The Teletext Holidays customers who say they've STILL not had refunds despite threats of legal action from the watchdog

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Hundreds of customers are still awaiting refunds from Teletext Holidays – despite the travel firm being threatened with legal action by the regulator for its lack of action.

The Competition and Markets Authority said this week it is still concerned that some customers have not been repaid within the 14 days required by the law adding, despite some receiving their money back, too many have been left waiting longer for the refunds due to them. 

It has written to notify Truly Holdings, owner of Teletext Holidays, to say it will take court action unless the firm takes immediate steps to rectify the situation and to ensure that, in the future, customers who are entitled to a refund are repaid in the timeframe specified by law. 

Since the CMA initially called out Teletext in May, scores of readers have got in touch with This is Money to say they are still waiting on a pay out, many of whom are owed thousands of pounds.

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Aside from not receiving a refund, others have claimed they are struggling to get in touch with the company with some kept on the phone for hours at a time.

This follows on from earlier in the year, when we reported that hundreds of customers were collectively owed more than a quarter of a million pounds from the holiday firm.  

While there were many delays from other firms due to the coronavirus pandemic, Teletext has been named as one of the firms taking the longest. 

As a result, Teletext Holidays were threatened with legal action by the Competition and Markets Authority after failing to return more than £7million in refunds to customers.

This is Money spoke to a handful of the hundreds who have been in touch about their problems. 

One reader, Jill, had a holiday booked with Teletext but saw on Facebook the hotel she was due to stay at in Kos had closed its doors for the time she was due to stay and for the rest of the season.

Jill said: ‘Teletext did not inform me about the hotel closing so I contacted them and must have spent two hours on hold trying to get through only to be told the hotel is open and my holiday was still going ahead.

‘I proceeded to go down the Section 75 route of claiming my £990 back. At first, I received my money but then to my horror Teletext appealed it and claimed it back. 

‘I asked the card provider on what grounds and Teletext Holidays said it is “a third party” and owes me nothing.’

Jill is now not sure how to proceed and has been left with no holiday – and no refund. 

Other customers are waiting for thousands of pounds back.  

Customer, Craig, said: ‘We originally booked a holiday for my family to Malta in 2019, planning to travel at the end of May 2020 and costing £8,120. Due to Covid, this was cancelled. 

‘We wanted a refund but Teletext said this wasn’t possible so we rebooked for the same time the following year but the holiday was £862.70 cheaper. Teletext issued the difference back to us as flight vouchers.

‘A year later the holiday was cancelled again. At this time I was adamant that I wanted a full refund as Teletext had been holding a lot of our money.

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‘When calling multiple times, where wait times exceeded four hours, we finally got through to someone who said they would refund the £7,257.30 but not the amount from the vouchers.

‘The following day I spoke to someone who confirmed the full amount would be refunded but said it would be in two separate payments.

‘After waiting three months, we only received a refund for the voucher amount and have since not had any more information about getting our full refund back.’

Another customer, Natalie, was due to travel to Faro with two friends in October 2020 but this was cancelled due to the pandemic. 

She was told she could apply for a refund for the £1,005 as of January 2021 which she did. However, she still hasn’t received this and it has been nearly a year since she was due to travel.  

This is Money got in touch with Teletext to ask the firm why these customers – and many others – had received no refund yet. 

Fortunately, it said the three above customers had now been fully refunded – but it is still working on paying other passengers back.  

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What was Teletext’s response? 

A spokesperson for the firm said: ‘We are happy to advise the three customers have been refunded today.

‘As a result of the impact of Covid-19 on travel, Truly Holdings Limited was forced to cancel many of our customers’ package holidays.’

It said that in line with its commitment to the CMA to refund all package holiday customers in the UK whose bookings were affected as a result of Covid-19, it agreed to pay £7.79million in refunds to 6,431 customers before 31 August 2021. 

To date, it says it has refunded £7.2million to over 5,790 customers. This represents 94 per cent of the amount due a refund under the Package Travel Regulations and over 92 per cent of customers. 

The spokesperson added: ‘The team is continuing to work hard, and as swiftly as possible, to process the refunds due under the Package Travel Regulations to our remaining customers. We have contacted every customer eligible for a refund by email, phone or both. 

‘Where we have not issued a refund, it is because we await information – typically bank details – from the lead name on the booking. We need this information to enable us to make the refund.

‘Unfortunately, some customers have either not responded to our contact, have given inaccurate details or have, in fact, already been refunded but have not, for example, checked their credit card statement to know that.

‘We are currently engaged in a constructive dialogue with the CMA as to how best to engage with those customers who have, to date, failed to provide us with their bank details. We will vigorously pursue any strategy agreed with the CMA.’ 

Are you still waiting for a refund?

Teletext Holidays said it is asking customers who are still waiting for a refund to contact it directly from the email address they used to make their booking on covidwebform@trulytravel.com with their booking reference number to enable it to process their refund. 

It said if it needs more information, it will request it. Once the necessary details are received, the customers will be refunded. 

It added that some customers are not covered by the Undertakings, such as accommodation only. 

However, Teletext said its team is working through each refund request to ensure anyone who is entitled to a refund receives one.  

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But there are other steps you can take to try and get your money back. 

1) You don’t have to accept a credit note: Firstly, it is important to note that if your package holiday was cancelled, you don’t have to accept a refund credit note from the company.

You also do not have to rebook. Legally, you are entitled to a refund. If a firm says otherwise, make clear to them that you know your rights. 

2) Claim back through your card provider: Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, credit card providers may be liable when a product or service is not provided, if customers have paid more than £100 and less than £30,000. 

There is no time limit for claiming back via this method. 

If your credit card firm is not refunding you and you believe its reasons are unfair, you can take them to the Financial Ombudsman. 

3) Escalate the problem via an adjudication scheme: Many of the major airlines including EasyJet and Ryanair are members of AviationADR whilst British Airways is a member of CEDR.

These schemes are Alternative Dispute Resolution programmes which help resolve disputes between passengers and airlines or airports. 

It can ensure that its members issue refunds or take steps such as issuing a formal apology.   

4) Make a claim with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA): Unhappy customers can also complain to the CAA as well as make a claim if a booking has failed.

However, only customers of ATOL members can use this service. Whilst most are, Teletext Holidays is one such company that isn’t.  

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