This Arbitration Service, which has been devised by arrangement with the Expedition Providers Association (EPA) and is administered and managed independently by Dispute Settlement Services Ltd, a company specialising in resolving travel related disputes.
It is a service for EPA members and their customers who find themselves in dispute over their travel arrangements. It offers an inexpensive method of settling disputes by the appointment of an independent Arbitrator to examine the facts and give a ruling quickly, without too much formality and without resorting to expensive litigation, in an atmosphere which can result in the retention of goodwill by both parties.
The customer does not have to use the scheme, but if s/he wishes to do so, application should generally be made within six months of the end of the programme or their return to this country, whichever is the later. The service may still be available outside this period in special circumstances. The standard form of agreement with declaration duly signed together with the appropriate fee must accompany all applications.
The Arbitrator appointed by Dispute Settlement Services Ltd will decide disputes by reference to documentary evidence supplied by the parties. S/he may, where it is thought appropriate, speak with the parties concerned by telephone, but this will be entirely at the discretion of the Arbitrator. There will be no right of audience with the Arbitrator. Both parties must agree to be bound by the Arbitrator’s decision, which shall be final.
Where the Arbitrator finds in favour of the customer, the EPA member is required to make the appropriate payment within 14 days of the determination being published.
The maximum sum that the Arbitrator may award under this arrangement is limited to £5,000 per individual. This service is not considered suitable for claims that are solely or mainly in respect of physical injury or illness or the consequences thereof. The service should not be used if the customer is also seeking to claim via another route, i.e. typically, an insurance claim.
The following fees are payable, until further notice, for all arbitrations in respect of each and every booking:
EPA member: £180.00
Cheques should be made payable to ‘Dispute Settlement Services Ltd’. Alternatively payment can be made by bank transfer to Barclays Bank plc.
Application forms and other related documents should be obtained direct from Dispute Settlement Services where previously agreed with the EPA member.