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Furious parents take on travel company over ‘insensitive and cruel’ Schoolies ‘rip-off’

Article image for Furious parents take on travel company over ‘insensitive and cruel’ Schoolies ‘rip-off’

More parents have joined the campaign against a major travel company after Jim Wilson revealed accusations against them.

Hundreds of Year 12 graduates are struggling to get their holidays refunded by Unleashed Travel, despite the unanticipated nature of the cancellations.

Leanne Spurdle lost her husband in 2018, and was forced by an “insensitive and cruel” policy to provide a death certificate so her daughter Caitlin could secure a refund.

Unleashed Travel have not provided the refund, because the “money is held by our suppliers and is out of our control” (full statement below).

“[Caitlin] has worked all these jobs to try and fund it, because I’m a single parent now. I couldn’t afford to help pay for it, and they won’t give it back!”

Rhys Barclay’s son Connor is also fighting for a refund, and despite communication back and forth “we seem to be getting nowhere”, he told Jim.

Mr Barclay was contacted by the company after posting a negative review online.

“[Unleashed Travel] said if I take my review down, [they’ll] negotiate a refund. I said ‘no, that won’t be happening until everyone gets their money back’.”

Jim was disgusted by Unleashed Travel’s actions.

“It’s a classic deflection: not manning up and accepting responsibility.

“Just give their money back!”

Click PLAY below to hear the full story

Caitlin and Connor also joined Jim to explain their view of the situation.

Connor estimated around 80 people from his school alone have been affected by the refund policy, and knows students at other schools have had the same issue.

“I think it’s pretty terrible. I’m reffing water polo for ten bucks a game – I’m sure someone can do the maths to work out how many games that would be.

“It’s pretty disappointing.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interviews

Full statement from Jot Lynas, CEO of Unleashed Grad Trips

“We were very sorry for the loss of Caitlin’s father.

“Our policy states that we can reimburse a student’s deposit under compassionate grounds if an incident occurs following the payment being made.

“After reviewing this case with Mother Leanne Spurdle, it was found that the deposit was paid on the 13th March 2019 which was six months following the father’s death, therefore we were unfortunately unable to make the refund. This money is held by our suppliers and is out of our control.

“However, we will do everything we can to assist Caitlin during this time, as we understand the gravity of the situation, and the need for funds.

“We let Leanne know that we will help Caitlin transfer her credit to another student, and will contact her as soon as we can, to arrange reimbursement.

“Once again, we are deeply sorry for the family’s loss and we are doing everything we can to assist.”

 

Image: Getty

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