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                                                               Travel websites quality continues to decline

                                                   Travel websites are among the worst for online customer service, according to new research from Transversal.

                                                                The travel industry came joint worst along with telecoms, insurance, consumer electronics, grocers and utilities in a survey of 10 sectors.

                                                                Although travel websites have improved their ability to respond to holidaymakers' basic questions in the last year, 60% of questions remain unanswered.

                                                                Travel websites that offer email customer service options took an average of 58 hours to respond,

                                                                which is only eight hours better than corresponding research carried out in 2006.

                                                                Transversal monitored 10 leading UK travel companies by phone, web and email as part of its third annual customer service research.

                                                                "Despite the enormous growth in the online channel, across all sectors, our research shows that consumers are still suffering

                                                                from substandard online service", said Davin Yap, CEO, Transversal.

                                                               "While we've seen marginal improvements over the three years that we have carried out this analysis, a lack of a cohesive multi-channel strategy

                                                               means in the majority of cases it is quicker to call than visit a company's website.

                                                               "With the massive investment made in the online channel and its ability to offer unparalleled tailoring and personalization UK organizations

                                                               need to start giving the answers online.

                                                               "Travel companies wanting to promote last minute deals look set to be held back by the lack of basic information on their websites

                                                               and by poor response times to customer enquiries."                                                                                                                             

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