The disruption caused by Covid-19 to travel plans has resulted in a record level of complaints to the Commerce Commission.
In its Complaints Snapshot for 2019/20, the Commerce Commission revealed it received 9892 travel-related complaints in the year ending June 30, 2020, up 10 per cent on 2018/19 (8964).
20 per cent of those claims were related to Covid-19, including many of the 1225 complaints in a new category of travel.
Among common complaints were: difficulty obtaining refunds, offers of credit rather than a refund and new contract terms inserted in contracts around cancellation fees.
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"Not all of the travel complaints we received related to Covid-19 but the travel sector was strongly affected by the pandemic and that has caused a large increase in travel-related complaints," said Commerce Commission chair Anna Rawlings.
"Travel-related complaints include those about airlines, booking agents, motor vehicle rentals and accommodation."
Overall, 20 per cent of complaints received during 2019/20 related to Covid-19 in some way. This included claims that products could protect consumers from the virus, and delays in delivery of goods purchased online during lockdown.
"We note that but for Covid-19, telecommunications retail service providers would have again been the most complained-about industry. There were 761 complaints about that industry during 2019/20, an increase of more than 4 per cent on the 2018/19 tally of telecommunications complaints," said Rawlings.