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Buying Guidelines
Some shopping guidelines from!

Buying travel products on the Internet can offer a world of variety and value to those who follow a few simple guidelines along the way.

If it's too good to be true, it probably isn't
Beware of offers for free holidays and unbelievable offers if you only pay today. Reputable businesses, on the net or off, don't pressure customers into making a buying decision before they're ready.

Know whom your dealing with
Look for names, faces and addresses. Always search a travel web site for information about the site's owner including names, addresses and telephone numbers. Is this an established travel company with offices and staff to handle customer's needs and any complaints that may develop?

Be suspicious of companies with only e-mail identities who may be here today and gone tomorrow with your hard earned money. Work with a "brick and mortar" travel company that sells on the Internet - they offer more security to the customer than a purely e-commerce operator.

Look for membership in professional organizations
Logos indicating membership in national and international professional organizations can signify an established reputation of professional ethical practice. They also provide an additional road of appeal should something go wrong.

You should be able to pick the way to pay
Does the operator offer a secure site for sending credit card information over the Internet? - Good operators always offer customers the alternative of sending credit card information by facsimile or paying by personal check or telegraphic transfer.

If paying by credit card over the net make sure transactions are carried out on encrypted and secure channels, which makes the information less vulnerable to computer hackers.

Beware of draconian cancellation policies
While some suppliers, such as cruise lines, may have severe penalties for late cancellation, hotels very rarely will demand more than the first night's payment for cancelled bookings. Travel Company's that charge 100% for a cancellation may be failing to put the customer's interest first.

Protect your privacy
Look for the vendor's [Privacy Policy] listed on the web site. A certain amount of personal information is needed to process your order but you have a right to know how that information might be used.

Do you have the right to opt-out from future mailings and promotions?

Any questions: ask!
As the consumer you're entitled to ask questions and receive clear explanations to any questions you may have.

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