A COUPLE who thought they had lost £1,000 after signing up to a holiday club scheme were today celebrating after they received a full refund.

Myra and Andy Durrant said they had been on a "holiday from hell" after visiting the Costa Del Sol and buying a share in a holiday club property.

The couple today thanked the Lancashire Evening Telegraph for securing their full-deposit refund, and said: "We thought we had lost the money, but it's all thanks to the Lancashire Evening Telegraph that we have been able to get it back."

Myra, 65, said the morning after she signed up to the deal she went back to the representative working for Heritage International, based in Malaga, and demanded their money back with no success. She added: "I convinced myself that we had lost the money, but wasn't prepared to lose the rest of it."

When Myra and Andy, 49, returned to their Coates Avenue home, in Barnoldswick, they received a letter stating the remaining £5,700 should be sent to the company.

But after the Lancashire Evening Telegraph spoke to a Heritage International spokesman they reassured the couple that they would refund the deposit.

Myra added: "I would warn people against taking part in this kind of thing. I was sure I wasn't going to get my money back because I made phone calls, sent faxes, spoke to solicitors and contacted Trading Standards, but nothing worked."

According to Trading Standards, Holiday Clubs are a new concept that are not governed by the same strict legislation which monitors Timeshares.

Julian Edward, a spokesman for Lancashire Trading Standards, said there isn't any legislation which ensures Holiday Club deposits should be paid back.

He said: "Holiday Clubs have very little protection, unlike Timeshare which are governed by the Timeshare Act and ensure taking deposits up front is prohibited.

"If people do want to get involved in these schemes they should let a solicitor look at the contract, never pay any money up front and if they do decide to go ahead, people should pay on credit cards to make sure they are protected if anything goes wrong."