A FRUSTRATED pensioner has said she is getting nowhere in her bid to claim money lost when a holiday company went bust.
Christine Cockram lost £900 after she booked a Clarksons Holidays coach trip for herself and five friends.
The theatre fans coughed up £150 each to go see the Jersey Boys in London last March.
But when the Pontefract-based company folded in February they were abandoned and out of pocket.
The Dalton pensioner said she had been making efforts to stake a claim for her money, but could not make any headway.
She said: “The brochure came through the letterbox, but when I phoned up to book they said the credit card machine was down so I should send them a cheque.
“They didn’t take my money until the day they went bankrupt.
“As it was me that booked it I feel like I should do something about it. But wherever I ring I’m just banging my head against the wall. I’m not expecting to get my money back.”
The Examiner understands other customers of the company were also asked to pay the balance of their holidays in cash shortly before it went bust.
Parts of the Clarksons Holidays business were acquired by Doncaster travel firm, Wilfreda Beehive, who have taken on the firm’s name, customer database and website.
Director Phil Haxby said his staff had contacted thousands of the failed company’s customers and had helped the vast majority.
But he said customers who had paid the balance of their trip, like Mrs Cockram’s group, were the unlucky ones that he could not currently help.
He said: “It was those who were due to travel imminently when the company went bust that we couldn’t help.
“We weren’t in a position to take on the whole liabilities of the company as they were in excess of £1m. There’s no way we could afford that as there were no real assets.
“We’ve helped some where we could absorb it into our margin, but in terms of those who had paid in full, it just would have been suicidal.”
Mr Haxby said time was running out as it was not clear where the former directors of Ken Clarkson Limited were.
He added: “We still have plans to help those that we haven’t, but we’re waiting still for an insolvency practitioner to be appointed.
“We can’t make a move to assist these creditors until such time as the company is wound up.’’
In June, The Examiner reported in the weekly finance column that Birmingham-based administrators MB Insolvency had taken on the case. But the company has now confirmed it decided against it.
A spokesman for Companies House said the process of dissolving Ken Clarkson Limited had begun.
He said: “At this time the company does appear to be going through the ‘strike off’ process with Companies House. This period is an opportunity among other things, for creditors to lodge appeals against strike off pending the resolution disputes and financial concerns while the company is still in existence.
“They or their representatives would be well advised to contact us as soon as possible, lodging their concerns and requesting a delay in this process until resolution has been achieved.
“They are currently being pursued for an overdue Annual Return and should this not be forthcoming, the process will be completed by the company being struck off the register.
“At that point the company will effectively cease to exist.”