The CMA started investigating the online bookings firm after receiving complaints from people who hadn’t received refunds for package holidays that were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.
This is despite the fact that package holiday regulations state that customers are legally entitled to a cash refund within 14 days if the travel provider cancels the trip.
Over 9,000 customers are still waiting for refunds according to the CMA, which are valued at over £7m.
Following CMA’s intervention, lastminute.com has now signed formal commitments to pay these refunds by 31 January 2021 at the latest, with at least half of these paid by 16 December.
Anyone whose package holiday is cancelled by lastminute.com on or after 3 December will also be refunded within 14 days according to the law under the commitments signed by the company.
Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “Online travel agents have a legal responsibility to provide prompt refunds to customers whose holidays have been cancelled due to coronavirus – irrespective of whether the agent received refunds from airlines and accommodation providers.
“Our action today means that customers whose holidays were cancelled by lastminute.com will receive their money back without undue delay.
“The CMA is continuing to investigate package holiday firms following concerns that people are not getting the refunds they’re entitled to when bookings can’t go ahead because of the pandemic. If we find that businesses are breaching consumer protection law, we will not hesitate to take further action.”
The Independent has contacted lastminute.com for comment.