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Crackdown: Bad publicity for retailers

Crackdown: Bad publicity for retailers
By Laura Del Rosso 
Originally Published on: TravelWeekly.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- The attorney general's press release listing travel agencies that violated California's Seller of Travel law disturbed ARTA legal counsel Alexander Anolik here because it listed agents who failed to register along with those who were charged with much more serious wrongdoing.

The publicity "sheds a bad light on travel agents in general," he said.

The crackdown and publicity are worrisome because many agents are breaking the travel law because they do not understand it, Anolik said. "I go to speaking engagements all over the state and tell people that none of them is complying with the law and all its regulations about disclosures," he said. "It's impossible. The law does not match the way we do business."

Anolik said he has clients who committed misdemeanors by missing a registration deadline because of a clerical error or lack of timely information and were forced to pay fines. "What we have here are some agents who now have criminal records for what should be an infraction, the equivalent of a parking ticket," he said.

Anolik said his law office has seen the results of the crackdown, with two to three agents a day phoning for help because they had problems complying with the law. --