UK Regulator Tells Package Holiday Firms To Refund Customers

Package holiday firms should promptly issue refunds to customers whose holidays have been cancelled, even in spite of the “extraordinary pressures” they are facing during the coronavirus pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) warned on Friday, July 10.

The regulator noted that consumers have a statutory right to a full cash refund within 14 days of the termination of their package holiday, even if the reasons for the cancellation are “unavoidable and extraordinary,” reported the BBC.

“We expect businesses to comply with these requirements where package holiday contracts are terminated due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Cecilia Parker Aranha of the CMA in an open letter to the package travel sector.

“We are aware that many consumers have been promised full cash refunds, but these have yet to be paid,” she said.

Since launching its coronavirus task force, which was set up to monitor market developments in the wake of the pandemic, the CMA has received more than 17,500 complaints from consumers about firms in the sector.

The CMA stated that it was now “particularly concerned” about the harm being suffered by consumers who have purchased package holidays, noting that companies seemed to be engaging in practices contrary to consumer law.

The regulator noted that it had the power to bring enforcement actions against firms in relation to such breaches.

“The CMA recognises that the pandemic has created extraordinary pressures on package holiday businesses,” said Parker Aranha.

Full Content: BBC

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.