Consumer Protection BC revokes agency’s licence; reprimands other agents
MEDIA RELEASE – 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.”
Read the compliance order, administrative penalty, and the full reasons for the decision against Catway Travel. 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 information.
To confirm the licensing status of a BC-licensed travel agent/wholesaler, for a backgrounder on the regulation of the travel sector in BC and to read more about the Travel Assurance Fund, please explore www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.
For more information about our organization, to read recent enforcement actions, and to learn about our inspection and complaint-handling processes, 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.
Media contact only:
1.888.564.9963 ext. 2824