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CMA takes court action against rogue holiday traders

Today (18 October 2021) the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has filed proceedings against Truly Holdings (TH). It is “… requesting a court order that outstanding refunds be immediately repaid and that, going forward, customers who are entitled to a refund are repaid within 14 days.”

TH operates Teletext Holidays and sister company Alpharooms.com.

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TH signed an undertaking back in 26 May 2021 to refund package holidays cancelled during the pandemic.

On 16 September 2021 the CMA announced that it was considering taking legal action against TH. The CMA felt that TH had not made enough effort to pay all outstanding refunds to customers which should have been made by the end of August. In addition, any holidays booked and cancelled after their undertaking in May were to be repaid within the legal 14 days’ time frame.

But TH has not satisfied the CMA that they are doing enough. It recognised that although TH had “…paid back a significant number of customers within this 2-week period, too many have been left waiting longer for the refunds due to them.” This is in addition to the CMA finding that TH has also not done enough to repay customers who were still owed refunds before it gave the undertakings.

By September TH had still not paid back £600,000 of the £7.8 million it owed to package holiday customers. TH said this was due to not having current bank account details or that it was unable to refund back to the original payment due to purchases being more than a year old. This was not enough to satisfy the CMA.

The CMA wrote to TH threatening that it would take court action if it did not take “immediate steps to rectify the situation and to ensure that, in the future, customers who are entitled to a refund are repaid in the timeframe specified by law.”

Today the CMA has requested that due to the detriment being placed on customers that the legal action be expedited, but the court will decide the date of the hearing.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, said:

“Companies must abide by consumer protection law and treat their customers fairly.

After engaging with Teletext Holidays extensively, we are now requesting a court order to make sure that the company immediately pays back the money it still owes to customers and refunds people within 14 days, going forward.

As a result of the CMA’s action to date, Truly Holdings has so far paid over £7 million owed to package holiday customers.”

At least the law is clear in this case unlike the investigation recently into Ryanair and BA only providing vouchers instead of full refunds during the pandemic.

This action by the CMA will hopefully provide consumers with some confidence that they will soon receive the refunds to which they are legally entitled.

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By Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist
Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

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