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If you want a refund because of coronavirus

This advice applies to England

If something you were planning to do has been cancelled because of coronavirus, there might be things you can do. For example, if you had travel plans or were going to an event.

You should check the website of the business or service you’re worried about or any emails you’ve received from them. They might have changed their normal rules to help you.

If you can’t pay your bills, check what extra help you can get

Check if something is a scam 

Make sure you only use trusted sources of information about coronavirus.

If you see emails about coronavirus from someone you don't know, don't click on any links or buy anything.

Don’t give money or personal details to anyone you don’t know or trust – for example, if someone knocks on your door and offers to help.

You can check if something is a scam.

If you were meant to travel 

If the company you booked with cancels your booking because of coronavirus, contact them. You have the right to a refund – or you can choose to rebook for another time.

It’s worth telling the company when you contact them if you need the money urgently, for example if you’ve lost your job because of coronavirus.

You can chase the company if you don’t get your refund on time. Your refund should be paid:

If something was cancelled that wasn’t a package holiday or European flight, check the terms and conditions to find out when you’ll get your refund.

It might take longer to get your refund at the moment because lots of people are asking for refunds.

If you booked a train or coach to travel between 23 and 27 December 2020

If you booked your journey when the rules said you could travel at Christmas, you should get a refund. 

To get a refund, you need to have booked your journey on or after 24 November 2020 - and before the rules changed on 19 December 2020.

Check the train or coach company’s website to find out how to claim.

If you’re offered a voucher instead of a refund

It’s usually best to ask for a refund instead. Tell the company you booked with – they have to give you a refund if you ask.

If you’re thinking of accepting a voucher, check the terms and conditions, including:

  • when the voucher expires
  • whether you can change your mind later and get a refund

If the company goes into administration before you use your voucher, you won’t be able to spend it. You should get a refund for your voucher if your holiday was a package holiday and the company that went into administration was protected by, for example:

Contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline for help working out if you can get a refund for a voucher.

If you’re having trouble getting a refund

If you have travel insurance, check if you can make a claim. You could read the terms and conditions or contact the insurer. You might also be covered by your home insurance or your bank account insurance.

If you claim on your insurance, you might have to pay: 

  • an excess fee
  • more for insurance in the future

If you spent money on someone else, you might not be able to claim it back unless they’re named on your insurance policy.

You could check if you can get a refund if you paid by card or Paypal instead.

You can try to get a refund from your card provider at the same time as starting your insurance claim. You can only get a refund from one of them - if you keep the money from both it could be fraud.

Contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline if you need more help - a trained adviser can give you advice over the phone or by email.

If you want to cancel a future booking

The company you booked with might agree to give you a refund. Check if you can get a refund by:

  • looking at their terms and conditions
  • contacting them and asking

If the company won’t give you a refund, it’s usually better to wait and see if they cancel the booking later. If they cancel the booking, they’ll have to refund you.

If your holiday is affected by a local lockdown

You can find out what to do about holidays during local lockdowns on GOV.UK.

If you had tickets for an event

What you can do will depend on who you bought the ticket from. Check if you can get a refund on an event ticket.

If you don’t want to go to an event anymore but it’s not been cancelled, you can’t get a refund. 

If you’re meant to get married or register a civil partnership

The whole of England is in lockdown until the end of 2 December 2020. Most weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are not allowed. You can:

You might be able to rearrange your wedding or civil partnership registration for a new date. Contact all of the services you've booked to check what they can do.

If you’ve got insurance for your wedding or civil partnership registration, check the terms and conditions to see what’s covered. 

If you want to cancel something and your contract shows you’ll be charged a cancellation fee or you’ll lose your deposit, it might not be fair. Check the government guidance on wedding and event contracts on GOV.UK.

If you need more help

You can check how to deal with a company that won’t give you a refund.

You can also contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline - a trained adviser can give you advice over the phone or by email.

If a company has treated you unfairly, you can report them to Trading Standards. You can check how to report a company to Trading Standards.

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