United Kingdom

Under-fire Virgin Holidays promises to refund £203m to customers

Virgin Holidays has promised to refund all customers whose packages were cancelled due to coronavirus – after hundreds of complaints over delayed payments.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigated it after being alerted that some consumers were waiting 'an unreasonably long time' to get their money back, with some being told it would take 120 days.

Virgin Holidays has received 53,000 refund requests since March 1, totalling £203million. The CMA has received formal commitments that all will be processed 'without undue delay'.

Taking the Mickey: Refunds for trips to Disney World were taking 'an unreasonably long time'

Holidays cancelled up to the end of August will be repaid by October 30, while those cancelled last month or this month repaid by November 20.

Trips cancelled from next month will be refunded within 14 days. The CMA warned that it is prepared to take the company to court if these timescales are not met.

Chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: '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.'

Virgin Holidays said Covid had led to extraordinary pressure for package holiday businesses. 

There were 'significant challenges in the processing of refunds' due to an unprecedented volume of requests, and staffing and system constraints. 

It added: 'We are now 98 per cent through the refund queue.'

Football news:

Conor: Rest in peace, Diego
Some love Ronaldo, some love Messi, but they can't even dream of the adoration that Maradona received. Ardiles about Diego
Argentina is drowning in tears. Maradona's coffin displayed in the presidential Palace
Dimitar Berbatov: Ramos will do well at Manchester United. Tiago Silva has proved that it is never too late to move to the Premier League
Maradona's lawyer: the Ambulance drove for half an hour. For 12 hours, my friend was left without medical supervision. Criminal idiocy
Gennady Orlov: I Don't agree that Messi is more talented than Maradona. Leo did not become the leader of Argentina
Wilshire about the lack of Ozil in the application of Arsenal: I'm surprised. He can play for any club in the Premier League