Sunday, 7 June 2020

Costa Rica seeks to prevent fraud in tourist services

The campaign focuses on preventing, informing and educating consumers about risks and deceptive practices

Costa Rica joined this Friday an international campaign on social networks called “Responsabilízate” (Be Responsible), to prevent fraud in tourist services.

Santa Rosa National Park is one of the last remaining tropical dry forests in the world. Come see this utopia in all its glory. Photo Twitter

The initiative is a coordinated effort by the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), and the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute and the National Chamber of Tourism (Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio, el Instituto Costarricense de Turismo and la Càmara Nacional de Turismo).

“It is a commitment to generate useful preventive information when planning holidays, urging consumers to choose safe sites, certified companies, verify comments from previous users and the conditions of the (tour) packages, to avoid scams and take care that the experience is unique, safe and positive ” said the Minister of Tourism, María Amalia Revelo.

- paying the bills -

The objective of the campaign, according to Costa Rica authorities, is to prevent, inform and educate consumers about the risks and deceptive or fraudulent practices they face in the tourism services market.

Tourism experts say the majority of the consumption of tourist services is carried out online and it is evident that consumers require better practices and tools for the proper and safe online shopping, and thus avoid fraudulent practices.

Some recommendations include buying on well-known and reputable websites, investigating policies for changing dates and filing complaints, as well as reviewing comments or experiences of other people with the online site.

In addition to verifying that the site has a physical branch, consumers are asked to make sure that the price advertised in the tour package includes taxes, contacts to hotels and other acquired services and including the reservation number of flights.

“We want companies to adopt the best practices, under policies of respect and the defense of the rights and guarantees of their clients, at the same time, we are aware that the education of consumers, too, is key to reducing their vulnerability and protecting them. of cheating or scams,” said the president of the Tourism Chamber, Sary Valverde.

- paying the bills -

Protect yourself, here are some recommendations, based on our experiences, to avoid being defrauded:

  • Beware of deals that are just too good to be real.
  • Make sure the website URL is not being re-directed and the payment page is secured, such as “https://”. The ‘s’ denotes the site is secure, your online information is encrypted.
  • Don’t give out your credit card over the phone, entered in a non-secure site (see above) or send it by email. Services like Paypal offer your credit card information is kept private, not even the seller has this.
  • Verify the site has an office in Costa Rica. When calling an “800” or “888” number ask if the business is located in Costa Rica. Get a local number you can verify and call.
  • Ask about cancellation and refund policies, costs for any changes, late arrivals, refunds and anything else that will make you comfortable that you are dealing with a reputable operated. Don’t settle for anything less.
  • Review site comments. Be wary of sites that only have positive comments.
  • If possible, use a special credit/debit card for online purchases.
  • Pay attention for hidden costs such as taxes and service charges. Don’t assume that low price is all-inclusive, it probably isn’t.
  • If you are purchasing a tour package that includes hotel before traveling call the hotel or directly to verify your reservation and that the room was paid for. Same goes if there is a car rental involved.
  • Also before travel, confirm your flight directly with the airline and your travel class and what is or isn’t included, such as excess bags, meals, seat assignment.
  • Verify your package includes ground transportation to and from the hotel and travel between the different destinations.

Use the comments section below or post to our official Facebook page your expereciences or share your recommendations.

 

 

Q Costa Rica
Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

Related Articles

Minister of Tourism: ‘We know that there will be an extremely strong economic impact’

The Minister of Tourism, María Amalia Revelo, acknowledged that the entry...

Coming to Costa Rica? Make Sure to Taste These Foods

While it may hurt our feelings to say this, Costa Rica...

MOST READ

Quepos and Parrita under water; heavy rains affected many areas Monday

(QCOSTARICA) The cantons of Parrita and Quepos are two of the most affected after the heavy downpours during the Monday afternoon and evening. Residents assure...

Five-day-old among the infected in Costa Rica; Confirmed cases now 1,084

(QCOSTARICA) As a new month begins and a phase of greater flexibility for restaurants, hotels, and other activities, commences, the Ministry of Health reported...

Photos of Costa Rica: JFK In Costa Rica 1963

President John F. Kennedy shakes hands with visitors outside of the United States Embassy residence in San Rafael de Escazú, Costa Rica. 18th March...

Colombia To Permit International Flights From September 1, Reopens Ticket Sales

Colombia’s Transportation Minister, Angela Orozco, announced last week that Colombia’s airports will reopen to international flights beginning September 1. Domestic flights are expected to resume...

One Cuban Family’s Long And Risky Journey To A New Life In The U.S.

Currently, there are almost 2,000 migrants in Panama shelters from Cuba, Haiti, Bangladesh, Nepal, Congo, Cameroon and India, after crossing the border from Colombia...

Can we all get along?

By Magaly C. Holtz - After I experienced in Los Angeles when I was living there, the riot of 1992, a thought remained on...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.