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How to get your money back if you bought a Buzzlines Travel holiday

This is how to get your money back if you bought a holiday through Buzzlines Travel.

Customers have been left fuming after the Lympne-based travel firm unexpectedly went into insolvency.

It has been running coach trips, holidays and bus travel for nearly 30 years, but this week told customers it had ceased trading and will be "unable to fulfil its commitments".

Buzzlines had been trading for more than 30 years
Buzzlines had been trading for more than 30 years

Dozens of jobs have also been lost as a result.

The company is not a member of Association of British Travel Agents, which could have offered customers another level of protection.

But an ABTA spokesman said: "Travel companies are legally required to protect customers' money.

"They [Buzzlines Travel] should be operating a trust account, which according to their terms and conditions they do, so as long as that is correct they should get a refund.

"But that only applies to packages.

"There is no legal requirement to protect day trips."

Customers who paid for their holiday by credit or debit card could also be more in line for a refund.

"If they paid by debit or credit card they can contact their bank for a refund," said the ABTA spokesman.

Buzzlines ran day trips and holidays from its base in Lympne
Buzzlines ran day trips and holidays from its base in Lympne

"Credit card claims have to be over £100.

"But even though banks do not have to issue a refund sometimes they will.

"If you are trying to get your money back get a letter from the liquidator that the company has gone out of business, that will make things easier."

However, he added any Buzzlines Travel customers who were already abroad when the company went into insolvency were likely to receive little help.

"If there is anyone overseas that is a bit more problematic getting home," he said.

"They might have to make alternative arrangements to get home and pay the hotel bill."

The spokesman added: "Any company can potentially go out of business, that is why it is important to go with a company that is an ABTA member or if you are flying one that is ATOL-accredited for an extra layer of protection."

"If they were an ABTA member they would definitely get their money back and if people were overseas then we would get them back.

"Travel companies are legally required to protect customers' money" - ABTA spokesman

The Air Travel Organiser's Licence (ATOL) said it would not be able to offer any assistance by way of refunds unless a customer's coach trip formed part of a package holiday and was included on the ATOL certificate.

"ATOL protects air package holidays in case any part of the package holiday is unfulfilled due to the company collapsing," said a spokesman.

"When ATOL isn't able to assist, we always recommend first and foremost booking any trips with a credit card.

"Under the Consumer Credit Act you will be covered up to £30,000 if the company is unable to deliver on the payment for goods/services.

"Secondly, we advise to take out travel insurance to protect yourself, including, when it comes to flights, Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance.

"There are some cases where you can make a chargeback claim on a debit card, though you should speak to your bank about any policies in place.

"The best way to prevent a failure from affecting you financially is to take precautionary measures.

"Once a company collapses, it becomes incredibly difficult to go through them directly for any refunds or reimbursements and, by submitting a claim to the insolvency practitioner in charge of the failed business, there is no guarantee that you will get your money back."

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