My travel agent messed up on my mother's travel visa for her Europe tour. We returned the tickets. The agent says that we will be penalized for canceling late. I feel that the travel agent messed up, so he should give me a full refund and the penalty should be his problem, right?
Give it a try and ask the agent for a refund. If he refuses, there are number of places you can to turn for help.
Ask the agent whether he belongs to any professional travel agents' associations. Many of those associations mediate disputes like the one in which you may be involved. A few to try include:
If mediation doesn't work, you can always sue the travel agent in small claims court. (To learn more about small claims court, see Nolo's Small Claims Court area.)