Making a complaint

When things are not as advertised

All Year Out Group members commit to providing accurate information on their website and in literature. Their terms and conditions and complaints procedure should be provided to you when you book your trip. You should familiarise yourself with these.

People will complain if they feel that the programme they are on is not as advertised or if for some reason they choose to leave or are asked to leave before the end of the programme.

If that happens to you, do the following:

Record and evidence

  • Check you terms and conditions
  • Make a note of the issues you wish to be addressed
  • Take photographs and keep a copy of the advert and any other information about your programme
  • Make your complaint or concerns known to a member of staff as soon as possible
  • State what you understand about the complaints process and ask them to confirm it
  • Remain friendly and polite and have a sense of perspective
  • Consider if you issue is really something the company can do anything about (e.g. poor weather)
  • Don’t be fobbed off
  • Follow up on your return if needed.

Follow complaint process

  • Check the terms to see how and when you can make a complaint
  • Although there may be a 28 period to make a complaint you could take someone to court up to 3 years later
  • Ensure every thing you do a part of your complaint is either recorded or put in writing.
  • Keep a log of phone calls and what was said by whom.
  • Be clear and precise about your complaint
  • State what you want the company to do about it
  • If they make an offer, give it consideration before accepting or refusing
  • Act reasonably but don’t be taken for granted either.

Dispute Settlement

If you are not happy with an offer made to you and you cannot negotiate further, you have options:

  • Request that the complaint be taken to arbitration (The company should tell you this anyway)
  • If the company is a Year Out Group member* you can apply to our Dispute Settlement Service (fees apply)
  • Ask the company to agree to another arbitration service of your choice (fees apply)
  • If the company refuse you can consider taking them to the small claims court (fees apply)

The Dispute Settlement Service is independent of the Year Out Group. They consider a complain on paper only, which saves time and cost.  It may be a bit cheaper to go the small claims court though the process is more drawn out. You may incur costs if the claim is not upheld.

Both parties have to agree to abide by the decision of the Dispute Settlement Service and fees are paid in advance by both the operator (£210 inc. Vat) and the complainant (£140 inc Vat). Other rules apply and you will be notified of these when you request an application.


Dispute Settlement Service

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