The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is taking the owner of Teletext Holidays and Alpharooms.com to court, after accusing it of ‘not doing enough’ to refund customers.
The CMA announced in May that Teletext and Alpharooms’ owner, Truly Holdings Ltd, had signed undertakings committing to refund package holiday customers for bookings that had to be cancelled during the pandemic.
After reviewing Truly Holdings’s final report on progress with repayments, the CMA wrote to Truly Holdings on 16 September stating it would take the company to court unless it took urgent action to improve how it handles refunds to package holiday customers.
The CMA said that, as a result of its action, Truly Holdings has so far paid over £7 million owed to package holiday customers.
But in a statement, the CMA said it ‘does not consider that Truly Holdings has done enough to provide refunds to package holiday customers with outstanding claims, including recent cancellations, or to make sure that it pays all future refunds that are due within the 14 days required by law’.
The CMA has now filed proceedings requesting a court order that outstanding refunds be immediately repaid and that, going forward, customers who are entitled to a refund are repaid within 14 days.
The CMA will also be asking the court to order that Truly Holdings puts in place appropriate processes to ensure it complies with the law in the future.
In a statement, the CMA said: “As the CMA considers that Truly Holdings is in breach of the law and that harm to consumers is ongoing, it is seeking that the claim be expedited, so that the case can be heard more quickly. However, it is for the court to determine a date for the hearing.”
CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli added: “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 that the company immediately pays back the money it still owes to customers and refunds people within 14 days, going forward.”