In a bit of good news for any stricken couples out there who may have had their wedding cancelled because of the coronavirus crisis, the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) has announced that it will be investigating reports of businesses that aren’t respecting cancellation rights during the pandemic.
Weddings and private events have been identified as sectors of particular concern, alongside holiday accommodation and nurseries and childcare providers.
The CMA has seen a rise in numbers of complaints relating to cancellations and refunds, making up four out of five complaints being received by its Covid-19 Taskforce. Concerns include businesses refusing refunds or companies putting pressure on people to accept holiday accommodation vouchers that can only be redeemed during more expensive periods.
The CMA would expect to see a full refund being issued for the majority of consumer contracts where a company has cancelled a contract without any of the promised goods or services being provided.
It would also expect this to be issued if no service is provided if, for example, it has been prevented by lockdown restrictions, or if a consumer cancels or is prevented from receiving a service because of the restrictions in place.
CEO of the CMA Andrea Coscelli said: “The current situation is throwing up challenges for everyone, including businesses, but that does not mean that consumer rights can fall by the wayside. If we find evidence that businesses are failing to comply with consumer protection law then we will get tough.”
Thousands of couples have now been forced to postpone their summer weddings, with many being rescheduled for the coming winter, as well as next summer instead.
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