PCR TEST NOT RECEIVED IN TIME TO BOARD FLIGHT - SEEKING COMPENSATION FOR COST OF EXTRA FLIGHTS!
Hi there, wise people of MSE forums!
I am looking for advice on a PCR test which was guaranteed to reach me by midnight the day before travelling to Spain.
I booked a test with a private company in Cardiff called VivaClinics. I and my Fiancée are double jabbed, so only my 13 year old Step Daughter needed a PCR test to fly.
We booked the test on Tuesday to be taken at their clinic on Cathedral Road on Wednesday morning at a cost of £125, with a guaranteed result by midnight the following day. (Thursday midnight)
We thought this was perfect for us, as we weren't flying until Friday at 9am with Tui from Bristol.
But as midnight on Thursday came and went. We started to become concerned, so on getting up to be ready to travel on Friday morning. We still hadn't had the results. So we began calling frantically to find out what was going on!
We were told that the Lab (Randox) doing the test had not reported any results for my Step Daughter and that the Lab won't open until 8am.
So we got to Bristol Airport at 7 am and tried ringing again. Only to be put on hold so long. That we lost being able to board our Tui flight.
Eventually got through, and told them we had lost our flight. Only to be told the Lab didn't open until 9 am.
We actually got the results which were negative by email at 10:17 am. After asking for help from Tui staff who were at the airport to help another flight board. And after trying and failing to get hold of our travel insurance company. We decided to purchase more flights on Ryanair, flying at 15:35 at cost of over £500.
VivaClinics apologised and said they would refund us the cost of the test as it didn't get to us until after the guaranteed midnight deadline. Which actually took them nearly a month to do? And only after disputing the payment with my credit card company.
My holiday insurance company has refused to cover the cost of the extra flights and advised me to pursue VivaClinics for compensation. I have spoke to a Manager and made an official complaint. But, they are refusing to compensate us for their failure.
We feel we have been totally left down by VivaClinics.
Can anyone advise the best way forward please?
Should I make a small claims?
The extra cost was only incurred due to their failure and they have admitted the failure.
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The test guarantees you a result "in your chosen time frame or your money back." It doesn't "guarantee a result or we'll foot the bill for additional expenses." In fact the T&C's state
If you had booked the test on Tuesday afternoon you'd allowed more time for the test to be processed and less chance of it being late.
Nobody will absolutely 100%, swear on my mothers grave, guarantee you'll get the results in time (they can't do this) and I'm not aware of a single one who will pay your expenses if they fail to get the test back to you in time. Most won't even refund you the cost of the test.
They were quite upfront that the guarantee covered the cost of the test, not anything else.
If you need a pre-departure test (and fewer and fewer destinations require them) an in-person outfit like Collinson is probably a better option.
However, as you have said that they (1) guaranteed that the test would be done within a certain time frame and (2) have admitted liability, if it were me, I'd have to have a go at chasing compensation.
Sometimes a company's Terms and Conditions can be over-ridden, every case judged on its own merit.
There's some good info in the link below from this very site -
It's worth thinking about, anyway. Good luck
What the OP hasnt explained is why they left it so late to have the test done in the first place... you really want to be doing all testing at the earliest opportunity else you are running a risk. If you are doing it late you want to remove all possible sources of delay... do an in person test not postal; ideally do a test at or close to the lab; pay more for a quicker service so you have as many spare hours for chasing etc.