The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched legal action against Teletext Holidays over the company’s failure to pay refunds on cancelled package holidays.
The CMA announced in May that Teletext parent company Truly Holdings, which also operates Alpharooms.com, had signed undertakings committing to refund customers for holidays cancelled due to the pandemic.
The authority warned in September that it would take Truly Holdings to court unless it took urgent action to process refunds.
But it announced on Monday: “The CMA does not consider Truly Holdings has done enough to provide refunds to package holiday customers with outstanding claims, including recent cancellations, or to make sure it pays all future refunds that are due within the 14 days required by law.
“The CMA has therefore filed proceedings requesting a court order that outstanding refunds be immediately repaid and that, going forward, customers entitled to a refund are repaid within 14 days.”
It noted: “The CMA will be asking the court to order that Truly Holdings puts in place appropriate processes to ensure it complies with the law in the future.”
The CMA also noted it has asked for the claim to be heard quickly.
CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: “Companies must abide by consumer protection law and treat their customers fairly.
“After engaging with Teletext Holidays extensively, we are now requesting a court order to make sure the company immediately pays back the money it still owes to customers and refunds people within 14 days.”
Which? Travel editor Rory Boland said: “Teletext is just one of many holiday providers that have attempted to shirk their legal responsibilities to refund customers for cancelled trips, highlighting the need for industry-wide reform.
“The government must ensure there are better protections for holidaymakers’ money, while the Civil Aviation Authority and Competition and Markets Authority must be given stronger powers to take action against companies that break consumer law – including the ability to impose fines if necessary.”