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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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A holiday promotion company invited me to spend a free weekend

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A holiday promotion company invited me to spend a free weekend in Bournemouth in return for attending one of their presentations. They asked for the hotel fee (£195)as a deposit to ensure my attendance. I attended their presentation but declined their services and they are now making every excuse imaginable to delay refund of my deposit. They claim that a third party handles their deposits and it is beyond their control. I have stated that my contract was with them, not the third party. Am I correct and, if so, what can I do to get my money back?

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Was there any mention in any agreement you had with them about the third party's involvement or were there any conditions governing the return of your deposit?


No. They assured me that my deposit would be returned promptly and there was no mention of a third party being involved in the process. My deposit was paid via credit card and their name was shown on my credit card statement as the recipient

Ben Jones :

You are correct that any contract would be between you and the holiday company. They may be using a third party company to hold or process the deposit but that would not affect your ability to claim the deposit back from the holiday company and they would have responsibility to give that back to you and if there are any issues with the third party, they would have to pursue them separately.


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. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to 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.


Another option is to raise this as a claim with your credit card company under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act where the credit card company is jointly responsible for this and they could pay you the money back directly. Check with the card provider what you need to do to make that claim.


Thank you for your advice

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No thank you - no further info required. I am dealing with this problem ub the lines suggested in your reply.

No problem, thanks for the update