The car rental company will charge your credit card again even though you have returned the car safely. The chic bar on the beach charges the bill twice. The airline goes bankrupt and the flight paid by credit card never takes place. In such cases, chances are good that you will get your money back. Buyer protection is available at PayPal. Your credit card has that too – and it’s called a “chargeback”.
How to use it:
1. Contact your bank in good time
As soon as you notice an incorrect credit card debit, you should contact the bank from which you received your credit card. There is no point in contacting Visa or Mastercard. For American Express only, you need to contact the credit card company directly. As a rule, you have up to 120 days from the transaction date to initiate the chargeback process.
2. Remain persistent
Your bank has a special form with which you can complain about a credit card debit. You can find it either online or at the branch. Unfortunately, it often happens that bank employees have never heard of the chargeback process – we have received numerous complaints from readers. Be persistent.
3. Fill out the form
In the form you have to state exactly what is wrong with the booking. There are several options that we have all listed in our great guide. Most of the time, you will also find the evidence you have to provide so that your bank can trigger the chargeback process.
Important: First try to clarify the matter with the dealer or service provider in writing (post or email). If this does not succeed, the correspondence serves as evidence in the chargeback process. In the event of bankruptcy, a screenshot of the website stating that the company is no longer performing may be sufficient.
Special case: flight tickets booked through travel agents
Chargeback problems can arise if you did not book a flight ticket directly with Air Berlin, Niki or Germania, but through an agent such as Agree Bank or Fine Bank. The chargeback is usually directed against the intermediary and not against the insolvent airline. And the intermediaries do not want to be liable for this – they often exclude this in the terms and conditions.
But the chargeback often works anyway. Readers have confirmed this to us – both in the Air Berlin case and at Germania. Only then the intermediaries will ask you for the money again. The legal situation is unclear, do not let yourself be unsettled. You are no more to blame for bankruptcy than the intermediary. We have never heard of cases where customers have been sued for payment. We believe: The mediators should be responsible for the mediated service.