Touring companies commit to higher refunds for COVID cancellations

Font Size:

Thousands of Australians will receive additional refund amounts for cancelled travel after APT and Travelmarvel (part of the APT Group) agreed to stop deducting marketing and overhead costs from refunds and reimburse customers who had previously had these costs deducted from their refund.

Where a refund is sought (as opposed to a credit), APT and Travelmarvel will continue to deduct an amount from refunds to cover reasonable losses that they were not able to recover, and will also deduct a fee per booking relating to administration costs in arranging the refunds.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) was concerned that during the COVID-19 pandemic, APT and Travelmarvel were deducting, and representing to consumers that they were entitled to deduct greater amounts from refunds than they were entitled to deduct under their terms and conditions.

Read more: The top-selling-souvenir from every country in the world

Following months of engagement, the ACCC has now accepted a commitment from APT and Travelmarvel to stop deducting marketing and overhead costs from booking refunds impacted by the COVID‑19 pandemic.

APT and Travelmarvel will provide customers who have previously received a refund quote with a revised quote, and will reimburse customers who have already received a reduced refund due to marketing and overhead cost deductions.

Read more: ACCC to keep a keen eye on travel issues

“The costs that APT deducted for marketing and overheads amounted to 15 per cent of the booking price and, with many holidays costing over $20,000, this meant a significant amount was withheld from the refunds given to consumers,” ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said.

“The ACCC considered that APT was not entitled to deduct these marketing and overhead costs as they were incurred before the booking was made and they would have been incurred regardless of whether a booking was made.

“We are pleased that thousands of customers will now receive additional refunds and that this commitment will provide faster redress for consumers than court action, which would have been our next step,” Ms Court said.

Read more: Travel refund problems a dreadful situation

The ACCC understands that affected customers have either already been contacted by APT and Travelmarvel or will shortly be contacted about their revised refund.

“The ACCC’s position on refunds for cancelled travel has been very clear for almost a year now: travel businesses cannot deduct fees unless there are applicable terms and conditions in their contract that expressly permit them to do so,” Ms Court said.

“Our COVID-19 taskforce has engaged with dozens of travel businesses since the start of the pandemic and we will continue monitoring the industry to make sure consumers are receiving the remedy they are entitled to.”

APT and Travelmarvel will continue to consider, on a case-by-case basis, providing a full refund to any consumers who can provide evidence that they are experiencing medical or financial hardship arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Have you received a refund for a COVID-related travel cancellation? Were you given a full refund or was money deducted for marketing fees?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Written by Ben


Sign-up to the YourLifeChoices Enewsletter

continue reading


Soothe your soul with these stunning images of Japan's cherry blossoms

It's sakura season, the perfect opportunity for locals to indulge in hanami, the traditional Japanese custom of 'flower viewing'. On...


Discover New Zealand's best winter attractions

To mark the start of the trans-Tasman bubble, here are some of the best things to do in New Zealand...


Check your passport's expiry date before booking

International travel seems to be slowly but surely returning. With the trans-Tasman bubble and talks of another bubble opening with...


Tips for getting a good night's sleep on holiday

Travel can seriously mess with our sleep. The jet lag that disrupts our body clocks may be the most obvious...


Tasmania's top spots for shopping and markets

The Margate Train offers shopping with a difference at Margate, southern Tasmania. Margate is 20 minutes south of Hobart (19km)...


What will it take for travel to get restarted again?

Maraid is encouraged by the travel bubble with New Zealand opening up and wonders what needs to happen before we...


The unbelievable software flaw that led to a major flight incident

When it comes to flight engineering, you would hope that every possibility has been factored in to perfection, but a...


Breathtaking views from the world's tallest skyscrapers

For centuries now companies and governments have obsessed over having slightly taller buildings than their neighbours. From St. Paul's Cathedral...