Two Brazilians from the city of Cascavel, in Paraná, are filing a lawsuit against Time 2 Travel Intercâmbios e Viagens (T2T) for services not provided.
According to the CGN website, the two had hired a 25-week exchange in Cork, and had already paid about 25% of the total value of the package, which was R $ 9,845.50. However, the agency, which was facing financial problems, closed its doors without providing the services contracted and without reimbursing students for the amounts already paid.
Judge Jaqueline Allievi, of the 3rd Special Civil Court of Cascavel, said that clients have the right to receive full refund of the amounts paid, since the agency has not complied with the contract.
The students still asked for compensation for moral damages, but the request was denied by the State Justice.
The travel and exchange sector in Brazil must be one of the most affected by the pandemic. According to the Brazilian Association of Specialist Exchange Companies (Abrasseio), the sector had a 45% drop in revenue in the first half of 2020 – the first drop in 15 years.
To avoid an even greater financial impact, exchange agencies ask students to choose to reschedule their trip instead of canceling it. According to Rui Pimenta, sales director at Student Travel Bureau (STB), about 80% of customers rescheduled their exchange programs for 2021.
A Conduct Adjustment Term (TAC) signed in March by the government, with representatives from exchange agencies, stipulates a two-year period (from March 11, 2020) for rescheduling the trip, without additional costs. If the student chooses not to reschedule, there are no well-defined rules, so it is necessary to contact the company that sold the package.