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July 10, 2020

Disputing Charges During the Pandemic

Many Americans were blindsided by the pandemic, with long-planned weddings, vacations of a lifetime, and other monumental events now postponed. But what if you already submitted a deposit to a caterer or paid for your now-canceled Mediterranean cruise? Many consumers think issuing a dispute will help recoup their money, but that’s not always the case.


We’ve outlined some common scenarios faced by consumers during these unprecedented times, along with information about how—or if—you can dispute a charge on your MIDFLORIDA Visa debit card or credit card.

I purchased an international flight, but my intended destination has closed its border.

You will need to work directly with the merchant or your travel insurance provider to find a resolution. Visa’s rules about charge disputes are superseded by government regulations or laws, which means the cardholder does not have the right to dispute the charge through Visa.

I purchased tickets to an event that was canceled and rescheduled; I can’t attend the event on the alternate date.

This is a disputable charge, but only if the event was not canceled because of government-imposed prohibition. Just like in the example above, laws and regulations from the government supersede Visa’s rules. Try resolving the issue with the merchant directly by asking for a refund or venue credit.

I booked a hotel stay but no longer feel comfortable visiting because of the pandemic.

As long as the merchant is fulfilling its obligations to provide the good or service you purchased, you do not have rights to dispute a claim with Visa. However, the merchant might be willing to issue a refund or credit, so you should work with them to find an alternate resolution. If you purchased travel insurance, check your policy or contact the plan’s administrator to see if you’re covered.

I would like to cancel a non-refundable flight because I don’t feel comfortable traveling. The airline issued a gift card/voucher for later use, but I’d rather have a refund.

In this case, the merchant is still fulfilling its obligations to provide the service you purchased. If the flight was non-refundable at the time of purchase, the airline is not required to issue a refund and you do not have dispute rights.

I purchased an item from overseas and it’s taking too long to arrive.

Due to worldwide shutdowns, production of many goods has drastically slowed. Some shipments that would have normally arrived in just a week or two are now taking much longer. We recommend contacting the merchant no later than eight weeks from the purchase date to request the tracking number and date of shipment, and to verify that the package was sent to the correct address. You will need this documentation in order to file a dispute with Visa if the goods do not arrive.

We’re here if you need us

While Visa ultimately controls which charges can be disputed, we’re here to help determine if you have dispute rights under your particular circumstances. If your scenario isn’t outlined above and you have already attempted to resolve the matter directly with the merchant, give our Help Desk a call or stop by a branch.