In a press release on the UK governments website, it claims teletext will face legal action if it does not pay back over £7 million to customers whose package holidays were cancelled due to the pandemic.
The Competition and Markets Authority, which is government run, opened an investigation back in February after receiving hundreds of complaints from Teletext customers. Because of the pandemic and the restrictions on travel, most of us that booked a holiday, missed out but under UK law if this happens, people should receive a full refund within 14 days. But the investigation showed customers were not receiving their money back at all.
The CMA wrote to Teletext in March explaining what they had to do to fix this and if teletext addressed the issue and signed commitments or ‘undertakings’ to refund people then this would halt any legal action the CMA could take. However, the CMA has now informed Teletext it is going to take legal action after the company failed to satisfy the CMA that it would take the appropriate action to compensate affected customers.
Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, said: “There must be no more delays to Teletext refunding customers for holidays they could not take because of the pandemic. It is unacceptable that many have already waited months for the refunds they are legally entitled to. We take very seriously the ongoing failure of Teletext Holidays to meet its obligations. The firm must now comply with the law and commit to refunding its customers. If it does not do so, we will not hesitate to pursue this case in court.”
The travel and leisure industry has been one of the worst affected due to the coronavirus pandemic as it came to a near standstill last year. However, the Competition and Markets Authority are taking firms to task over refunds. So far, they have written to 100 package holiday firms that have failed to give customers money back within the statutory 14 days. Love Holidays, Lastminute, Virgin and Tui have already responded with their commitments to refund customers.
The Package and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations were introduced to protect consumers if they pay for a holiday and it is cancelled. By law you have the right to the holiday you paid for and so it matches what you were promised when you booked it. If the holiday does not live up to what you were promised or as it was described to you the 2018 directive gives you the right to claim compensation. It covers travel, accommodation and planned trips or excursions.
If you want to claim compensation under the regulations, you can claim for the following areas:
Loss of value – That is the difference between the value of what you paid to the one you took.
Loss of enjoyment – This is compensation for any distress you experienced whilst on your holiday.
Personal injury – If you incurred any injuries, you could seek compensation, like sickness but you would need a doctor letter and any details of treatment or medication you received.
Out of pocket expenses – If you were out of pocket because of a breach of contract you are able to claim this back, but the price has to be reasonable.