Teletext Holidays is facing court action over the company’s delays in refunding customers for trips that were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK’s competition watchdog has announced.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Tuesday that it had requested a court order stating that consumers with outstanding refunds must be repaid immediately.
The regulator has also called for those entitled to a refund going forward to be paid within the 14 days required by law.
Truly Holidays, the company that operates Teletext Holidays and its sister company Alpharooms.com, formally agreed in May to address failures over timely refunds, but the CMA said it did not believe the firm had done enough to address the issue.
“Companies must abide by consumer protection law and treat their customers fairly,” CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said.
“After engaging with Teletext Holidays extensively, we are now requesting a court order to make sure that the company immediately pays back the money it still owes to customers and refunds people within 14 days going forward.”
The watchdog has also asked for the case to be expedited so it can be heard more quickly due to the potential for ongoing harm to consumers – although it will be up to the court to determine when the case is heard.
It added that the action against Truly Holdings had already resulted in the company paying over £7m owed to package holiday customers.
Agreements from LoveHolidays, Lastminute.com, Virgin Holidays and Tui UK have previously been secured by the watchdog after thousands of customers complained that the companies had failed to refund them for cancelled trips.
The CMA previously threatened to take Truly Holidays to court in September, when it warned that refunds worth a total of £600,000 had not been paid.
At the time, a spokesperson for Teletext Holidays said that the firm was “working as hard as it can to process the remaining refunds”, adding that the company was engaging in a “constructive dialogue” with the watchdog.