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These are extraordinary times which the CMA have failed to understand. At a very basic level, if I have constructed a package for a customer involving flights, hotels, transfers and a cruise and the cruise is cancelled I am bound by the Package Travel Regulations to repay the customer within 14 days for the whole package. If the airline will not refund as the flight is still valid where pray am I meant to spirit the money up from to refund? Vouchers are a lifeline for agents acting as Tour Operators in these unprecedented times.
If you boil down the effect of the government action / inaction on refunds it seems set to come in as a grey-grace period of around 6 months. This is what we called for from the outset minus the grey bit! A lot of stress could have been saved for many consumers with more clarity at the start of the crisis. The free-for-all that ensued means many customers have had to make county court claims to get paid. Other are holding Refund Credit Notes which delay their right to a refund for 12 months and are still unproven in terms of ATOL protection. Factoring in the zip financial support announced earlier this week I am scoring the government pretty low on its handling of the crisis from the perspective of the travel industry.
Name and shame them.
Which! Already have.
Customers need to keep sending in complaints to the CMA as travel firms are still illegally holding onto our money beyond any reasonable timescale - and I'm not talking about the 14 day legal timescales, many companies are MONTHS beyond that limit. There's probably also scope for complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority for them offering holidays and services they cannot and do not deliver. Maybe then they will see they can't treat customers as lenders and mugs.