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Coronavirus Claims - They just give you the Long Stand


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In theory the Package Trvel Regulations 2018 is a very powerful piece of consumer protection legislation, as is the Section 75 protection which forces a credit card company to bear "joint and several liability" if the retail fails to refund etc. but in practice the big companies are finding administrative and practical ways of failing in their duties - and they all seem to be at it!


I have a travel insurance claim running (with my Nationwide bank account cover, handled by UK Insurance Ltd, which is a part of Direct Line) and they started off by rejecting the claim outright (using spurious excuses, eg Shanghai is notpart of Mainland China) and then changed their tune and have since, for the past three months, been dragging things out by taking endless time to consider a submission and picking every possible nit - for example by asking me to prove that the airline had not refunded what I paid to reserve a seat when I didn't fly, as if they ever would. I have complained to the Financial Services Ombudsman that they are deliberately mishandling the claim but UKInsurance have asked the FOS to exclude the claim from my complaint because it's still being processed.


Another one: we booked a Virgin Holidays trip to Florida for November (2020) but Virgin Atlantic are switching their operations to Heathrow so they have already said that their Gatwick flights will not resume. The Package Travel Regs say that if there is any significant change we are entitled to a refund with 14 days. Virgin Holidays say that changing to Heathrow is not significant and so have refused a refund.


We booked airport parking and a hotel with APH Ltd which normally allows changes and cancellations, but (they say) because of cornoavirus they have siply closed their offices. You can still make new bookings on line but you can't contact them for anything else. they are obviouslt doing this to avoid facing refunds.


So I contact Barclaycard to make a Section 75 Claim because the Virgin and APH booking were done with my credit card. They do provide an on line way of claiming but it takes some finding - and then it told me I couldn't use it (because the February tranactions were too long ago) and I had to ring them up. I spent nearly three hours waiting for someone to answer and gave up. I tried again at 0800 this morning, as they were opening and using the correct number for Disputes and wiated about 20 minutes - to be told that I was talking to someone in Customer Service, who could connect me to Disputes but there would be a long wait. He wouldn't give me an email address but he offered to send me a form by email, which I could then submit. yes please, I said, so he asked me to agree to my data being used (inter alia) for third parties to use for marketing and when i said no then told me he couldn't send me the form. So I said OK, I give permission and send the form - but also connect me to Disputes as well. The form didn't arrive and I was back on the same long waiting connection.


So all these companies are, in one way or another, giving us the long stand. Even if you take them to court (with a seemingly fireproof case) it will only get you a judgement against them and you them need to apply again (and pay again) to get an enforcement order. If its a County Court Order they can continue to delay so you have to pay more to escalate to the High Court, which will send Enforcement Officers to take possession of good etc - but as you will have seen from the TV programmes "Pay up or we'll take it away" that doesn't always work either. And of course it's difficult to do yourself so you would probably have to pay a lawyer to do it.


I was once needing to force a commercial claim against a company and my lawyer said it's dead easy, you just issue a Statutory Order and if they dont pay up you can enforcetheir liquidation - and it only costs £45 to do that. He didn't tell me that the standard lawyerish way of fending off a Statutory Order is to dispute the debt in question by issuing an affidavit - which obliges the claimant to spend over £500 to enter a challenge to that, failing which the debt is written out. And anyway the Government has issued a temporary ban on Statutory Oders against companies, so yo can't do that anyway.


One way or another all these companies who are facing lots of travel claims are just ducking them and there seems to be absolutely nothing you can do about it.


And Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays are both going to be renamed, so presumably that will be a way of starting again leaving all the customer debts unsettled. The only way us customers will be able to exact revenge will be never to book with them again!

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I've discovered another obstacle to claiming from Barclaycard; the only avenue of contact to make a complaint is to ask them to send you an on-line claim form, which allows you to state which transaction you are claiming for (easy enough) and then upload prooofs of what you bought and why you want your money back - which require pretty advanced IT skills. theyc ertainly stretched me. At least they then send you a copy of what you've submitted. They then consider your claim in a similar way to an insurance company and will ask you for additional proofs if they wish. It could take a while.


I'm a Member of Which? so I was able to use their helpful letter-drafting service as well as read their helpful tips about how to go about things. I suspect that Barclaycard's scrutiny is going to take a while but they advised me that you can make claims against your retailer and against the card provider at the same time; you don't have to exhaust one avenue before starting down the other.


Having been refused return of my deposit by Virgin Holidays (who are saying that them changing the departure airport does not constitute a significant change) I might as well fire off a claim letter to their registered company address. Likewise APH Ltd the airport parking company I was using.


They don't make it quick or easy!

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I think the trouble is they are bleeding cash.Slowing the process down will allow inflow of revenue catch up.

I have just purchased some plastic coated metal fencing. When it arrived a lot of the coating had peeled and so the metal rusting. We contacted the e bay company and said a partial credit would be acceptable to us as most of the fencing was still usable. Just received e mail confirming apologies and a full refund and please keep the product.

Some companies try to be helpful.

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