If an event you have tickets for is postponed, hold on to your tickets until a new date is announced.
If you’re unable to attend the rescheduled date, you can claim a refund of the ticket’s face-value price. But again, it’s unlikely you’ll get the delivery costs or booking fees back.
As above, if you purchased tickets from a secondary ticket seller, you’ll have fewer protections. Check the terms and conditions on its website.
If you cannot attend the new date, it may be that the only way to recover some of your money will be to resell the ticket.
- Hotel & travel costs
If you’ve paid for transport or hotel bookings that you don’t need anymore because your event has been cancelled, get in touch with the companies you’ve booked with. They might be able to refund you or rebook your plans for a later date, but there are no guarantees. However, if your hotel or travel provider cancels due to the outbreak of COVID-19, you will be entitled to a refund.
In terms of holidays and trips abroad, it very much depends on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s advice at the time you are due to go away.
If your destination is a place which the FCO advises against travelling to, speak to your airline or tour operator. Under these circumstances, they would usually cancel all flights and holidays and offer you a refund or alternative travel dates.
If your travel company isn’t offering refunds or you will lose other money paid, for example, prepaid airport transfers, speak to your insurance company and ask about what ‘consequential losses’ you are covered for.
If there is no FCO warning in place or if your trip is for later in the year, but you are having second thoughts about going, there is no guarantee that you’ll get a refund and your insurance company will almost certainly not payout. This is because you would be regarded as effectively changing your mind about travelling, rather than anything specific preventing you from going on your trip.
- Weddings and parties
In the first instance speak to the venue and any suppliers you have agreements with to try to negotiate an agreeable way forward – for example agreeing on a new date.
If this isn’t possible and you have to cancel, you could be liable for any fees already paid – especially if you’ve only given a short amount of notice. By law, deposits can’t be ‘non-refundable and if a company keeps your money, ask for a breakdown of why it can’t be refunded.
If your venue or supplier is the one to cancel, you will be entitled to your money back.
If you have wedding insurance, speak to your provider and check the terms and conditions of your policy to determine exactly what is covered.
- Payments made
If you have paid by credit card, buying anything worth more than £100 and less than £30,000 you have additional protections if something goes wrong. Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act makes your credit card company jointly liable for any breach of contract (such as an event cancellation) and you can claim your money back directly from it.
If you paid by debit card, you can ask your card provider to reverse a transaction on your card in a process called chargeback.
Unlike Section 75, chargeback isn’t a right or law and offers no guarantees, but it is a way that your bank may be able to help you. Chargeback is also particularly useful where the cost of the tickets was under £100 and Section 75 doesn’t apply.
If you have any concerns about claiming refunds in light of COVID-19, speak to our dispute resolution team. A one-hour Skype or telephone appointment costs £150+vat and can be booked by phoning Beswicks Legal on 01782 205000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org