My family and I had booked a July 2020 package tour to Disney World Florida for £ 8,040 through Travel Planners.
The holiday had been canceled the week before due to the Covid-19 outbreak and we told Travel Planners we wanted a cash refund, not a credit note.
After waiting four months, I hunted again and was told that my refund had not been processed as I may have tried to use the Chargeback scheme. I didn’t have it and even if I had it would have been my right.
I have now waited five and a half months for my money back. What can I do in this situation?
A customer with a package tour was canceled with the family to Disney World in Florida last year
Grace Gausden, consumer expert at This is Money, answers: Looks like the package tour company you were dealing with took the Mickey.
However, you are just one of many customers who, after an incredibly difficult year for the industry, have had trouble getting their travel provider back.
The vacation was planned as a one-time trip to Disney World with your wife and two young sons, costing £ 8,000, a huge sum of money.
Due to the July fly, you were told a week before it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Initially, you didn’t think there would be much of a problem getting your money back after letting Trip Planners know you didn’t want a credit or rebook, just a refund.
The advisor told you it could take up to 60 days, but given the circumstances, the wait was fine.
However, this time came and went and it was only after 95 days that you were advised that you should now wait 120 days before receiving your refund.
This deadline came and went, after which you received an email stating that the Travel Planners staff were on leave until December 4 and therefore the refund would be processed after this date.
Since it had now been a five-month wait for your refund, you called the company on December 8 to find out that your refund had not been processed because you “may” have tried to use the chargeback scheme through your credit card.
However, you claim that you weren’t even aware of what this plan was until it was called and you thought it was just a more blocking tactic.
You mentioned this to customer service, but they replied that many of their customers were ‘fraudulently’ claiming a refund and asking you to prove that you hadn’t – which you thought was ridiculous.
The advisor said she would email a form for you to fill out regarding the alleged chargeback, but this never arrived.
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You say that since then you’ve tried to contact the company several times by phone and email, but got no response.
According to ABTA, the travel organization, those who have booked a package holiday that cannot go through as planned, are entitled to a refund.
In normal circumstances, a refund must be made within 14 days.
However, given the current pandemic, it will take longer for these refunds to return.
Despite this, waiting six months for such a large amount is still a long time.
I contacted Travel Planners and asked them why it had taken so long for your refund to be refunded.
Fortunately, after consultation with the company, the company has agreed to return your money immediately.
A Travel Planners spokesperson said: “In these unprecedented times, the refund process has taken longer than usual due to the overwhelming number of cancellations.
“Many staff within our organization and suppliers, including product account managers who were on leave, slowed down the entire repayment process.
“We apologize for the delay in reimbursing Mr. P and we are happy to report that this has now been resolved and will be processed this week.”
You have confirmed that you have received the money. Let’s hope you and your family can enjoy a trip to Mickey and friends in Florida in the not-so-distant future.
What is the chargeback schedule?
Chargeback is an arrangement whereby a customer’s bank requests money back from the supplier’s bank.
It is a protection on most debit, prepaid, and credit cards that allows customers to request that a transaction be reversed if there is a problem with the goods or services they paid for.
It is not laid down by law, so there is no obligation to offer it, but it is part of the card rules for banks and lenders, although these rules may differ between card companies.
There is no upper limit on claims for claims of this nature. To make a claim, contact your card provider within 120 days of discovering a problem.
Another option is to recover money under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
It’s different, because it means that your credit card provider shares responsibility with the retailer or seller – giving you more options for recovering money if your goods are faulty, the order never shows up, or the merchant himself goes out of business.
Section 75 protection covers transactions costing between £ 100 and £ 30,000 – where at least part of the purchase was made with your credit card.
If you make a deposit with your credit card – provided it is over £ 100 – the total cost of the service or item will be covered.
A Great Train Journey customer waited months for a refund for his canceled trip to Puglia
Hit and miss: This week’s naughty and fun list
Every week, I look at some of the companies that aren’t meeting the expected standards, as well as those that have gone the extra mile for customers.
Mrs: This week, a reader, Ray, noticed he was also struggling to get a refund from a travel agent, Great train journeys.
He had booked a trip for four to Puglia, Italy, leaving in April and paying the £ 5,580 in full. Unfortunately, it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The group did not pay with a credit card, but with a debit card, and asked for a full refund when the trip was canceled because they were unable to book.
Instead, they were told this was not available and that they had to accept a credit note.
It’s now been nearly nine months since you’ve been back and forth with the company trying to demand a cash refund instead of a credit note.
I contacted Great Rail Journeys to find out why you couldn’t claim a refund.
Although it never responded to me, you were contacted a day later and a full refund was returned in just under a week.
A customer was full of praise for the company that managed to rescue its laptop data after a leak
Touch: Another reader, who does not want to be named, had a more positive story to tell.
He said, ‘I want to shout PC Macgici (no spelling mistake, it’s a play on Macbook and magicians) a repair shop where I live in Putney, south west London.
“ I’m a pretty clumsy person at the best of times, and a few weeks ago I spilled tea all over my laptop’s keyboard, which broke the whole thing. One of the dangers of working from home with a small desk.
While they couldn’t save the laptop, they could store the data on it, which was probably more valuable.
“I had to chase them to find out what was going on, but they were always very helpful and reassuring in response to my often hectic phone calls and I would recommend them to anyone in a similar situation.”
UPDATING: Dozens more customers have reached out about Currys’ disappointing customer service on the back of my story in December.
A customer, Louisa, bought a stove in the store in February last year and noticed that it has broken several times since then.
Every time she tried to book a repair, it was canceled and rearranged, leaving her unable to cook for her family.
On November 16, after numerous phone calls and web chats, she was promised a refund and collection of the stove as Currys could not replace it because they didn’t have one in stock.
At the end of December, she was still waiting for both the collection and the refund. At the time, she had to go out to buy another stove, so is now £ 350 less than Currys on top of the nearly £ 500 she had to pay for a new stove.
I contacted Currys about this and they agreed to refund her.
A spokesperson said: “We were very sorry to hear that Louisa was having problems with her stove. Our customer service team immediately contacted her and apologized for the delay in retrieving her faulty device and fully refund her.
Due to human error, her device was not picked up when agreed. This has now been resolved with the item pick up, a full refund is being processed and a goodwill gesture has been agreed. Louisa is pleased with our resolution. ‘
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