UKICC - Resolving dispute with Portuguese company that has now closed down

I was arranging a stag do for a group of 22 of us to Lisbon, Portugal. We found an event for the group, this was bottomless brunch with a drag show....this was provided by Drag Taste. Once I found the event, I researched the company and it had very good reviews on all reviews sites (Google/Trip advisor etc), therefore I decided to book.

The cost was 40euro per person (+ 10euro booking fee). We also wanted the stag himself to have a drag transformation (additional 70euro). Therefore the total was 960euro. I booked everything via the Drag Taste Website on 28th April 2022 and paid the total on 5th May 2022.

The event was due to take place on Sunday 29th May 2022 at 2pm. From payment to event date, a few emails were sent between myself and Dragtaste. However everything went quiet in the 2 weeks leading up until I received an email at 7.30pm on 28th May (we had already arrived in Lisbon) stating that one of the performers had covid and Drag Taste had cancelled. However, this was a lie as in fact the building for the event had not been finished and was still under construction. This is demonstrated by various social media posts by Drag Taste and the venue didn't in fact open until 25th June 2022 (nearly a month after our booking date). It begs the question if they had any intention of providing the event on 28th May.

Ever since the cancellation I have been chasing Drag Taste for a refund. I've provided all required details (refund request, bank details etc) from my end but they are not sending the money.

They have since been ignoring all emails and social media messages and I cannot get in touch with them. The company has basically vanished. Therefore I need help to ensure that they pay me back as it's a lot of money! I've tried to get the money returned through my bank but they can't help as it's a foreign bank transaction and not paid by credit card.

I contacted the UK International Consumer Centre (UKICC) to assist with this foreign transaction nearly a year ago now. Initially I was having responses/updates but I haven't heard anything back for nearly 6 months despite numerous chaser emails. Unfortunately no one can contact them by phone either, do they still operate?. I'm now stuck in a position 900euro out of pocket and no way to resolve this. Any advice would be appreciated, it seem like I've exhausted all avenues.

Thanks

Comments

  • Aylesbury_Duck
    Aylesbury_Duck Posts: 13,738
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    UKICC seem to be an advice centre, I suspect all they could do is advise how best to pursue the Portuguese(?) company that has the money, even if you could speak to them.

    I suspect your only course of action here is to look at the Portuguese equivalent of our small claims court system.  Is it worth the effort?  960euro between 22 of you is less than £40 each.  Annoying to lose it of course, but are you prepared to go to all the effort of pursuing legal action overseas for it?
  • Mark_d
    Mark_d Posts: 262
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    It sounds like you've already taken reasonable steps.  You could go to further efforts by engaging solicitors in Portugal however it won't be easy, cheap or have any guarantee of success.
    My suggestion would be to accept this loss of £40 each and learn from the mistake.  Put all purchases of over £100 (goods or services) on credit card
  • Aylesbury_Duck
    Aylesbury_Duck Posts: 13,738
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    Paying on credit card might not have helped in this instance.  The total cost was over £100 but each ticket was well below that and OP wasn't the sole beneficiary.  I don't think S75 protection would apply in those circumstances.
  • RWms
    RWms Posts: 2
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    Thanks both. I agree, it was silly of me not paying by credit card but with the positive reviews of the company at the time of booking I thought it wasn't a risk and it saved a lot of money (at the time, obviously not the case now!). 

  • Aylesbury_Duck
    Aylesbury_Duck Posts: 13,738
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    RWms said:
    Thanks both. I agree, it was silly of me not paying by credit card but with the positive reviews of the company at the time of booking I thought it wasn't a risk and it saved a lot of money (at the time, obviously not the case now!). 

    See above, I don't think it would have helped on this occasion.
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