CMA and staycations

By | Category: Travel news

Most of the uproar about holiday companies not refunding cash to clients has involved overseas holidays.

Cancelled holidays have legal protection for refunds in most cases

Little has been heard publically at least about those companies providing UK holidays other than news of the unfortunate collapse of Shearings which may have left over 60,000 out of pocket – at least temporarily.

But one of the largest holiday companies (it claims to have 3.2 million customers per year) – Vacation Rentals – which is part of the Azure holding company has agreed, after discussions with the Competition and Markets Authority, (CMA) that it will refund monies to clients.

This isn’t Vacation Rentals being generous or kind to its customers. It appears that the CMA reminded the company what the law was and told it that it would go to law if the company didn’t fulfil its legal obligations.

Vacation Rentals saw the error of its ways.

What damage it has done to its customer relationship is another matter and some customers will be reluctant to book with the company in the future.

And we are talking about a substantial player in the staycations market. It owns Hoseasons, (1.75 million customers per year on its own) Cottages.com, Landel and a raft of brands that end “county cottages” but have words like, English, Irish, Welsh and, Scottish in front of them. Then there is another series of brands with words like Cumbria, Northumbrian, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Wales and Scottish in front of the word “cottage.” It also owns Blue Chip Holidays, Chez Nous and Mulberry Cottages.

The CMA says that it has received more than 4,500 complaints about staycations and the non-refunding of monies. It must be hoping that its actions over Vacation Rentals will be sufficient for those other companies withholding payments to refund.

You do not have to take a refund. You could opt to postpone your holiday to another date or even accept a credit voucher but, if you opt for the latter, and the company goes bust you might be out of pocket. Rolling the holiday forward does help the holiday company but check whether it has insurance or bonding first. Just in case!

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