La farsa degli ADM


Sembra che alla fine qualcosa si muova. Non certo in Italia, dove l’arroganza dei vettori raggiunge livelli d’eccellenza, bensì in UK, dove i concetti di fair business sono un po’ più consolidati.
Vi riporto di seguito un interessante articolo di The Beat in merito alla causa di un’agenzia di viaggi che ha analizzato gli ADM ricevuti ed ha evidenziato come il 71% degli stessi, equivalenti al 93% del valore complessivo dei tickets contestati, fosse errato e quindi contestato con successo.
Ma il tempo lavoro dedicato a queste contestazioni, chi lo paga? E le fee amministrative applicate dai vettori per gli ADM, vengono rimborsate in caso di errore da parte loro?
La realtà è che anche gli ADM sono un chiaro esempio di abuso di posizione dominante da parte dei vettori, abuso che alla fine deve necessariamente riflettersi sul consumatore finale. Sarà un altro interessante argomento da discutere con qualche Associazione dei consumatori…

IATA, European Agencies Investigating Debit Memos
The Beat ~ a travel business newsletter
11/13/12
U.K.-based travel management company Gray Dawes Travel & Expense Management successfully has disputed 71 percent of all agency debit memos it has received since April 2012. Such statistics help explain why the International Air Transport Association launched a review in response to TMC concerns that the volume of ADMs—and the proportion of them which are erroneous—are on the rise.
IATA plans to ask airline members to analyze the quantity and quality of their ADMs, while the Guild of European Business Travel Agents and the U.K.’s Guild of Travel Management Companies have asked members to audit the memos they have been receiving. HRG said it will participate. A meeting between IATA and agents to discuss findings and potentially propose remedial steps is scheduled for March 2013.
An ADM is a sales document created by an airline to recover through IATA’s Billing and Settlement Process additional monies if an agent’s original payment for a ticket was inaccurate. According to British Airways, the top four reasons it issues ADMs are agents mistakenly claiming inadmissible refunds, missing or invalid deal numbers, failure to collect reissue or change fees, and fuel surcharge errors.
However, the Gray Dawes experience suggests that airlines frequently attribute errors to TMCs though the fault lies with them. Gray Dawes CEO Suzanne Cockburn ordered a 100 percent audit of all ADMs her company received to confirm her growing suspicion that something was awry. Of the 71 percent of ADMs that were identified as erroneous and disputed successfully, Cockburn said 88 percent resulted from airline error and 12 percent from errors within global distribution systems. The most common mistake by far was incorrect tax filings, present in 68 percent of all the inaccurately issued ADMs. Unless a TMC investigates and challenges an ADM—and many don’t because it is time-consuming—mistakes almost certainly would not be discovered and the TMC would bear the cost.
IATA governs the ADM process because debits are issued through BSP, which the association also is responsible for administering. IATA head of distribution management Noel Gilmartin said the survey of airline members will attempt to establish the volume of issued ADMs, frequency of and reasons for errors, and potential remedies. “This is something we know we have to revisit from time to time,” Gilmartin said. “ADMs are a useful tool. They represent a process failure by definition, and in today’s world we cannot afford inefficiencies of that type for airlines or travel agents.”
Opinions on the causes of ADM problems vary. Agents interviewed for an October Travel Weekly report attributed the rise in memos to airlines outsourcing their ticket auditing to third-party service providers that fail to understand the complex rules determining the final price of a ticket. In addition, the report suggested that third-party providers are highly motivated to identify errors because that is how they are incentivized.
Gilmartin is not convinced that factor is a cause of the ADM increase. “Third-party agencies are nothing new, which is why we want to investigate” why there is an increase in complaints now, he said.
But HRG industry and airfares distribution director Tony Berry said third parties partly are responsible for the rising volume of ADMs. “The companies managing the ADM process on airlines’ behalf are doing a better job of picking up every single mistake and are finding more creative ways to issue ADMs,” he said.
However, Berry pointed to what he believes is a much more important explanation: airlines during the past five years have evolved inventory management practices and offer far more complicated fares. “TMCs have to look in more than one place for the rules affecting a ticket sale,” he said. “It’s a more complex environment now. There is a degree of uncertainty [about whether a fare is correct] that wasn’t there five years ago, and that uncertainty has led to an exponential rise in ADMs.”
Gray Dawes’ Cockburn is frustrated by heavy investments from airlines in third-party auditors hired to chase TMCs (often incorrectly) for fare calculation errors while those airlines seem uninterested in addressing what she sees as their own structural flaws and processing mistakes that lead to many errors.
As a result, Cockburn said TMCs are burdened by unfair costs, especially because the 71 percent of ADMs that Gray Dawes successfully disputed represented 93 percent of the total monetary value of the ADMs it received. “You have to fight to get the money back, but what you don’t get back are the manpower costs,” she said. “The highest-value ADM we received was for £1,000, and it took us 12 man-hours to fix. We also lose money because the amount is debited from our account while we are disputing it.”
IATA’s Gilmartin said he understands the economics of the issue from the agents’ perspective. “We are very mindful of low-value ADMs which are not worth the while of the agency to investigate,” he said.
Who ultimately is paying the price? “Yes, it’s clients’ money when an ADM is issued,” said HRG’s Berry. “We want to ensure clients are not seeing an increase in their ticket price through ADMs.”
~ Amon Cohen

2 risposte a La farsa degli ADM

  1. Donella scrive:

    Davide,
    non sono così addentro ai processi delle TMCs ma avere un’idea di come funzionano e soprattutto essere più consapevole di questi abusi è di grande aiuto.
    Grazie per le preziose informazioni, per il grande lavoro e la carica (nonostante tutto) che ci sono dietro!
    Donella

    • Davide Rosi scrive:

      Cara Donella,
      cerco di essere sintetico, per eventuali approfondimenti ci possiamo sentire in altro e più efficace modo (chiamami….). Gli Agent Debit Memo nascono parecchi anni fa per consentire alle compagnie di porre un freno a malpractices da parte delle agenzie di viaggi in termini di soluzioni tariffarie fantasiose. In poche parole, se un agente di viaggio si inventava (o magari non era in grado di calcolarla quando i biglietti erano cartacei) una tariffa, la compagnia poteva addebitargli le somme mancanti, errate o altro direttamente attraverso il BSP. L’evoluzione tecnologica dei GDS (che spesso garantiscono la tariffa che appare a video) e la conseguente maggiore efficacia nel controllo e nella costruzione tariffaria hanno reso molto più rare queste malpractices.
      Dato però che le compagnie, incapaci di fare vera efficienza organizzativa, devono recuperare ricavi in qualsiasi modo per sostenere la loro pachidermia, si sono inventate l’abuso degli ADM, ovvero mandano questi addebiti a tutte le agenzie, maggiorati di assurde fee amministrative, ben sapendo che una buona % passa indisturbata per incapacità delle agenzie di contestare, l’altra, anche se contestata, comunque in un primo momento viene in ogni caso incassata, poi, con molta calma e dopo innumerevoli solleciti, viene rimborsata, ovviamente tenendosi la fee amministrativa.
      In altre parole, un vero e proprio ladrocinio. Dato però che alla fine per questa truffa pagano i consumatori finali, vedremo di spiegarlo adeguatamente ad un’associazione di consumatori, che sicuramente ha più peso rispetto ai poveri agenti di viaggio😉

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