Contract confusion sparks client outrage

Contract confusion sparks client outrage
By admin


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Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

Contract confusion sparks client outrage

Contract confusion sparks client outrage
By admin


The Professional Conference Organisers Association (PCO) is appealing to its members to discuss financial agreements with clients following an increased number of contractual disputes.

While conference organisers often act in a principle or agent role, PCO president Rob Henshaw confirmed there has been increasing confusion between the two following a recent spate of client disputes.

In an exclusive interview with The Nibbler, Henshaw explained that organisers who act as an agent pass on all bills to the client, while those who act as principle take on the financial risk and ability to mark-up expenses.

However, with thousands of dollars often standing between the two contracts, Henshaw said some clients were being stung with an unexpected bill after the conference concludes. Clients are not able to appeal the charges because both contracts are legally binding.

“The problem we are hearing is that some conference organisers aren’t explaining the contractual differences to clients,” he said. “This poses a serious ethical problem by not disclosing what it means for them financially… It’s hiding behind the fine print.”

In one instance, Henshaw said a client lost $200,000 of profit from a conference, pocketing just $2000 after finding the conference organizer was running the event as a principle rather than an agent.

While this was a “one-off” event, Henshaw said it was not uncommon with the increasing number of associations who have minimal experience.

“We are encouraging our members to be open and transparent and to explain different business models to clients. Organisers need to sit down with their clients and explain the contracts with them and what it means for them financially,” he concluded.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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