COMPANIES refusing to give refunds and citing Covid-19 as an excuse have been branded a “disgrace”.

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has condemned the withholding of refunds and today called for action after a massive surge in demand for advice.

The charity has revealed figures from its public advice website which show the visits to its refund advice pages have spiked by 346% compared to the same period last year.

Cases brought to CAS involve companies which have either refused to refund any money paid or are stalling unnecessarily.

Kate Morrison, the CAS spokesperson for fair markets, said: “The increase is astonishing and shows there is a real wave of cases where people feel they have been let down by holiday companies, airlines and other traders.

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“Covid-19 is not the fault of the airlines or holiday companies or event planners, but nor is it the fault of their customers. The bottom line is that if you pay for something and don’t get it, you should get your money back. Not in vouchers but in the money you paid. Refusal to comply with this simple principle, using Covid-19 as an excuse, is a disgrace.”

Aimi Gold and Ali Miles (pictured), from Glasgow, had planned to get married earlier this year but those plans were thrown into chaos by the pandemic. This meant the couple has had refund problems with a variety of different companies. The total amount of refunds they are waiting for is £15,000.

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Gold said: “Good weather on the day of our wedding was the biggest problem we foresaw – not a global pandemic!

“I have a lot of sympathy for these companies and would be happy to wait for a refund until later in the year, but given that they are completely refusing a refund altogether ... and the law clearly provides that I am entitled to a refund, I feel like I don’t have any other option than to raise a small claims action.”