Chargebacks ‘both a problem and an opportunity’

Travel firms continue to have to deal with chargebacks on card payments but some have struck back at customers seeking ‘double recovery’ and others are using chargeback rules to chase airline refunds.

Krystene Bousfield, head of debt recovery at law firm Travlaw, said: “We see a lot of individual customer claims. The chargeback issue kicked off ridiculously in the past 12 months.”

But she told a Travel Weekly Future of Travel Spring Forum session: “Where we see customers getting double recovery – maybe they were accidentally paid twice through a refund credit note and issued a chargeback – we’re seeing more clients say ‘They’re not entitled to this.’ So they’re sending letters before action or issuing claims.”

Bousfield said some larger travel clients are also issuing chargebacks themselves on card transactions with suppliers. She explained: “If a company pays an airline with a company card, they can be entitled to chargeback rights.

“Someone might have made hundreds of thousands in company card payments to an airline. The airline isn’t refunding them and clients are using the chargeback process to claw back as much as they can. We’re seeing success using the chargeback process in that way.”

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