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Hotels Refusing Refund Will Be Prosecuted

In force majeure situations, travel agents and hotels are not allowed to charge cancellation fees
A number of hotels implemented cancellation rules for normal circumstances and charged fees. A number of hotels implemented cancellation rules for normal circumstances and charged fees.

Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization has announced that the refusal to refund the room reservation fee of guests whose trip has been cancelled due to the recent snowfall is considered illegal and called on people to report the violation.  

Vali Teymouri, director of the Monitoring and Assessment of Tourism Services Office at ICHHTO, said that in force majeure situations, hotels and travel agencies are not allowed to charge a fee for the cancellation of flights and room reservations, ISNA reported.  

“In hotels and travel agents’ contract, there is a clause pointing to force majeure situations such as the present situation when reservations were cancelled not at clients’ will, but due to weather conditions,” he said, adding that the clause prohibits fining clients or charging cancellation fees, and even tasks the hotels and travel agents to offer certain services.

According to the official, ICHHTO has received complaints about the matter in recent days, urging people to report any such case to provincial offices.

Teymouri assured that if the cases are not investigated in provinces, ICHHTO will pursue the case through its commission.

Tehran’s office of Disciplinary Organization (a judiciary-affiliated entity that monitors trading crimes based on Islamic law), which investigated the air ticket cases in Tehran on Tuesday, confirmed that their prices surged by up to four times.

Mohammad Ali Esfanani, director general of the office, announced that if travel agents fail to disprove overcharging claims, they will definitely face the most severe legal action and “receive the maximum legal fine”.

Several ICHHTO offices have reported that a number of hotels implemented cancellation rules for normal circumstances and charged fees.

There were also cases in which hotels charged the total room fare as a fine rather than legally subtract a percentage of the price as cancellation fee.

The Disciplinary Organization has called on people to report violations through the hotlines 135 and 124.

It also published a notice on its website asking people to file complaints about the conduct of airlines through the website of Iran Civil Aviation Organization (www.cao.ir), the website of Disciplinary Organization (www.t135.ir), or the SMS service 300000135.

Neither ICHHTO nor Disciplinary Organization has released any data on the prosecution of hotels, airlines or travel agencies for the offence.

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