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Steinlaw
Steinlaw, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 1811
Experience:  Consumer law attorney, author of California Debt Blog, Businessweek.com top foreclosure attorney
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Complaint against BJs travel agents At CBP.gov under Documents

Customer Question

Complaint against BJ's travel agents

At CBP.gov under "Documents needed to take a cruise" (dated 09/15/2010) it says:
"U.S.Citizens on closed-loop cruises will be able to enter or depart the country on the cruise with proof of citizenship,
such as an original or copy of your birth certificate and, if 16 or older, a government issued photo ID."

At travel.bjs.com/, under required documents, it says the same thing ! (this was my travel agent for the trip)

When I arrived at the pier ,I was told I didn't have the proper documents.

I am an older gentleman who has a original "Certificate of Birth" from a hospital with an Official raised seal.
I understand that some Hospitals do issue a birth notice as a document that merely indicates where a birth occurred
but they don't have a raised seal and some state on the notice that it is not a legal document.
My "certificate of birth" doesn't fall into that category.

I have used this certificate for 69 years for obtaining the following:
>driver license
>passport
>proof of citizenship for serving in the Army
>for boarding a cruise (same cruise ship two years ago)

I do not understand that a "birth certificate" or a "certificate of birth" aren't the same thing !?

I do not understand that the Official seal is not official !?

I do not understand that this birth certificate is not the original !?

Based on what I read, my experience and the fact that I boarded the same ship two years ago, I had no idea
that my Hospital "Certificate of Birth" was no longer proper documentation !!

The travel agent says the responsibility of having proper documentation at the pier is the travelers responsibility.
I understand that as meaning if I don't present them at the pier, it is my fault.

The travel agent also says it is my responsibility to know the requirement's but why is it not the travel agent
responsibility to word it properly in plain English where a lawyer is not needed to explain the meaning.

A travel agent is suppose to be a professional that protects your investment and informs you of changes in travel
requirements !? I was not informed that hospital birth certificates were no longer accepted.

This omission of information cost me $2900 which included travel insurance that won't cover my loss.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Steinlaw replied 6 years ago.
What is your specific legal question?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

The travel agent at the company I work at said that travel agents are responsible for

making sure the traveler knows what documents are required for travel.

They are the professionals who should be up to date on travel requirements and should

communicate this so that it is clearly understood. The agent did not tell me that hospital birth certificates are no longer accepted for proof of citizenship and in their documentation there is no mention of that either. They should be held accountable for the loss of my money.

 

Expert:  Steinlaw replied 6 years ago.
I am sorry you are going through this.

I agree that the travel agent is responsible. Send them a demand letter and ask them to reimburse you. Give them 30 days. If they do not respond, sue them in small claims. You should prevail on this.

Good luck.
Steinlaw and other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

They do have a disclaimer saying the the traveler ir responsible for knowing

what is required.

How can they not be resposible for the job they do?

Is it legal for someone to say they are not responsible for their job description?

 

Expert:  Steinlaw replied 6 years ago.
They can have disclaimers, but something like this should not be disclaimable. You should still prevail even with that disclaimer as they would have a duty to notify you what is acceptable documentation and what is not.