Competition watchdog secures refunds commitment from PCR test provider

A PCR Covid-19 travel tests provider has committed to improve a number of its practices and ensure that refunds due to customers have been paid following a probe by the competition watchdog.

Dante Labs will complete its review of complaints from the summer and ensure people have received refunds if they tried to cancel or their test kits or results were provided late.

The company has refunded a number of customers and all outstanding refunds must be paid within 21 days, according to the Competition and Markets Authority.

Dante Labs will also strengthen the protections for customers in its terms and conditions, improve customer service and provide clearer product information.

The company pledged to:

  • Advertise clear information about the services it provides, including the timeframes expected for test results to be delivered.
  • Ensure customers know their rights for cancellations and refunds.
  • Maintain a proper customer service system, which includes responding to complaints and queries in a helpful and timely way.
  • Provide the CMA with update reports on its progress implementing all changes.

The CMA started an investigation into Dante labs in September, saying it had concerns that some practices and/or contract terms used may breach consumer law.

The investigation is part of a wider work by the CMA to protect consumers buying PCR tests.

CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: “No PCR testing firm is exempt from the rules and our action to secure these refunds and other changes shows that we will not tolerate poor business practices.

“While travel rules to the UK may have changed, those people who still require PCR tests to travel abroad shouldn’t have to waste money on late results or tests that don’t arrive.

“It is crucial that all PCR providers treat people fairly, being clear on price and timings and providing refunds where they are due.”

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