Covid testing firm calls in police after furious travellers were left in the lurch over delays
- Government-backed Atruchecks faced wrath of customers after delayed tests
- Firm offers £92 two-swab package – among the cheapest available for jetsetters
- Those arriving from amber nations had to extend quarantine time to 14 days
- Atruchecks called in Scotland Yard after claims customers were abusing staff
A government-approved Covid testing firm left hundreds of travellers in the lurch after becoming ‘overwhelmed’ with orders.
Atruchecks has been near the top of a Government list of firms offering testing kits for travellers returning from abroad.
But customer relations have turned sour following a flood of complaints from people claiming tests arrived late by as much as a week or more.
And the firm has even called in Scotland Yard after claiming that dissatisfied clients had targeted staff with online abuse.
It has meant arrivals from amber countries face having to extend their quarantine because the rules state that travellers must stay in self-isolation for 14 days if they don’t receive their results back by day ten.
Arrivals from amber countries face having to extend their quarantine after Atruchecks’ Covid test allegedly arrived late
Customers said that when they phoned Atruchecks to complain or ask where their tests were, they were unable to get through to anybody and didn’t receive replies to emails.
Its tests are among the cheapest at £92 for a two-swab package needed for people returning from amber countries.
The tests must be taken on days two and eight after arrival. One email sent by Atruchecks to its customers, seen by the Mail, said: ‘There have been incidents where staff have been targeted online and offline.’
It adds that Atruchecks therefore had ‘no choice left’ but to contact Scotland Yard about the abuse.
Atruchecks’ tests are among the cheapest at £92 for a two-swab package needed for people returning from amber countries
Mikko Lintunen, 42, ordered his tests on May 30, arrived in the UK from amber-list Finland last Monday and didn’t receive his kit until yesterday.
He said: ‘It’s pretty disgraceful, how can it take more than a week to deliver them?’
Atruchecks was founded by Laween Atroshi, a former Labour candidate for Surrey Heath in the 2015 general election. He lost to now Cabinet minister Michael Gove.
Mr Atroshi last night blamed the delays on Royal Mail, saying it was ‘overwhelmed’ by the number of orders last week.
He did, however, concede that his customer service centre ‘wasn’t geared up’ for the flood of calls from dissatisfied customers.
Mr Atroshi told the Mail: ‘We are trying round the clock to respond to all emails. We’re here, we’re not a scam. Where a refund is due of course we’ll accept liability and refund it where appropriate.’
The Mail has been campaigning on the issue of testing for travellers, calling on ministers to help drive down prices further and help deliver better value for money.
A Government spokesman said it is the responsibility of private providers to manage the availability of tests, but it ‘closely monitors [their] performance to ensure they deliver a high quality of service to customers’.