HOUSTON – Maybe your flight was canceled, but the airline hasn’t refunded the money you paid for your ticket, or your gym closed but continued to deduct your monthly dues from your bank account. Thousands of Americans are waiting on refunds now from companies that have created all sorts of new clever policies to try and hold onto the cash during these tough economic times. If any of the businesses holding your money files for bankruptcy, you can kiss your cash goodbye. That is why it is in your best interest to pursue getting your money back now.
Currently, there are no regulating agencies investigating this issue, demanding that ticket sellers or airlines refund customer’s money. But with enough pressure, agencies like the Texas Attorney General and/or the Federal Trade Commission just might. That is why no matter where you purchased tickets, to increase your chances of getting a refund, you should take these 4 steps:
1. Write a letter to the company holding your funds.
Be respectful and state the facts: When you purchased the tickets, how much you paid, and your confirmation number. Explain why you need that money back (any financial hardships- have you lost your job, income?) and why you will not likely to be able to attend the concert or event when and if it is rescheduled. You can “cc” the Texas Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission and yours truly on that letter. Provide your contact information, including your name and phone number, your address and a specific deadline when you need your refund.
2. Send those same details to these agencies as complaints:
US Department of Transportation (for complaints about airlines)
3. Dispute the charges with your credit card company.
Some consumers have had luck getting refunds through their card companies this way.
4. File in small claims court.
Harris County Justice of the Peace courts start holding hearings again Monday, May 18, 2020, but the offices are already open. The filing fee is $124, and you can sue for up to $10,000. Beginning in September, you will be able to sue for twice that amount- $20,000.