THOUSANDS of holidaymakers have been left distressed by a travel agency in Wimbledon. 

Iglu Cruise based on 165 The Broadway has come under fire for failing to refund passengers in agreed time frames.
Wimbledon Times has seen evidence that many of their associated cruise lines have refunded Iglu. However, hundreds of customers are yet to receive a refund. 

The travel agency which says, they "endeavour to refund customers within 90 days" have left some customers out of pocket since March.

Wimbledon Times:
Customers also claim that they were forced to pay the rest of their holiday package by debit card or would face losing their deposits.

Iglu Cruise confirmed to Wimbledon Times, that a total of 40,000 bookings have been impacted by Covid-19. 

The agency which reassures travellers they can "cruise with confidence", says they have redeployed members of their sales team to customer care, to help manage the backlog.
In June this year, a group called Iglu Refund Action Group on Facebook was formed. 

To date, the group has rallied almost 900 angry members who claim they have been ignored by Iglu. 

Speaking to Wimbledon Times on why they started the group, Mr and Mrs Ingram said: "We knew Iglu had our money back from the cruise line and didn’t give any commitment to return it to us.

"It was almost impossible to contact them and we worried about if and when we would get it back.

Passengers tend to be over 55 and a proportion are disabled or in poor health.

"Most of the older ones are not online and we have some passengers children on the group trying to recoup money for elderly parents. 

"Some of the £10,000 + refunds represent all of a persons savings or sadly the last holiday for some."

Wimbledon Times: Claire BolandClaire Boland

Following a thread launched by the Wimbledon Times, mother Claire Boland said: 

I am worrying daily, I'm anxious and can't sleep with the stress and uncertainty as to if and when we will ever get out money back.

"This was to be our first family holiday and this has put me off cruising for life."

Caroline Reid who was meant to sail with her family in July was sent a confirmation by her cruise line, Royal Caribbean, confirming that they had issued a refund to Iglu in June.

Wimbledon Times:

She said: "I do understand that it is very difficult for the travel industry right now, but I work in finance myself and I know that it doesn’t take months to process refunds. 

I’ve now been waiting 111 days for my £6,969 refund.

"I know that the cruise line refunded my money to Iglu in June so why haven't they refunded me?"

Jackie Cohen is owed £6938, she was meant to sail on June 18, her holiday was cancelled in April. 

Wimbledon Times: Jackie CohenJackie Cohen

She says that she received a confirmation email to say her refund was 'being processed' back in May.

 Jackie said: "I feel furious! Apart from anything, this is the most amount we have ever spent on a holiday. It’s a lot of money and we need the dosh.

I worry that they are going to go bankrupt and then it will be even more of a hassle to get the money back."

Despite cruise lines confirming they have refunded Iglu, the travel agency still claim they are waiting to receive the funds.

A spokesperson said: "Unfortunately, due to the unprecedented situation of Covid-19, processing refunds are taking longer than normal and it is more complex than we initially realised. 

"Often, we are waiting for funds to be transferred to us by third party suppliers before we can refund the consumer. 

"Additionally, each cruise line, airline, accommodation provider and land tour operator has its own set of rules in relation to cancellations, refunds and credits that we have to apply and reconcile for each of the 40,000 bookings which have been impacted.

"We are faced with a constantly evolving and unfamiliar landscape which no one in the travel industry has had to navigate before. 

"We are taking all possible steps to ensure that our customers receive their refunds as quickly as possible."