Bank should have lodged a chargeback request

Categories:
Chargebacks
Summary:
Adriana’s daughter, Helen, bought tickets to an Elton John concert through Viagogo. Helen said the ticket price showed as $700 on Viagogo’s website, but the company charged $1,900 on her mother’s credit card. When the pair saw the $1,900 figure, they asked the bank to help recover the funds because they hadn’t agreed to pay that much. The bank responded that Viagogo was well known for adding extra costs on at the end, and it could not agree to the chargeback request unless the tickets were invalid. Helen decided not to go to the concert and sold the tickets, which turned out to be valid.
Published:
February 2021

Our investigation

We checked the Mastercard rules to see whether there were any grounds for seeking a chargeback and found one that allowed for a chargeback on the basis that a “transaction amount differs”. This applied when “the merchant increased the transaction without the cardholder’s permission”. This appeared to be exactly what Helen said had happened. The bank said this ground wasn’t available because Viagogo disclosed the extra fees at the end of the purchase process, and it showed screenshots of this process from Viagogo’s website. It seemed correct that Viagogo added the extra fees at the last stage of the purchase, but these fees amounted to a third of the value of the transaction (about $250) and didn’t explain why the fees were so high. Adriana accepted that an extra $250 might have been added on and disclosed at the end but argued the bank should compensate her for the unexplained difference of $950.

Outcome

The bank agreed to reimburse her most of this amount as a goodwill gesture.

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