Saturday, 24 October 2020

Virgin Holidays must refund customers or face a legal battle

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been snowed under with complaints regarding Virgin Holidays and its refund procedure. Many customers, it said, were not getting refunds or had been forced to wait for an "unreasonably long time" to get their money back from Virgin. 

The holiday company has now been ordered to meet refund deadlines or face a high court legal fight with the regulator. By law, package holidays cancelled by an operator should be refunded within 14 days, however, the average time for Virgin Holiday customers to get a refund has been three months. 


Virgin Holidays said it had received around 53,000 requests for refunds since the pandemic first started to affected UK travel industry in March this year. The value of refunds owed amounts to approximately £203 million,  which the company doesn't have.   

The number of cancelled holidays and requests for refunds has put the holiday company "extraordinary pressure" but claims it only has around 1,300 claims left to process.  It has since agreed to pay refunds for all holidays cancelled prior to September by 30 October.  Whilst those cancelled in October will be fully refunded before 20th November. 

"Our action means that Virgin Holidays customers should receive all their money back without further delay.  We are continuing to investigate package holidays in relation to the coronavirus crisis. Should we find that any business is not complying with consumer protection law, we won't hesitate to take action." said Andrea Coscelli, chief executive at the CMA.  




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