We are witnessing times when the average temperature record is broken worldwide. Both in Europe and in Turkey, there has been a significant increase in death cases and cases of emergency room visits in hospitals due to extreme heat. Citizens are advised not to go outside at certain times of the day. For example, the Greek Ministry of Culture said that on Thursday, July 20, archaeological sites, including the Acropolis, will be closed during the hottest hours of the day (12.00-17.30) due to a new heat wave. Again, the Greek Ministry of Labor recommended remote working as a precautionary measure to protect employees in the private and public sectors. In Italy, red alert was declared in many cities. Spain, France, Germany and Poland are also under the influence of extreme heat.
For example, let’s assume that in March 2023 you have purchased a package tour contract covering a European trip for July or August 2023. In an environment where air temperatures reach 47-48 degrees and average 44 degrees, it is certain that this trip will not be fun for you, on the contrary, it will harm your health.
WHAT IS A PACKAGE TOUR CONTRACT?
Package tour contracts are a combination of at least two of the following, when sold or offered for sale at an inclusive price by package tour organizers or intermediaries, 31 and when the service covers a period longer than twenty-four (24) hours or includes an overnight accommodation: a) Transport, b) Accommodation, c) Other tourist services not ancillary to transport or accommodation services. (Art. 51/1 of the Law on the Protection of Consumers, Art. 4/f of the Regulation on Package Tour Contracts).
WHAT ARE THE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF THE PARTIES IN A PACKAGE TOUR CONTRACT?
- Consumer Rights
A brochure should be given to the consumer for preliminary information. The package tour organizer or intermediary must notify at least 24 hours for domestic tours and at least 48 hours before the start of the tour for domestic tours.
- Requesting the continuation of the service at the agreed price
Package tours can be paid early due to the price advantage. Future cost changes cannot be requested from the consumer.
– Requesting a repeat of the agreed tour
If the contract is not properly fulfilled, the tour organizer or intermediary must offer an alternative tour service without charging an extra fee to the consumer.
– Requesting a reduction in the price
If the contract is not fulfilled properly and deficiencies occur, the consumer may request a reduction of the price for these deficiencies.
– Claim compensation
If the contract is not fulfilled at all or as required, the consumer may claim compensation from the package tour organizer for any damages.
– Rescission of the contract
In case of a fundamental change in the package tour contract, the contract may be terminated.
– Assignment of the contract
If it is not possible for the consumer to continue the tour, he/she can transfer the tour to a third person.
b) Obligations of the Consumer
– Duty of paying wages
– Paying of additional charges.
– Behaving in accordance with the principles of good faith
c) Rights of the Package Tour Organizer
– Request package tour fee
– Requiring the consumer to act in good faith
d) Obligations of the Package Tour Organizer
– Obligation to inform
It is the equivalent of the consumer’s right to information.
– Fulfillment of service obligations
– Duty of care
– Having a tour guide
– Insuring and providing collateral
If the contract is not fulfilled at all or as properly, an assurance fee must be provided to the consumer in order to compensate for the damage that the consumer will suffer.
The consumer’s personal details should not be shared with third parties.
TERMINATION OF PACKAGE TOUR AGREEMENT DUE TO EXTREME TEMPERATURE
As a consumer who has purchased any package tour or a package tour has been purchased on your behalf or in your favor or a package tour contract has been assigned to you, you may terminate the contract provided that you notify the package tour organizer or intermediary in written form of your termination demand (Art. 16 of the Regulation).
- In termination notifications made at least thirty days before the start of the package tour, the amount paid by the participant shall be refunded to the participant without any deduction, except for the expenses arising from compulsory taxes, fees and similar legal obligations.
- In termination notices made less than thirty days before the start of the package tour, a certain amount or rate may be deducted, provided that it is specified in the package tour contract.
- In the event that the participant gives notice of termination less than thirty days before the start of the package tour due to a situation or force majeure that the participant cannot foresee and prevent despite all due diligence, the amount paid by the participant shall be refunded to the participant without any deduction, except for the costs arising from compulsory taxes, fees and similar legal obligations and the costs that can be paid to third parties and documented and non-refundable. Extreme heat may be considered as an unforeseen or unavoidable situation or force majeure mentioned herein.
WITHIN HOW MANY DAYS MUST THE PACKAGE TOUR ORGANIZER OR INTERMEDIARY REFUNDS?
Refunds must be made to the participant within fourteen days after the termination notice is received by the package tour organizer or intermediary.
WHAT CAN I DO IN CASE OF NON-REFUND OR INCOMPLETE REFUND?
For 2023, you must apply to the Provincial or District Consumer Arbitration Committees for consumer disputes with a value below 66,000 (sixty-six thousand) Turkish Liras. For disputes over 66,000 (sixty-six thousand) Turkish Liras, you need to apply to consumer courts. In disputes before the consumer courts, it is a condition of the lawsuit that the mediator has been applied before the lawsuit is filed.