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Don't Waste Your Money: Getting pandemic-related refunds

Don't Waste Your Money: Pandemic-related refunds
Posted at 6:37 PM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-31 19:39:05-04

Chances are that something you had planned to do in 2020 got canceled due to the pandemic.

But many people are growing frustrated, because they are still waiting for a refund.

From vacation rentals to air travel to concerts, so many things have been canceled due to the pandemic.

But the worst part is often trying to get a refund!

Kathy Saafeld had to cancel her family reunion at a VRBO beach house.

"A nine-bedroom house through VRBO, and it ended up costing us $14,000," she said.

VRBO offered a voucher for future travel, but no refund.

Eula Williams and Lanee Dailey had their Frontier Airlines flight canceled. They got vouchers, but recently discovered the vouchers had already expired.

"By the time I did get in touch with someone it was past the 90 days, and now they are saying there is nothing they can do about it, my money is gone,” Williams said.

And Michelle Harper was planning a summer filled with concerts.

"I personally bought Nickelback and the Doobie Brothers (tickets),” she said.

When they were canceled, Michelle contacted Groupon, where she bought the tickets, for a refund.

"They informed me they were only giving Groupon bucks for refunds,” she said. “They weren't giving any money back to your cards or anything to that effect."

So what can you do if your travel company or event won't give you a refund?

Your best bet is to appeal, then escalate, and finally dispute.

  • Appealing can be as simple as calling customer service.
  • Escalating means contacting a supervisor, then sending an email to the company, with a copy to the company president.
  • Disputing means filing a complaint first with your credit card, then the Better Business Bureau, and finally the State Attorney General.

We are happy to report that after we worked with Eula Williams, Frontier agreed to extend their vouchers.

And Groupon agreed to refund Michelle Harper’s concert tickets.

We had no luck with VRBO, which is only giving vouchers, no full refunds.

To protect yourself, try to pay by credit card, not check or debit.

That way you can dispute a charge so you don’t waste your money.