Holiday hopes still unfulfilled

BERIT VIRTANEN, a freelance designer, and her boyfriend needed a vacuum cleaner, and chose Hoover because of the offer. They bought before Christmas and promptly sent off the registration forms and proof of purchase, writes Mary Fagan.

Three months on, she has been told only that her case is being dealt with. She said: 'We wanted to go to Orlando for two weeks in May. Why launch this kind of promotion when you cannot handle it?'

Lynne Ferguson, a teacher from Richmond, south-west London, has been waiting for news since November, when she bought her Hoover washing machine. Her two-week holiday in New York has yet to materialise.

'In the small print they say don't ring us, we will ring you. They also seem to want you to book accommodation through them, which I do not want to do,' she said.

Margaret Lichfield, of Fulham, west London, is determined to get to the United States to visit friends, courtesy of Hoover. She bought her washing machine and applied for the offer in December, but heard nothing for a month until she made contact.

Some telephone calls later she received forms to fill in about six weeks ago. There has been nothing since, but she says: 'I know they will have to cough up in the end'.

Sarah Yiannoullou, a trainee art therapist from Romford, Essex, was last week promised two flights to Orlando on 17 April and return flights 16 days later. She and her boyfriend resisted exhortations to book accommodation through the offer - it would have cost pounds 800. The tickets have yet to materialise. But they are hopeful.

The Consumers' Association is urging all those who feel hard done by to contact the Advertising Standards Authority.

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