Lynn Gillham of Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal had made a booking for her family at a guest house in Plettenberg Bay for Christmas, and paid in full, having been assured by the owner that they would get a full refund if a new form of lockdown forced them to cancel their holiday plans.
“This week our president closed the Garden Route beaches, declared Plett a coronavirus hotspot and strongly advised us not to travel far, so I tried to cancel for a refund, but was told I would no longer be getting a full refund,” she told TimesLIVE.
With Tuesday’s publication of the 50% limit on accommodation, she thought the guest house would be forced to cancel bookings, giving her hope for a full refund. However, the subsequent rewording of the regulations put paid to that.
Consumers who cancel holiday bookings because of beach closures or fear of contracting the virus in a hotspot do not have a legal right to a full refund.
Any cancellation would be a “normal” cancellation, made by choice, and therefore the establishment’s usual, pre-coronavirus cancellation penalties apply. Last-minute cancellations during peak holiday periods usually result in a full forfeit of payments made in advance to secure the booking.
GET IN TOUCH: Wendy Knowler specialises in consumer journalism. You can reach her via e-mail: email@example.com or on Twitter: @wendyknowler