But, they've placed "conditions" on it; what can you do?
I just wanted to update my stock of letters that Consumers can use, where they have reached an impasse with their travel company.
I have taken one holidaymakers experience and drafted a letter which may help to resolve matters, or, it may require you to seek legal assistance. Many Consumers have now found that making Consumer Complaints is not straight-forward; it is subject to delay, obsfucation and very often a failure to recognise those Consumer Rights.
In any complaint, you have to demonstrate fortitude and a determination to carry on. Whether you realise it or not, once you have made that first complaint, you are already on the first rung of the litigation ladder and most importantly of all, Travel Companies know this!
In this example, the holidaymaker paid for his holiday, literally days before major lockdowns started. The specialist Travel Company must have known what was going on in the destination. They then send him a Credit Refund Note (CRN), in which they set an end date as the date when he could apply for his refund! The holidaymaker has tried to "negotiate" a better result, all to no avail. If he followed their CRN, he would have to wait nearly 365 days for his refund! They have also tried to get him to agree to a new set of Ts&Cs and I've noted that their own Ts&Cs appear to potentially defeat their obligations under the Package Travel & Linked Travel Arrangements 2018.
It's a difficult situation which the courts would have to pull apart and try to find a reasonable route through this "created" quagmire.
The key word here is "reasonable"!
Yes there are clear timeframes within Consumer Rights, but, this is an unprecedented situation and therefore I would suggest that your own approach should also be "reasonable". I think that the correct way to deal with this is for the Travel Company to deliver your refund, within 45 days of the date your holiday was due to start. You can do this without prejudicing your Consumer Rights - it's a temporary fix; it's a "reasonable' fix and one the courts I would suggest, would be attracted to.
So, think about your situation.
Consider this letter.
Change the letter to match your circumstances.
Make sure you send a hard copy to your travel company.
Importantly, remove my Copyright notice for the letter (this is inserted because I am publishing it and I am sending a warning to those who would seek to pass the letter off as their own - you as a Consumer, affected by this issue, have license to use the letter).
If your Travel Company still insists on maintaining their CRN position, then you will need to seek legal assistance (there are low-cost solutions such as WhichLegal or Citizens Advice).
You can find this letter here.
I hope this works for you!