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Patience and Understanding at this time please
Given the fast-moving situation of the Covid-19 pandemic and especially the Prime Minister’s orders to close all holiday accommodation, tourism businesses are coping with events completely outside their control whilst facing an avalanche of cancellations and refund requests.
We have tremendous sympathy for our visitors who have had their holidays and breaks in Cornwall cancelled as a result of the current crisis. We feel for them, as we know they have been looking forward to enjoying the wonderful food and drink, the beaches, coast path and beautiful gardens and so much more. We will miss them and are looking forward to seeing them later in the year and we fully understand their worries and concerns regarding their deposits and booking payments and everyone is trying their best to resolve matters as quickly as possible.
However, at the current time Visit Cornwall, as well as hundreds of tourism businesses in Cornwall are being bombarded with emails and calls from concerned customers. All businesses now have very few staff (some have none at all), and this is added to frustrations of customers who are emailing and calling for information and requests.
We fully recognise the concerns of our customers, but can we request that they allow businesses reasonable time to cope with this situation. Many businesses, when pushed are having to say, “I cannot or will not refund at this time”. This is due to businesses having to cope with:-
One of the financial pressures being placed on businesses is caused by laying-off (furloughing) staff. This will result in businesses having to bank-roll six weeks of staff wages before they hopefully receive reimbursement from the Government at the end of April. This is combined with having no income themselves and no guarantee that their insurers will pay-out due to the forced closure. This means they are simply not able to agree or process refunds at the current time and in some instances, due to the sheer nature and speed of this crisis, may never be able to.
Put simply, businesses are struggling and almost all are in a position of ‘can’t pay’ and not necessarily ‘won’t pay’.
It should be noted that in certain bookings terms and conditions there may be a clause where if the cancellation of the booking is due to circumstances beyond the control of the company, then consumers may not necessarily be entitled to a refund and should make a claim from their personal travel insurer as a quicker resolution.
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