TERMS OF BUSINESS
These terms and conditions apply to all trips organised by Cutting Out The Middle Man, Whos head office is at Robruce, AshyardsRoadend, Eaglesfield, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire. DG11 3PA.
The contract and supply of any trip is by Cutting Out The Middle Man.
Your contract incorporates these terms and conditions and by making a booking with us you confirm your acceptance of these terms and conditions to the exclusion of any other terms and conditions which you may seek to apply to the contract.
In these terms and conditions: “we” or “us” or “our” means “ Cutting Out The Middle Man” “You” means the person making the booking and includes all persons included on the particular booking who will be required to acknowledge receipt and acceptance of these terms and conditions “Participant” includes you and any other person taking part in the trip
A. BOOKING AND PAYMENT
A.1 YOUR RESERVATION
A.1.1 When you make a booking, we will provisionally reserve your trip on the basis of these terms and conditions. A binding contract between us will come into existence only when we have received your deposit (or if applicable full payment) and send our Confirmation Invoice to you. Prior to doing so, we may send you an acknowledgement of receipt of the deposit. Any such acknowledgement simply indicates that we are dealing with the booking and is not a confirmation of it.
A.1.2 Please check the Confirmation Invoice together with all other documents we send you as soon as you receive them. Contact us immediately if any information which appears on the Confirmation Invoice or elsewhere appears to be incorrect or incomplete, as it may not be possible to make changes later. We regret we cannot accept any responsibility if we are not notified of any inaccuracies in any document within ten days of our sending it out. Whilst we will do our best to rectify any inaccuracies notified outside these time limits, you will be responsible for any costs and expenses involved in doing so except where we made the mistake and there is good reason why you did not contact us within the above time limits.
A.2 OUR PRICE POLICY, PAYMENT TERMS AND SURCHARGES
A.2.1 We reserve the right to alter prices shown in any of our brochures or on our website or in any literature that we send to you and we will inform you of any price changes prior to the issue of our Confirmation Invoice. Once our Confirmation Invoice has been issued then, save in the case of manifest error, any price changes may only be made in accordance with the remaining provisions of these terms and conditions and we particularly draw your attention to the clause A.2.4 below in relation to surcharges
A.2.2 Deposits are normally £20 Per Person on short breaks and the full amount for day trips. Deposits are payable at the time of booking. The balance of the total price must be paid at least 8 week prior to the trip commencing. You will not be confirmed on the trip until we receive the relevant deposit and if the balance is not paid by the due date then we shall have the right to cancel your booking and retain any deposit.
A.2.3 Payment of deposits and final payments can (unless otherwise advised) be made by cheque made payable to “cutting out the middle man”. Payments can also be made by direct credit transfer into our bank account (details of which will be provided to you upon request) or by debit or credit card. Please note that for payments made by credit card a charge of 3% will be added by us to the amount payable.
B. CHANGES AND CANCELLATION BY US
B.1 IF WE CHANGE YOUR ARRANGEMENTS BEFORE DEPARTURE B.1.1 We hope and expect to be able to provide you with all the services we have confirmed to you. However given the nature of our trips and their locations, you are expected to be flexible and accommodate the possibility of alternative arrangements having to be made, even at the last minute and without prior notice. Please note that any published outline itineraries are a guide only, do not form a contractual obligation on us and may be subject to change. In the vast majority of cases any changes will be regarded by us as minor changes. However, if we consider them a “Significant Change” we will endeavour to advise you as soon as reasonably possible. A Significant Change includes, purely by way of example, a significant change of destination arising otherwise than as a result of circumstances beyond our control.
B.1.2 In the case of a Significant Change before your departure we will provide you with three alternatives:
B.1.2.1 alternative arrangements of equivalent or of very closely similar standard and price, if available, or
B.1.2.2 alternative arrangements of a lower standard together with a refund of the difference in price; or
B.1.2.3 cancel your trip with a full refund of all monies paid.
In all 3 cases, compensation will be paid as detailed in clause D.1 below unless the change occurs as a result of circumstances beyond our control where clause H.1 will apply.
B.2 IF WE CANCEL YOUR ARRANGEMENTS
B.2.1 In the unlikely event we need to cancel arrangements we will tell you as soon as possible. However we will not cancel your arrangements less than 30 days before the trip commences unless it is for a reason outside our control as provided in clause H.1. If we have to cancel your trip arrangements we will provide you with three alternatives:
B.2.1.1 alternative arrangements of equivalent or of very closely similar standard and price, if available, or
B.2.1.2 alternative arrangements of a lower standard together with a refund of the difference in price; or
B2.1.3 cancel your trip arrangements with a full refund of all monies paid.
Any alternative arrangements or cancellation must apply to all persons included in your booking.
In all 3 cases, compensation will be paid as detailed in clause D.1 below unless the change occurs as a result of circumstances beyond our control (in which case clause H.1 will apply) or we cancel as a result of your failure to pay your deposit or the balance or any other sum when due or where clause B.2.2 applies.
B.2.2 We regret that some of our trips can only be operated if a sufficient number of people agree to take part and pay all sums due. If there is insufficient demand, we have the right to cancel the trip in question. If we have to do so, we promise we will tell you no later than 30 days prior to the trip commencing. In this situation, you will then have the choice of the options shown in clause B.2.1 together with the option, if possible, of the same trip departing on a different date. Where we cancel for lack of numbers in accordance with this clause B.2.2, no compensation or other amounts (for example, the cost of any flights) will be payable. In the circumstances any flight arrangements should only be made once we have confirmed to you that sufficient numbers have been booked on the trip.
C CHANGES AND CANCELLATION BY YOU
C.1 IF YOU CHANGE YOUR BOOKING
C.1.1 If you want to change your trip in any way you must inform us in writing as soon as possible. We will try to help you, although we cannot guarantee that we will always be able to do this as changes are subject to availability at the time. C.1.2 Where we can make a change, we will charge for any additional services, facilities, or other items changed, at the price which applies on the day the change is made. In addition, we will also apply an administration charge for each item you want to change as shown in the table below together with any further costs we incur, for example with our suppliers, in making any change
Table of Administration Charges for Changes made by You The costs shown are per change and per person and do not include any further costs that we may incur in making the changes or any charges made by our suppliers for such changes
Request for change received more than 12 weeks prior to trip commencing £50
Request for change received less than 12 weeks prior to trip commencing £100
C.2 IF YOU CANCEL YOUR BOOKING
C.2. 1 If you wish to cancel your trip, you must write to us. Unless notice of cancellation is received prior to the issue of our Confirmation Invoice, we will levy a cancellation charge on the scale shown in the table set out in clause D.1. These charges are based on the estimated cost of cancelling your arrangements and the expenses and losses we are likely to suffer.
C.2.2 If you are unable to take part in the trip, you may be able to transfer your place to someone else suggested by you and acceptable to us subject to the following:
C.2.2.1 You must write to us with full details of who you would like to go instead. We must receive this information at least 14 days before departure.
C.2.2.2 If the change can be made, you will have to pay an amendment fee of £200 together with any extra costs we incur or are asked to pay in order to make the change.
C.2.2.3 Anyone who takes part in the trip instead of you must agree to these terms and conditions.
C.2.2.4 Please note that scheduled airlines often do not allow any name changes within a certain period prior to departure and generally not at all after flight tickets have been issued.
D CHANGES AND CANCELLATION CHARGES
The following table sets out the sums normally payable to us or you in the event of Significant Changes or cancellation. These sums are not payable where we have to make a Significant Change or cancel your trip arrangements as a result of:-
(a) matters outside of our control when clause H.1 shall apply or
(b) where your booking was accepted “subject to availability” or similar and the trip arrangements are not available
Period before trip commences in which notice of cancellation or Significant Change is received Amount you will receive from us if we make a Significant Change Amount you will receive from us if we cancel Cancellation Charge if you cancel
More than 90 days £nil Return of monies paid only Deposit only
More than 60 days but less than 90 days
£10 per person Return of monies paid plus £10 per person 75% of total price
More than 30 days but less than 60 days
£20 per person Return of monies paid plus £20 per person 100% of total price
Less than 30 days £30 per person Return of monies paid plus £30 per person 100% of total price
NOTE “Total Price” means the total price payable by you for the trip excluding any fees payable for any previous changes made by you to the booking
E. LIMITATION OF OUR LIABILITY TO YOU
E1 If the contract we have with you is not performed or is improperly performed by us or our suppliers we will pay you compensation. However we will not be liable where any failure in the performance of the contract is due to: E.1.1 you; or E.1.2 a third party unconnected with the provision of the trip arrangements and where the failure is unforeseeable or unavoidable; or E.1.3 unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised; or an event which we or our suppliers, even with all due care, could not foresee or forestall. E.2 Our liability to you, except in cases involving death, injury or illness, shall be limited to a maximum of two times the cost payable to us by you for your place on the trip. E.3 Should you suffer illness, personal injury or death attributable to a third party unconnected with the provision of the services, or as a result of failures due to unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised, or an event which we or our suppliers, even with all due care, could not foresee or forestall, we will offer you such advice, guidance and assistance as is reasonable in the circumstances. E.4 Our liability will also be limited in accordance with any relevant international convention in relation to the provision of travel or accommodation services which are incorporated into and form part of your contract with us and we are to be regarded as having all the benefit of any limitation of compensation contained in such conventions. E.5 Unless otherwise expressly indicated by us in writing, excursions or other tours that you may choose to book or pay for whilst on the trip and which are not included in the price of the trip, are not part of the trip arrangements provided by us. For any such excursion or other tour that you may book, the contract will be with the operator of the excursion or tour and not with us. We are not responsible for the provision of such excursions or tours or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the operator even if a member of our staff accompanies the relevant tour or excursion.
E.6 The provisions of clauses E.1 to E.5 inclusive are in addition to any other limitation of liability contained in these Terms and Conditions E.7 Nothing in these Terms and Conditions affect any statutory rights that you may have under the relevant jurisdiction applicable pursuant to clause H.6
F YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
F.1 SPECIAL REQUESTS
If you have a special request (including dietary requirements), we will do our best to help, but we cannot guarantee it except as set out below. We promise to comply with any special request which we have specifically agreed to and confirmed in writing. General confirmation that a special request has been noted or passed on to the supplier or the inclusion of a special request on your Confirmation Invoice or on the acknowledgement of your booking or any other documentation is not confirmation that the request will be met. Unless and until specifically confirmed in writing all special requests are subject to availability. If any additional cost is applicable, it will either be invoiced to you prior to departure or should be paid for locally.
You are responsible for ensuring that you satisfy all passport, visa, travel insurance and health certificate requirements and we accept no responsibility for any refusal of travel or entry into any destination or for any liabilities, losses, delays or expenses incurred through any irregularity in such documentation. If you have any queries with regard to documentation and insurance requirements you must raise them with us well in advance of the trip commencing. Any information provided by us with regard to travel documentation is given in good faith but without responsibility on our part.
F.3 HEALTH PRECAUTIONS, SAFETY AND ACCOMODATION
F.3.1 We will provide general advice to you as to what vaccinations and other health precautions are usually required for your destination or activity. It is your responsibility to verify such advice with appropriately qualified medical personnel and that you have received any necessary or advisory vaccinations or medication. We reserve the right to require you to produce evidence of such vaccinations or medication and may cancel, without payment of compensation, your place on the trip if any such vaccinations or medication have not been obtained. It is your responsibility to ensure that you take any necessary medication whether before, during or after the trip. Any health information provided by us is provided in good faith but will only be a general overview of any health hazards and requirements for the trip. In the circumstances any such advice given by us should not be regarded as a substitute for specific and detailed medical advice for you and you should raise any particular concerns with your own doctor
F.3.2 Our trips involve strenuous activity in remote regions and it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the necessary level of fitness and health to complete the trip. You may be required to complete a Medical Declaration form and full particulars must be given of any previous or existing conditions that may affect your ability to complete the trip. You may be required to authorise disclosure by us of any such conditions to any medical personnel that we or our suppliers may use in connection with the trip or whilst on the trip. We reserve the right at any time to require you to produce medical evidence of your ability to complete the trip. We reserve the right to cancel your place on or to leave the trip, even if the trip has already commenced, and without repayment of any sums paid or other compensation, should any information on any Medical Declaration form be incorrect.
F.3.3 Whilst on the trip you are required to adhere at all times to the advice and instructions given by staff retained by our suppliers to supply any services which form part of the trip.
F.3.4 Given some locations of our trips you must be aware that standards of accommodation, hygiene and health and safety precautions are unlikely to be as high as in the UK and, in the circumstances, there is an increased risk of injury and illness and that medical care standards will not be as accessible or as comprehensive as in the UK.
F.3.5 If you fall ill or suffer an injury or, in our supplier’s opinion, are not able to continue with the trip, we reserve the right, following consultation with you, to require you to either leave the trip entirely or for a period or to not take part in a particular aspect of the trip.
F.3.6 You should be aware that due to the nature of our trips you may be required to share washing facilities and bedrooms/dormitories.
F.4.1 You must be covered by appropriate travel insurance (including medical, air evacuation, rescue and repatriation insurance). Such insurance must be on such terms and for such minimum cover as we may approve, such approval being dependant on the nature of the trip and we will advise you prior to booking of the particular insurance requirements for the trip in question.
F.4.2 You are responsible for ensuring that all information provided to any insurance company is correct and not misleading and we cannot be responsible for any problems that may arise as a result of any policy of insurance becoming invalid as a result of any error or omission in respect of such information.
F.4.3 Notwithstanding the above it is your responsibility to ensure that the cover provided is suitable and adequate for the trip and your particular needs.
F.5.1 Whilst we shall endeavour to provide advice on health, safety and security matters before and whilst on the trip, you must accept that you must behave responsibly in relation to your own safety and security and that of others on the trip.
F.5.2 We are committed to responsible and sustainable tourism. In the circumstances you are expected to respect and obey the laws, culture and customs of the destination country, treat others on the trip and locals with respect and courtesy, observe and obey any instructions, directions, advice, rules and regulations given or imposed by us or those organising any particular activities.
F.5.3 You will be personally liable for any damages suffered to property or by us or any third party (including loss of business or reputation)
F.5.4 in the event of you failing to comply with the terms of this clause F.5, we and our suppliers reserve the right in our absolute discretion to require you to leave the trip if your behaviour falls shorts of the standards expected by us and our suppliers. In such circumstances no compensation of any sort (including the return of any monies paid) shall be payable by us and all rights are reserved by us against you.
F. IF YOU HAVE A COMPLAINT
If you have cause for complaint whilst on the trip, you must bring it to the attention of our staff immediately. They will do their best to rectify the situation. If your complaint is not resolved locally, please follow this up within 4 weeks of your return home by email to us at [email protected] giving all relevant information. If you fail to follow this simple procedure we may not be able to deal with your complaint.
G MISCELLANEOUS H.1 CHANGES DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND OUR CONTROL We will not be liable to pay any compensation if we are forced to cancel or in any way change your trip arrangements as a result of unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even with all due care. These include unavoidable technical problems with transport, war or threat of war, civil strife, industrial disputes, natural disaster, bad weather, epidemic or terrorist activity. In this extreme case you will be refunded the cost of your tour or excursion less any monies that have already been paid to our suppliers ie coach suppliers, attractions, hotels etc. we will endeavour in all cases to return a minimum of 50% of monies paid where possible – in the unlikely event of these occurrences happening we cannot guarantee the return of 100% of monies
G.3 DATA PROTECTION
Information about you, including names, contact details and any special needs, disabilities or dietary requirements is collected by us. We may disclose this information to our service providers (who may be located outside the UK/EEA) for the purpose of providing you with your trip arrangements. Only information necessary for this purpose will be disclosed to them. Some information, for example relating to religion or health, may be "sensitive personal data" within the meaning of the Data Protection Act 1998. We need this information to cater for your needs, but it is collected on condition that we have your consent. If you do not agree to our use of such information, we cannot accept you on the trip. From time to time we may contact you by post or email with information about further trips. If you do not wish to receive such information, you should notify us. You have the right to ask us in writing for a data subject access request form to obtain a copy of the information which we hold about you. You will be charged a fee for this. Any request should be addressed to us at
G.4 PUBLICITY AND USE OF IMAGES We reserve the right to take photographs or films of the trip and to use the same in a responsible way in our promotional literature and on our website. We may also reproduce any comments that we receive from you in such literature and on our website unless you do not consent to such use. You will be expected to provide a consent form in respect of the use of your image prior to the trip commencing and if you do not agree to the use of your image for the above purposes then we must be informed prior to the trip commencing.
G.5 ACCURACY OF INFORMATION All specific information supplied in any pre-departure Trip Summary or Information Pack or on our website is correct at the time of publication. Any other information contained in any marketing or preliminary information is designed to provide a general overview of the types of trips we undertake and the counties visited and should not be regarded a representation forming part of the contract with you.
G.6 JURISDICTION/GOVERNING LAW
Any dispute, claim or other matter of any description (and whether involving personal injury or not) which arises out of or in connection with the trip must be brought in the Courts of England and Wales only (unless you are a resident of Scotland or Northern Ireland in which case any proceedings must be brought in either the Courts of your own country or those of England and Wales). English law (and no other) will apply to your contract (unless proceedings are brought in Scotland or Northern Ireland, in which case Scottish or Northern Irish law, as applicable, will apply instead).
G.7 COMMUNICATIONS Please note that we generally communicate with our customers by email. By making a booking with us you agree to such electronic communication method being used., Please be aware that the onus is on you to ensure that your email details are kept up to date, that your email system is operating correctly (including checking that any spam filters are not preventing receipt) and that you check for emails from us on a regular basis as we cannot be responsible for any losses or inconvenience suffered as a result of your email system not operating correctly and/or your failure to check email communications regularly.