What to do if you're having trouble getting a refund during the pandemic

Posted at 4:53 AM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 04:53:40-04

(WXYZ) — Chances are that something you had planned to do in 2020 got canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But, many people are growing frustrated because they're still waiting for a refund.

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

"A 9-bedroom house through VRBO, and it ended up costing us 14 thousand dollars," she said.

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

Eula Williams and Lanee Daily had their Frontier Airlines flight canceled, bot 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," she said.

And, Michelle Harper was planning a summer filled with concerts, but when they were canceled, she contacted Groupon where she bought tickets, for a refund.

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

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 with your credit card, then the Better Business Bureau, and finally, the state attorney general.

We are happy to report that after our team with Eula Williams, Frontier agreed to extend their vouchers. Also, Groupon agreed to refund Michelle's concert tickets.

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

To protect yourself, try to pay with a credit card, not with a check or debit card. That way you can dispute a charge.