While on an overseas vacation, I decided to purchase a zoo ticket online – digital purchases were entitled to a 10% discount – a saving that, albeit small, was worth striking up. Through the hotel’s sluggish Wi-Fi, I managed to get to the booking site to select the type of ticket I wanted along with the date of my visit. After which, I proceeded to provide the details of my payment. Everything was going smoothly up until this point.
Then, the browser refreshed. My card was charged four times and I was given four tickets instead of one.
Flabbergasted, I immediately emailed the company about the mishap. Fortunately, they responded promptly and I was relieved when they assured me the refund of three of the purchased tickets. I then provided them with the details needed to proceed with the refund.
What happened next was rather unexpected. After returning from my trip, I realized that the refund had not been credited to my bank account. Concerned, I emailed the company again – this time asking for a status update on the refund.
Since I hadn’t received a response, I sent reminder emails every three days for about a period of two weeks. To ensure that my emails were addressed to the right people, I made sure to include several key contacts that I had found on their website. Unfortunately, this proved futile and still I received no response.
I then decided that it was time to go ahead with another plan – I realized the company in question was using a third-party payment system for their online purchases. A quick search online led me to the contact details of said company. Thus, I decided to write to the third-party processors explaining my unpleasant situation.
In my email, I mentioned that the company I purchased these tickets from had assured me a refund of three of my tickets, but that I had yet to receive any. I also included the date of my purchase, along with my booking reference to make it easier to track. I made sure to provide as much information as I could to help with identifying the transaction.
In just an hour, I received a response! A representative from the payment company replied and apologized for the long wait. They confirmed that my refund would be reflected in my bank account in a couple of days. To add on, they took the initiative to inform the company I had purchased the tickets from that it had been processed. Sure enough, I received the rightful refund in just a few days.
The payment company’s objective is to make online transactions seamless, and handling money is their number one priority. The reputation of these companies can be badly affected if they don’t deal with consumer complaints in a professional manner – It thus made sense that this particular company strived to resolve my case as soon as they could.
To make sure incidents like this don’t dampen your travels, make sure to check with your bank if you can use two-factor authentications in the country you’re traveling to. Activating two-factor authentications for overseas online purchases will allow you to authorize transactions via your bank instead of from the website you’re shopping from.
Additionally, don’t mess with the browser during the payment process. That means no navigating back, and no refreshing the page.
Last but not least, if you believe that you’ve been wrongly charged for something, immediately contact the company for a refund. If the company is unresponsive, try contacting them through different channels. If even that doesn’t work, resort to contacting their third-party payment processor. In extreme cases, you could also try contacting them via their partners, or even their investors.
Remember: often the problem lies with your issue not reaching the right person, and not with the company refusing refund requests.
This article previously appeared on Medium.