Hoover pressure group plans High Court action

THE HOOVER Holiday Pressure Group is planning a High Court action, writes Caroline Merrell.

The group, which is being advised by City solicitor Herbert Smith, is trying to bring together some of the many disgruntled Hoover buyers who have not received their flight allocation in order to bring the action against the company.

It is also trying to help people who have paid in part or full for accommodation and insurance but have hit problems with their departure dates.

The group is headed by Harry Cichy, who says that the number of members, currently 600, needs to reach 2,500 before a High Court action becomes viable.

It is estimated that about 300,000 people bought Hoover products to take advantage of the offer promising two free airline tickets. So far, about 130,000 people have been allocated flights.

Charles Plant, a partner at Herbert Smith, said: 'It is not easy for individuals to take up the matter themselves. The aim of any action would be to get a definitive High Court ruling.'

All the actions that have been bought against the company so far have been in the small claims court and only two have succeeded.

One outstanding case is that of Paul Tilley, who applied for his tickets over a year ago. Four weeks before his nominated departure date last August, after numerous letters about his flight, he finally received a standard letter from Hoover stating that all details had been passed to the travel agents.

He phoned the company in the middle of August to be told that all flights in September had been allocated and that he should reapply for dates. He then booked an alternative holiday, because he could wait no longer.

In October, he received a letter from Hoover giving him six days to respond with three new dates. He then decided to ask for compensation.

Another case is that of Aylwin Gorman, who was offered tickets to Orlando and took out travel insurance through Warwick-based Your Leisure, one of two travel operators appointed by Hoover. During the short period of time between taking out the insurance and travelling, her husband became ill. She found that she was not entitled to a refund on her insurance.

Caroline Knight, Hoover media relations manager, said: 'A lot of people think they are entitled to something that they are not.'

Hoover Action Group: 0442 219725.

(Photograph omitted)