HotelConnect ceased trading on 28 June 2011 leaving thousands of customers facing the prospect of paying twice for their accommodation. Steps are being taken to put it into liquidation.
The company’s website said customers’ bookings should be held by the hotel, but customers would need to pay the hotel directly, potentially paying twice, for their accommodation.
Around 6,000 customers may now have to pay again and then find out at a later date if the way they booked their holiday gives them any chance of compensation.
Most sales through agents
HotelConnect sold accommodation to its consumers in two ways; direct to customers through its website, and to travel agents who then sold the rooms on to customers.
The company was a member of Abta, and an association spokesman said it was bonded for sales made through the direct sell website.
About 400 people who bought in this way were affected; about 200 people with forward bookings and another 200 who were already abroad.
Customers ‘should contact hotels’
Abta said customers who bought the room direct from HotelConnect should check with the hotel about their booking and suggested it was possible they might have to pay again.
They could also contact Abta’s claims department on 0845 3306414 or on firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, HotelConnect did not have a bond to cover the 6,000 customers who bought their holiday from a travel agent.
Types of booking
Abta said customers might have to pay again but it would depend on how the travel agent sold the room.
‘It is possible they might have to pay the hotel twice but it depends on how they booked, whether they used a credit card, and what insurance they had,’ said the spokeswoman.
If in doubt, travellers are advised to contact their travel agent.
Help from Which?
Need to know more about your holiday rights? See our guides to your rights and how to get compensation if your holiday goes wrong.
If you need further advice on your travel rights, contact Which? Legal Service for tailored information to your situation.