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Collapse of Buzzlines Travel cost couple nearly £1,000 ahead of their wedding day

An engaged couple are more than £900 out of pocket a month before their big day following the collapse of Buzzlines Travel.

Paul Dennis and Paula Jenkins booked and paid in full for a coach to take them and 19 guests from Kent to Southampton next month.

From there, the group of 21 will embark on a two week P&O cruise of the Mediterranean on board the Azura, during which time the happy couple will get married.

Paul Dennis and Paula Jenkins, from Aylesham
Paul Dennis and Paula Jenkins, from Aylesham

But Mr Dennis, 51, had a shock on Monday (July 1) when he saw that Buzzlines - who he booked the coach with - suddenly ceased trading, announcing it is "unable to fulfil its commitments".

This left the couple and their guests without any travel to and from the port, and down a total of £930.

To make matters worse, Mr Dennis, from Aylesham, had only paid the last instalment of £294 on June 25, just five days before the company, based in Lympne hear Hythe, announced its collapse.

He said: "I was completely stunned when I saw that the company had gone into liquidation.

"I had paid for the coach for all 21 people to travel from Kent to pick up the ship. We have more guests meeting us there.

"My partner was very upset and crying down the phone when I told her.

"We've been organising and saving up for our wedding for two years. A lot of work has gone into it.

Coach firm Buzzlines ceased trading on July 1
Coach firm Buzzlines ceased trading on July 1

"I'm just wondering why they took our money on that day; they must have known what was going on then."

The couple booked with Buzzlines - which has run coach trips, holidays and bus travel for nearly 30 years - in March 2018 for the hire of an executive midi coach, paying a deposit of £186.

Mr Dennis said they made two further payments of £150 and £300 in January and May this year, before paying the last instalment in June.

The coach was due to take the group to Southampton on August 10, before bringing them back again on August 24.

Mr Dennis, a firefighter, paid each sum using a debit card, and has now contacted his bank to raise a grievance against the company.

Since July 1 he has also tried relentlessly to get in touch with Buzzlines - including calling, emailing and visiting their office in Lympne and an address in Hythe -in regards to a refund, but has had no luck so far.

"My partner was very upset and crying down the phone when I told her..." Paul Dennis

He adds: "I feel very sorry for the staff, if they've been treated in anyway close to what the customers have then it is terrible.

"They are also now out of a job. I think the bosses should come forward and let people know if they're going to get a refund.

"I am going to pursue it, by whatever avenues I can."

The couple have now paid a further £900 for another coach to transport the wedding party, but this required taking out a loan.

The full statement posted to Buzzlines website on Monday, July 1 read: "It is with deep regret that we must inform you that Buzzlines Travel has ceased trading and is unable to fulfil its commitments whilst entering in to a formal insolvency procedure.

"The difficult decision to cease all trading activities has become necessary to comply fully with the responsibility by law as company directors.

"Anyone who has booked to travel with Buzzlines Travel from 1st July 2019 will be contacted in due course by the appointed insolvency practitioner."

For advice on how to get your money back if you bought a Buzzlines Travel holiday, click here.

Have you been affecting by the unexpected closure of Buzzlines? Please email folkestoneexpress@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01233 623232.

Read more: All the latest news from Hythe

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