Thousands of holidaymakers have been left in the lurch by an online travel firm going bust.
Hotel Voucher Shop, which allowed customers to buy holidays as gifts, has collapsed owing £2.3million.
The firm sold vouchers worth up to £1,000 which could be put towards the cost of trips and claimed to have contracts with 150,000 hotels.
But last week the company, run by businessman Chris Orrell, 40, went into voluntary liquidation leaving 6,000 customers out of pocket.
Travellers – many of whom were given the vouchers as wedding, birthday or retirement presents – claim they have arrived at destinations to find bookings cancelled.
Faye West, 44, and husband Charles, 48, booked three nights at the five-star Ritz Carlton Hotel in Berlin with a £500 gift voucher.
The couple, from London, turned up on Charles’ birthday to be told the booking was void.
Faye said: “We were told: ‘No, you haven’t got a room’. We felt very cheesed off.”
Last week Faye confronted Mr Orrell at a creditors’ meeting called to wind the firm up. She said: “I hope the liquidator supports a full investigation.”
Married couple Emma and Dana Wilson, of Aberdeen, booked a weekend in Palma, Majorca with a £275 gift card given to them as a wedding present.
Teacher Emma, 36, said: “When we turned up the hotel had never heard of Hotel Voucher Shop.
“We paid 280 euros ourselves and since then no one from Hotel Voucher Shop has answered our phone calls, emails or Facebook messages.
“The company director must have known it was in trouble.”
Mr Orrell, who heads a string of firms based in Hemel Hempstead, Herts, did not respond to requests for comment.
Liquidators Leonard Curtis said the firm had been running at a loss and was unable to meet contractual obligations.