Neither Eurostar nor insurers will refund me for cancelled trip

My journey was cancelled due to Covid restrictions but Lloyds bank and Axa won’t pay up

I was supposed to be travelling to Brussels in March on Eurostar but the trip had to be cancelled due to the Covid restrictions. Ever since then I have been trying to get someone to refund me the £178 the tickets cost, but neither the train company nor my Lloyds bank travel insurance will talk to me about this – never mind deal with my claim.

From early March until July I attempted to get Eurostar to refund me. My numerous emails only prompted acknowledgements of my complaint and promises to deal with it eventually – but no refund. In the end I gave up and approached my travel insurer, Lloyds, provided through a joint bank account.

Lloyds immediately told me to contact Axa, its delegated insurer. I did so but was told there was no record of my bank account. After many weeks of toing and froing by email it finally found it. I assumed this meant it would at last deal with the claim which I had sent three times. However, I heard no more.

In August, after getting nowhere, I travelled to the Taunton branch of Lloyds bank to take this up with them. I related the tale, but they refused to engage with me. They phoned the same number that I had been calling and after a long wait, with no answer and a queue building up behind me, I walked out of the bank furious at its refusal to take any responsibility for the service it charges me for. After eight weeks Axa wrote to tell me to take my case to the ombudsman if I am still unhappy.

It seems extraordinary that three well-known companies can treat customers with such disdain. What would you advise?

GF, Dulverton, Somerset

Your claim has not been well-handled by any of the three firms, and we can see why you were so furious. The fact Lloyds bank’s staff were not prepared to do anything to get your complaint even looked at seems particularly poor. After many calls and emails on our part, we have finally resolved it.

Lloyds still insists that Axa handles all of its travel claims, but admits its branch staff could have done more to help. As a result it has offered you £80 to apologise for the poor service. Axa told us it had emailed your husband (the contact on the account) to say that the policy would not cover the claim because Eurostar had offered alternative vouchers (even though you had not received them). To apologise for its service failures it has sent you £100. Finally, we got in touch with Eurostar, and it refunded the cost of the original booking. It has also apologised for the delay.

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Miles Brignall

The GuardianTramp

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