Teletext Holidays could face legal action after failing to return more than £7million in refunds to customers, according to the competition watchdog.
The holiday firm has failed to address complaints from hundreds of customers who claim they have not received refunds on cancelled trips within 14 days as required by law, the Competition and Markets Authority said.
It said it wrote to Truly Holdings Ltd, which operates Teletext Holidays, in March, setting out its concerns and giving it ‘an opportunity to address them’.
The regulator told the firm it could avoid potential court action by signing formal commitments to refund affected consumers and ensure compliance with package travel regulations.
Teletext Holidays has been told it faces legal action if it doesn’t refund its customers soon
But the company has not agreed to provide undertakings ‘that are sufficient to address the CMA’s concerns’, according to the regulator.
Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: ‘There must be no more delays to Teletext refunding customers for holidays they could not take because of the pandemic.
‘It is unacceptable that many have already waited months for the refunds they are legally entitled to.
‘We take very seriously the ongoing failure of Teletext Holidays to meet its obligations.
‘The firm must now comply with the law and commit to refunding its customers. If it does not do so, we will not hesitate to pursue this case in court.’
This is Money has been contacted by a number of frustrated Teletext Holiday customers who have been waiting over a year to get their money back.
One reader, Gary, said: ‘We are owed £3,200 by Teletext Holidays and it’s been 12 months now. I have telephoned and emailed them numerous times, to no avail.’
Another customer, Ian, added: ‘In March last year I booked an all inclusive holiday with Teletext Holidays. This was cancelled due to Covid. Despite repeated calls and emails they still refuse to refund me.’
A number of Teletext Holidays customers told This is Money they were still waiting for refunds
Meanwhile, in February 2020, Jenni booked a short break to Ibiza for herself, her husband and a couple of friends.
It was cancelled in April of the same year, but she and her friends are still yet to receive a refund.
She said: ‘I have found this whole situation very stressful, as I cannot afford to repay my friend for her flights until I have been paid back by Teletext Holidays.’
However, it seems these customers and many others are still waiting for their refunds.
Many frustrated consumers have taken to social media to voice their concern.
This Twitter user said they had been waiting for a response from Teletext for over 3 months
Another user said they had been waiting a year for a refund and have heard nothing
One customer said they have found it incredibly difficult to get through to Teletext Holidays
A spokesperson for Teletext Holidays has replied to the CMA’s warning: ‘Teletext Holidays have consistently stated our commitment to refund all customers as quickly and practically as possible.
‘We have been in continuous dialogue with the CMA providing evidence of why the refund process has been delayed.
‘We have also provided real-time plans on how and when we can refund all customers. Therefore, we are extremely disappointed with today’s CMA announcement that seemingly ignores the reality of the challenges we face through no fault of our own.
‘The business has already refunded the vast majority of customers and the proposals submitted to CMA detail when we can complete the remaining refunds due.
‘We are absolutely committed to repaying all our customers whose holidays were cancelled due to the pandemic, we have committed to refunding all new customers within 14 days of any new booking, and we will continue to work with the CMA to seek support and agreement to complete this process.’
It added it would like to sincerely apologise to our customers for the delay in processing their refunds at this time.
Teletext is not the only firm to have faced criticism since the coronavirus pandemic, with many customers claiming it has taken them over a year to receive a refund from their holiday provider.
In February, lastminute.com paid out £1million to thousands of customers whose holidays were cancelled because of Covid-19, but only after being threatened with court action.
Go To Gate has also been called out for its slow refund process with many saying it was near impossible to get in touch with the company.
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