Customers left out of pocket after sudden closure of Stourbridge travel firm
A travel firm has suddenly closed leaving customers who had booked trips away out of pocket.
Group Travel Limited, a coach firm based in Audnam, Stourbridge, has closed its offices and customers have been unable to reach them by phone.
The tour operator was due to take passengers to the Royal Albert Hall in London on Friday, with customers paying £165 for a ticket, and also to Torquay on Monday for a five-day break.
Catherine Wood, aged 81 from Brierley Hill, who was due to travel to London with her husband Raymond, 84, received a letter yesterday morning from the travel firm, containing an ‘urgent notice’.
The letter said: “We are sorry to advise you that your coach tour has been cancelled. We are currently taking legal advice from a licence insolvency practitioner and will send you a letter confirming our position in the next two weeks. Group Travel Ltd has ceased trading. You will be contacted in due course regarding the procedure for a refund. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Mrs Wood said she was pleased to finally know what was happening, but still “flabbergasted” at the situation.
She said: “We are feeling upset and disappointed, we told everyone we were going. We bought two tickets to go to the Royal Albert Hall to Cirque Du Soleil, stay there and come back on Saturday. In total we paid £342.20 for two tickets, which includes £12.20 for insurance.”
Catherine, who has used the company for years, said they normally receive their particulars - such as the pick-up time - a week before the travel date.
Grandparents Barry and Dorothy Austin from Codsall were looking forward to a relaxing mid-week break at the Riviera Hotel in Torquay this Monday.
But they experienced similar problems trying to get in touch with Group Travel Ltd, and were led to believe their holiday was cancelled.
Retired Mr Austin, 81, who used to work for the Environment Agency, said: “We’ve booked with them before, to go to this hotel in January, and we’ve never had any problems.
“We’ve just paid the balance – £319 for the two of us.”
Mrs Austin, 80, added: “It’s put a lot of people into a mess I think. Not a good start to the year. It’s been quite a shock.”
The company’s Audnam office is usually open on Monday, but was closed with its car park barriers down. The firm, which also has an office Shrewsbury, was unavailable for comment.