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Coronavirus Business Support Forum
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Lee Harrison
Lee Harrison
22 May 2020 13:01
Credit Card Chargebacks

If You have successfully defended a Credit Card Charge back, and I saw in an earlier post that for every $100 a Chargeback can cost the Mercant $140. Can you serve notice to the Client that you would expext those charges to be reclaimed from them? And What should be the next step the Client should take? we have asked them initially to Ask their Insurers,and I believe they were waiting to see which came back first to help their claim so at the same time as initiating two Chargebacks ( 1 for Deposit and 1 for Balance) they also went to claim from Insurers. Under the Ever Changing advice from ABTA, I guess the best option would be for us to contact the clients and suggest we ask the Operator to now give a reasonable Timeframe for Full Refund?

Alan Bowen Alan Bowen 23 May 2020 17:07
As an agent, so long as your documentation is clear, you should not be suffering chargebacks for the... Read more
2 responses 3 Collaborators 426 Views

Michael Chrisman
Michael Chrisman
15 May 2020 16:36

This query is especially directed at recruiting agencies who hired out temps. What advice or remedies are available to freelance/temp business travel consultants who had to be suddenly laid off due to. COVID19 shutdown. 13 March.

Probably this is one of those examples where there is nothing on offer other than Universal Credit. What might the recruitment agency be doing more of the help/advise over and above the usual for their candidates who were laid off while working under their banner?

Abra Dunsby Abra Dunsby 18 May 2020 15:35
Hi Michael, We've had the following response from Barbara Kolosinska of C&M Recruitment Ltd: "Hi Mic... Read more
1 responses 2 Collaborators 417 Views

laura griffiths
laura griffiths
06 May 2020 15:10
Made redundant during furlough


I work in the cruise industry and was put on furlough on 9th April until further notice but received a phone call last night at 5.30pm to say I was being made redundant with a week's notice but that the company would pay me until the end of May. When I queried their reasons for this and asked if I could stay on the furlough scheme until the end of June, I was told no because they could not afford to cover my costs. I did challenge them on what these costs were because I am on 80% furlough pay which they are not topping up.

I started my employment with them on 1st Feb and my probation was due to end at the end of April but I was furloughed two weeks short of this but assured my probation was simply going to be put on hold and would resume once 'things were back to normal'. I have received nothing but glowing feedback to date and this has come as a complete shock - although I had anticipated it would perhaps be the case at the end of June.

I have emailed them several times today to query why my employment is costing them when two separate accountants and ACAS have advised that there should be no costs to the company however they have failed to answer my queries and I have been told that their decision is final. I have not had a conversation with my manager, only the phone call to say I was being made redundant from the company director which was followed up with a call from the HR manager half an hour later - at my request. Below is a paragraph from the JRS letter which I signed in April as well as the latest email from my employer.

I would hugely appreciate any advice as this all seems so unfair and I can't understand why they won't allow me to stay on furlough until the end of June. I am now being pushed into signing my termination letter which I am not comfortable doing and they have now threatened me with a delay on my final pay if I take too long to sign and return this to them.

Many thanks in advance,

Laura Griffiths


The Furloughed Worker designation will be effective from 9th April 2020 and will continue for the period as defined by the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Your eligibility for the scheme is also dependent on meeting the Government’s defined criteria, which are also subject to ongoing definition and clarification by the Government. The Company might extend this.

Latest email from employer

Dear Laura

Thank you for your email and expressing your concerns.

We understand that this news is not ideal, especially in the current climate, but unfortunately the decision to terminate your employment is final. The termination of your contract and the Furlough Scheme are two separate entities. The same process would have applied if you were not furloughed. Your contract could have been terminated at any time during your probation period with only one week’s notice. We appreciate the situation this leaves you in and have extended your notice period to 3.5 weeks as a gesture of good will.

In regards to your concerns about furlough pay, I can assure you that we have followed the Governments guidelines for the payment of staff on the Furlough scheme and have checked your payments during your furlough period which are correct as per the details provided by Rachel.

Please can you sign and return the letter that was sent this morning as soon as possible, and as per my previous email, you will need to package up any company equipment and inform Rachel of the size and weight so we can arrange a courier to collect.

Any delay in the receiving of the letter or all company equipment allocated to you could result in a delay in your final pay.

Abra Dunsby Abra Dunsby 11 May 2020 09:02
Hi Laura, We've had the following response from Joanna Chatterton, partner and head of employment te... Read more
2 responses 2 Collaborators 448 Views

Tania Davey
Tania Davey
01 May 2020 11:30
Villa Accommodation and Right to Refund


We are a small holiday accommodation company offering villas in the Canary Islands. A client due to travel on 7th April 2020 is insisting he is entitled to a full refund. He says he has been unsuccessful in claiming off of his travel insurance although is reluctant to show any proof of that and is insisting that a demand of refund is his right regardless of insurance. We had already paid the owner who has said he is not legally obliged to pay the money back to us/the client. Our terms and conditions state normal cancellation policy of full amount held less than 69 days before travel and that we cannot be held responsible for cancellation due to distatsers, acts of God etc but it seems to be on all news outlets that all customers are entitled to a full refund. What are our legal rights as a company on this?

Tania Davey Tania Davey 01 May 2020 19:32
Thank you for clarifying it for us. This is going to devastating for small businesses like ourselves... Read more
2 responses 2 Collaborators 461 Views

Abra Dunsby
Abra Dunsby
24 Apr 2020 16:55
Furlough queries
TTG received the following furlough-related queries during our Keep Your Business Alive seminar on 23 April.

"1. What about holiday pay while furloughed and can you make employees take holiday?"

2. “If you have told staff they are furloughed until the end of May and now you might need to furlough them for longer, as this is continuous, does this need to be a minimum of three weeks or can it just be for an extra week, for example?”

3. “In terms of furloughed employees from limited companies – what are company directors allowed/not allowed to do when furloughed?

We've received the following response from HR expert Claire Steiner:

1. "Staff are allowed to take annual leave whilst on furlough, however they will need to be paid full salary for the days that they take. Employers can ask employees to take holiday but would need to provide appropriate notice. This notice must be twice the length of the holiday requested, i.e. if you want staff to take five days of holiday then you would need to give them 10 days' notice.

2. "Furlough has to be for a minimum of three weeks but can be extended as required as long as it is continuous. It is worth noting that if your original agreement stated that the end of May was the date it finished, you would need to get another signed agreement to extend the furlough. Whilst most of the furlough agreements that are readily available allow for it to be extended, it is still good practice, once you have told them, to confirm the extension in writing."

3. "The guidance from HMRC states that furloughed directors are allowed to carry out specific duties to fulfil the statutory obligations they owe to their company (as set out in the Companies Act 2006) provided they do 'no more than reasonably necessary'. Just like furloughed staff, a director is not permitted to carry out any work that would generate revenue or provide services for the business."

0 responses 1 Collaborators 206 Views

Abra Dunsby
Abra Dunsby
24 Apr 2020 16:47
Refunds queries
We received the following two questions during our Keep Your Business Alive seminar on 23 April:

1. "Is It OK to wait until we get money back from the airlines before making a customer refund?”

2. "What if the insistent customer for refunds is a consortium?”

We've had the following response from Kemp Little's Farina Azam:

1. "If you’ve sold a package which includes a flight, then the customer is entitled to a cash refund for the full amount, irrespective of whether the airline has refunded you or not. You may make a commercial decision to only offer a partial refund for the non-flight element of the package, and only refund the flight when received from the airline – but this would be a breach of the PTRs."

2. "I’m assuming the consortium is acting in its capacity as an agent on behalf of the tour operator? If so, the consortium may be concerned about potential chargeback liability due to the tour op’s failure to give a cash refund. There may well be terms in the agency agreement which the agent could use to request an indemnity from the tour op for any such losses incurred."
0 responses 1 Collaborators 220 Views

Joanne Peters
Joanne Peters
24 Apr 2020 14:11
Question for Joanna Chatterton email contact

Please are you be able to provide me your email address, I have a question regarding furlough.

Thanks very much

Joanne Peters Joanne Peters 24 Apr 2020 14:56
Thank you very much Read more
2 responses 2 Collaborators 554 Views

Pat Edgar
Pat Edgar
24 Apr 2020 13:23
Curtailment refund

If a package holiday is curtailed while a client is abroad due to FCO advice against all but essential travel, and the tour operator cancels all future accommodation and return flights and arranges repatriation with a different airline, is the tour operator legally liable to refund the 'unused' part of the holiday to the client? This would include unused accommodation, transfers, excursions and the return flight? All discussions regarding refunds seem to apply to the cancellation of future packages but not the situation when the client was actually abroad but had to return following FCO advice and had only used a portion of the package. The return flights with BA were cancelled 8-9 days before the client was due to travel.

Pat Edgar Pat Edgar 24 Apr 2020 16:36
Thanks. The repatriation flights were booked with another airline, not BA. Currently neither BA nor ... Read more
2 responses 3 Collaborators 438 Views

Adrian Loveridge
Adrian Loveridge
21 Apr 2020 14:51
Who is liable for refund - British Airways or Netflights?

In September 2019 two bookings made with Netflights with British Airways (LGW/BGI/LGW). Both outward flights were used 20th November 8th January but both travelers were returning on 2 April 2020 which was subsequently cancelled within 14 days of travel by BA. Netflights offered return flights on 1st May 2020, which of course, did not happen. BA are now denying any liability for a refund or vouchers despite initially offering vouchers.

Netflights have repeatedly delayed a refund or vouchers. Where does the liability lie please?

Alan Bowen Alan Bowen 21 Apr 2020 15:21
For a flight only booking the contract is with the airline, BA. I assume the passengers are still ab... Read more
2 responses 3 Collaborators 420 Views

Gail Sims
Gail Sims
21 Apr 2020 12:59
Accomodation only

If a client had booked a villa only through one of our villas suppliers and was unable to travel is there any protection for his money. We currently have a client who has currently lost £11,000 as he will not be able to travel with his family next year. The villa owner has been paid and will not refund. I have suggested he tries an insurance claim but feel I ought to be able to do more.

Charlotte Flach Charlotte Flach 21 Apr 2020 15:19
Hi Gail, I have the following reply from Farina Azam, partner at Kemp Little:It will depend on the v... Read more
2 responses 2 Collaborators 469 Views

Anna Howard
Anna Howard
17 Apr 2020 17:21

Hi can you please clarify my stance. Holiday Extras, lounge was cancelled and it cancelled free of charge on their system and they emailed confirming refund would go back on to the card used for payment. This was on 17/03/20. Today 17/04/20 they have emailed with a credit note and are now not honouring refunds. I believe that I will have many more of these scenarios in the next few days. thank you.

Abra Dunsby Abra Dunsby 22 Apr 2020 09:13
Hi Anna, Can you please email me on and I'll put you in touch with a member of ... Read more
2 responses 2 Collaborators 446 Views

Dagmara Corrigan
Dagmara Corrigan
17 Apr 2020 15:15
Refund Credit Note name changes

With the recent ABTA advise update on the validity of the Refund Credit Notes (RCO) , I wanted to ask if, to maximize the chances of rebooking a holiday, can we offer names changes on the RCO? If we have elderly customers who are unlikely to book a holiday for the next year, are we able to offer them ATOL protected RCO with the name change option? If the clients from the original booking would transfer the RCO to a different traveller, will the RCO still be ATOL protected for the new passenger?

Thank you!

Abra Dunsby Abra Dunsby 17 Apr 2020 16:10
Hi Dagmara, Having consulted with our experts we'd advise you to get in touch with Abta for their vi... Read more
1 responses 2 Collaborators 425 Views

kathryn jarvis
kathryn jarvis
09 Apr 2020 16:00
FCO advice on no travel

You 03:50 PM

Because of FCO advice now does that mean all forward bookings can be cancelled and customers have a right to a full refund or do we look at bookings on a rolling basis? Eg a booking in November....?

Abra Dunsby Abra Dunsby 14 Apr 2020 12:29
Hi Pravin, We've had the following response from Farina Azam, partner at Kemp Little: "Although the ... Read more
2 responses 3 Collaborators 483 Views

Bethany Nadin
Bethany Nadin
08 Apr 2020 16:35
U.K holiday let & Vulnerable customers

Hello, is there any guidance on U.K. self catering accommodation and what date they should be currently closed to?
A property owner we work with has advised 30th April but cannot see anything and not sure where this guidance has come from.
We have a holiday booked here for our customer who is due to travel mid May but in the vulnerable group category therefore told by gp to self isolate for 12 weeks which would take them into June.

The owner has offered to transfer holiday but only to dates from Oct - Feb, which is our of season and the customer cannot do any of the dates anyway.

I wondered if there is guidance also on what U.K. property owners are obliged to be offering.. for example ‘like for like’ or full refunds?

Madeleine Barber Madeleine Barber 09 Apr 2020 15:58
Hi Bethany,   I have had the following response from Matt Purser at the Travel Trade Consulta... Read more
2 responses 2 Collaborators 456 Views

Jane Tippen
Jane Tippen
07 Apr 2020 12:11
Travel insurance for future travel

Are customers covered by their travel insurance if they book now for future travel?

Madeleine Barber Madeleine Barber 09 Apr 2020 16:22
Thanks Cath, it is indeed a frustrating environment out there at the moment!   I've also had ... Read more
4 responses 5 Collaborators 527 Views

Andrew Melley
Andrew Melley
07 Apr 2020 09:20
Credit Card Chargebacks

I understand from my contact at Cardnet, the maximum length of time a Chargeback can be imposed by a customer is 120 days. Is this correct?

Andrew Melley Andrew Melley 07 Apr 2020 13:51
Thanks Alan i'm not surpised by your answer but i am dissapointed that Cardent are not making this c... Read more
2 responses 4 Collaborators 503 Views

Abra Dunsby
Abra Dunsby
06 Apr 2020 13:50
The following question was emailed to us by one of our readers, Andrew Melley of Travel Destinations Limited.

"Do the Package Travel Regulations apply to customers who’ve made reservations with us living outside of the EU, say USA or Australia?"

Andrew - one of our experts will be in touch with an answer shortly.

Abra Dunsby Abra Dunsby 24 Apr 2020 16:49
We received the following query during our Keep Your Business Alive seminar on 23 April: "Where does... Read more
2 responses 4 Collaborators 461 Views

Avril Fulton
Avril Fulton
03 Apr 2020 16:56
United Airlines not refunding

Clients due to go on Sunday to Orlando with United Airlines out of Dublin and the flight isn't going. United standing firm on no refund just credit note but clients don't know if they can take the travel window offered and really don't want to go as one child is ADHD and Autistic. Booked with a Tour Operator. Where do they stand with the 'eventual' refund and when? These people could do with the money at present.

Alan Bowen Alan Bowen 04 Apr 2020 11:00
Avril   In the last 12 hours there have been two positive moves which should help your client... Read more
3 responses 4 Collaborators 504 Views

Pippa Jacks
Pippa Jacks
03 Apr 2020 16:48
Mastercard and Visa Covid19 guidance notes - PDF download
We've had lots of requests for the chargeback scheme guidance from Mastercard and Visa to which Abta's John de Vial referred in today's Business Support Live session. Here they are...

Popat Lal (Pops) Popat Lal (Pops) 04 Apr 2020 21:01
Thank you for posting these. Read more
1 responses 2 Collaborators 133 Views

David Holland
David Holland
03 Apr 2020 11:34
Balances already paid for rebooked dates

Good morning. We are a tour operator. If a balance payment is taken by an agent for an existing booking that has had to be cancelled owing to the travel restrictions, and they have decided to rebook for a date later in the year, could you confirm the agent is bound to remit this payment to us now and not 8 weeks before the new departure date? Thank you.

David Holland David Holland 03 Apr 2020 16:44
Yes, thank you Farina. Hope all well with you. David Read more
2 responses 2 Collaborators 483 Views
TTG - Travel Trade Gazette
For Smarter, Better, Fairer Travel
TTG Media Limited.
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