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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46792
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I booked a holiday with an online company and paid the

Customer Question

I booked a holiday with an online company and paid the deposit over the phone, the cost of the holiday was £1,345 and deposit £200. A week later I received an email asking me to pay balance which I again did over the phone and when asked how much I wanted to pay I said the balance.
Several weeks later I received an email saying I owed money as there had been an error on their systems. On looking at the invoice received I could see that they had cost of holiday £825, deposit £200 and balance £521. Every subsequent invoice had a different amount. I have received the flight tickets and hotel voucher. They
I have spoken with them today and they are adamant that the cost is £1,429 and there fore this is what I need to pay. I have said they are in breach of contract and I wish to have a refund of the £721 I have paid and they are refusing
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

How long after paying the deposit did the company acknowledge the error and request additional payment?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hello BenI received a standard balance overdue mail on the 24th August with no explanation
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

Hi there Sue. Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

Hi there just before I finalise my response - was the cost initially advertised as £1349 and do you have any evidence of that or was it all done over the phone verbally?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Ben I have two emails from them stating price as £1,345. The first was a quote the second as a result of me completing the book online now section. A few hours after completing online phone they called me up to take the deposit
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Sorry I meant online form not phone!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

Thanks and finally do you know when, based on their terms of agreement, they deem a contract to be formed - some may mention this happens when you pay the money, others when you are issued with the tickets, etc

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
That wasn't mentioned in email I will check documents sent after I paid deposit
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The T&Cs say " a contract will exist as soon as we issue our confirmation invoice" the confirmation invoice was received on the 17th saying cost £825!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

Thank you. So under the terms of the agreement you would have entered into a legally binding contract when the confirmation invoice was issued. If that had happened and the incorrect holiday amount was included and this is the amount you had been told during any previous conversations, then that is the amount that you and the company would be contracted to. If it was an error then that is an unfortunate issue for them, you can still hold them to it.

If they refuse to honour the agreement then you should be able to request a refund (as forcing them to honour the holiday, for example if they cancel it, would be difficult). If they refuse to issue a refund then you can consider taking the matter further. You have a couple of options – firstly you can contact any regulatory body they are under, such as ABTA for travel agents and use their complaints procedure. If that does not work then you can consider the small claims court to get your money back – it is a relatively low risk option.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should the matter remain unresolved, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46792
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Ben so to be clear even though the quote was £1,345 the fact that the confirmation invoice said £825 this is the price I can hold them to? I definitely do not have to pay £1,429
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

this would only be the case if these were the same amounts being given to you over time up to the confirmation invoice. If you had different amounts given to you over time then you cannot just concentrate on the confirmation invoice amount as the legally binding one as those mentioned previously will also be taken into consideration. That is where t gets more complex in terms of holding them to a specific amount so it may be best to consider pursuing them for the money back rather than trying to force them to honour any specific amount, which may be difficult to do.

So if they refuse to refund you, then whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:

1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. Before you consider starting legal action you may wish to consider sending a formal statutory demand. This is a legal request which asks the debtor to pay the outstanding debt within 21 days and failure to do so will allow you to bankrupt the debtor (if they are an individual ) or wind up the company (if they are a business). For the relevant forms to serve a statutory demand see here: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-demands/forms-to-issue-a-statutory-demand

4. If you wish to go down the legal route instead of a statutory demand, a claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Ben all I need to know is whether I have to pay the balance they now say is outstanding or can legally demand a refund. My quote was £1.345, the confirmation invoice was £825, however, I did not realise this until 24th August. They are now saying the holiday cost is £1.429
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

You can get a refund, they cannot force you to pay the balance - so if you do not want to pay the balance tey are now saying is due, and you were not aware of this cost because they had sent you the wrong invoice/confirmation then you can pursue them for a refund following the steps above

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Can I hold them to the £825 sent in the confirmation invoice?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

that takes me back to what I aid earlier - just because it was mentioned once, assuming it was done in error, does not give you the automatic right to hold them to it, especially if you were clearly given different figures previously.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi
Kenwood Travel have now agreed that the cost of holiday is £1,345 which was the original quote. However, they are saying they do not have to provide a refund, is this right or am I entitled to a refund?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

If they are honouring the original price then you do not have an automatic right to a refund, unless the contract allowed for such

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