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Refunds: Update on CMA COVID-19 Taskforce

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has published a second update from its COVID-19 Taskforce, which monitors and responds to competition and consumer problems arising from the pandemic.

As part of the Taskforce’s work, it is asking the public for information about businesses behaving unfairly, for example regarding cancellations and refunds or retailers charging unjustifiably high prices.

  • From 10 March to 17 May, the CMA has been contacted more than 60,000 times about coronavirus-related issues. Between 11 – 17 May on average 1,200 people a day contacted the CMA.
  • Since mid-April, the majority of complaints received by the CMA have been about unfair practices in relation to cancellations and refunds. Holidays and airlines account for almost 27,000 complaints, three-quarters of the total number of complaints about cancellations and refunds.
  • The CMA has launched a programme of work to investigate whether companies are breaking the law. Three sectors were initially prioritised: holiday accommodation, weddings and events and nurseries. The CMA has opened cases in respect of certain companies in these sectors and further details will be announced in due course. As a result of the rise in the number of complaints, package holidays have now been included in the scope of the investigation.
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