Thomas Cook refund website crashes after "unprecedented demand"

Thomas Cook refund website crashes after
By: Technology Posted On: October 07, 2019 View: 13

Thomas Cook refund website crashes after "unprecedented demand"

The Thomas Cook website set up to deal with customer refunds in the wake of the firm's collapse has crashed moments after going live.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which operates the website, "unprecedented demand" was interfering with some people's applications for refunds.

It urged affected travellers to "try back again later today".

Some estimated 360,000 customers are owed refunds after the airline collapsed last month. The CAA has told them it may take 60 days to process their claims.

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All Thomas Cook customers who purchased package holidays are covered by the Air Travel Organiser's Licence scheme (ATOL), which entitles them to a refund on the full cost of the holiday.

Separately, consumer organisation Which? has warned today that a fake refund website has been set up to attempt to scam Thomas Cook customers out of their personal information.

The CAA confirmed to Which? that is a fake website which is not being operated by Thomas Cook.

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Customers should ignore alternative websites and unsolicited calls or texts regarding any compensation due from the travel company.

Rory Boland, the consumer group's travel editor, said: "Fraudsters circle like sharks around financial disasters, so people should be aware that there are likely to be fake refund websites set up to fleece Thomas Cook customers - and some of them may look very convincing.

"Refunds for Thomas Cook customers will either be handled by the Civil Aviation Authority from Monday (7 October) or by banks and card providers, so we would urge anyone waiting to claim their money back to ignore alternative websites and unsolicited calls or texts promising a refund."

On Monday morning, the last stranded Thomas Cook customers returned to the UK in the country's largest peacetime repatriation, launched by the government on 23 September when the holiday company folded.

Around 9,000 members of staff were made redundant when Thomas Cook announced it had not been able to secure the necessary funding to continue trading.

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