Tour operator won’t refund me for cancelled ski trip

I am a second-year student at Bristol who is desperately trying to get a refund of £677 I paid for a university ski trip that was cancelled in March. The tour operator, Wasteland Ski, initially told students it would issue a credit note for basic costs and then cash refunds for “additional costs”. We were told to claim on our travel insurance, which I tried to do, but my claim was turned down on the basis that it was up to the tour operator to refund me.

Since then the company has done everything to avoid refunding me. It is now advertising its trips to this year’s freshers for next spring. I paid £677 for a trip which it has not delivered; it is simply pocketing my money. What would you do?
EN, Bristol

Your trip was covered by the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, which means you are entitled to a full refund. I emailed your complaint to both Wasteland’s chief executive and the firm’s customer service address, but received no response. The email did prompt the firm to reinstate your lapsed credit voucher but only for £507.

In your shoes I would first find the person who runs the university ski society and make them aware of how you have been treated. Then, as you have missed the chargeback deadline of 120 days, I would write to the firm giving them seven days to refund you stating that, if it fails to arrive, you will then file a claim with the civil money claims service (the courts). Others posting on the firm’s Trustpilot page have done this and received their money back.

I would urge other students thinking of booking a trip with Wasteland to read the reviews before they hand over their money. In the current climate, I would not want to accept a voucher that had to be used within 12 months.