Teletext broke law over refunds, High Court rules

By Steve Jones
28/02/2022
Home » Teletext broke law over refunds, High Court rules

A High Court ruling that Teletext Holidays and Alpharooms broke the law over refund delays is a ‘wake-up call’ to other businesses that don’t honour consumer rights, according to the group that brought the case.

The High Court agreed with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that Truly Travel Ltd and Alpha Holidays Ltd – which traded as Teletext Holidays and Alpharooms respectively – breached the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations (PTRs).

These required them to refund customers for package holidays that were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic within 14 days.

The CMA sought a declaration from the High Court in this case to highlight the importance of travel firms respecting consumers’ refund rights.

The CMA wants to ensure that people can book package holidays with confidence, knowing that their legal rights will be respected if their holiday is cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances outside their control.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, said: “This should be a wake-up call to any business that thinks that it doesn’t need to honour customers’ refund rights.

“Today’s ruling confirms the CMA’s view that Teletext Holidays and Alpharooms broke the law by not providing the refunds customers were due within 14 days for cancelled package holidays.

“While this ruling comes after these firms have been placed in liquidation, we hope the decision will make it easier for people to get their money back for a cancelled holiday in the future.”

The CMA launched court action against Truly Holdings, and its subsidiaries Truly Travel Ltd and Alpha Holidays Ltd, last year, over outstanding refunds owed to customers.

Truly Holdings had previously signed formal commitments, requiring them to use all reasonable endeavours to pay outstanding refunds to passengers in an agreed schedule, and to ensure that all refunds due for cancelled package holidays going forward were paid within 14 days.

When the CMA found that Truly Holdings was not fully abiding by these undertakings, it took the company to court.

The court claim for refunds was stayed – paused indefinitely – after the firms entered liquidation, but the CMA continued to seek a declaration from the court that these companies broke the law. This has resulted in the ruling made today.

Because Truly Travel and Alpha Holidays have been placed into liquidation, Teletext Holidays or Alpharooms package travel customers with outstanding refunds are encouraged to submit a claim to the Travel Trust Association (TTA), which is now responsible for these.

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