Competition watchdog warns lastminute.com it faces legal action unless it repays more than £1million in refunds to customers whose package holidays were cancelled last year
- Lastminute.com agreed to pay £7million to over 9,000 customers by January 31
- Nearly two weeks after the deadline, it still owes more than £1m to 2,000 people
- Competition and Markets Authority says it faces legal action if it fails to pay out
Lastminute.com faces legal action unless it repays more than £1million in refunds to customers whose package holidays were cancelled in 2020, a competition watchdog has warned.
An announcement from the Competition and Markets Authority today gave an update in the ongoing row over when customers will get their money back, after Covid-19 grounded flights throughout last year.
In December the CMA announced Lastminute.com had signed an agreement committing to pay out more than £7million to more than 9,000 customers.
Those affected were supposed to get their money back by January 31 at the latest, however, Lastminute.com still owes over £1million to 2,600 customers.
Lastminute.com agreed to pay out £7million in refunds to customers by the end of January – nearly two weeks after the deadline, it still owes around £1million to more than 2,000 people
The CMA claims the booking company is ‘in breach of its commitments,’ after telling some package holiday customers to go directly to their airline to get the cost of their flight back.
It said the advice was also ‘against its obligations under the Package Travel Regulations.’
The company has also failed to meet its ongoing commitment to repay all customers entitled to a refund within 14 days of their package holiday being cancelled on or after 3 December 2020.
The CMA has informed Lastminute.com that it will take court action if it does not repay the outstanding refunds within 7 days.
To avoid court action, Lastminute.com must also ensure that customers who book their package holidays from now on will receive a full refund within 14 days where they are legally entitled to their money back following the cancellation of their package holiday.
Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, said: Today’s announcement follows significant action by the CMA in relation to holiday cancellations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The CMA claims the booking company is ‘in breach of its commitments,’ after telling some package holiday customers to go directly to their airline to get the cost of their flight back
‘The CMA has written to over 100 package holiday firms to remind them of their obligations to comply with consumer protection law, and has already secured refund commitments from Virgin Holidays, TUI UK, Sykes Cottages and Vacation Rentals.’
A major survey in December asked travellers who had bookings cancelled by firms whether they had received a full refund.
It showed that just eight per cent of Lastminute.com customers said they’d had a refund from for a cancelled trip.
MailOnline has approached Lastminute.com for a comment.
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