Thomas Cook customers left confused by emails from claims firms
Some Thomas Cook customers who are waiting for refunds from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have been left confused after receiving out-of-the-blue emails from claims firms.
After travel firm Thomas Cook went into administration in September, the CAA set up an online system for customers with ATOL-protected bookings to claim their money back.
But some customers who'd made claims are now receiving emails from claims firms asking for more details to process their refunds – leaving many confused, and some even suspecting it could be a scam.
The CAA has confirmed it is working with three claims firms – Protect Claims, Cega and Rightpath – to process Thomas Cook customers' existing claims.
The CAA says these firms will ONLY contact customers if they have already made a claim and additional details are needed to process their application, such as proof of payment for their holiday. You DON'T need to use a claims firm to make a refund application, as you can do this for free directly on the CAA website.
See our Thomas Cook administration guide for full info on claiming refunds and more.
'I'm concerned about whether this is genuine'
We've seen several former Thomas Cook customers who have been left unsure about whether they've been contacted by a legitimate firm or not.
One MoneySaver, Margaret, emailed us saying she'd been contacted by one of the firms, Protect Claims, and asked for information including proof of payment for her holiday, ATOL certificates and correspondence from Thomas Cook.
She said: "There have been no further updates on the CAA website, so my concern is whether the firm is genuine – as I'd already provided the ATOL certificate numbers and payment details to the CAA.
"It might have helped if the CAA had put out a flyer warning Thomas Cook customers they might be contacted."
And Margaret wasn't the only one confused, with others on Twitter left unsure whether to respond to the firms:
I've been contacted by a claims firm – what should I do?
The CAA has confirmed it IS working with Protect Claims, Cega and Rightpath to process existing Thomas Cook claims. So if you have an outstanding claim and are contacted by one of these firms, don't just ignore it.
Customers could be contacted by email or phone, or by letter if the claims firms don't have any other contact details for them.
But as always, when you're contacted by a firm unexpectedly, you should stay vigilant. After Thomas Cook's collapse, there were warnings that scammers were likely to contact people claiming to be from Thomas Cook or official bodies dealing with refunds – and we've heard of some being contacted by fraudulent "Thomas Cook refund agents".
So if you've been contacted about your Thomas Cook refund and you're unsure why or whether it's genuine, you can call the CAA helpline on 0300 303 2800 first to check.