Teletext and its sister brand Alpha Rooms have been ordered by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to refund customers whose packages were cancelled during the pandemic.
An investigation by the CMA found ‘many’ customers are still waiting for their money back even though the law says they should have been refunded within 14 days of cancellation.
The CMA said yesterday that it has written to Teletext “to explain how the company should comply with its obligations”.
Both Teletext and Alpharooms are owned by Truly Holdings and both companies were covered by the CMA’s investigation.
Will I get a refund now?
If your package holiday booking with Teletext and Alpharooms was cancelled, you were due a refund within 14 days under the Package Travel Regulations.
But the CMA said it’s aware that ‘many’ customers haven’t been refunded months after their packages were cancelled.
The CMA has the power to take legal action against Teletext and Alpharooms if it continues to delay or refuse customer refunds.
But so far it has only asked the companies to provide undertakings to refund customers ‘as soon as possible’.
If Teletext and Alpharooms refuse to sign the formal undertakings, or fail to stick to commitments given to the CMA, the body could then take legal action.
Note: the CMA’s investigation only relates to package holiday bookings, not flight-only or room-only bookings.
When does Teletext/Alpharooms have to refund me?
The CMA hasn’t said how quickly it expects Teletext and Alpharooms to clear its refund backlog.
In February, it gave another online travel agent, lastminute.com, seven days to refund hundreds of customers who had been waiting months for their money back.
It also told lastminute.com that it must refund new cancellations within 14 days.
We’re still waiting to hear how long the CMA has given Teletext and Alpharooms to refund customers who’ve been waiting for ages.
Going forward, the CMA has told the companies that they must refund any new cancellations within 14 days, as it did with lastminute.com
What can I do to speed up my refund?
If you paid by credit or debit card, it might be quicker to ask your bank to process a Section 75 claim (for credit cards only) or a chargeback (for both credit and debit card).
But don’t wait too long if claiming a chargeback because you’ve only got a maximum of 120 days after the cancellation.
Many customers say Teletext keeps pushing back the date of their refund – don’t let them fob you off.
If you didn’t pay by card, you could try to get your money back through the small claims court. Some customers have had refunds from Teletext simply after filling out the claim form and sending it to Teletext, giving it seven days to pay up or face legal action.