Teletext Holidays threatened with court action after failing to provide refunds for trips disrupted by coronavirus
Teletext Holidays may face court action if it fails to refund customers whose package holidays were cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said.
Update 26 May 2021: Teletext Holidays and its sister company Alpharooms have signed a formal agreement committing to refund all customers still waiting to get their money back. The firms owe £7 million in refunds to thousands of customers.
The Competition and Markets Authority says customers waiting for a refund should visit www.teletextholidays.co.uk or www.alpharooms.com from 28 May, where there will be dedicated pages explaining the refund process as well as a webform enabling customers to request a cash refund.
In addition, Teletext Holidays and Alpharooms package holiday customers who have credit notes for cancelled trips, which have not expired or been redeemed, will receive an email from the firms "shortly", asking them to confirm whether they want a cash refund instead.
The competition watchdog has written to the holiday provider and asked it to sign formal commitments – known as 'undertakings'– requiring it to refund affected customers as soon as possible and to take steps to ensure it complies with package travel regulations going forward. If it fails to do so, it may face court action.
It comes after the CMA launched an official investigation into Teletext last month, following hundreds of complaints from holidaymakers who hadn't received refunds for package holidays cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The CMA told us today that it couldn't provide any details on the numbers of affected consumers or the value of the refunds involved at this stage.
Teletext Holidays has performed poorly in various surveys run by MoneySavingExpert.com looking at consumers' experiences with travel firms during the pandemic. In our most recent survey in December 2020, just 12% of Teletext Holidays customers who'd had bookings cancelled by the firm told us they'd received a full refund. See our Coronavirus Travel Rights guide for more help with refunds and cancellations.
Other travel firms have also been investigated by the CMA
This latest enforcement action by the CMA follows several other investigations by the watchdog into holiday firms and their behaviour towards consumers during the coronavirus pandemic. The CMA has already secured refund commitments from a number of travel providers, including Love Holidays, Lastminute.com, Virgin Holidays, Tui UK, Sykes Cottages and Vacation Rentals.
What does Teletext Holidays say?
A spokesperson from Truly Travel Ltd, which operates the Teletext Holidays brand, said: "Discussions are ongoing between Truly Group and the Competitions and Markets Authority on this very subject. Accordingly we do not think it would be helpful for us to comment on the matter until that process is completed."