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Travel site Lastminute.com ‘stopped working over its refund promise’

The travel reserving website Lastminute.com has broken the promise it made to the regulator to pay back all exceptional refunds to holidaymakers, a Which? examination has revealed.

After months of breaking the law on cancelled vacation refunds, the online travel representative was examined by the Competitors and Markets Authority (CMA) in December. Already, its clients were owed more than ₤ 7m in refunds. Lastminute.com then promised the regulator it would reimburse all bundle vacations that were cancelled on or before 2 December 2020 by the end of January 2021.

But despite this dedication, Which?, the customer magazine, has actually discovered evidence some clients still had not gotten refunds by the January due date, with several getting just partial compensations– often, for hotel stays, however not flights.

” The CMA was best to intervene to demand action from the online travel agent, however after failing a few of its clients again, tougher measures need to be taken,” stated Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel. “The CMA needs to reveal the number of customers were not reimbursed in time and take action.”

Under the plan travel and linked travel plans guidelines 2018, if a bundle vacation is cancelled by the supplier, the customer is entitled to a complete refund within 14 days. A bundle vacation is specified as a combination of at least two types of travel scheduled together with one supplier.

A spokesperson for Lastminute.com stated the refund procedure has been “very complicated and hard” due to the pandemic and regular modifications in travel advice guidelines. “We have actually been striving to get the money back through the system and into our client’s pockets as quickly as possible.”

A CMA representative said Lastminute.com should now report to the regulator how it is adhering to the dedications it signed up to and the due dates agreed: “Should it become clear that they have actually breached these endeavors we will consider more action.”

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