Watchdog warns public about unscrupulous Coquitlam travel agent

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MEDIA RELEASE
For immediate release

Consumer Protection BC revokes agency’s licence; reprimands other agents


{June 21, 2017}, VICTORIA, BC –  Consumer Protection BC has cancelled the travel licence of Golden Travel Ltd. for breaching BC’s travel regulations.

Last November, Consumer Protection BC suspended Golden Travel’s licence due to concerns the business did not have the sufficient working capital to continue operating as a travel agency.

Consumer Protection BC has now determined that Lily Lau (aka Chuen Kuen Lau), the owner of Golden Travel, is still conducting business from an undisclosed location. “This isn’t allowed,” says Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, spokesperson for the province’s travel agency regulator. “We believe any individual or business who buys travel from her is putting themselves at risk.” 

The licence cancellation notice to Golden Travel is available on our website.

Consumer Protection BC has already paid out $12,000 from BC’s Travel Assurance Fund to consumers who did not receive their contracted travel services from Golden Travel.  “We still have a number of outstanding claims for close to $95,000,” says Chabeaux-Smith. “While we have not assessed those claims yet, some consumers are alleging that Lau charged their credit cards without their permission.”

Consumer Protection BC has also issued a compliance order and an administrative penalty of $2,000 against Catway Travel Ltd, located in Richmond BC, for doing business with Ms. Lau, who is not licensed to provide travel services. “Catway Travel knowingly did business with Ms. Lau while her licence was suspended,” says Chabeaux-Smith. “These enforcement actions are a reminder to the industry that they are not allowed to do business with a travel agency or wholesaler that is unlicensed or has a suspended licence.”

To read the compliance order, administrative penalty, and the full reasons for the decision against Catway Travel, click here. By law, the business has 30 days to request a reconsideration of this decision.

For affected consumers:
If anyone has made recent travel arrangements with Golden Travel, Chabeaux-Smith recommends they confirm with their hotel, airline and any other provider that their travel has been booked and paid for. Affected consumers who are unsure on how to proceed are encouraged to contact Consumer Protection BC at 1-888-564-9963.

“If there is anyone else who has been affected, we want to hear from them,” says Chabeaux-Smith.  “They have six months from the date of loss to contact us and claim against BC’s Travel Assurance Fund.”  Access to the Travel Assurance Fund is one reason why travelers should always book their travel with a BC-licensed travel agency or wholesaler. 

Please note: The Lily Lau mentioned above is not the same Lily Lau who is connected with Ooola Travel in Vancouver BC.   

About Consumer Protection BC:
Consumer Protection BC is the regulator of a variety of sectors and specific consumer transactions in the province. Our mandate is to license and inspect our regulated businesses, respond to consumer inquiries, investigate alleged violations of consumer protection laws, classify all general release motion pictures and provide information so consumers can self-assess the fairness of a transaction. Our vision is a province where all citizens of BC are empowered in their transactions as a result of rigorous and consistent business compliance and through the provision of solution-based information. 

To confirm the licensing status of any of Consumer Protection BC’s regulated businesses, please use this online licence search. All recent Consumer Protection BC enforcement actions are published on Consumer Protection BC’s corporate website, at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. A backgrounder on the regulation of the travel sector in BC is also available.

For more information about our organization, please visit our corporate website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. You can also follow Consumer Protection BC on Twitter @ConsumerProBC, like us on Facebook and read our blog for valuable consumer tips and resources.

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Media contact only:                                                                                      
1-888-564-9963 ext. 2824                                                                              
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Consumer inquiries:
1-888-564-9963
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

{June 21, 2017}, VICTORIA, BC –  Consumer Protection BC has cancelled the travel licence of Golden Travel Ltd. for breaching BC’s travel regulations.

 

Last November, Consumer Protection BC suspended Golden Travel’s licence due to concerns the business did not have the sufficient working capital to continue operating as a travel agency. 

Consumer Protection BC has now determined that Lily Lau (aka Chuen Kuen Lau), the owner of Golden Travel, is still conducting business from an undisclosed location. “This isn’t allowed,” says Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, spokesperson for the province’s travel agency regulator. “We believe any individual or business who buys travel from her is putting themselves at risk.”

Link to any documents we will publish related to Golden Travel.

Consumer Protection BC has already paid out $12,000 from BC’s Travel Assurance Fund to consumers who did not receive their contracted travel services from Golden Travel.  “We still have a number of outstanding claims for close to $95,000,” says Chabeaux-Smith. “While we have not assessed those claims yet, some consumers are alleging that Lau charged their credit cards without their permis[HM1] [TC2] sion[SN3] [TC4] .”[TC5] [SN6] [HM7] 

 

Consumer Protection BC has also issued a compliance order and an administrative penalty of $2,000 against Catway Travel Ltd, located in Richmond BC, for doing business with Ms. Lau, who is not licensed to provide travel services. “Catway Travel knowingly did business with Ms. Lau while her licence was suspended,” says Chabeaux-Smith. “These enforcement actions are a reminder to the industry that they are not allowed to do business with a travel agency or wholesaler that is unlicensed or has a suspended licence.”

 

To read the compliance order, administrative penalty, and the full reasons for the decision against Catway Travel, click here. By law, the business has 30 days to request a reconsideration of this decision.

 

For affected consumers:
If anyone has made recent travel arrangements with Golden Travel, Chabeaux-Smith recommends they confirm with their hotel, airline and any other provider that their travel has been booked and paid for. Affected consumers who are unsure on how to proceed are encouraged to contact Consumer Protection BC at 1-888-564-9963.

 

“If there is anyone else who has been affected, we want to hear from them,” says Chabeaux-Smith.  “They have six months from the date of loss to contact us and claim against BC’s Travel Assurance Fund.”  Access to the Travel Assurance Fund is one reason why travelers should always book their travel with a BC-licensed travel agency or wholesaler. 

 

Please note: The Lily Lau mentioned above is not the same Lily Lau who is connected with Ooola Travel in Vancouver BC.   

 

About Consumer Protection BC:
Consumer Protection BC is the regulator of a variety of sectors and specific consumer transactions in the province. Our mandate is to license and inspect our regulated businesses, respond to consumer inquiries, investigate alleged violations of consumer protection laws, classify all general release motion pictures and provide information so consumers can self-assess the fairness of a transaction. Our vision is a province where all citizens of BC are empowered in their transactions as a result of rigorous and consistent business compliance and through the provision of solution-based information. 

To confirm the licensing status of any of Consumer Protection BC’s regulated businesses, please use this online licence search. All recent Consumer Protection BC enforcement actions are published on Consumer Protection BC’s corporate website, at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. A backgrounder on the regulation of the travel sector in BC is also available.


For more information about our organization, please visit our corporate website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. You can also follow Consumer Protection BC on Twitter @ConsumerProBC, like us on Facebook and read our blog for valuable consumer tips and resources.

 

-30-


Media contact only:                                                                                      
1-888-564-9963 ext. 2824                                                                              
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Consumer inquiries:
1-888-564-9963
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 [HM1]We could say that wholesalers or other agents  that continue to do business with her may not be able to recoup any lost funds and not be able to have any TAF paid out.

 [TC2]Since we haven’t made an official decision on whether this is our corporate position, I would recommend we don’t make such a clear statement.  If we do take an official position on this though, then I fully support saying so.

 [SN3]Do we want a quote here that tells travel agents and wholesalers that they are prohibited from doing business with an unlicensed travel agent or one that has its licence suspended and a larger message to the public that there are serious financial risks of doing business with an unlicensed or suspended travel agent.

 [TC4]We say something like that in the paragraph below.

 [TC5]We have two options here – leave it in and get more attention, or leave it out. Shahid/Heather, I will leave this up to you to make this decision.  I will support whatever you decide.

 [SN6]If this is what we are hearing from consumers on their submitted TAF claims, then I’m good with it. 

 [HM7]Yes this is what the claims state in many cases.