Forced to take court action to get a pandemic refund

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Guest's review of Destination 2 - www.destination2.co.uk

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“Forced to take court action to get a pandemic refund”

Written on: 04/05/2021

Being a customer of Destination2 has been a very bad experience. We made a booking online for a hotel stay which couldn’t go ahead because of the pandemic. Our repeated attempts to reach the Company for information on our booking failed because their after-sales phone lines remained closed and all our emails to them were ignored. Just 4 days before we were due to travel they sent us a credit note valid for bookings only until 31 December 2020.
Our group wasn’t in a position to make new plans before the credit note expiry date, and in any case it was clear that travel would remain very uncertain well beyond this point so we rejected it and asked for a refund instead which, after a long delay, Destination2 refused.
The Company’s hotel-only contract terms are very restrictive, can be varied without notice at any time, and appear to be stacked heavily in their favour. They said their terms excluded liability in a pandemic but the Hotel and the intermediary agent had confirmed to us that Destination2 hadn’t been charged for our booking so the their refusal to refund us seemed very unfair in the light of this, and it was also at odds with The Competition & Markets Authority’s Covid-19 guidance and with our understanding of the Consumer Rights Act.
Destination2 said if we didn’t want to accept their credit note we should claim on our travel insurance but this also seemed unfair because they would then keep all of our money with no outlay on their part – great for them of course, but bad for us as ultimately this would increase travel insurance premiums.
Destination2 doesn’t belong to any industry body or other regulator so with nowhere else to turn we filed an online money claim against them in the County Court. Because of Covid-19 backlogs the hearing was delayed but as the court date finally approached, and almost a year after we had paid them the full balance, Destination2 phoned us to refund our booking and settle the action.
Destination2’s emails were very curt and showed no interest in building goodwill or generating repeat bookings. The Company appeared to have just one aim and that was to retain our money permanently. The bad experience we’ve had with them has significantly damaged our trust in the travel industry and we’ll now be much more careful with our bookings in future and will do far more research before handing over our money. We will never book with Destination2 again or recommend them to anyone.

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