With news of holiday companies LateRooms.com & Super Break entering administration, many consumers are undoubtedly concerned about the security of their hard-earned holiday money. Questions are raised about what can be done to claim money back and what is the safest way to book some time abroad, without running the risk of our dream getaway going down the drain.
Both LateRooms.com & SuperBreak were part of the Malvern Group, and offered discounted holidays packages, rooms and flights to consumers to various locations in the UK and abroad. Their competitively low pricing and the ability to get a deal to almost anywhere made them popular choices for booking, and many were surprised to wake up to the news that they had gone into administration, with a notice on their website advising their customers what to do next.
The notice that LateRooms.com and Super Break had ceased trading appeared on their website on Friday 2nd August
The website supplies information of the best course of action and what to do in most circumstances. At consumeradvice.scot, we wanted to ensure your consumer rights were explained, as well as the next step if you need to reclaim any costs.
The situation affects different consumers in different ways, depending on whether you are already on holiday, the brand you booked through, and the method of payment you used when booking. You should refer to the booking confirmation documentation to confirm the specific company you booked through and the method of payment.
If you are already on holiday
Booking through Late Rooms means that there shouldn’t be any disruption as the hotel will have either been paid in advance or the intention was for the payment to be taken directly at the property.
ATOL-Protected Superbreak Package – The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says that the return flight should still be valid and that consumers should check-in via the airline as normal. The CAA is speaking with providers to guarantee the services booked.
ABTA-protected Superbreak Package – As the package does not include a flight, the consumer should continue with the trip as planned.
SuperBreak Packages – Additional Information
If you are on a SuperBreak package holiday, there may be a chance that the hotel or other provider of a service may request the you pay again. There are ways of claiming this back.
ATOL-protected – Keep receipts and ensure this shows the method of payment and amount. A refund can be reclaimed through the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) website Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) website. There is a Helpline for anyone overseas currently which can be reached by calling – 0333 103 6350.
ABTA-protected – ABTA Will pay for the hotel directly if you are asked to pay again. There is a helpline that you can call, should you be asked by the hotel to pay again – 0203 117 0553.
Those going on holiday in the future (SuperBreak booking)
If the package includes a flight – If the package includes a flight, it will be covered by the ATOL scheme – the ATOL certificate should be included with the booking documents.
There are two options in this circumstance –
- You can choose not to go on holiday and claim a full refund
- You can go as planned – the hotel may charge you again, but this can be reclaimed using the above process.
If the booking is for a Super Break package holiday without a flight
ABTA doesn’t guarantee the booking of a replacement holiday, however you should be able to claim a refund. The process differs depending on the method of payment –
- If you paid by credit or debit card are advised by ABTA to claim via bank or Credit Card provider. This is done using claim forms supplied by ABTA – If you paid with a Debit Card CLICK HERE. If you paid by Credit Card – CLICK HERE.
If the holiday cost OVER £100, and was purchased on a credit card, then it may be covered by law under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Anything less than £100, may be able to be claimed back from the card company through the chargeback scheme.
Any other method of payment can be claimed back directly through ABTA.
Hotel only via Super Break
All bookings have been cancelled and there is no ATOL / ABTA protection.
Anything paid on credit or debit card should be attempted to be reclaimed through the bank. Anything on a credit card in excess of £100, may be eligible for refund through the chargeback scheme through the credit card company.
Failing these other methods, the consumer can check with travel insurance to see if they are covered but failing this, a claim can be made to the administrators directly (KPMG), although this may take some time to be processed bearing in mind that there will be multiple creditors requesting refunds at the same time.
Future Late Rooms booking
If you have booked, but not yet travelled, then the reservation should be secure. It is always best to check with the hotel that everything is OK in advance of travelling before you go. With Late Rooms, the consumer is always supposed to pay with the accommodation provider directly on arrival.
If the payment has already been made and you are advised that the reservation is no longer valid, you should be advised to see if you can claim a refund through your credit or debit card provider, due to the fact you have paid for a service that wasn’t provided. As previously mentioned, when paying on a credit card for a purchase over £100, then Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act and chargeback processes may be applicable.
Cancelled car hire, activities etc
If you have made a booking through Super Break for other items, such as trips, tickets to attractions and experiences or car hire these may not be honoured by the service provider.
The first step should be to get in contact with the supplier of the hire car, or provider of the experience and see if you can change the booking or get a refund.
If this does not work, then you may be able to make a claim through Section 75 of the consumer Credit Act if you paid for the Super Break holiday using a credit card and it cost in excess of £100.
Super Break gift vouchers will no longer be valid. If you have purchased these, you can attempt to claim those paid by credit card back through Section 75. This is only applicable to individual items in excess of the £100, and a collective cost of £100 is not applicable. The alternative if less than £100 has been paid on a debit card is to attempt to claim through your bank Chargeback scheme.
TOP TIPS FOR MORE SECURE HOLIDAY BOOKING
- Book your holiday on a Credit Card – Should the unexpected happen and your travel provider goes into administration, you can claim back through the Consumer Credit Act Section 75.
- Always ensure that your bookings are ABTA or ATOL protected – These bodies help to ensure you get what you pay for and help in situations where travel providers go into administration.
- Your bank may be able to help – If you have booked using your debit card, and it is within 120 days, you can use Chargeback on any items purchased. Contact your bank for more information.
If you would like more advice on claiming back for cancelled holidays, or in relation to anything related to your consumer rights, you can contact consumeradvice.scot on 0808 164 6000. We are open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. You can follow us on social media – Twitter: @advicedotscot and Facebook at www.facebook.com/advice.scot, Instagram: @advice.scot, or get ahead by visiting our knowledge centre at www.consumeradvice.scot.