As the world’s economy grinds to a halt during the current novel coronavirus pandemic, few sectors have been hit harder than travel, hospitality and tourism. The industry’s responses to the crisis have been as varied as the number of companies involved. But in many cases they have left the consumers less than satisfied when they seek coronavirus-related travel refunds.
Speaking of consumers like you, it’s not as though you haven’t been hit every bit as hard as the corporations. Maybe even harder. All your carefully planned schedules have been discarded overnight. Perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime family vacation, or a wedding, or some other important event is no longer going forward as planned. If ever. And what about your money? You paid in advance of course, so is that money all gone?
We certainly understand the difficult position the companies are in. But that’s no reason for you to not get your money back when you did nothing wrong. So what’s going on out there?
A recent BBC article discusses the possibility of claiming your refunds from travel insurance. The bottom line is that the chances of success depend on the fine print of your policy. And the reason why the travel was cancelled as well. If the government prohibits it, your odds are better. If you decided it’s too dangerous, your odds are diminished.
The fine print may make distinctions. Between a hotel that’s been closed, for example, and an open hotel in an area where travel is not recommended. And of course, timelines matter. You will certainly have a deadline. But you may also not be able to file until shortly before the planned trip. And save your receipts and contracts!
The best case scenario at this point would be to get all your money back directly from the airline. Don’t be surprised, however. to learn that this may be easier said than done. Another BBC article warns that many customers have been frustrated by delays and byzantine bureaucracy in an attempt to recover their funds. In particular, many have complained that while they could book their flights online, and even get vouchers for cancelled flights the same way, a refund has to be requested over the phone. That involves interminable waits and numerous calls, given how overwhelmed the system is now. And keep this in mind: If you’re skipping a flight — even for the best of reasons — that is not officially cancelled, you may not be entitled to a refund at all.
Moreover, if you reserve a flight, verify that the airline did not previously cancel it. Yes, that sounds absurd. But there are reports that some airlines apparently continue to market flights that will not take off. If you made that mistake, you obviously will want a refund.
There’s one final option in the event no one else will help you. And assuming you were wise enough to pay with a credit or debit card. That is to dispute the charge with the bank that issued you the card. There are several types of transactions that qualify for a chargeback. One is a fraud, in which your card was used without your knowledge. Another is when you received goods or services you paid for but were not provided or delivered as contracted. A third is when you were charged the wrong amount.
If your travel was cancelled and the merchant is refusing to grant you a refund, a chargeback may be an attractive alternative to losing your money. Be aware, however, that some experts are warning that banks and credit card companies may, in the current crisis, lean towards denying chargebacks more than approving them. Your best bet, therefore, is to have a professional behind the scenes preparing your case for you. Someone with a deep and broad understanding of all the relevant laws, regulations, and company policies. But someone who’s on your side.
There is no reason why a global catastrophe needs to sweep your hard earned money away. You do not deserve to be another victim. If you are finding all doors closed to helping you, consider MyChargeBack. We are an American fund recovery firm with clients around the world. And we have helped people like you recover millions of dollars. Reach out to us for a free consultation today.
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MyChargeBack assists UK residents via its Financial Conduct Authority regulated claims management company: www.mychargeback.co.uk.
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