Can I Get Advice with Chargeback due to Vendor in COVID

As some of you may have read, I was due to visit Scandinavia earlier this year until COVID struck, after purchasing the ticket in October. When the travel agency refused to rebook without charges, refund the money, and ended up hanging up on me or leaving me in limbo on a call (wait time 1 hour) I launched a chargeback. They insisted that after a period of 120 days, the chargeback is invalid. What recourse is available - the AFCA doesn't mention anything specific about the timeframe which makes me wonder if I'm out of recourses here.

Whole Story: I bought my ticket from an overseas travel company SchmoeRooFate (not the actual company.) During the uncertain periods I called the travel agency multiple times to try and get a refund. Initially the travel agency insisted on charging a cancellation fee, or stated that the airline did not allow refunds. When I called the airline, they stated that I could get a refund or re-book the air ticket for a different day. I've called and emailed the travel agency multiple times without any response apart from autogenerated.

In the end, the agency did not rebook the ticket and I nearly missed the flight but the airline managed to rebook me. Unfortunately restrictions have delayed the flight and I have sought a refund. Airline said it could be done but the travel agency has not responded in any way. Airline has since become insolvent and I sought a chargeback. The company insists that the 120 days means the chargeback is invalid.

Bank has asked me for a response for a final decision. What could I theoretically do team - if there's any bankers with high yielding investment vehicles with specialisation in chargebacks, I'd especially appreciate weighing in here? :D

Comments

  • What type of card? Visa, Mastercard, Amex?

    The chargeback window can vary between card schemes, but generally the standard chargeback time frame is indeed 120 days. If a card issuer tries to submit a CB that is over 120 days old, the actual system won't let them.

    However, there are exceptions for travel or flight related transactions. Eg for Visa this website specifically mentions plane tickets.

    https://chargeback.com/visa-chargeback-time-limits/

    VCR Dispute Reason Code 13.1 Time Limit Modifiers

    Chargeback time limits associated with VCR 13.1 can change if the merchandise or services were expected to be provided after the transaction processing date. For example, the purchase could be for plane tickets that would be used months after the initial transaction. Which means the dispute may be issued:

    120 calendar days from the last date the cardholder expected to receive merchandise or services.

    120 calendar days from the date the cardholder was told that the merchandise or services won’t be provided.

    The dispute cannot exceed 540 calendar days from the transaction processing date.

    Basically there a lot of CB rules (the manuals are dictionary thick), so if you can convince your bank to submit the chargeback, they will have to look carefully at the situation and see what they can do.

    If all else fails you can escalate to AFCA, that may help, but it's also no guarantee.

    • Oh wow. That is great to hear, I'll review it and formalise a reply over the weekend. Thanks John

  • If the company you are seeking a charge back against becomes insolvent, they are unlikely to have any money for you.

    You're also not first in line to get paid should there be money made available.

  • In the end, the agency did not rebook the ticket and I nearly missed the flight but the airline managed to rebook me. Unfortunately restrictions have delayed the flight and I have sought a refund. Airline said it could be done but the travel agency has not responded in any way. Airline has since become insolvent and I sought a chargeback.

    So you did take the flight although delayed?

    You probably can't get a refund for a flight that you took.

    But if the flight came out / into any of EU countries and delayed by more than 4 hours you can get compensation check your rights.

    • Mate I couldn't use the flight because of the ban on recreational flights out of the country. If I could take the flight, I wouldn't bother with a chargeback.

      • Got it.

        I have the same problem. One travel agent gave me a full refund no problem for flights cancelled.

        Another one that is charging a $20 fee to give me a full refund is the one dragging their feet for 3 months now.

        In your situation do a charge back.

  • The company insists that the 120 days means the chargeback is invalid.

    So the vendor says a chargeback is invalid? If so, who cares. Speak with your bank.