I’ve been trying to get my cancelled flight to Zimbabwe refunded for a month but haven’t made any progress, do you have any suggestions?
This is a great question and highly topical now that flights and holidays are being cancelled left, right and centre.
The tips below resulted in Tsungi getting a refund of about £1,500 within a week when she had been struggling for a month to get her money back. I hope you have the same luck…ultimately…
There are three paths you need to follow for a refund and you need to follow them in the following order:
1. Ask the seller for a refund first.
So, if you booked via a third-party site, eg. Booking.com, trivago, etc call that third-party company and ask for a refund.
If you booked directly, e.g. with easyjet, Kenya Airways or Ryanair ask them for a refund.
Some sellers are very good at giving refunds and can turn something around within a matter of days that’s why I would choose this route first. It can be pretty low hassle.
If you have nothing back within a week go to step 2.
2. If you booked your holiday or whatever product it is using a credit card, the credit card provider is legally obliged to refund you if you make a request, under section 75 of the consumer credit act in the UK.
If you booked via a debit card banks refund you via a voluntary scheme called a chargeback scheme and sometimes this can result in a faster refund than with the legally required credit card refund, although chargebacks are not enshrined in law.
According to moneysavingexpert.com, You can use chargebacks under any of the following circumstances:
I used the chargeback scheme when Monarch airlines went into administration and natwest refunded me within less than one week and before they themselves got the money back from Monarch’s administrators.
So, it’s an awesome scheme.
As anyone who follows me know, I don’t own a credit card so I have never had the experience of needing to claim something back under section 75 but as it is a legal requirement you would definitely get the money back PROVIDED you spent over £100, i.e. you need to spend at least £100.01 for a single item for you to be able to make a claim under section 75 of the consumer credit act.
This is different to the chargeback scheme available for debit cards as you are covered for anything over £10.
There is also a difference in timing:
Credit cards allow you upto 6 years to make a claim while chargebacks can be requested up to 120 days from when the service should have been provided. After 120 days you can’t make a chargeback.
If you paid via PayPal you have upto 180 days to claim a refund.
Although I had a great experience with my chargeback for flights with Monarch Airlines, I have been waiting over 60 days for HSBC to get a chargeback for me from flights booked with Dream World Travel and they are blaming covid for the delay.
3. Finally, if the two routes above fail, claim on your travel insurance. Travel insurance won’t pay out until the two routes above have been exhausted.
If you don’t think you have travel insurance check you don’t have via your bank account, e.g. my family gets free travel insurance under my HSBC Premier bank account.
In summary, to get money back request a refund:
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Heather on Wealth
I enjoy helping people think through their personal finances and blog about that here. Join my personal finance community at The Money Spot™.