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The Guardian requests ski holiday refund for student

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The name of the tour operator involved ...

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/oct/27/tour-operator-wont-refund-me-for-cancelled-ski-trip

... may ring bells in Wimbledon ...

https://www.facebook.com/groups/325182624251298/permalink/2419758338127039

... and beyond. Obvious questions:

1. Wasteland Ski is a substantial operation. How many students are similarly affected?
2. How many UK tour operators - do we reckon - are similarly holding onto their clients' money (in defiance of the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018) as ski season 2020-21 faces increasing covidisation.
3. Do you personally bank with a tour operator? What type of account do you hold?
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
[quote="Davina Goldballs"]
... may ring bells in Wimbledon ...

https://www.facebook.com/groups/325182624251298/permalink/2419758338127039

It doesn't ring bells here.

Quote:
This content isn't available at the moment
When this happens, it's usually because the owner only shared it with a small group of people or changed who can see it, or it's been deleted.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Odd, the facebook link works fine for me.
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My daughter had booked with Wasteland and they tried every trick in the book to avoid refunding, even trying to tell us that ABTA were ordering them not to refund and offering a credit note that wasn’t cashable until September 2021. I threatened court proceedings and they grumpily paid up.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The original article is here.
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This is really terrible. I can’t stress enough how easy it is to use money claim online. They guide you through the whole process, and it will not cost too much to file a claim. Plus, you will get all your costs back when you win.

In many cases in my dealings with companies, I don’t even bother wasting my time; I simply start with a seven day warning letter of County Court action, and then move swiftly on to making a claim.

That way I have got my money every single time. Amongst those who have felt my wrath are: easyJet, Swissair, Bolt taxi, and Gatwick express.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Wasteland. Lovely name.

Davina Goldballs wrote:

3. Do you personally bank with a tour operator? What type of account do you hold?


Reminds me of my friend in debt as a law student. Supposedly he got a letter from the bank asking "dear sir, do you have an account with us or do we have an account with you?"
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Orange200, Laughing Laughing
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@rjs, thank you.
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Davina Goldballs wrote:
... Wasteland Ski is a substantial operation.

They may cater to a lot of students but "a substantial operation" is stretching it a bit.

From their Companies House accounts for 30 April 2019:

The company is small enough that the accounts are unaudited, so essentially the opinion of the director - something which in itself perhaps ought to be a warning light for a uni ski club.

Total assets: £159k. Including intangible assets of £143k from "software development" - which as we know from elsewhere can be written off in an instant if the company gets into difficulty. And a notional £1 value of a subsidiary, when that subsidiary had liabilities (i.e. negative assets) of £3k.

So the true position might have been closer to £13k. And that at a point in the year when a ski company ought to be in the best of health, with sufficient assets to cover at least 6 months of minimal income / activity before next seasons bookings start to come in.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I once applied to be one of their minions on a ski week. The idea is they supply you with jacket, transport, lift pass etc and you are the rep for a group for a week. They pay for accommodation but not food or kit hire. You also have to go on a 'training weekend' in some God-forsaken old training camp in Wales (might've been Penally actually?!) for which you also have to pay.

I didn't go on a trip in the end but I think making people pay for so much was a rip-off. A lift pass, coach and accomm is ~£800 in early season and it's a week's work chasing annoying drunk kids about the place.
ski holidays
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Looking at the name of the subsidiary it is probably a legal wrinkle the effect of which is to reduce the vat liability calculated through TOMS (Tour Operators Margin Scheme). I've never looked closely at it but I suspect it is meant to work by the transport company inflating its margins to reduce the vat liability in the tour operation. Certainly TUI, Hotelplan and others use their in-house transport companies this way (for coaches, flights, trains).
Does "software development" count as R & D? If so, there is a generous tax break on it. Also, reading the blurb in the accounts, researching new resorts is probably treated in the same way!
"Wasteland" is the sort of name that would appeal to students but it has cropped up before (unfavourably) on SH.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Quote:

"Wasteland" is the sort of name that would appeal to students

Surely only those doing English Literature would bother to read it.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
this has prompted me to listen to this great tune


http://youtube.com/v/rIbMbXjbW98
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

In many cases in my dealings with companies, I don’t even bother wasting my time; I simply start with a seven day warning letter of County Court action, and then move swiftly on to making a claim.

That way I have got my money every single time. Amongst those who have felt my wrath are: easyJet, Swissair, Bolt taxi, and Gatwick express.


Big fan of @Poogle, 's approach. I will do that going forward. Thank you
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
LittleBullet wrote:
Quote:

In many cases in my dealings with companies, I don’t even bother wasting my time; I simply start with a seven day warning letter of County Court action, and then move swiftly on to making a claim.

That way I have got my money every single time. Amongst those who have felt my wrath are: easyJet, Swissair, Bolt taxi, and Gatwick express.


Big fan of @Poogle, 's approach. I will do that going forward. Thank you


Yep — it works every time, and totally bypasses their "complaint" systems, that are specifically designed to thwart, delay and deflect you at every turn.

Best to start by finding the companies registered address at companies house, and send your "letter before action" and claim form there. Quote their company number as well, as that shows you are serious and know what you are doing. Also, send your "letter before action" by Royal Mail Signed For, so you have proof.

And if you need to send the bailiffs in, then send them to a working office or factory etc; not to their registered address.

Enjoy!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Poogle, does this also work with trading standards? e.g. some dodgy double glazing window firm.....
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
LittleBullet wrote:
@Poogle, does this also work with trading standards? e.g. some dodgy double glazing window firm.....


Yes, it works against any individual or business that owes you money or who has broken the law in anyway; such as selling you faulty goods et cetera.

And there is no requirement for you to follow a companies “complaints procedure”; No do you need to first complain to trading standards or some ombudsman et cetera. Often, this is just a total waste of time.
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@Poogle, thank you. I owe you a beer.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
LittleBullet wrote:
@Poogle, thank you. I owe you a beer.


No problem, you are welcome. You will find lots of very useful information on the Internet about this, which I strongly suggest you read carefully, as it is very empowering.

If anyone would like to discuss any specific case confidentially, then please feel free to PM me.
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Poogle wrote:
... Yes, it works against any individual or business that owes you money or who has broken the law in anyway...
Aye. I've even done logically the same thing across continents, although that requires a little more reading.
Perhaps it should be pointed out that you do need to have a good case, and you do need to be at all times "reasonable".
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
philwig wrote:
Poogle wrote:
... Yes, it works against any individual or business that owes you money or who has broken the law in anyway...
Aye. I've even done logically the same thing across continents, although that requires a little more reading.
Perhaps it should be pointed out that you do need to have a good case, and you do need to be at all times "reasonable".


Yes! Many thanks for this important insight. It’s worth repeating: you obviously need to have a good case, and to show that you have attempted mediation et cetera. Mediation can be selected as an option during the claim process.

And the other point is worth reiterating: you need to be reasonable at all times, and don’t let things get angry or personal.

And lastly, amongst EU countries, you can sue in one country against a company in another country; but I think the limit is €2,000, And of course who knows what will happen after we leave in December?
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