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Global Work and Travel investigation concludes

14 December 2015

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) today concluded its investigation into Gold Coast travel company Global Work and Travel after it refunded $25,655 to 29 consumers affected by unfair travel contracts.

Global Work and Travel offers young travellers packages covering a range of experiences including working holidays, volunteer expeditions, employment opportunities and short term accommodation in North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the United Kingdom.

OFT has been working with Global Work and Travel for over a year to ensure its business practices are compliant with the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and adequate contractual safeguards are in place to ensure young travellers are protected.

Following the OFT’s intervention, Global Work and Travel has:

  • engaged a compliance professional to oversee significant improvements in business practices, remove unfair terms from contracts and ensure compliance with consumer protection laws
  • developed a practical training program in fair trading and consumer laws for staff and contractors, to ensure customers are in fact afforded the legal protection guaranteed under the ACL
  • streamlined complaints management process, including implementing a phone call recording system to assist in complaints resolution and staff customer relations training.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said the OFT was now satisfied with Global Work and Travel’s business model and hoped the company would continue to foster a more customer-friendly ethos.

“The OFT has no hesitation in investigating and prosecuting traders who operate outside the law, but our role is also to educate and guide businesses toward compliance with the law.

“Most businesses realise that satisfied and happy customers are the best advertisement they can get” said Mr Bauer.

Global Work and Travel has now refunded a total of $25,655 to the 29 affected customers who came forward during the investigation.

The OFT will continue to monitor Global Work and Travel’s compliance with consumer law.