Hello, this is Jim and I’m a dual-qualified lawyer (UK & Republic of Ireland) happy to help you today.
You should demand the refund from Sykes due to the announcement from the European Commission recently. A full refund must be given in your case - a credit voucher is unacceptable.
If you booked by credit card then you can make a claim - you can contact the card provider and ask for a refund under S.75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 - as they are jointly liable if you do not get the service you paid for. You can claim a full refund even if you only paid for part of the trip with the credit card as long as £100 or more was spent.
If you did not book with a credit card (or you did and the card company refuses to reimburse) then you should consider a Small Claim.
You should send the company a letter before action to demand repayment of the further payment within 14 days, failing which you will lodge a small claim at the county court business centre (which then gets sent to the company address).
The attached letter is generic and needs to be tailored (and quote the above breach). The letter should be sent by post and email. You can remove the reference to a "flight" in the letter - the content is the same. I recommend you threaten a report to Trading Standards as to penalise you in this way is unlawful. You can report them to trading standards on 03454 040506.
Their postal address is Sykes Cottages Limited, One City Place, Chester, CH1 3BQ
Assuming they do not respond or they do and refuse to pay, you need to register at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk so that you are ready to issue the claim in the event they dispute the claim and do not pay you. The website is very user-friendly and you would not need a lawyer to use the money claim site. Claims with a value of under £10,000 are classed as a "small claim", so legal costs are not recoverable and the matter may be dealt with on paper by a Judge, not at a hearing. A hearing may be necessary if the court thinks that oral evidence is required to dispose of the case.
You would claim the sum for the loss, the court issue fee (£25 based on a claim for £200) and court interest which is 8% calculated on a daily rate from the date of loss to date of court judgment. The site allows you to calculate the interest and add it to the claim.
If you win then once you have the CCJ from the court the defendant has 14 days to pay in full. If they do not then it gets registered with the credit agencies after 30 days.
You may find they just pay you after receiving the letter before action – hopefully they will want to avoid litigation.
I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up questions at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.