The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation after receiving hundreds of complaints that people were not receiving refunds from Teletext Holidays for package holidays cancelled due to the COVID pandemic.
Some customers reported that Teletext Holidays – the trading name of Truly Travel Ltd – promised refunds by a certain date, only to later push back the date.
The competition watchdog will gather further evidence on whether Teletext has broken consumer protection law and then can either dismiss the case, ask for additional measures to be taken or take court action.
Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “We understand that the pandemic is presenting challenges for travel businesses, but it is important that the interests of consumers are properly protected and that businesses comply with the law.
“We’ll be engaging with Teletext to establish whether the law has been broken and will take further action if necessary.”
Which other travel companies have been looked at?
This is not the first case the CMA has dealt with recently in relation to package holidays and potential breaches of consumer law.
It has already written to more than 100 package holiday firms to remind them of their obligations to comply with consumer protection law, and has secured refund commitments from holiday firms, including Love Holidays, Lastminute.com, Virgin Holidays, TUI UK, Sykes Cottages, and Vacation Rentals.
Are airlines offering cash refunds?
The CMA is also investigating whether airlines have breached consumers’ legal rights by failing to offer cash refunds for flights passengers could not lawfully take due to the pandemic.
Which? has also received “a steady stream of complaints” from Teletext Holidays customers who have had to chase refunds for cancelled holidays.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “It is right that the CMA is investigating the company. Nearly a year on from the first wave of cancellations, it’s unacceptable for anyone to still be waiting for their money back.
“Customers have been understanding of the difficult circumstances travel companies faced in the past year, but it’s clear now that some operators feel empowered to act with impunity.
“The regulator should establish the scale of the problem and, if necessary, quickly take appropriate action against the company to send a clear message that it will not stand for this kind of behaviour.”
What should I do if my package holiday is cancelled?
If you’ve booked a package holiday and the tour operator or travel agent cancels it, you are entitled for your money to be refunded within 14 days.
For latest advice on Covid for customers who have booked a holiday or flight with a travel agent or tour operator, visit the ABTA website.
You can get support and advice at Citizens Advice.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.