Hundreds of customers are still waiting for refunds from Teletext Holidays – despite the travel agency being threatened with legal action by the regulator for failing to act.
The Competition and Markets Authority said this week it is still concerned that some customers have not been refunded within the 14 days required by law, adding that despite some getting their money back, too many customers have waited longer on the repayments they owe.
It has notified Truly Holdings, owner of Teletext Holidays, in writing to say it will take legal action unless the company takes immediate steps to rectify the situation and ensure that customers entitled to a refund in the future be refunded in no time. legally determined period.
Since the CMA called out Teletext in May, dozens of readers have contacted This is Money to say they are still waiting for a payout, many of whom owe thousands of pounds.
Frustration: Hundreds of Customers Still Waiting for their Teletext Holidays Refund
Aside from not receiving a refund, others have claimed they are having trouble contacting the company, with some staying on the phone for hours at a time.
This follows earlier in the year when we reported hundreds of customers collectively owed more than a quarter of a million pounds from the holiday company.
While there have been many delays at other companies due to the coronavirus pandemic, Teletext is listed as one of the companies taking the longest.
As a result, Teletext Holidays was threatened with legal action by the Competition and Markets Authority after it returned no more than £7 million in refunds to customers.
This is Money spoke to a handful of the hundreds who have been in touch about their issues.
A reader, Jill, had booked a holiday with Teletext but saw on Facebook that the hotel she would be staying at on Kos had closed its doors for the time she was to stay and for the rest of the season.
Jill said: ‘Teletext didn’t inform me of the hotel’s closure so I contacted them and must have been on hold for two hours to get through, only to be told the hotel is open and that my vacation is still going on.
‘I went on to follow the Section 75 route to reclaim my £990. First I got my money, but to my horror Teletext appealed and demanded it back.
“I asked the card provider on what grounds and Teletext Holidays said it is ‘a third party’ and owes me nothing.”
Jill is now unsure how to proceed and has no vacation – and no refund.
Other customers are waiting for thousands of pounds back.
Client, Craig, said: ‘We originally booked a holiday for my family to Malta in 2019, with the intention of traveling at the end of May 2020 and costing £8,120. This has been canceled due to Covid.
‘We wanted a refund but Teletext said this was not possible so we booked at the same time the following year but the holiday was £862.70 cheaper. Teletext gave us the difference back as flight vouchers.
The holiday was canceled again a year later. At the time I was adamant that I wanted a full refund as Teletext had been holding a lot of our money.
Teletext Holidays continues to be criticized for its response to the pandemic and its customers
‘When we called several times, with waiting times of over four hours, we finally got hold of someone who said they would refund the £7,257.30, but not the amount of the vouchers.
“The next day I spoke to someone who confirmed that the full amount would be refunded, but that it would be in two separate payments.
“After waiting three months, we only got the voucher amount back and since then we have no information about getting our full amount back.”
Another customer, Natalie, was due to travel to Faro with two friends in October 2020, but this was canceled due to the pandemic.
She was told she could request a refund of £1,005 from January 2021, which she did. However, she still has not received this and it has been almost a year since she had to travel.
This is Money contacted Teletext to ask why these customers – and many others – had not yet received a refund.
Thankfully, it said the three customers mentioned above have now been fully refunded – but it’s still working on refunding other passengers.
Teletext has claimed it has refunded thousands of customers and is working on the rest
What was Teletext’s response?
A company spokesperson said: “We are pleased to report that the three customers received their money back today.
“Due to the impact of Covid-19 on travel, Truly Holdings Limited was forced to cancel many of our customers’ package holidays.”
It said that, in line with its commitment to the CMA to reimburse all package holiday customers in the UK whose bookings were impacted as a result of Covid-19, it would pay £7.79 million in refunds to 6,431 by August 31, 2021. customers would pay.
To date, it says it has paid back £7.2 million to more than 5,790 customers. This represents 94 percent of the amount owed under the Package Travel Regulation and over 92 percent of the customers.
The spokesperson added: “The team continues to work hard and as quickly as possible to process the refunds owed to our remaining customers under the package travel regulations. We’ve contacted every customer eligible for a refund via email, phone, or both.
“If we haven’t issued a refund, it’s because we’re waiting for information – usually bank details – of the main name on the booking. We need this information to enable us to make the refund.
‘Unfortunately, some customers have not responded to our contact, have provided incorrect details or have even already received a refund, but have not checked their credit card statement, for example, to find out.
“We are currently in a constructive dialogue with the CMA on how best to communicate with those customers who have not provided us with banking details to date. We will vigorously pursue any strategy agreed with the CMA.”
Still waiting for a refund?
Teletext Holidays said it is asking customers still waiting for a refund to: directly to the email address they used to make their booking at firstname.lastname@example.org with their booking reference number to process their refund.
It said if it needs more information, it will ask for it. Once the necessary details are received, the customers will be refunded.
It added that some customers are not covered by the commitments, such as accommodation only.
However, Teletext said its team is working through each refund request to ensure that everyone entitled to a refund receives one.
Many customers are still waiting for refunds for holidays booked more than a year ago
But there are other steps you can take to try and get your money back.
1) You do not need to accept a credit note: First, it’s important to note that if your package holiday is cancelled, you don’t have to accept a refund credit note from the company.
You don’t have to book either. You are legally entitled to a refund. If a company says otherwise, make it clear that you know your rights.
2) Claim back through your card provider: Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, credit card providers can be liable for failure to provide a product or service, if customers have paid more than £100 and less than £30,000.
There is no time limit for recovering through this method.
If your credit card company does not reimburse you and you believe the reasons for doing so are unfair, you can go to the Financial Ombudsman.
3) Escalate the problem through an arbitration scheme: Many of the major airlines, including EasyJet and Ryanair, are members of AviationADR, while British Airways is members of CEDR.
These schemes are alternative dispute resolution programs that help resolve disputes between passengers and airlines or airports.
It may cause its members to issue refunds or take steps, such as offering formal apologies.
4) File a claim with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA): Unhappy customers can also complain to the CAA and file a claim if a booking has failed.
However, only customers of ATOL members can use this service. While most are, Teletext Holidays is one company that isn’t.
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