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Teletext Holidays taken to court by consumer watchdog over failure to refund cancelled holidays during Covid

The UK consumer watchdog is to take court action against Teletext Holidays and Alpharooms over the the failure by the travel companies to fully refund customers for holidays cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) warned last month that it would take court action against Truly Holdings, the company behind Teletext Holidays and Alpharooms, unless urgent action was taken to ensure customers were refunded for cancelled bookings made before 25 May 2021.

Truly Holidays signed undertakings committing to refund package holiday customers for holidays cancelled during the pandemic, and by October this year have paid out £10.8 million with £1.2 million still owed to customers. Truly Holdings was supposed to have repaid all customers by 31 August.

Today (18 October), the CMA said it has filed legal proceedings against Truly Holdings, stating that it "does not consider that Truly Holdings has done enough to provide refunds". See our Coronavirus Travel Rights guide for help with refunds and cancellations.

Outstanding refunds 'must be repaid immediately'

The CMA has requested a court order that will require all outstanding refunds to be immediately repaid and that, going forward, people who are entitled to a refund should be repaid within 14 days. The CMA will also ask the court to order that Truly Holdings puts in place appropriate processes to ensure it complies with the law in future.

The watchdog said that, as it considers Truly Holdings to be in breach of the law and that harm to consumers is ongoing, it is seeking its claim to be heard as quickly as possible. It is, however, ultimately down to the courts to decide a date for the hearing.

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “Companies must abide by consumer protection law and treat customers fairly.”

What does Truly Holdings say?

A spokesperson for the firm said: "The company is working as hard as it can and continues to process the remaining refunds due under the Package Travel Regulations to our remaining customers, and as such is very disappointed by the latest action by the CMA.  

"The company continues to urge customers who are due a refund under the Package Travel Regulations, but have not received it, to contact us directly from their registered email address (which was used to make their booking) on covidwebform@trulytravel.com with their booking reference number. If we need more information, we will request it."

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