Coronavirus: Credit card chargebacks an option for those refused refunds for canceled travel

Saturday, April 25, 2020
Credit card chargebacks can help people who were refused refunds
As the coronavirus pandemic forces consumers to cancel their travel plans, credit card chargebacks are an option for those unable to get refunds.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Travel providers are cancelling flights, hotels and cruises and not always refunding the money. Often they won't even talk with the consumer. Well, you do not have to put up with that.

Posts about travel cancellations on my Facebook page make the problem clear: "Only credit no money." "Cannot get someone to answer."

John Martin had a beautiful wedding, lots of guests, but the Cancun honeymoon set for a few months later was cancelled.

"We were afraid that once, if we were able to get there", he told me, "we would not be able to get back."

He has a good case to make that he shouldn't have to pay for the flights, but still he has received no refund from either the airline or his travel insurance company.

John has told his friends and family, "No one can believe it is not cut and dried. Simple as, here you go, hope to book with you later."

Beverly Harzog is a credit card expert and consumer financial analyst for U.S. News and World Report. She says you do have some power here, and says you should reach out to the travel provider. "State your case and say if this is how it is going to be, flexible with me in terms of giving me a refund if I can't go."

If you don't get satisfaction, or the company won't even communicate, ask your credit card company for a chargeback.

Harzog says tell tell your credit card company, "They are not working with me on this. Can you help me? I really need to get my money back."

You may think it is too late to get a chargeback. Maybe you have even heard me say you only have sixty days to get one. Well, there is wiggle room.

Monica Eaton-Cardone is one of the nation's foremost authorities on chargebacks. She is the founder and CEO of Chargebacks911, a company that helps protect merchants from unfair chargebacks. She says "60 days" has two different meanings.

"So it is 60 days after the purchase date, or 60 days after the redemption of your service," she explains.

She says consumers should be careful with chargebacks, because they can be fought and won by travel providers. Chargebacks are tracked these days, so when asking for your money back stick to the facts of what happened.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here