TUI holidays are a hugely popular option for numerous British holidaymakers. Unfortunately, the tour operator is one of many firms struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic. This has left its customers frustrated as they are left out of pocket while waiting for refunds for their holidays.
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TUI has said that if your holiday was cancelled “you’ll receive a refund credit for the full value of your holiday, and we’ll give you a separate booking incentive up to 20 percent.”
They add: “If you’re unable to accept a refund credit and you have already received your refund credit code, please use our refund request form to apply for a cash refund.”
Some people have been struggling to get these cash refunds from TUI, however.
Consequently, this evening, on The Martin Lewis Money Show, Martin Lewis himself gave his travel advice on getting TUI cash refunds back at this difficult time.
He explained that he’d spoke to a woman during his appearance on ITV’s This Morning show on Thursday who couldn’t get through to TUI’s phone line and was eventually cut off.
“TUI changed its stance a couple of weeks ago and said it would give cash refunds and you could trade in your vouchers for a cash refund,” he told audiences.
“And what you do is you get your refund voucher and then you put it in the website online and you should be paid.”
Unfortunately, it’s not smooth sailing for everyone in this position.
Lewis revealed TUI’s customers had mixed responses to the service they’d received.
“I asked people on social media what experience they had [with TUI],” he said.
“It was really split – some people said it was a brilliant system, really easy and some people said it was a nightmare.”
The money expert explained that the problem appears to be linked to those who paid in a TUI store rather than online.
“I’ve been talking to TUI this afternoon and it seems what’s happened is this,” he said.
“On their computerised system if you booked online it’s pretty simple and it should work quite simply, but, if you paid in store, they’ve tried to use a legacy system and transpose that data into the online system because the stores are closed, and they’ve had some problems with that.
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“If addresses were put in the wrong order, that might stop you getting a refund, so that’s difficult.”
So what should TUI customers in this position do?
Lewis clarified: “When I talked to [TUI] about the phone line they said there could be an issue if you select speak to somebody in branch after 5.30pm or near 5.30pm because branches close before customer service, but you should be able to get through on the phone line.”
The important thing to do is call TUI at the optimum time,
“What I’m being told is that it can be very busy in the morning,” said Lewis.
“The time to call is in the afternoon when the average waiting time is 15 minutes.”
The Money Saving Expert went on to summarise: “So this is what I’ve asked you to do if you’re struggling with TUI: try online – if it doesn’t work… then call them up – but do it in the afternoon… and see whether you get through in the afternoon.
“If not, by this time next week get in touch with me again and I’ll go back to TUI and I’ll say ‘Well, you told me that would work but it hasn’t, what do people do now?’
“So the afternoon call is the key, I think.”
However, Lewis warned that TUI phone lines could be even busier on Thursday following his ITV appearance as customers rushed to follow his advice.
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