Titled ‘Small Print, Big Difference’, the campaign is being run in partnership with associations including Abta, UKHospitality and Aito.
It is calling on holiday and travel businesses to make sure they are using “fair” terms and conditions in their customer contracts.
The CMA’s campaign also encourages businesses to be "upfront and clear with their customers about charges and fees", especially in the event of a customer cancellation.
Under consumer law, businesses may be entitled to ask customers to pay a cancellation fee to cover their losses, but the amount they keep must be in proportion to what they are losing, the CMA stated.
“Cancellation terms that don’t follow this approach are likely to be unfair and businesses can’t rely on them to resolve claims or disputes with customers.”
A national survey of 2,000 people by Ipsos Mori, released by the CMA today (17 April), demonstrated what members of the public feel should happen if they have to cancel a trip.
The CMA said a term could be legally unfair if it gives the business an unfair advantage.
Examples of unfair terms can include those which allow a business to take a large, upfront deposit and refuse to refund any of the customer’s money if they cancel, regardless of the amount the business is losing or the reason for the customer cancelling.
Another example is when a business insists on a large cancellation fee that bears no relation to the actual losses it experiences from the cancellation, the CMA added.
Mark Tanzer, chief executive of Abta, said: "Abta has discussed its model terms and conditions with the CMA, and along with the Abta Code of Conduct, I am confident they provide our members with a strong framework to ensure they are compliant with the regulations and are fair for customers.”
Derek Moore, chairman of Aito, added: “With the myriad of travel organisers, many from outside the UK and EU, targeting UK consumers, understandable and transparent conditions have never been more important.”
A new campaign site contains advice and information for businesses on unfair contract terms law and what they can look for when reviewing their terms and conditions.
In addition, the CMA has produced detailed guidance to help businesses and their legal teams understand how to apply the law.
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