuring redress would be provided to a number of consumers.

“The orders were made pending final determination of the matter. We will be seeking final relief that would ensure that the defendants comply with Australian Consumer Law, that they pay penalties for alleged breaches of legislation, and that they pay compensation to travellers adversely affected by their behaviour.”

CBS said that if anyone had concerns about their travel plans or their dealings with Olympia Express Tourist and Travel Office or with Olympia Express Travel Services, they should contact CBS on 131 882.

Edited by Peter Needham

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