The firm, Claims Legal, trades under the Holiday Sickness Claims and the AccidentGuys brands and has been rapped for a misleading YouTube ad.
The ad said that a significant number of deaths were due to food poisoning in hotels and gave the impression the firm was helping to record figures for official government statistical analysis. It also said that changes to the Package Travel Directive meant compensation claims were more likely to succeed because the burden of proof had now shifted to tour operators.
The video, filmed in Spain with a fake news reader, quoted figures from ‘the Health World Organisation’ about deaths from food poisoning and said:
“People who have been on an all-inclusive packaged holiday in the last three years, and suffered with sickness – even mild sickness – should speak to our client team and report the sickness.
“As well as being formally recorded for the purpose of statistical analysis, you may be entitled to claim compensation for your sickness on a ‘no win no fee’ basis.”
In its ruling, the ASA said: “We told them not to mislead about the number of deaths related to holiday sickness, their role in the analysis of statistics in relation to holiday sickness and about the level of protection afforded to consumers and the likelihood of their claim succeeding.”
An Abta spokesperson said that all the assertions were false. “Whatever claims companies may say, people need to realise that making a fake or exaggerated holiday sickness claim is fraud. The potential penalties for making a fraudulent claim are extremely serious and may include hefty fines, a criminal record and potential imprisonment.”
On its holidaysicknessclaims.co.uk website, Claims Legal, based in Prestwich, boasts of a typical £1,200 compensation award. A tick list asks visitors if they have been on an all-inclusive package holiday in the last three years and had been sick for more than five days.