A travel test firm has been ordered to pay refunds to holidaymakers after failing to provide them with swab results or kits.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the competition watchdog, has revealed that it has secured an agreement from Dante Labs that it will pay any outstanding refunds within 21 days.
The company has also been lambasted for misleading information about its tests and failing to provide a proper customer service system that responded to complaints and queries in a "helpful and timely way".
Andrea Coscelli, chief executive at the CMA, said: "No PCR testing firm is exempt from the rules, and our action to secure these refunds and other changes shows that we will not tolerate poor business practices.
"While travel rules to the UK may have changed, those people who still require PCR tests to travel abroad shouldn't have to waste money on late results or tests that don't arrive.
"It is crucial that all PCR providers treat people fairly, being clear on price and timings and providing refunds where they are due."
Dante Labs, a US-headquartered company, is the sister company to Immensa Health Clinics Ltd, which was investigated after potentially issuing more than 40,000 false-negative tests.
Recent comments on Trustpilot have slated the company.
One, posted on January 13, said: "Never received my PCR test result – this is now more than 3 weeks later. Do not trust this company and do not give them your money."
Another customer, who posted on January 9, said that he had to wait a week for a day two test result, requiring him to self-isolate during that time. It meant he had to cancel a hospital examination for which he had been waiting a year and abandon a booster jab.
"I couldn't go to work and lost money. Meanwhile, the law changed and people arriving after me didn't even have to isolate while waiting for the result," said the customer.
The CMA has carried out investigations into three test providers, including Dante Labs.
The CMA has also sent letters to 25 PCR test providers, warning them to review their terms and conditions – and other practices – or risk enforcement action.
The CMA action follows the announcement on Monday that all tests will be scrapped for vaccinated travellers while those for the unjabbed will be reduced to pre-departure and PCR day tests.
Dante Labs has been contacted for comment.
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