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Teletext Holidays broke law over cancellation refunds

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A High Court has ruled that Teletext Holidays broke consumer law by stalling when it came to processing refunds for cancelled packaged deals during the pandemic.

Teletext Holidays and its sister travel operator, Alpharooms, were found to have breached rules which required them to issue refunds within 14 days for package holidays cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched court action against Truly Holdings, and its subsidiaries Truly Travel Ltd and Alpha Holidays (trading as Teletext and Alpharooms respectively) last year after receiving hundreds of complaints over outstanding refunds to customers.

In 2020, reported how customers of the holiday firm had refund requests ignored and debit card chargeback requests disputed.

Truly Holdings had previously signed formal commitments to pay refunds in a scheduled manner, but the CMA found it wasn’t sticking to the deal and so took it to court.

And now, the High Court has agreed with the CMA that the firms breached the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations (PTRs) which “highlights the importance of travel firms respecting consumers’ refund rights”.

As Truly Travel and Alpha Holidays have gone into liquidation, Teletext Holidays or Alpharooms package travel customers with outstanding refunds should submit a claim to the Travel Trust Association.

The online form differs for Truly Travel customers and Alpha Holiday customers.

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “This should be a wake-up call to any business that thinks that it doesn’t need to honour customers’ refund rights. Today’s ruling confirms the CMA’s view that Teletext Holidays and Alpharooms broke the law by not providing the refunds customers were due within 14 days for cancelled package holidays.

“While this ruling comes after these firms have been placed in liquidation, we hope the decision will make it easier for people to get their money back for a cancelled holiday in the future. Customers of Teletext Holidays and Alpharooms with outstanding refunds should get in touch with the Travel Trust Association.”

The declaration from the High Court follows an uncontested hearing on the papers which took place on 22 February 2022.

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