Holiday refund

Any consumer rights bods out there who could advise?

5 messages
26/01/2011 at 13:13

Last April, I booked a family skiing holiday for the February half term 2011.  I'm currently unwell, so I've contacted the holiday company and asked them to put it back to April, which they've done.  That bit's fine.

The problem is re payment. 

I paid the original holiday, in full, last November.  The new holiday is cheaper, so I've asked them to refund the difference.  They are so far refusing, saying that there "may be changes to the holiday price in the meantime" so "they are keeping my money (around £1000) in the event that prices may change.

IMHO that's a load of bollox.

I'm going to take it up with them, but before I do, wondered if any of you lot had anything that you could quote on consumer rights etc or point me in the direction of relevant websites etc.

I'm trying to get info and have contacted my local CAB, but I have to wait for a reply, so thought I'd make use of the time to ask around a bit.

Ta muchly.

26/01/2011 at 13:18

That's a bit much

Don't have any knowledge to advise you with, though! 

26/01/2011 at 13:32
I can't offer any specific advice but I see 2 points here

could you not have cancelled the holiday under an insurance policy due to illness? that would have given you a near enough full refund (bar excess) and you could have re-booked for a lower price one.

the company needn't have played ball with the date move (unless they say they are happy to do that under their terms) so have gone out of their way to help. you need to recognise that when negotiating with them. they are clearly playing cautious holding your money although it seems rather a large amount to cover "contingencies". see if they will hold a much smaller sum

I'd talk to them first and then based on what they say, take advice
26/01/2011 at 13:40
Have you checked the terms and conditions of your original booking? It may state in there whether they reserve the right to withhold your payment for various listed reasons. My way of looking at it would be to determine whether the holiday was cancelled and rebooked or whether they are simply varying the terms of the original holiday. If the former, then it seems reasonable to assume repayment of the difference less perhaps an administration fee. They are perfectly at liberty to resell the original holiday after all so have suffered no loss in your cancelling. If the latter, then it probably depends on what it says in the Ts and Cs.
26/01/2011 at 19:57

Thanks for your replies.

I checked the T + C of both holiday booking and insurance before contacting holiday company as I'm a bit stuck. 

The insurance company needs medical confirmation of "unfit to travel" which my GP can't supply at the moment as my condition is undiagnosed and I'm currently undergoing tests, although I know that I'm not fit to ski.  The situation is complicated by the fact that I went to my GP early December with this problem, it was mis-diagnosed (I was aware of potential problem re skiing) so an entire month was lost in trying to sort the illness out.  I don't have private medical cover and there isn't enough time to get the tests done, check the results, possibly consultant follow up AND cancel / amend  the holiday booking.

I approached the holiday company, explained the circs and asked what they'd suggest.  It was their suggestion to move the booking back in this way.  They have charged me an admin fee for doing so, which I've happily paid - I've paid everything that they've asked for and we've had to downgrade our rooms as the ones we had originally booked are apparently not available (even though the chalet was showing as empty when I contacted them).

The holiday T + C assume that for an amendment, it will cost more, so there's mention of paying additional amounts, nothing about refunds.  It is an unusual set of circs, but it seems to me that if I've paid everything that they've asked for, in full, then they should refund the difference. 

I'd have taken it in credit against a holiday next year if they'd offered, but to just hold it, for no apparent reason. . .


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