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We redeemed travel gift vouchers (marked cannot to be redeemed

Customer Question

We redeemed travel gift vouchers (marked cannot to be redeemed for cash) following our wedding for a new year break with a local company. We then had notification that due to low numbers that holiday was cancelled and we were reimbursed cash and the balance voucher for voucher value. We feel we are being held to ransome as the vouchers were redeemed not for cash but for a holiday which did not happen. Is this acceptable or does goodwill and customer care come into it somewhere rather than a legal obligation to refund vouchers for cash for a holiday they failed to deliver?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

What specifically were you hoping for as a resolution?

JACUSTOMER-yb6rk644- :

I would prefer cash back, rather than feel I am being held to ransom to use this company again. In my view the original voucers were not redeemed for cash rather for a holiday which they failed to deliver and due to their attitude there is no way I would use this company again, in fact I'd rather rip the vouchers up. I need a valid argument to put to them. Thanks

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry for the delay, with Christmas in the way we have not been online much. Whilst I understand your position, we are really talking about a moral obligation here, which unfortunately has no standing in law. As far as your legal position is concerned, this is a purely contractual matter, which would be governed by the terms of the agreements you entered into, and whilst goodwill or good customer care are what you may try and rely on I am afraid it will be just that - goodwill and you are entirely relying on the company's discretion to offer cash back instead of vouchers.

However, from a legal point of view they are only obliged to refund you in the way that you paid, which in your case was vouchers. I agree that you did not get the holiday you booked with them, but you also need to check the booking conditions and I would guess there was never a guarantee that any booking will always be satisfied and there would have been some clause saying that cancellations can take place. It is still important to check these to see exactly what your rights under contract are.

However, legally they only have to reimburse you in the way you paid for the holiday, with any other method being entirely at their discretion. Whilst threats of taking this to court or reporting to Trading Standards can be used as a negotiating tool, they do not have to agree to this if they do not want to.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you wanted to hear but I hope you understand I have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands and sometimes this does unfortunately mean delivering bad news. Please let me know if you need me to clarify anything?

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.

Hello,

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Thank you,
Nicola

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