Question: We paid a £600 (about R10 200) deposit for a holiday around Christmas but then the company applied a surcharge due to the Brexit drop of the pound against the dollar.
We cancelled, but our deposit has not been refunded. Why, if the holiday booked at a certain price is increased, cannot one cancel and get the deposit refunded?
Answer: At the time you put down the deposit, you will have agreed to a contract term that permitted a surcharge within legal limits. Under the Package Travel Regulations, the company is entitled to put up the agreed price if it is able to demonstrate that its costs have increased. As you appear to realise, it must absorb the first two percent of any increase. And if the increase is over 10 percent, then it must offer you the option of cancelling with a full refund.
Perhaps, the price rise, as most I have seen, is within the 2-10 percent band meaning that the buyer has to pay the increased amount or, as you discovered, lose their deposit. I imagine the firm is quite pleased that it has been able to hang onto your deposit and sell the holiday again.