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More on USIT Canada flight costs ripoff

I wrote about this issue previously, but here’s an e-mail from another unhappy USIT customer:

I am inquiring about the extortionist prices that your company is charging for flights to Canada under the Under 35s Work and Travel Programme. I have recently and reluctantly paid over €1000 for a return flight to Canada. On the same day I made the sickening discovery that Air Canada could have flown me there for over €300 less than what I paid for flights with USIT. Of course you probably know all this as USIT have cleverly written it into their terms and conditions that I must fly with them (as I was told by a USIT representative on the phone).

I would like a detailed explanation for the extraordinary prices you charge for these flights and also a complete breakdown of the €495 charge of processing my visa application. I have read many many blog posts from irate customers of USIT (see boards.ie Independent Youth and Travel section for examples).

I am sure that there are many more out there also and in these recessionary times I don’t think it is necessary for  for USIT to be seen as overcharging people who are trying to make a go of it in Canada.

I wrote my response to a similar complaint in the original post, available here. To my mind, it’s unfortunately a case of “USIT’s game, USIT’s rules”.

The same question from the end of that post still stands though:

Is anyone else more familiar with this type of situation? Is there any other way to get a Canadian Visa without going through USIT – surely there should be alternatives?

I guess though, given that USIT are able to charge these prices and get away with it, there isn’t any alternative out there.

2 comments On More on USIT Canada flight costs ripoff

  • The onyl other way to get a visa is to go directly to the Canadian immigration website. The problem with this is that you have to give them an employers name and start and finish date. USIT have some deal with the canadian government that they are able to put their name as your employer (meaning that they are responsible for you) but of course USIT dont actually have any responsibility for you if you go to Canada. Something should be done about the prices that they can charge but unfortunetly there is no other company in competition with them hence they have a monopoly in a seemingly unregulated market for visas.

  • kristine mulligan

    I am Canadian. This kind of profiting from others misery makes us furious! We actually spend tax dollars to prevent it! Our immigration department Never advocates using some paid scam to “help” get Visas of any kind!!!!!!!!! In Fact report them… we have an agency that will prosecute them! http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/protection/index.asp
    The immigration department takes great care to provide good information to potential workers and immigrants.You do have to fill it out yourself, but there are many help guides available on the Canadian government website. Never believe any company that states that only they can expedite or help you get approved. There is actually a warning on the Canadian immigration website Not to trust these “agents”. Canada is a very self serve place, all the information you need AND all the forms are available at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp
    . There may even be a program or type of visa you qualify for more quickly (like the skilled worker shortage program) have a really good look it is a large site. There is a small fee for a lot of the different programs but it is just to cover processing all the applications. In fairness Ireland immigration charged me for all visas and eventually for my Irish dual citizenship application. Not a large amount. Good luck! We want people here paying taxes, we have a negative population rate!
    I had a quick look at USIT’s website…I noticed they are listed as travel agents. I am sending in a complaint to the department above I suggest you do also.

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