I guarantee that at some stage in your life, you’ve bought something that came with a guarantee, even if that wasn’t why you made the purchase.

The chances are that you didn’t even read the terms of the guarantee, and even if you did, you might not have understood what all the caveats or restrictions meant.

It may be that you have, from time to time, tried to rely on a guarantee, possibly with mixed success.

What you may not have considered is what the value of the guarantee was – because no matter how well or badly it’s worded or what the chances are that you might need to rely on it, if the entity giving it has nothing left in the pot when you bring your claim, it’s about as much use as an airline ticket to Turkey on 29th May for a Chelsea or Man City fan.  For those of you not up on your football facts, the match has been moved from Turkey to Portugal!

My reason for pointing this out has nothing to do with football, but has everything to do with travel, although in reality it could be applied to anything.  I hear on the grapevine that many people who booked trips through Teletext Holidays that didn’t happen due to COVID are still waiting for their money back some 12 months later with no sign of a payment any time soon.  Not only are individual claims not very cost effective, but a group action could put the company out of business.  It may be that claims can be made to ATOL, but they only pay out if your travel agent ceases trading, which Teletext hasn’t and due to the protection given to companies to prevent winding up petitions being issued against them at the moment, it’s unlikely that there will be any developments in the near future.  Even if you were able to put them into liquidation, so that you could bring your claim to ATOL, it’s likely that all you can claim for is the actual cost of the holiday which will probably be disproportionate to the costs of the liquidation.  Which means that many people will probably just give up, especially if they have only paid a deposit.

When I write about legal issues that I come across that people might not be aware of, I try to make suggestions about how you can limit your exposure.  On this one, unfortunately, there isn’t much I can offer.  Obviously read the small print (or get me to do it for you) and consider taking out insurance if you think there is a risk, but in reality there is always a risk.  Who would have predicted 26 years ago that Barings Bank would have gone bust.  Or that just over 10 years later we’d have all been shocked by the demise of Lehman Brothers.  History is littered with things that no one ever thought would happen, like me giving up latte and replacing them with much healthier pints of Guinness, but stranger things have happened!

Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  The full service law firm.  Promising to make you promises.