Customers affected by coronavirus cancellations face “inconsistencies” and “confusion” in the banking industry as they seek help to recover their money.
Those who find themselves in an impasse in disputes with companies such as airlines, tour operators or event organizers should be able to turn to their card company for assistance in obtaining refunds.
But Gareth Shaw, head of money for consumer group Which?, Says too many people are abandoned.
“In this time of great confusion, we really need financial providers to be consistent in the information they provide and how they apply the law to people and we just didn’t find it,” he said. declared.
There are two types of consumer protection.
The first, called chargeback, covers all card payments and allows customers to ask their card provider to cancel a transaction if they cannot resolve their dispute. The program is voluntary.
The second is section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. It gives those who use a credit card the right to claim against the card issuer and the retailer on purchases of £ 100-30,000 and is a legal right.
In the past two months, 10 times more people have asked for help to start such a request using which one? site only in January and February.
“We found a really uneven approach,” said Shaw.
“Some banks are happy to process refunds for people under either of these two schemes, others refuse to do so if offered a voucher or the option to rebook their vacation. “
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Jordan Lawrence and his family should have spent Easter in Spain.
His airline offered a voucher and said that if he wanted to get his money back, he would have to wait until the pandemic ended. But all hope that his card provider would help him quickly disappeared.
“Because Ryanair offered a refund, you are not allowed to have a chargeback on your card, no matter which bank you are with,” he said.
“The problem is … it could take a week, a month, a year, no one knows. “
The biggest problem is the number of cancellations, especially when it comes to vacations.
Julia Lo Bue-Said of Advantage Travel Partnership, which represents independent travel agents, finds it “almost impossible” to process such a large number of refunds.
“You have a scenario where between 80% and 90% of the travel industry staff are on leave so we work with more call volume, more email volume, but you don’t have the volume of people to support consumer rights now. “
The likes of the Glastonbury Festival are right: the 135,000 who paid a deposit for the tickets were offered a full refund or a delayed entry to 2021.
But getting reimbursed for certain theater tickets was tricky.
These are unprecedented times, but until the virus has been sent in its packaging, last minute stays after the lockout may well be the safest bet.