Travel company’s ‘free cancellation’ claim was misleading

By Lisa James
Home » Travel company’s ‘free cancellation’ claim was misleading

Holiday Extras has been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority for wrongly claiming it offered free cancellation on an airport parking offer.

A customer looking through listings for parking at Stansted Airport on the site clicked on a text box saying ‘Flextras: Free Cancellation’, which linked to a pop-up box  that said: “FLEXTRAS: FREE CANCELLATION is our most flexible option. You can amend or cancel your booking up to your booked arrival time, without any fees.”

A further link went to on to explain that refunds within seven days of booking would be issued as a voucher, which could be exchanged for a cash refund within 14 days of receipt.

The wording added that, for cancellations made seven or more days after the booking, £10 of the refund would be withheld and saved to the customer’s account to be put towards a future booking.

It added: “You can cancel your booking for a voucher right up to your booked arrival date and time. We are unable to issue a cash refund for bookings cancelled on the arrival date.”

The customer complained to the ASA that the claim ‘free cancellation’, seen on 3 March, was misleading.

Holiday Extras argued that to explain the voucher provision on the first page of booking would cause more confusion than benefit and it was fair and reasonable for that information to appear in the terms and conditions.

The terms were implemented as a safeguard against a small number of customers making a large number of bookings and then cancelling at the last minute, the company claimed.

However, the ASA said customers would assume they would be able to cancel or amend a booking until their booked arrival time without incurring a financial penalty and be refunded in full.

Holiday Extras was told to ensure future adverts do not mislead and to include information clearly and prominently.

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