Reassures Consumers

9th May 2001

Canadians are becoming increasingly more comfortable making purchases on the Internet. According to AC Nielsen, the number of Canadian Internet users making at least one online purchase increased to 31% in 2000, up from 25% in 1999.
In 1996, just 11% of Canadians made an online purchase. Canadians are breaking through the so-called barriers to online purchasing, and, Canada`s online travel expert, is taking a leadership role to build Canadian consumers` confidence in e-commerce.
Forrester Research, which recognizes the barriers to online purchasing, recommends online retailers take steps to help consumers develop a trust for the Internet as a purchasing vehicle. These steps include developing content unique to Canada, creating first-class customer service, and most importantly, paying close attention to maintaining rock-solid privacy and security policies.
“ understands the importance of listening to consumers, and we take it very seriously when they express concerns about the security of their online purchases,” says Terrell B. Jones, president and chief executive officer of “We have made extensive investments both in tracking the concerns of our members and in the latest technology to guarantee that our site is completely secure, and to help consumers protect themselves. This is another example of how is changing the way Canadians use the Internet.”
“Travel is one of the most popular online purchases,” said Craig Penney, Vice President and General Manager, MasterCard Canada. “Dealing with reputable companies like when making online purchases is one of the keys to ensuring safe Internet transactions.”
In addition to its guarantee of security on its Web site, is also working to help consumers know what to look for to protect themselves when purchasing online. In doing so, offers some consumer tips for testing Web sites to guarantee the safety and security of consumers.
* Privacy Policy - Canadians who purchase on the Internet should check every Web site for a strong privacy policy, which states the intention for consumer protection. Consumers should feel confident that they understand what personal information is asked for, how is the information to be used, who the information will be shared with, if anyone, and do they offer an opt out policy. Consumers should understand exactly how their personal information is to be used and agree to that prior to purchasing on the Internet.
* Consumer Protection Affiliation - Consumers must look for a sign of affiliation with the Better Business Bureau or any other credible consumer protection organisation, which should be prominently displayed on the homepage or through the customer service link. With this affiliation, there are very specific standards that must be adhered to for the benefit safety of consumers. is also a member of the Better Business Bureau and meets all BBBOnLine Reliability standards, and is authorised to display the BBBOnLine Reliability seal.
* Encryption - It is important that Canadian consumers look for Web sites that use encryption, which is a coding system that lets your browser automatically encrypt, or scramble your personal and credit card information before it is sent over the Web.
In addition to helping consumers feel secure when shopping on any e-commerce Web site, has gone to great lengths to ensure that Canadians purchasing travel on its site have both a safe and satisfying shopping experience. provides industry-first tools and features for Canadians to plan and buy travel. has put in place measures to guarantee security for those planning and buying travel on its site.
* Privacy Policy - has also enacted a policy protecting members` privacy when shopping for travel, which is of primary importance. Members are in complete control of their travel planning needs as well as the information they provide to
* Customer Service - Members have access to`s customer service centre in Ottawa 24 hours a day, 7 days a week where specially trained online bilingual travel professionals can be contacted by calling a toll-free number. Members also have online access for answers to frequently asked questions and the option to e-mail customer service directly via a Customer Service Request form.
* Shop Safe Guarantee - offers members a safe online shopping environment. In the unlikely event credit card fraud occurs, most banks waive liability for unauthorised charges, or limit liability to $75 (US$50). With Shop Safe Guarantee, will reimburse the liability fee, up to $75 (US$50), provided the transaction was made on using the site`s secure server. Also, members who still do not feel comfortable sending credit card information over the Internet can fax or call in the information to one of the representatives in the Credit Card Security Department. It is easy and as safe as a phone call.
* Encryption Technology - Perhaps one of the most important things about is that investments have been and are being made in the technology necessary to offer the highest level of encryption capabilities, guaranteeing the security and privacy of members` personal information.
An additional tool to help consumers feel safe when planning and buying travel is`s Agency Locator, which gives members the opportunity to locate and work directly with a travel agency if they choose to do so.
As Canadians become increasingly more comfortable buying on the Internet,`s goal is to be a catalyst to help those who choose to purchase online have safe and satisfying experiences, whether shopping for travel or any other products or services.


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