Truly Holdings, the parent company of Teletext Holidays and sister company Alpharooms, has collapsed after being unable to pay refunds.
The business is understood to owe in the region of £1.2 million in refunds but has already paid back £10.8 million since Covid-19 struck and is saying that the pandemic is responsible for the collapse. The company has also been required to give up membership of trade body, the Travel Trust Association because it cannot pay its non-travel creditors.
Truly Travel’s liquidation comes shortly after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced it was taking legal action against the company on the grounds of “inadequate progress” on refunding payments for package holidays that had to be canceled because of the pandemic.
In May, the CMA said Truly Travel had agreed to make the refunds, however, because deadlines were not met, then court action was being instigated. It said that the business was in breach of the law and that harm to consumers was ongoing.
To date, some 3,500 people have joined a Facebook pressure group called ‘Alpharooms No Refund Support’.
However, Alpharooms customers have now been told to complete a form for a refund and forward this, together with proof of payment, to the Travel Trust Association. Despite this, many customers are extremely angry about the way they have been treated – some said they had travelled abroad to stay in accommodation they thought was booked and paid for, only to find it had been cancelled. As an accommodation only, Alpharooms offered no ATOL protection, unlike Teletext Holidays.
It is understood some customers of both companies are owed thousands of pounds and have been waiting many months for refunds.
The Travel Trust Association is however now believed to be processing refunds and these will take up to 12 weeks to process.
Those who have booked holidays with Teletext Holidays are expected to have these rebooked by the Travel Trust Association. However Alpharooms bookings will not be rebooked. Those who are currently away are not thought to be affected by the collapse.
It is thought that the liquidation will be the end of the two brands. Teletext Holidays is particularly well established, having been founded in 1992 and was one of the best known holiday providers in the 1980s and 1990s.