Increased concern among consumers making travel-related purchases is being reported.

One in three (34%) people say they are worried about a travel booking being refunded due to a local lockdown or “second peak” of coronavirus.

This follows an increase in people trying to get refunds on flights and hotel bookings, with a fifth (22%) saying they have had more difficulties trying to get money back on cancelled holidays and events.

The results come from a poll of 2,000 people by Visa.

Overall, more than two fifths (43%) have been deterred from requesting a refund for an item, service or event at all – citing confusion about the returns process (15%), lack of time for the process (10%), the return window (also 10%), as well as no access to a printer for return labels (8%) as key pain points.

Ten per cent were unable to contact the company to pursue a refund.

The refund wait time has also increased notably during lockdown, with 12% saying it took more than a month to get their money back compared to 7% who got a refund beforehand.

Older people (aged 55+) are experiencing the biggest wait for refunds, with 5% waiting over a month before the pandemic, compared to 17% who have experienced this wait time since.

Visa UK and Ireland managing director Jeni Mundy said: With consumer spending crucial to Britain’s economic recovery, it’s concerning to see that people are worried about securing refunds should they need to, and that in some cases this is even preventing them from making purchases.

“It’s important that people understand the many options open to them to get their money back should something go wrong.

“A good place to start is to get familiar with a seller’s cancellation, refund and exchange policy before you buy – this can often be easily found on their website.”

Visa’s ‘UnRefundables’: Top items being returned

  1. Clothes, shoes and accessories (31%)
  2. Hotel bookings (21%)
  3. Flights (20%)
  4. Theatre tickets (14%)
  5. Electronics (14%)
  6. Food and drink (10%)
  7. Home appliances (10%)
  8. Concerts (9%)
  9. Furniture & home furnishings (9%)
  10. Sporting goods (8%)