LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s competition regulator said it has opened investigations into thousands of complaints about companies refusing to pay refunds for cancelled weddings and other events during the coronavirus pandemic.
Britain has been in lockdown since March, forcing people to stay at home and only undertake essential travel, with no date yet on when the restrictions will be lifted.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said its taskforce was seeing increasing numbers of complaints about cancellations and refunds, with people pressured to accept vouchers for holiday accommodation that can only be used during a more expensive period.
Other complaints received include wedding venues refusing to refund any money and telling people to claim on their insurance, and nurseries asking people to pay very high sums to keep a place open for their child.
“The CMA will tackle these areas as a priority and then move on to examine other sectors, based on the information received by the CMA COVID-19 Taskforce,” the CMA said in a statement on Thursday.
“If we find evidence that businesses are failing to comply with consumer protection law then we will take tough enforcement action to protect those rights,” the CMA’s Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said.
Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Maiya Keidan and David Clarke