Is this legal? Cancellation policy

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Beena
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Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Beena »

I've booked a holiday let for J's 40th later next month. It's only for a couple of days and a quick drive away (our current rental isn't big enough for guests) so I stupidly didn't bother with insurance.

They've emailed to cancel and with it attached a whole new Covid-19 cancellation policy. Their original cancellation gave a full refund or superior accomodation. This new one is a fraction of monies paid - minus assorted admin fees. Or credit against next year, but you need to book now, pay additional admin fees upfront and it all becomes non-refundable.

There's a lovely line in it which reads 'don't ask for a full refund as you won't get it', which has got my back up more than anything.

Can they just whip a new cancellation policy out of their backsides like that? The T&C's I signed has a clause that would cover cancellation in the event of an emergency (fire, flood, natural disaster).

Ella77
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Ella77 »

No, they can’t. Did you pay by credit card?

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Beatrix
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Beatrix »

No that sounds like they’re desperate, perhaps not unsurprisingly, but there are ways of handling these situations and they aren’t ambushing someone with new terms. The original ts and cs at the time of booking should stand.

smalex
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by smalex »

FFS! Honestly. I'm no expert but No! Otherwise everyone could issue new cancellation policies after the fact when it suited them.

smalex
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by smalex »

Beatrix wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:20 am
No that sounds like they’re desperate, perhaps not unsurprisingly, but there are ways of handling these situations and they aren’t ambushing someone with new terms. The original ts and cs at the time of booking should stand.
That's the thing, isn't, variously we're all suffering- make contact, ask for some leeway, if they need it. I'd have absolutely no sympathy when now they've tried to pull this one.

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Beena
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Beena »

Yes to the credit card. And thanks. I'm exhausted and doubting myself.

I'd actually written off the cost until I saw their email. It's the full admin fees on eveything that are getting me. FFS.

Ella77
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Ella77 »

Good. Have a look on MSE for Section 75 claims and see if you qualify.

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Lily
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Lily »

The cheek of that lot! They are assuming you won't put up a fight.

There are a lot of small businesses struggling and I understand that, but some places are taking the piss. A load of us were due to all go to a hotel next weekend which is now closed (Holiday Inn Express, Cambridge). A lot of us booked non-refundable rooms through Booking.com who said "Sorry the hotel say you can't get a refund". However the hotel are giving a different story and saying that they will refund. Booking.com are basically trying to keep their (quite extensive) commission so it's really put me off using them again.
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Skips
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Skips »

Hotels.com have refunded me for my partially paid for with clubcard vouchers, non refundable, non moveable holiday. I'll lose the clubcard part (fine, I'll take that on the chin), but if they can refund the bit I paid, I don't see why others can't.

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Morganna
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Morganna »

I booked a weekend away in November, and paid a 10% deposit. If I cancel before x date (can't remember, but further down the line) I can get 50% back, but after that I have to pay all of it. This is also through Booking.com. The bill is about £400. I don't know whether to cancel and 'only' be billed the 50%, but lose the other half, or wait and see what November brings so risk the lot.

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Skips
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Skips »

I'd wait and see, that's so far off you might be ok.

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Slanket
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Slanket »

This is definitely not legal! It's also surprising given the current circumstances. We have a couple of short term let properties and our management company have immediately released us from our contract until further notice. We did have strict cancellation policies in place but have given immediate refunds for all cancellations as per the advice from the two platforms we advertised on.

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Dandelion
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Dandelion »

It actually is legal. The government are about to announce in the next few days that package travel protection does not apply to Covid-19 bookings. ABTA have written a whole new set of terms and conditions for travel agents and tour operators to follow, and they do not advise that a cash refund is an automatic right -

https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak

Ella77
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Ella77 »

Is it a package though? I thought it was just accommodation.

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Dandelion
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Dandelion »

Even so, the new ABTA rules would stand. I really sucks, but every tour company and airline are now only offering credit. Which means as agents, we can only offer credit. Any refunds previously agreed before the new T&Cs have been frozen for 90 days as the company I work for simply do not have the cash flow to refund everyone (or even pay their staff, apparantly).

It’s an unprecedented situation. I guess the government / ABTA don’t want the entire travel industry to go bust, so they are officially clarifying this with an announcement in the very near future.

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Toast
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Toast »

Is that as of today? BA confirmed my refund yesterday and last week I got a refund from Expedia for two different hotels. Airbnb also gave me a full refund.

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Beena
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Beena »

This isn't an ABTA company though, Dande. It's a lettings agent for private owners.

If they just offered credit, I'd have taken that, but in order to get qualify for credit, they're telling people when they can use it and demanding a further 10% of the cost upfront.

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Skips
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Skips »

Hotels.com confirmed my refund earlier today. I hope I still get that! Although we would probably use a credit at a later date anyway.

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Dandelion
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Dandelion »

No, it has been in place for a week or so. It doesn’t say you can’t get a refund if that’s what the company are offering, but if you are only being offered a credit note then that is within ABTA rules.

Ella77
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Re: Is this legal? Cancellation policy

Post by Ella77 »

That link says this though.
This situation is completely unprecedented, and the Government is urgently reviewing options to introduce temporary changes to regulations that will create a longer window for repaying refunds without affecting the protection provided by an ABTA or ATOL protected holiday.
Sounds like refunds may still be possible?

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