When a consumer is seemingly at the end of their rope when it comes to getting a refund from an uncooperative or AWOL travel company, there is one option that will work in some cases, which many overlook – a credit card chargeback.
We’re thinking about this topic because of a recent article from Elliott, a consumer advocacy news and discussion site.
Entitled “When a Company Fails, a Credit Card Chargeback Can Save the Day,” the piece breaks down a question from a consumer, seeking a refund as the result of two canceled cruises. After detailing the situation, he writes:
“I have tried repeatedly to call the number [and reached voice mail], and I’ve sent e-mails, but have gotten no response. We are a retired couple who would greatly appreciate any help in getting our $12,144 back, as these funds could be used for other purposes.”
When the Elliott writer attempted to reach out the cruise company, they similarly found it to be unresponsive with regard to “the missing refunds.” Still, the Elliott correspondent offers some solutions, noting that “some travel insurance policies cover company bankruptcies and insolvency,” which could have helped the consumer recover his funds in this situation.
More importantly, the writer points out (emphasis ours):
“Fortunately, you used a credit card to pay for your cruise, so that left you with another important option: a chargeback. [This] protects consumers in transactions like this, and our advocate suggested you pursue that option with your credit card company.
The credit card company quickly processed your request and refunded your money. While I do not recommend that consumers start with a chargeback, once other efforts are exhausted, a credit card chargeback can often enable you to recover your money in the case of company insolvency.”
Indeed, there are numerous situations where a credit chargeback can be a useful tool for consumers, as these articles at CreditCards.com and NerdWallet point out.
Though most experts would recommend pursuing all possible solutions with your retailer or merchant first, and seeking out a chargeback as a last resort (or in the event of suspected fraud), the fact of the matter is that a chargeback can be used effectively to dispute many charges, as stipulated by the federal Fair Credit Billing Act.
As writer Gregory Karp notes at NerdWallet:
“…although the law hasn’t changed, the power of chargebacks has surged, to the point that banks and credit card processors typically side with consumers. When Consumers’ Checkbook, a nonprofit rater of local service vendors, asked its members to share stories about chargebacks in 2016, more than 100 replied, and 90 percent said they were successful, according to Executive Director Kevin Brasler.”
For more, we encourage you to read the full story over at Elliott.
Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.