Customers now entitled to refunds for certain canceled reservations

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Customers now entitled to refunds for certain canceled reservations

 
A buffet in downtown Seoul on Oct. 12. Buffet where lmany family events are held were opened after the government eased social distancing restrictions starting this week. [YONHAP]

A buffet in downtown Seoul on Oct. 12. Buffet where lmany family events are held were opened after the government eased social distancing restrictions starting this week. [YONHAP]

 
Customers forced by coronavirus regulations to cancel major family events at buffets and restaurants, such as a child’s first birthday celebration or a parent’s 61st birthday, are now entitled to partial refunds, depending on the level of social distancing restrictions in place at the time.
 
The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday announced changes to regulations affecting cancellations of travel, air transportation, lodging and restaurants, which have become major points of contention between the customers and businesses.
 
Under the new rules, when customers cancel reservations at restaurants, they are entitled to up to 20 percent of the payments made, when the government has implemented Level 1 social distancing restrictions. If the restriction is raised to Level 2, customers will be able to get a minimum of 40 percent.
 
While nationwide regulations were lowered to Level 1 starting this week, parts of the Level 2 regulations such as social distancing between customers at restaurant and coffee shops remain in the greater Seoul area.
 
The FTC did not create a minimum refund percentage for canceled reservations made through travel agencies, on airplanes or for lodging. But in the case of Level 2 restrictions, these businesses have to cough up a minimum refund of 50 percent.  
 
Customers would be able to get a full refund if the government raises the social distancing to Level 3 or when the service is canceled by the companies.  
 
BY LEE HO-JEONG   [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]

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